Making and How to Make Model Hedges and Miniature Walls
Christmas Village Displays
The addition of hedges can often frame the front garden of any model house or provide a useful boundary to a pathway or park. There are several very easy ways that you can make a large number of miniature hedges for very little outlay, all of which will provide a charming touch to a landscaped model Christmas village.
All good model shops stock a variety of different leaf / foliage scatter powder (flocking), which comes in different shades of green and is really extremely inexpensive for a good-size quantity that will provide much coverage. A fairly course foliage powder is preferable for making hedges following this particular method.
Saw to size small lengths of wood, roughly 1 inch / 4 cm x 1/2 inch / 2.5 cm in size. Alternatively, dowelling or folded cardboard can be used instead.
Then, it is as easy as painting the wood a dark green, and once the paint is dry to touch, apply a rather generous coating of PVA glue and dip each side (except the base) into the green foliage scatter powder. After all of the lengths of wood have been well and truly coated (make any necessary touch ups), leave in a warm place to thoroughly dry out.
Model Shops and Ready Made Hedges
Model shops also sell all different kinds of much coarser foliage, which can be either positioned next to each other in the Christmas village landscape, or first glued together. Alternatively, a line of green reindeer moss can be equally effective, especially when sprinkled with a topping of model snowflakes.
If you prefer the idea of purchasing ready made Christmas hedges, rather than trying to make your own budget version, then flexible lengths of hedging are available from Department 56 and Lemax. They have the advantage that they are in scale and can be bent to shape, around corners, being ideal for framing the base of a specimen Christmas tree or angling along the corner of a pathway.
Making Miniature Stone Walls
Making a stone wall can be a time-consuming process. Roll out thin strips of modelling clay into wall-shaped rectangles and flair the base outwards, for stability. With a sharp scalpel or cocktail stick / toothpick, carefully carve horizontal lines and then add in vertical lines, to create a staggered brick effect.
When almost dry, brush with a firm toothbrush or small paintbrush to smooth the lines and remove any rough edges. Paint the wall a grey colour, using different shades to make the bricks appear more natural. Then, paint the base of the wall with PVA glue and sprinkle with green foliage scatter for a grass-like mounded finish, and place within your Christmas village, perhaps next to a pathway or outside a house.
Alternatively, cut lengths of thin wood or polystyrene (styrofoam). Next, lay on one side and paint with a mixture of grey paint and PVA glue, or cover with a thick spread of grey-coloured plaster or resin (available from model shops), or possibly use grey silicone sealant.
Then, carefully arrange pea gravel to form the brick structure of your wall, using different sizes to make it appear natural, rather like a dry stone wall effect. Gently push the gravel into the adhesive so that it emerges around the edge of the stones, rather like mortar. When dry and fully set in place, repeat this process for the other side and top, perhaps adding a tiny sprinkling of green foliage scatter (from model shops) to suggest moss and lichens. You could even add some tea leaves or dried herbs for a different colour and texture. Making your wall rather than buying a ready made item has the advantage that its thickness and length can be tailored to best suit your arrangement.
Other possible methods of making model walls include glueing lots of gravel together in a thin rectangular mould, using plaster in a purpose-made latex mould, or carving brick shapes into a section of polystyrene.
This small miniature wall was made using modelling clay and is displayed here in a Christmas village setting:
A miniature hedge is displayed next to the Lemax bench and figurine set, entitled Feeding the Birds, as well as some tiny toy rabbits: