Using the pre-made commercial hedges on your model railway can be expensive what if there was a way to get hedgerows for a few pounds. Here’s how you can make your own.
Hedgerows bring a model railway to life, they add an extra realism and detail to layouts yet often they are missed out. This may have something to do with the cost, commercial varieties can cost nearly £10 for a few inches! But with a little thought, you can easily make your own and save yourself a few pounds.
The cheapest technique is to use old fashioned pipe cleaners and spray them with different shades of green. The results aren’t perfect but you can’t beat the price – under £2 for the pipe cleaners plus some spray paints.
An alternative and my preferred choice for small hedge rows is to use Weatherstrip Seal. This costs slightly more than pipe cleaners in terms of raw materials but is still much cheaper than pre-made commercial offerings given the lengths of hedgerow you get for your money. Watch the video below for a quick tutorial.
To add extra realism to them, I use a green scatter first as in the video but then top with a very light sprinkle of soil coloured scatter but the choice is yours. I also like to trim the edges at the base of each row, so the underside is almost triangular in shape and place dark scatter material along it. This gives a good impression of roots and woody trunks of the hedge often visible before the leafy growth of the hedge starts further up.
> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.
Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.