ACW Terrain I – Fences

There are certain terrain features that immediately conjure up a period. For the American Civil War, these are the fences. Snake rail fences as well as post and rail fences were an integral part of the North American landscape. Naturally, I was determined to get some for my ACW project.

Even with my small table, a lot of fences are needed to provide a plausible layout. Some companies, such as 4Ground, offer MDF snake rail fences. However, apart from being quite pricey, they look far too regularly. In reality, snake rail fences are made from roughly cut timber logs.


So I got myself a big bag of matchsticks (without ‘heads’) from ebay and set out to scratch build fences. I based them on thin pieces of plasticard and just glued on layer after layer of logs. In reality, such fences consist of four or five stacked logs, but I decided to do only three, as this would result in an appropriate height for 15mm figures.

Constructing the fences.
Constructing the fences.

Snake rail fences are not fastened, they are just stacked. This would not work very well in the small scale, so I applied posts at the end of each section. Those are sufficiently inconspicuous to not diminish the overall impression.

Rebels taking cover behind snake rail fences.
Rebels taking cover behind snake rail fences.

I then painted them and drybrushed them, trying to give them a worn look.



The other type of fences I wanted to have were those post and rail fences that look so neat when painted white. At first, I made an effort to build some myself, but this is a bit more complicated than making snake rail fences and I decided that life is too short for this. So I ordered two packs of MDF fences from Blotz. They were easy to assemble, although I didn’t use the bases that were included in the pack, as they looked too thick for my taste.

Assembling the Blotz fences.
Assembling the Blotz fences.

I painted them in a very light grey and then drybrushed them white.


I think I’ve now got enough fences for a halfway decent American Civil War landscape. If not, I’ll just have to make some more!

The complete layout.
The complete layout.

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