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Modelling the Bocage Badly – Mocage

“Bocage only looks like that when it’s been designed by someone who has only heard about Bocage second-hand from someone who read about it once in a bad book. ”   Link

It seems that many wargamers, and many (most?) of the companies who make scenery for wargamers, have read somewhere that the banks at the base of  bocage hedges were formed from rocks that were  removed from the fields over the years and then decide they need  to model the rocks.    They make what have been described as “dry stone walls with shrubberies on top” like the offering below from Battlefront/Flames of War.  What I call mocage.

Battlefront

Or these pieces from James’ Resins

Warlord Games sell something similar for use with Bolt Action.  It’s closer to reality than the two examples above but there’s too much earth, too many rocks, too much variety in the colours of the trees and bushes and not enough vegetation on the banks.  And it’s £120 for what looks  like just about enough to line one side of a road running the length of a normal 6′ x 4′ wargames table.  It would take three or four  boxes  to cover said table with reasonably sized fields.  Ouch!

All the models above are just wrong.  Bocage banks do not look like that now and they did not look like that in 1944 during the Normandy campaign.   These models clook like they’ve been made by someone who’s never been anywhere near Normandy, or even looked at any pictures of the real thing.

Fortunately for those of us who’d like to get this right it’s extremely easy to find pictures of  bocage banks and hedges, either as they were  in 1944 or as they are today and a Google Images search on bocage will give you hundreds of relevant pictures.  The only pictures you’ll find showing anything like the mocage above are pictures of wargaming terrain.

It’s not difficult to make your  model bocage look right and elsewhere on this site I’ve got some examples of what I think is good looking model bocage.  And of course I quite like my own 6mm stuff.

 

 

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