Monday, April 1, 2013

Chain link fences tutorial

I've been incredibly busy painting up models for use as an op-for for my urban infantry (pics to come later this week) and working on terrain and board for these models.

After looking at my E-box buildings I had a realization, no security conscience force would build all of these industrial buildings without putting up some sort of perimeter to protect them. With that in mind, and a great example and tip on materials from Redditor geekd, (who is also a member of the G+ 15mm sci-fi community, if you haven't joined it yet, it's a great resource!), I set off to make some chain links of my own!

Here's the finished product:

If you want to see how I made these and what materials I used, read on!
First, a note: I made these large enough to double as tall security fences for use in 15mm and they're also tall enough for use as more standard fencing for use with 28mm.

Without further adieu, here's the material list:

Stuff most hobbyists probably have laying around:
Green Stuff
Patching Plaster

Stuff you'll probably have to go looking for:
1)Popsicle sticks. I've found that the largest ones work the best, though the smaller ones are plenty serviceable as well. You can get a 500 pack for about $7 at Walmart.
2)A roll of Kwik-mesh. Available at Home Depot, a 25 ft. roll goes for about $9. (This was the absolute perfect material for this project and again, geekd over at reddit/r/wargames deserves a huge hat tip for this one)
3)GF9 barbed wire. While technically it comes in either 30mm scale or 15mm scale, I've found that the 15mm size works well for both. I think that it adds alot to the fences, though YMMV.
4) 1/16" x 1/16" x 36" balsa wood strips. I purchased mine from a local craft store for $.29 each, though some ACE hardware stores also carry them.

Now onto the procedure:

STEP 1: Cut the balsa wood strips to equal roughly the height of the fence you want, these are going to serve as your fence posts. I used 4 posts for a regular popsicle stick and 6 for the jumbo ones.

STEP 2: Secure your fence posts to the popsicle sticks with green stuff and let dry

If you're following along at home it should look something like this

STEP 3: Cut the kwik mesh to the appropriate size and secure it to your posts, I used blobs green stuff but superglue would probably work just as well and be less noticeable.

Don't mind the gaps between the bottom of the kwik mesh and the popsicle stick, that'll be taken care of later...

STEP 4: If you've chosen to go with the GF9 barbed wire, or make your own, run it through the tops of the fencing now. I've found that if you use long strands of it there's really no reason to secure it as it'll be too tangled to come out. You'll also add the plaster to the popsicle stick bases now, apply just enough to cover any exposed green stuff on the base and any gaps between the kwik mesh and your sticks.

Along with providing a way to really integrate this terrain piece by matching it to your board's paint scheme, the plaster will serve as a ballast which will help in preventing these from tipping over.

STEP 5: Apply paint. I went with a rusted out theme as it will match the buildings I made earlier. I want the terrain for this board to just scream of decay so I painted the fences to match ;).

The finished product

All done, now on to the next project, a refinery/pumping station out of PVC pipe, electrical boxes, and dollar store finds!


  1. Nice terrain item Mike. I went with a very similar procedure when I made some, but without the razor wire- I can always add it later!

  2. Nice looking terrain, they really look like a miniature version of a chain link fence. Which paint did you use to add the rusted effect?

    1. Thanks! I used a rustoleum primer from home depot for the main color and then added a few spritzes of black and a dark orange (both of which didn't show up too well...)

  3. I agree with the others. It is definitely nice looking terrain item. I'm going to share this post to my husband so he can make those for us. The paint looks nice. I just wonder how much it cost you though. I hope it isn't that expensive.


  4. This was a cool tutorial! I want to try it, but first I need to find a place that sells fencing near Vancouver.

  5. Chain link fencing works when you remember to close the gate. A two year old wandered off our yard, and it was a good thing we noticed before she got too far. We kept the gate closed after that, and kept her distracted with a pool, garden hose, and her pink swimsuit.

    Paul |

  6. One really great thing about working with a pliable material like willow is that it is possible to give a fence a fluid, organic shape. vinyl fence post