I'm aware these are available commercially, but I have yet to see any I particularly liked. Those that are laser cut from MDF appeared far too uniform in shape and looked nothing like the rough hewn rails I had seen in pictures, like the one above. Those in plastic were passable, but given I needed about 2.5-3m (48-60") in total length it could get quite expensive. The solution was to make my own.
These are fairly straightforward and quick to make. I started by cutting lengths of MDF for the base. I have seen lots of people using these in short 150-200mm (6-8") lengths, but when you consider these were often used to fence off roads or entire fields it made sense to consider making longer pieces which in my opinion always look much more attractive on the table. With that in mind I planned to make the majority of pieces in 45mm (18") lengths and then a number of shorter pieces in 150mm (6") lengths to add versatility to how I would use them.
As with all my terrain I used my Dremel rotary tool to sand down the edges of the MDF so I didn't have a too noticeable 'step-up' to the terrain.
The fencing itself I would make from strips of balsa wood. I bought a packet of this in 150mm x 10mm lengths from a craft store. Looking at pictures I estimated lengths of 75mm (3") would be about right for playing in 28mm, so I cut each piece in half. The tool I used for this is The Chopper, a rather nifty cutting device that is great when you need to cut lots of pieces to regular lengths.
I then split each of these segments into three pieces. I didn't attempt to do this by measuring, just by eye as I didn't want them to be exactly uniform in width.
To give them a rougher look I made random chips along their length and tried to eliminate some of the square edges.
Before starting the fences on the base you need to give consideration to how each length will butt up against another, as you want to ensure you don't interrupt the zig zag pattern when you run several in a line. I mention this because I didn't do this with my initial 150mm test lengths and while they are not totally wasted I wanted to ensure all my other lengths will do this. The fencing alternates between heights of three or four rails, so you just want to ensure that you have end sections that include both three and four rails so that when they butt together you will keep up the pattern of alternating heights.
As each rail rests on another you need to consider how you are going to deal with the ends of each section. I thought about creating interlocking sections but I was worried they might be a bit fragile, but more importantly it might restrict how versatile they will be. To solve this I simply filled the gaps between those rails with a short section of rail as you can see in the pictures.
Once you have worked all this out it is then a simple matter of laying down the rails. I used PVA wood glue for this, applying a spot at the point where each rail lay over the other and slowly built up the fence like that.
Once you've found your rhythm these come together quite quickly.
The next stage is to add texture to the base. I used a mix of sand and cat litter applied with PVA glue. Once dry the whole lot were primed. You don't have to prime, but I find balsa wood and MDF can be very 'thirsty' at times and will really soak up paint and this can lead to warping. A coat of primer prevents this happening and makes the paint application considerably easier.
For paint I use sample pots of Dulux household acrylic emulsion from the hardware store. These are inexpensive and go a long way for a fraction of the price of hobby acrylic paints. The base was painted in my usual ground colours which are Deep Bamboo with a dry brush of Arava. The fences were painted in Peppercorn Rent.
Wood soon fades to various shades of grey once exposed to the elements and I build this up on top of the base brown colour by dry brushing with shades of grey. Firstly with a darker grey Western Myall, followed by a lighter grey Timeless Grey.
The final touches are to flock the bases. For this I use a base of scatter flock and then I overlay this was static grass. While it's extra work to do two layers, I think it adds depth to the ground layer and is well worth the effort.
So finally here they are in a game setting: