Making Barbed Wire Markers

Making Barbed Wire

By Dale Pepperell

When making barbed wire obstacles there are a couple of ways you could build them. With Czech hedgehogs supporting 3-5 barbwire coils, or with wooden stakes supporting the wire.

You also need to consider the number barbed wire bases you’ll need when playing the missions that require them. Six bases will span a standard gaming table width (48”/120cm) in a straight line, so 12-15 barbed wire bases should be all you need. But having more is always good.

Barbed Wire Marker
Step 1

Mark out as many sections as you need onto a hardboard or MDF 3-6mm sheet in 20cm by 5cm sections.

Step 1

Next shave with a craft knife the edges to about a 45-degree angle, being careful to cut away from yourself, and then sand the angles smooth.

Mark out the placement of the Czech hedgehogs/wooden posts roughly 5cm from each end, so when placed together this gives you a 10cm gap between the supports.

Step 2

Now its time to paint them your base colour, apply paint, then sprinkle sand lightly over the base till covered, then apply more of your base colour. When dry you can dry brush them to match your gaming table.

Step 2

The hedgehogs/wooden posts need to be painted now. You can make these yourself or in February we will have beach obstacles available which will be useful for this.

Step 3

The final basing step is to add the static grass. A method I’ve found for applying static to give a pleasing effect is to apply your glue in lots and lots of dots, so there is a small gap between each dot all over the base. I then lightly sprinkle static grass all over the base. Once dry the static grass appears in patches once you brush of the excess. I think this gives a quite natural look, more so than a solid grass effect or in large patches.

Step 3

Step 4

Next we need to make some barbed wire. There are a few things you could use:

1- Fine mesh painted with a watered down PVA glue to hold it together when cutting. Then cut single strands of wire out about a meter long and wrapped around a 5-8mm rod to form coils.

2 - Fuse wire, by putting tight loops into the wire every 10mm or so, about a meter long. Then wrapping it around a 5-8mm rod.

3 - Or the one I used. Two 0.45mm galvanised wire lengths about a meter long. Twist ends of wire together then place into end of drill, then using the drill slowly wind one wire onto the other, then wrap around a 5-8mm rod.

You will need roughly about 3-5 coils for each barbwire base.

Step 5

Once you have plenty of the wire coiled you now need to stretch them so the ends over lap the barbed wire bases at each end by at least 10-15mm, so when placed together the wires sit against each other. Then paint with Dark Gunmetal (FWP480).

Next glue the barbed wire onto the bases. Place the bottom wires coils. If you are making a five coil obstacle you will need to cut the middle wire coil to fit it around the Czech hedgehogs/wooden posts.

Step 5


Glue the barbwire where it touches the base or another wire, now do the same for the top wire, or wires. 

Step 6

When the glue is dry, you could cut some of the barbwire for gaps, or flatten a little bit of the wire and place a prone infantryman over the flattened wire, or model a crater onto base and cut the wire above it an twist end of coil for a explosive effect.

Once done its time to age the Czech hedgehogs/wooden posts and barbed wire with a rust effect. I use a pinkie-light brown colour dabbed randomly all over the barbed wire and Czech hedgehogs. 

Step 6


Step 6

Step 7 Step 7 (optional)

Right you have finished the barbed wire bases and have enough to cross your gaming table twice in a straight line, but would like them to go around corners and still look right. You can do this by cutting out a small base with a 33-45 degree angle on it to form a corner piece. Then follow steps 1-3 to complete the base.

Place the Czech hedgehog/wooden posts on the small base. You won’t need barbed wire because it extends 10-15mm passed each end of the large bases, simply glue the Czech hedgehog/wooden posts in the centre.

Wire line

 Materials required

Hardboard or MDF (3-6mm)
Sand (fine)
Sand paper (fine)
Super glue
PVA glue
Marking pen and ruler

Czech hedgehogs or wooden posts
Paint, knife and brushes
Barbwire (galvanised/fuse/mesh)
Clippers (side cutters)
Static grass
Electric drill
Rod (5-8mm wide by 200mm long)