Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I have been building fences lately, both 1:1 scale and 1:48 and I thought I would share some photos of prototype fences. There is a fair bit of variation in farm fences depending on the region and era that the fence was built in. 

Timber posts with either plain wires or netting was popular in my area especially before the 1960's. While they were hard work to put up they were cheap to build. Most of the posts were cut and split from trees on the farm. My father who is in his 70's vividly remembers how much work it was to saw, split and drill the posts all by hand. The holes in the ground also were dug by hand. So much work to then have a bushfire come along and destroy the lot. There aren't many of these old wooden fences left around here. Most have been replaced with something a bit more modern

Concrete posts with steel star pickets came along in the 60's and many fences erected then are still around today. Fences have continued to evolve with netting and plain wires giving way to products like ringlock that are a preformed wire mesh. The fences we put up today have all steel posts and the ringlock comes in rolls 200 metres long so it is a very quick process to put a new fence up.
Concrete & steel post fence with ringlock probably erected in the 1970's
Wooden dropers on a plain wire fence. These are pieces of wood
 about 2' square that help keep the wires evenly spaced

traditional wooden fence post cut from timber off the farm

traditional fence with a steel picket or star post.
Note the two barb wire s on top, and the
plain wires to add strength to the netting

Wooden line strainer that seen better days
 Fences also have a strainer post at each end that takes the tension of the fence. If the post is at a corner or where the fence bends or has a gate on it, it needs a stay to keep it straight. If the post is in the middle of the fence it's called a line strainer and usually doesn't have a stay as the tension from either side keeps it straight.
Modern steel strainer post & stay
To my fence modelling, I am building a fence that has all wooden posts and plain wires. For the wires I tried a product from the sewing shop called invisible mending thread. It looked good as it was difficult to see the further you got away from the fence just like in real life.

Unfortunately I have enough temperature variation in the shed that the wires go loose so I need to change my wire. Thankfully  Dave at the Modeller's Warehouse came to my rescue with some fine charcoal EZ Line. This has some ability to stretch if you catch it. I am putting a bit of tension on it and it is staying tight despite any temperature changes.

 Unfortunately I am having some more issues with my eye again and modelling has come to a standstill which I am finding very frustrating. Hopefully it will improve enough for me to get back to my fencing ASAP.

Cheers Murray  


  1. Looks good and thanks for the photos- living in the city I only remember details I saw in my youth- so having photos for reference makes it easier
    Hope you eyes improve

  2. Best wishes with the eye, Murray. I do enjoy reading your blog, and look forward to better news soon.

  3. Sheesh Murray - you're not much of a farmer: those 1:1 fences you built look awful in your photos!! ;-) Looks like they've deteriorated for years....

    1. He's applied his modelling skills to real life!

  4. Some useful info on fences that we often overlook when modelling. Thanks for the info and the photos.