I have a love for mazes and labyrinths. (Yes, there is a difference between those two, I googled it.) I think they are great to use in tabletop rpg's, and I think I use them not enough.

Most dungeons are maze-like, but the Real Deal is of course the hedge maze. It looks so innocent, idyllic even, but it can contain so much nastyness. That is why I needed hedge maze tiles for my Meadow tiles set, I have plans. I need 3d dungeon tiles for those plans because I want my players to have their little mini-adventurers wonder around (and get lost in) a table filled with an awesome maze!

When I started with my meadow tiles I wanted to start with the hedge maze. I quickly found out my modelling skills were lacking, a lot actually. So I started my stepping stone tiles and later the picket fences to learn more, and it was a nice start for my meadow-plans. After those were done I was determined to make them hedges!

What followed was the following cycle:
1. google solution
2. find tutorial
3. try tutorial
4. find out the most important element of the hedge (all the leaves) are rendered
5. be upset and mope for about half an hour
6. start back at 1

I have no idea how often I did this, but it took a long time before I decided I really had to put each leave on the hedge by hand. Probably not, but I am lacking the skills to do it faster, easier and/or better and I could not find a single clue how I was supposed to do that. I still don't, by the way, but if there is a way I will find it!

Now, to get back to that list, all the tutorials I found gave me the possibility to create a nice leave-look on my little bare hedge-cube, but those leaves are rendered. That means that they are an image something on the 3d file, and not part of the 3d model (the mesh). In blender, you can take a cube shape, add loads of rendering-whatchamacallit and then it looks like a tree on your screen. With colours, bark and everything.
However, if you would look at what the 3d model is when you export it for printing, it will still be the cube.
I hate that! It if frustrating and it did not help me get my hedge.
It did make me decide to start doing an online blender-course, the kind you pay for and not the 'google-youtube stuff together' method. I hope it will teach me how to convert renders into mesh.

But doing a course takes a lot of time, especially since most of my time goes into work and sleeping, and I wanted my hedge a little sooner than 'within the next 5 years or so' because I have adventure plans for it.

So, I made a little leaf-like shape, put it on a cube and printed it. It was way too small. A hedge-leaf is tiny compared to the hedge, so I made it larger for printing but it still was a microscopic dot on my little cube. So I took one of my printed trees (I recommend this tree by the way, brilliant little tree!), measured the leaves on that and adjusted the size of my leaf and made 2 sizes, huge compared to my start-leaf. Then I started the tedious work of duplicating my little leavesĀ  and sticking them on my hedge one by one.

The hedges looked really horrible in my modelling software, like cubes being overrun by snails but the printed results looked a lot better. And some green paint did wonders for the end-result! Next up: aliging the walls and making all the possible corner-variations I would need. No fancy shapes or anything, I can always do that later, just straight walls and corners. Turns out that making 'all the possible corner-variations' on hexagonal tiles are a lot of corners indeed. You can't just make a straight corner and use that in all directions because hexagonals are not squares (which makes sense). But I got them all, all the test prints worked out fine and the first little set has been painted.

Next up: printing loads of hedge pieces and grass-tile pieces, painting them all and adding grass flock and them make that table-filling dungeon!
But that may take a few months because a 3d printing is a lot of things, but not fast.

If you want to make your own hedge maze/labyrinth you can download my WDhex Meadow tiles hedge for maze or labyrinth from MyMiniFactory for free.

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