Saturday 19 February 2011

The I-Spy Book of Model Trees (part one)

Over the years I have built up a wide variety of different wargame terrain, most have featured here on this Blog.

In my attempts to catalogue these models I thought it would be fun to show some of my generic terrain pieces, starting with some of my model trees.

Photo One - A large bottle-brush type tree. This particular specimen of the sub-species stands over 150mm tall and is covered in fine 'railway modelling flock'. It was bought from a 'Bring and Buy' stall some years ago and is mounted onto a MDF oval. The trunk was further detailed with Milliput. For many years this was the standard model tree format.

This particular example regularly drops its foliage!

Photo Two - A pair of foam covered bottle-brush trees. A more textured variety of the earlier 'plain' bottle-brush species, this time covered in small green polystyrene beads which I have first trimmed with a pair of fine nail scissors and later 'cooked' in the oven. The cooking causes the beads to contract and form smaller clumps of foliage. In this example the larger tree is 250mm tall and the smaller 120mm tall. I have touched-up the green foliage with acrylic paint before mounting with thin wire and sculpting the trunk from Milliput.

It is worthwhile mounting the trees on different lengths of wire (or plastic tubing), making the trunks longer or shorter to add some variety.

Photo Three - A pair of coloured sawdust/wood chippings trees. I have had these examples many years, re-basing most of my collection at least once. The tallest is 140mm high. I am afraid I cannot remember where (or when) I purchased this collection. I will confirm that they are very hard wearing and if I ever saw more I would buy them without any hesitation.

As with the earlier examples, the trunks and roots have been first extendeded with wire and then sculpted with Milliput.

The bases on these terrain pieces are modelled in my usual way - first an oval of MDF is cut to shape, the edges chamfered with coarse sandpaper. I then attach the trees by bending out the wire trunks and supergluing them to the base. The base groundwork is built up with DAS modelling clay and then textured with sieved sand and some small gravel. The bases are painted in various tones of Snakebite Leather and Skull White from Games Workshop. In some examples I add larger stones or wood chips which are then painted grey.

All of my terrain pieces are 'flocked' with green coloured dyed sawdust - the sort used by model railway enthusiasts. My gaming board is covered in the same material and so the model trees 'blend-in'. One of the great benefits of this technique is that it is easy to refresh, first painting on some dilute uPVA glue and then sprinkling on some more dyed sawdust.


1 comment:

John Lambshead said...

I have started using railway trees. They look reasonable and are not too costly.