Sunday, January 30, 2011

From the Desk: The Forest for the Trees

Another weekend comes to a close, but I got some good work done. Among the various projects I hit was finishing up these little trees. I got the inspiration when I found some moss balls in Michael's. I'm a big fan of using felt templates for terrain elements because they provide clear delineations of where that terrain element begins and ends. However they don't provide very much ambiance. So I wanted to create some simple trees that could be put on the templates to spice them up a bit. Here you can see the final product in action, currently being occupied by a few Striders. What follows is a quick description of how I constructed these trees.

First I made these trunks. I sort of did several steps at once, so let me summaries. I cut out small circles of matte board, put a small nail through the center, then used some caulk and stuck it to a small tube. The tubes were just some simple hard plastic pieces of tubing that I cut to length. Sticking out the top is a wood screw which is intended to hold the moss ball. Once all these dried I was able to move on to the next step...

To simulate the bark, I grabbed some bandage tape from the first aid kit and just wrapped it around the tube.

Next I added the moss balls to it. Pictured here are the moss balls that inspired the whole thing. They are roughly 2" in diameter and are light but relatively solid.

After that I glued some garden sand to the base and was all set to paint. The base was relatively straight forward; just base with a dark brown and drybrush a tan on top of that. For the bark, I drybrushed a medium brown onto the bandage. This gave a somewhat decent looking bark effect for the trunk of the tree. After all of the paint dried I put some random flocking onto the base and called it done.

And there it is! A completed tree! Another simple piece of terrain to upscale my battlefields.

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