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The Fluffiness test

Making Trees

by Avian

Trees are one of the most common features on a battlefield, but they are quite hard to make by yourself (at least if don't have a clue about how to do it), which is why many people buy ready-made ones who are very expensive. To make a forest you need at least three trees for a very small forest, seven or eight will make a normal sized wood while anything larger than that can be achieved by combining two or more smaller forests. Here's how I made mine. Which one you choose will probably depend more on the materials you have at hand than the cost, since the best looking forest is cheaper to make than the easiest. The methods are ranked by difficulty, with the easiest first.

 

Method 1

What you need

How to do it

  1. Go to 'Basing the forest'.

This is the easy and expensive method.

 

Method 2

What you need

How to do it

  1. Use the scissors and cut the foam into a sort of oval shape. It work's best if you start by cutting away the edges, then cut awy the edges you have left using smaller cuts and so on. You can also make other shapes - bells and similar looks good.
  2. Cut lots of little snips into the foam so that you get a very rough surface. You need LOTS of cuts but make sure you don't cut off any large pieces of foam.
  3. Cut out a roughly circular piece of carton, about 3 to 4 cm in diameter for the base of the tree. The taller the tree is the bigger base you will need.
  4. Cut a little X in the base, so that you can press the trunk through (the flaps must go up). Glue the trunk in place. If you want to you can make little roots out of green stuff. This isn't strictly necessary since you probably won't see the roots from the players' "bird's eye" view.
  5. Cut a hole in the bottom of the foam wit a sharp nail for the trunk but don't glue it in place yet. First you spray the "leaves" green. While the paint dries you can paint the trunk and base.
  6. When the paint is dry you can drybrush the "leaves" with a lighter green and/or glue flock to it to make it look more realistic.
  7. When you have made enough (at least three for a small forest) you can go to Basing the forest.

This is the not-so-easy but practically free method.

 

Method 3

What you need

How to do it

  1. Do this work in a very well ventilated room or outside! This much glue stinks something awful!
  2. Cut the wigs so that they are about 6 to 7 cm tall for a medium sized tree (the tree itself will be a bit higher). The trunk should go about 2 to 3 cm before branching off. You don't need lots of branches - around 5 is sufficient.
  3. Cut off pieces of lichen about the size of a goblin and glue them to the branches. This can be a bit difficult in the beginning so start with something easy. Begin by making the lower half into something like a bowl shape by gluing pieces of lichen to the outsides of the branches. These pieces should be more or less flat on the inside but more rough on the outside. Use lots of glue or they won't stick.
  4. Fill up the bowl using smaller irregular pieces and gradually build up the shape of the tree. Make sure that each piece of lichen is glued to as many other pieces and to as many branches as possible. Also make sure that you cover all the branches.
  5. Cut out a roughly circular piece of carton, about 3 to 4 cm in diameter for the base of the tree. The taller the tree is the bigger base you will need.
  6. Cut a little X in the base, so that you can press the trunk through (the flaps must go up). Glue the trunk in place. If you want to you can make little roots out of green stuff or similar.
  7. When you have made enough (at least three for a small forest) you can go to basing the forest.

This is probably the hardest method, but it is also the one that looks the best when the trees are finished and it's much cheaper that buying finished trees.

 

Basing the forest

When you have enough trees to make a forest (3 to 4 for a very small forest, 7 to 8 for a normal sized one) it's time to put them on a base.

What you need

How to do it

  1. Place the trees on the base material and arrange them so that you get a shape that you like. Make sure there's at least 3 cm between the trees if you want to be able to put any models in the forest. It might be a good idea to mark off the places where the trees will go.
  2. When you're satisfied use a pencil to draw a rough outline around the forest, making sure that the edge of the forest is at least 2 cm away from the trees. Make the outline wavy.
  3. Cut out the base. This can be pretty hard if the material is hard or the base is big. Smooth down the edges of the base with a sharp knife or file to make the forest blend more in with the table.
  4. Clue the trees onto the base. If you want to you can glue some small stones on also and build up around them with some modeling putty to give a more realistic feel. This will make it harder to place models in the forest, but it looks good.
  5. Paint the base green.
  6. Flock the base. You'll probably do good to do this in sectors of about 10 x 10 cm or the glue will start to dry in places before you put the flock on. When you put the flock on hold the forest over a plastic box or similar so that you can gather up the flock that doesn't stick (this also means that your carpet won't turn green).
  7. If you want to you can glue on pieces of lichen, mushrooms or similar to make the woods look more realistic, but this has the disadvantage of making it harder to place models in it.
  8. Sit back and admire the forest. :]

 

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