Tag Archives: tree

A Tree for Forestgrave

For our Forestgrave games I wanted some decidedly weird scenery, stuff from the other side of reality that doesn’t quite look like it obeys physics as we understand it. I wanted a lush, not-quite-overgrown-but-almost faery realm thing going on, what in D&D is called the Faewild.

It turns out that, far as I can tell, that’s not a super common theme for wargaming terrain, which surprised me. Maybe I haven’t discovered the magic search terms in Google or YouTube to let me find the other folks doing weird natural terrain yet. If you know of any, let me know in comments, please!

Anyway, I started with a scrap CD, hot glued some washers to it for ballast (because I knew I wanted my final tree to be five or six inches tall), and then used the light cardstock from a Frostgrave figure box to start forming the trunk, with lots (and lots) of hot glue to hold everything down and together, fill gaps, and add some texture to the trunk.

Initial construction underway. Rolled up and scrunched around light card for the trunks and root structures, washers and tape on the base, and loads of hot glue everywhere. Click for larger.

The stone platform is half inch foam insulation, cut as if it had at one point been octagonal before splitting in half somehow. I spiked a toothpick into the foam and then down into the cardboard of the trunk, and it’s solid enough to hold large metal figures without worrying me, even though it’s only attached to the trunk at a single point.

The whole trunk and roots covered in toilet paper and white glue. Fantastic easy bark texture. Click for larger.

I pushed a couple of toothpicks into the trunk in a few places, securing them with more hot glue, then covered the entire tree with clean toilet paper slathered with white glue. Push it around a bit with a stiff wet paintbrush and extra white glue as needed, let it dry overnight, and it’s fantastic easy cheap bark texture for bigger trees. I first used this on my big jungle trees for Infinity a few years ago, and it’s fantastic.

Black primer everywhere, start of paint on the platform, and grit going down on the base. Click for larger.

Next step was black acrylic craft paint, mixed with a generous amount of white glue for extra strength. That took a while to dry on the tree, so I stuck sand and grit onto the base while it was still wet, as well as adding a few bits of scrap foam for stone blocks.

Foam foliage on the trees, base flock and bushes on the base, paint mostly done on the platform. Frostgrave female wizard facing off against a Reaper demon. Click for larger.

The platform got the same black primer, then various shades of grey, tan, pale blue, and white on the stone. I shaded the centre section with blue ink, then used both pale blue and white as final drybrushed highlights.

The two smaller trees in the photo above, incidentially, were made from wire and hot glue several years ago, got put away unfinished, and I just found them last week while looking for something else. They got extra basing materials and tree foliage alongside the big one, and are finally finished, at least five years after I started them. Yeah, I’m organized.

The base got foam foliage bushes, a base coat of my usual mixed grass flock, patches of several other types of flock, a few mushrooms from Bad Squiddo Games, and then a lot of tufts, both grass and flowers.

Tree complete. Mushrooms, bushes, grass, and flowers on the base in abundance. Click for larger.

The grass and flower tufts are mostly from Rain City Hobbies, who do all sorts of great stuff including a bunch of styles of grass and flower stuffs at really good prices. I’ve been using the flowers on my English Civil War/generic English terrain already, and dailling them up higher to get that fae-touched lush look was the right choice, I think.

Weird tree all finished, front view. For my next trick I need to finish that Frostgrave summoner, her apprentice, the rest of her warband, and the demons she summons… Click for larger.

There’s still room for figures on the base, despite the abundant plant life, and I’m looking forward to doing more scenery like this soon!

And again, if you have a line on good inspiration for this sort of faewild overgrown haunted woods scenery, please let me know!

More Jungle To Rumble In

Scored another big paper towel roll from our recycling bin, so I decided to make a fallen tree instead of another upright one.

Like the other trees, the fallen tree started with a paper towel roll, scrap cardboard, some CDs, and my hot glue gun. I made the root ridges lower so the tree would sit mostly level, and glued on a few random bits of cardboard to break up the surface of the paper towel roll a bit. All the ridges are made of two strips of cardboard, so they’re a bit thicker.

Tree assembled, with Infinity Ghulam light infantry on a 25mm base for scale. Click for larger.

I used a pair of CDs as a base, and didn’t bother filling in the gap between them.

Right after assembling the fallen tree (I love hot glue, there’s no waiting for glue to dry or cure!) I got to work with white glue, some paper towel, and toilet paper for bark texture. I filled in the two ends with scrap cardboard and a bunch of paper toweling, added some ridges of paper towel here and there, then covered the whole thing with toilet paper, pushed into place with a damp brush and sometimes my fingers, with extra white glue drizzled on as needed to make sure everything was well stuck down.

Bark texture done with toilet paper. Click for larger.

That needed to dry overnight, so the next evening I got the basecoat done, mostly brown paint with a bit of black and some tan to add a bit of variation, with a squirt of white glue mixed in for extra strength.

Basecoat all done, still wet. Click for larger.

After the basecoat had dried overnight again, I did some drybrushing with tan and white paint to bring the bark texture out, then splodged on some green paint in two different shades here and there. That didn’t really need any drying time, so I got the hot glue gun out again and the box of random plastic plants and other greenery. I finished the fallen log off with a mixed batch of plants and foam, then ground foam grass over the base and here and there on the log as well, and declared it done!

Finished fallen log, same Infinity figure on 25mm base as the other photos. Click for larger.

The finished piece is about 9″ long, 3″ wide, and 2.5″ tall. I’m looking forward to adding it to my jungle themed tables!

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle…

Several years ago now I did a whole banker’s box full of jungle terrain, but it was all fairly low-lying stuff, thickets and bushes and that sort of thing.

I’ve always intended to add some bigger trees to the set, inspired by the nice trees DM Scotty does in this video…

…and Dr. Mathias’ extravagantly photographed jungle tree tutorial over on Lead Adventure forum!

Our paper towel dispensers at work are the large commercial models, and staff are expected to refill them on their own when they’re emptied, so I’ve brought home a few of the heavy cardboard tubes from the centres of the big rolls of brown paper towelling, as well as a couple of lighter tubes from home, and a few shorter toilet paper tubes.

This weekend I sat down to crank out a few trees! I started with the hot glue gun, the tubes, some CD-ROMs salvaged from the recycling bin, and some scrap cardboard to produce four trees and one big stump.

Fourth tree and stump all covered in paper towel. Three other trees drying in the background. Click for larger.

The three big trees and the stump basically fill the entire CD base edge to edge, with space between the buttress roots for figures to duck for cover. The smaller tree (from a tube that originally held glow-ropes) covers about half the CD it’s on.

I used lots of white glue to attach a layer of brown paper towel to the trunks, let that dry, then slapped on a base coat of reddish-brown and black mixed. After that dried I gave the trunks a heavy drybrush of tan, then blotches of two different shades of green here and there to suggest moss or jungle fungus.

Basecoated trees drying, before drybrushing and foliage. Click for larger.

After that had mostly dried I broke out my box of random plastic plants, gathered from craft stores over the last couple of years. Vines, random bushes, and some low-lying lichen filled some of the gaps around the trunks and provided some colour, then I put a generous layer of flock around the bases and declared these things done!

All flocked and foliaged. The white primered figure in the lower-right is an Infinity Ghulam infantry on a 25mm base. Click for larger.

Stump speech! Using the toilet paper roll for a giant stump gives the tabletop some vertical tactical possibilities, which always makes games more interesting. Click for larger.

It’s nice to have a quick down-and-done project, sometimes, and I’m really pleased with how these all came together. Looking forward to getting them onto a table for a pulp or Infinity game!