Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tree awesomeness

In the beginning, I didn't even care about base making. Then I started to make bases in order to make my project units transportable and more presentable. Then I got into that competition thing, saw all those nice little dioramas and found it interesting to create such little vignettes as well.

One of the things that are vital for larger vignettes are trees and bushes. Two years ago, I watched a workshop on how to build trees on basis of a wire framework, held by Das_Dirk ( who is also a member of Bennos' forum. These trees looked great, but when I tried to make one, I ended up with... well... wire scrap. So I threw it all apart and concentrated on other things. At FIGZ 2012, I bought a single figure and spontaneously had a scenery in mind – unfortunately, this scenery would require a tree of some size. I looked around, but all ready-made trees available on the market looked either odd or where ridiculously expensive. With a little luck I managed to get an individual one – made by another great modeller whos' work can be seen on
Thanks to you, Bookman, I was able to build the scenery I had in mind, you'll see it at ISSC in Heiden ( this September!

Well. So far, so good. As I told you, I bought some nice hussar miniatures at FIGZ in Arnhem recently. Again, I had a special scenery in my mind, which would require some smaller trees and bushes for the hussar scouts to hide between. Mmph. Tree building problem again.
Nothing against the arts of Bookman – but I found it way too expensive to have all the required plants to be made. I saw the cool trees that Ralf presented at FIGZ and suggested these to be a real solution. I tried to bribe the guys (Ralf and Dirk) to make some trees for me, but they refused. I suspect that they wanted me to do it all on my own. So that's where I started.

Following the advice of Ralf, I bought myself some things:
  • NOCH 23100 Nature trees
  • a small can of UHU sprayable glue
  • a bag of sawdust, which I got for free at the local tool market

Price: around 20 Euro. Which doesn't seem bad for approximately 30 trees/bushes.

Look at the amount of basic material in the box:

So how does it work? Very fast and simple.
At first, I prepared two smaller nature tree parts, cut off lower branches, etc. Smaller trees usually don't have an expanded rootage and as the trees will be simply sticked into the basing material, it was not needed to create a rootage base at all.

First step: I brushed the trunks with wood glue and then dispersed sawdust upon them. Laying on my desk, they had time to dry out overnight. 

Next day, I carefully took them up with a plier and sprayed the glue upon the branches. The UHU spray glue works out fine – nearly pinpoint accuracy. I just dispersed some artificial foliage material onto the branches, blowed away the loose parts and – here you are, two small trees!

Well – I have to clean away the green parts that by mistake attached to the trunk and then drybrush the whole thing. Next time, I'm going to paint the trunks and branches before applying the foliage. That will certainly look much better, but for the start, I'm pretty happy with the results. Thanks for the inspiration, Ralf!