I wanted to explore the various way of making trees for wargaming purposes.
I really do hate model trees, unless you pay a lot, they don’t really look so great. You can pay 4-10 pounds for a decent quality model tree about 10-15 cm high.
If you don’t want to do that what options are open to you.
Well first there’s the “bog brush” budget tree. You get what you pay for…
(you will probably see these being used anyway as I don’t have much else!)
These can usually be bought in bulk for quite reasonable money.
More expensive are what I call the bottle brush trees, more finish to them. They come in a variety of heights and can get expensive.
Then there is Seafoam – this stuff is expensive, fiddly, and although makes great trees for displays that won’t get touched, is no good for wargaming.
You need to get some support for the “tree trunk” as this is a weak natural product.
Fixing it to a base will be …fun. Try getting wire into this stuff!
Next there are wire frame trees with a brown plastic coating. I got the ones in the picture from Woodland Scenics (via my local Hobbycraft). They are not cheap but you do get a bit of a bagfull of the medium size ones (they come in different sizes)
You can glue the stems and add various materials. They come with their own bases.
(note: the template is for size reference)
Just bend the branches into more of a tree shape and pop into the bases.
Then you paint paint if you wish and add a variety of materials.
I tried gluing some coarse turf to the branches then draping green lichen over the result to see if it approximated a tree…. not too good…
despite the still wet glue its a mess.
Next, I tried some Woodland Scenics green Poly Fiber.
Looks better in the flesh than on the photo. Passable and a bag of this stuff will do a lot of trees.
Next up I tried traditional clump foliage. You can glue it on with a hot glue gun in small chunks.
I think it looks the best of the above. Cost is going to be steep unless you already have a glue gun.
Finally, there’s the cheap and dirty method. Find some readily available natural product and a bit of green scatter and get gluing.
Here’s my pine cone option… I was saving these cones for 40k scenery (any colour will do for sci-fi!) as a cheap method of making woods.
Just pva glue the outside of the cone and the inner bits that are accessible and smother in scatter material. Place a few of these on a cut-out of green card or felt to make the boundary of the wood.
I am sure there are lots of other methods using twigs and all to keepcosts down.
Remember that these get moved and stored and take some impacts in use and also in storage. Resilience is as good as aesthetics and cost IMHO.