Friday, March 22, 2013

Tree Stands

Good terrain makes for a much better looking game. This week I have been working on improving my tabletop experience with some new tree stands.

After one too many games with trees that would ruin Bob Ross' mood, it was high time I started to spruce up the pines. The beginning of my planting spree is two bottle-brush style pine trees that have been in my posession for nearly a decade. Being railroad trees, they are designed to be permanently installed in a layout, and have only a taproot for support, and not stand on their own on a hard surface.
To make these trees usable on my game table, I created scenic based stands.

The wire trunks of the trees would be placed into hollowed out twigs and glued to small wooden circles from a local craft store. I built up the ground around the trunk to add stability and to simulate roots. Observing real pine trees, many of their root systems are underground, raising a mound around the base of the tree.

The texture used is a field test for tor methods intended on the folding game table, currently in progress. Instead of the standard sand, the ground texture is acheived though the use of sawdust, begged off the cutting department at Home Depot.

The tree stand, er, well, stands!
The trees fit nicely into the trunk socket, though long term storage has taken its toll on the tree itself.

The bases were painted with the same colors I use on my 1812 army bases, and flocked lightly with static grass. I opted not to add the brighter colored undergrowth so that the bases would be more universal.

The trunks are painted brown, with a vertical dry brush of Stormvermin Fur, which sits comfortably between brown and grey, and is one of the most useful colors in my paintbox. The stump gives this base a little more interest.

Lastly, for scale, here's a 28mm rifleman of the 95th skirmishing in my soon-to-be woods. Only real concern is that the width of the trunk will limit the trees to use with larger scale figures.

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