Thursday 7 June 2018

Terrain Hacks - Extreme Makeover: Treeline Edition!

Improvement...and transformation to something better. Really this is about taking an old piece of terrain and giving it a make-over.

The tree-line: the old classic few-trees-on-a-base-that-magically-blocks-line-of-sight terrain piece, so beloved of FOW gamers and Stormtrooper-abusers everywhere. I hated them; they made little logical sense though they were useful as LOS blocks. Nonetheless, I've wanted to re-do mine for ages, so the old ones were set for a makeover.


Pretty bland, if functional. I had not used them in ages since in Battlegroup or Chain of Command they don't really work as much more than decoration, in which case singly-based trees would be preferred. Time to re-base: mine are Woodland Scenics Pine tree armatures with clump-foliage attached. Not the best, about eight years old and used in many games, but I thought they could be re-used for something functional.

On 3mm MDF bases originally, I soaked them in water to soften the sand & PVA basing.

After about an hour, I took them out and broke the MDF into one-tree pieces,
using a pair of side-cutters to help "tear" at the MDF.

I broke away the MDF until close to the tree base, then cut the rest away with a craft knife.
Please try not to cut an artery if doing this or you might bleed out and die. Apparently.

With a bit of work the trees were freed and ready for re-basing.

Rather than basing singly I now formed a new plan after looking at some pictures of Normandy hedges. New bases, a few rocks and stumps were added for interest. The trees are "glued" with caulk (acrylic silicon).

Next I covered the bases with wood glue, then sand. When dry, it was painted dark brown,
then dry-brushed a lighter colour and a very light dry-brush with a sand colour.

Next I glued on flock: Woodland Scenics, a 3:1 blend of Green and Earth blend.

The flock was really just to provide a base for the static grass.
I also painted the rocks and the tree stumps at some point.

I painted diluted wood glue onto the flock areas (when dry), and applied
some 2mm static grass using the WWS Pro Grass Micro applicator.

The grass looks very green in the pictures but is much better in real life.

On to the 2mm grass I placed a few patches of diluted wood glue, then applied
some 4mm static grass, again with the applicator (of course!)

With some decent grass added, I was ready to move on to the next part.
15mm Sherman for scale.

Woodland Scenics foliage clusters, Medium and Dark green, were glued onto the bases to start the hedges.

I then added more clump foliage to thicken the hedges, and glued a few smaller pieces to make the growth seem "rougher" and less pristine. A 15mm Sherman gives some idea of the height, i.e. fairly tall, certainly above man-height for 15mm.

Once the pieces were done and bulked-up suitably, the entire lot was sprayed with matt varnish (spray can)
to help protect it and because I can't be bothered to do the whole "spray with diluted PVA" thing.

The completed pieces have the foliage built right to the edges, thus the sections can
 be joined together to create a longer piece...

...or to build in different ways without the need for corners, T-pieces, etc.

The first lot done: I plan to do more in the future as the above
looks considerably more attractive than anything I had before. 



  1. They look great! Any durability issues sticking static grass to flock?

    1. Thanks. And no, no issues: as the flock is really just finely-ground sponge, it absorbs the diluted wood glue, allowing a greater volume of static grass to adhere when using the applicator. When dry, the flock will harden, thus retaining the static grass better in my experience.



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