Sunday, February 15, 2009

Forest Filler

So you have your trees, hills, roads and such, but for light forest you need a few other things especially for skirmish games. So while looking at my trees standing there I pulled up a few pictures from national forests and Loh!

First there are High Treeline forests, Pine trees, Redwood, Cedar. They have slightly different types of ground cover plants, such as ferns and leafier plants, more decayed ground cover mixed in. So at left are some ferns I made from plastic flower parts, cut and hot glued together. I use my standard thin plastic bases covered with grass flocking. Hot glue on the ferns, then pva spread around and grass and flock for the denser ground cover. Scale may be a bit big, but most of the time players are looking at them from 4 to 6 feet away and it allows the eye to more easily recognize what they are seeing.

First a quick look at how I made some of the plants. I use a metal disk, apply a dab of Hot Glue and stick in the first piece of the rubber fern plant. You will have to support the leaf for a bit so it doesn't slump to the ground before the glue gets stiff enough to support it. The Rotate around, adding more leaves, I use a minimum of 5 leaves so that it doesn't look geometrical and there fore less fake. It took about 2 min or less to configure the leaves and let it set as I worked on another. The source is bought from a Micheal's or Jo Ann's craft store near me. They typically have a Current set of fake flowers and such for the season, and last seasons on blow out at like 70% off. I stop by every few weeks and carefully look through for leaf design and flowers that I could convert. If the final plant looks a bit to shinny after its on the final base and sprayed with the diluted pva, then I spray a matt finish over it. To remove the fern from the metal crafting disk, I use an Xacto Knife blade to slide under it and pop it off, then it goes into the "to be used" cup till I have either as many as I figure I will need or run out of material. For the lowland forest I do the basing a bit differently, with the different type of climate and plants in mind.

Lower down the mountains and into a valley, the ground cover is more bushy. So Clump foliage either with Contact Cement or Hot Glue to apply it to the base. Throw in a few rocks (from out around my house) piece of tree branch for dead wood and there you have it. scatter here and there through a stand of trees to provide soft cover or ambush positions. I figure, roughly, each base cost around 50 cents to make, probably less. And there you have it.

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