Can’t see the wood for the trees

Posted: Mar 14, 2015 in Terrain
Tags: , ,

Model Trees

Just a quick update to show some of the terrain I have been working on recently. These trees are made using Woodland Scenics 5-7 inch tree armatures. These are pliable plastic frames which can be carefully bent into shape and produce pretty realistic trees with very little effort.

Once I had cleaned off any mold lines and bent the trees into the desired shapes I glued them to a base cut from MDF and applied a covering of sand to the base. When the glue had dried, a coat of spray varnish was used to hold the sand in place. This is different to my usual method of painting on a layer of thinned PVA over sand but I was worried that the PVA water mix would be absorbed by the MDF and warp the base. The varnish worked really well and the sand remained in place even after some pretty rough drybrushing.

Model Trees wip

The base was painted Steel Legion Drab and heavily drybrushed using Ushabti Bone. Patches of he ground were then washed with thinned Loren Forest to break up any uniformity. The trees themselves were painted Khemri Brown and washed with Agrax Earthshade. They were then drybrushed Codex Grey followed by Fortress Grey and then Pallid Wych Flesh. Once again thinned Loren Forest was applied to the trees in random patches to give the impression of moss or lichen growing on the trunks and branches.

Model Trees

Once everything had dried various flocks, tufts and clump foliage were added to the base to give the impression of a forest floor. The trick here is to use a variety of colours and textures to build up a natural, realistic finish. While doing this I was careful to think about model placement (these are, after all, intended for gaming) and so I wanted to leave some flat areas for models to stand on.

Model Trees

The final stage was to add some foliage to the trees. For this I used Woodland Scenics clump foliage for the two shorter trees and some of their ‘Fine Leaf Foliage’ (a sample of which was included in the kit) for the other, taller tree. I am really impressed with the Fine Leaf Foliage as it gives a fantastically realistic finish. Unfortunately, the kit only included enough for one tree but I will definitely be buying more in future. As with the ground cover, I used different colours of foliage for each of the trees to prevent them from looking too uniform.

A shot with a model for scale:

Model Trees

The trees in situ on one of my gaming boards:

Model Trees


  1. 40kterminatus says:

    Looking good sir šŸ™‚

  2. Very nice piece. I think the ground cover with rocks looks very realistic and has a lot of variety in it. I also think the trees came out nicely. Did you consider adding some dead leaves to the ground? Given the trees are depicted in a state were they are not in full summer foliage, it would depict the transition between seasons nicely. Another idea to facilitate game play might be to magnetise the trunks.

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