The size of the Battle of Grissburg in my room was such that it was rather cramped at my painting table. That, combined with allocating time playing the battle, meant that painting and modelling has been restricted over the past month. I did though manage to complete a couple more 2mm Napoleonic bases and some 6mm for my WW2 campaign.
On the terrain front, aside from continuing to update my river sections, I felt something had to be done with my collection of trees. These are all the cheap variety from China which had been hastily based to get them on the table. Some are reasonable enough but others are pretty dire. The motivation to do something to improve them began with my pine trees which had been used on the Grissburg board. I avoided including them in my early photos as I had already decided to do something with them. They were caught in the distance in one shot –
I apologise for the out of focus shot but you get the picture. They have also featured on previous ‘On the Workbench’ posts.
They are rather spindly affairs and once on the wargames board it was obvious that they would have to be replaced or modified in some way. A look around ebay and various online model shops revealed very nice but very expensive pine trees primarily for model railways.
I had a jar of dark green flock which had been gathering dust for several years. ‘Looks like could be good for pine trees’, I thought and a test tree was modified. Eureka! Job done!
The tree on the left is how they came from China. Dark green paint was used to touch up some of the branches which had white showing through. The plastic base is removed with the tree being rebased using a 1p coin. Once the base is finished I then covered the tree in PVA glue and flock added. When dry I used an eye-dropper to drop heavily diluted PVA glue mixed with a small amount of washing up liquid onto the top of the tree ensuring all branches got a good soaking. The whole thing is given a spray coat of matt varnish to further reduce the risk of any flock shedding.
These are the finished trees that ended up on the Grissburg board. A huge improvement and a massive saving on buying something similar from a model shop.
Next came my deciduous trees –
I intended to improve the shape and bulk of the trees and also to mask the base. Starting with some of the worst trees, I gently teased out the branches a little more and added clump foliage. The two trees on the left I started work on today (I work on batches of 5 at a time). The foliage is added gradually building up the shape of the tree. Once complete, various foliage is added to the base. As with the pine trees they are finished with a coat of matt varnish.
A before and after wood with the same number of trees in each. I am still experimenting with various shades to add variety. With my river upgrade almost complete this will definitely be next in line. Its the sort of thing you can do alongside painting figures or other projects. It only takes a few minutes to glue on some foliage and then 2 or 3 hours later adding a little more until completion.
Bleasdale’s Grymauch Blog