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Trees???

 
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Armos Black

TAG Henchman


Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 294

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject: Trees??? Reply with quote

Hey all, I was wondering if anyone knew how to make cheap trees that look ok? I will eventually be running Dark Seed (Hellfrost Adventure) and thought it would be cool to have a little forest. I will be making a bridge out of popcicle sticks.
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Jordan Peacock

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Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 152
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all depends on how cheap is cheap. A while back, I just bought a big bag of Woodland Scenics plastic trees - the kind that are removable from their plastic bases - in the smallest size they had (hence the largest count of trees per bag), and then I glued down the plastic bases to mat board or foam core larger "forest" bases, and left the trees themselves unglued for easier storage. (That way, I could just stack up the cards with the bases glued to them, and keep the tree pieces in a bag, and then "plug in" the trees whenever I needed a quick forest.)

The price has gone up a bit since I bought them (they're $13 a bag now), though. <a href=http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/items.cfm/TreeArmatures>(Here's a link I found via Google, though I prefer to buy them locally at hobby stores so I don't have to pay for shipping.)</a>

Otherwise, hmm. Cardstock trees would be a bit of work to cut out.

Another thing I've seen work out pretty nicely would be "cable trees," though I suppose you'd need a large supply of wire to work with. Basically, just judging from how I've seen people make them, it looks like they consist of a big bundle of wires at the trunk, bound together, and then the modeler splits the wires into smaller portions (splitting half this way, half that way), and then splits further and further until there are just single wires going out into individual branches ... and then on top of the whole wiry mess, the modeler applies some air-dry clay or such. That's generally for really BIG trees, though - the sort of thing that towers over the surroundings, rather than making an entire forest.

For the sake of abstraction, I've seen some gamers use wooden "slices" - that is, basically a single wooden branch of a tree that's been sawn into coin-like cross-section pieces and placed all over the "forested" area. It looks (to me) like a "used-to-be" forest, where lumberjacks cleared the whole place out, but it does a decent job of marking where a tree is supposed to be, without actually blocking line of sight or making it hard to place minis. (Those Woodland Scenics tree branches can be kind of prickly when you're reaching between them to get at miniatures, and the wires are even worse.)

And then, there's the ever-popular windfall method: If you've got trees in the back yard, go back and gather up any fallen branches, and check for small twigs. Glue them down to bases, use some spray-adhesive, and then dip them into bags of foliage flocking (the clumpy foam stuff meant for model trees, not the fine stuff used for "grass" on bases).

If you can't afford spray-adhesive, then just dab on some plain craft glue on the branches here and there, maybe watered down just a bit, and then try dipping your "trees" in the flocking.) Be sure to have a nice flat surface (such as a piece of flat cardboard) that you can tap excess flocking from your trees onto, so you can funnel the excess flocking back into your bag, rather than letting the stuff get all over the place. I sometimes use thicker twigs to make "stumps" as decorations for figure bases. The main drawback is that twigs are a lot more fragile than plastic trees or wire ones. (After all, there's the phrase "snapped off like a twig" for good reason!) But you don't have to paint them to get that realistic look. Wink
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TAG Wiggy

Triple Ace


Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Posts: 5112
Location: I have flying monkeys, and I'm not afraid to use them!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jordan Peacock wrote:
Otherwise, hmm. Cardstock trees would be a bit of work to cut out.


I used cardstock trees and bushes from the D&D boardgames (not sure they made it Stateside). Essentially two flats which slot together to form a "four legged" tree. You don't get a canopy or anything, but you get the basic tree form. Looks okay on the tabletop.

Lego trees are also useful. Only a few inches high, but they are pinetree shaped and mean you can reach over without bringing an entire forest down with you Smile
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dpmcalister

Four


Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 549
Location: Lincoln, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the same cardstock trees as Wiggy and also have some plastic Christmas trees (complete with fake snow) that I picked up at a garden store near Sleaford (they were for Christmas themed displays I think) but they're the perfect height (and price - 99p for the two big ones and another 99p for the four little ones!) for roleplaying:


Sorry for the poor quality of the picture, I took it on my phone.
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TAG Steve

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Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 377
Location: Shetland UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use worldworks stuff quite a bit, the trees are okay in an abstract way http://www.worldworksgames.com/store/products/df1/df1_3.jpg
since I got mine they have brought out the Hinterland set...
http://www.worldworksgames.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=260 now these look nice.

Fat Dragon game do a nice cheap set, the trees are a bit more simplified than the worldworks ones, but you get what you pay for...

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=54990

I also have the Woodland Scenics trees.... They work really well. I have the deciduous sets bot large and small, I add clump foliage with Glue and I must admit I dont bother painting them up. Here is one of the smaller ones on the latest piece I have done.





I have also made the sisal string and wire trees in the past. they look okay, but in all honesty they are fiddly to do and one can spend a lot of time swearing and throwing things. You really need 3 hands to do it so it is something to do with a friend.
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TAG Wiggy

Triple Ace


Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Posts: 5112
Location: I have flying monkeys, and I'm not afraid to use them!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get studying that burial mound, folks. It'll be appearing in a future adventure.

It's also one of my upcoming birthday presents Very Happy
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daran

Five


Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 779
Location: Westgate-On-Sea, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All wight I'll watch the barrow.
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Armos Black

TAG Henchman


Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 294

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW. A lot to think about. I will have to think about the way I want to go and let you guys know what I decide. Thanks for all the help.
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TAG Steve

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Location: Shetland UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries Very Happy Let us know what you decide...
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