18 April 2019

Tutorial: Dead forrest

For all my Wasteland needs I wanted a bunch of dead forest terrain. Even with post apocalypse in mind, the forest would come in handy for a lot of other stuff as well. 

Figuring this could be a nasty spider forest in Rangers of Shadowdeep (that I must get around to at some point) and for Burrows and Badgers (that I have a bunch of models for). 

I also wanted to mix in a few dead trees into my green living forest. And have some for Frostgrave - Forgotten Pacts. That expansion takes place outside the city. 

So I found some super cheap model tree armatures on eBay, send cheaply from China. Had to buy 200 though, so I sure have enough for all my future needs. These are the biggest I could find - 10 cm in height. I sold half the trees and made back my money - so break even on the trees. Free terrain. 

Finished terrain and painting
First a few photos of the finished stuff and the step-by-step comes after. 

I painted the trees with three different nuances of brown. Making sure to get a different ones on each forest base. I used different cheap spray cans. It's a bit hard to see on the photos, but very clear in real life. 

The tree trunks were given a wash of army painter quick shade. And to add just a bit of different color to the branches, I sprayed them with a homemade brownwash. 

Cheap dark brown acrylic paint, pva glue and water. Shaken together well and added to one of those cleaning spray flasks. Spray the trees with the mist. It'll take quick a while to dry, because the water needs to evaporate, but it adds a lot to the otherwise flat brown branches. 

First I cut up a huge amount of bases. Some big for multiple trees and smaller for single trees. The bases are cut from some hard foamy plastic stuff. ... It's an advert board from a mayonnaise stand. Easy to cut, don't warp and free.

Cut some angled edges on the bases. I always try do this to terrain bases, makes the terrain blend in much better with the gaming mat.

The trees come with a 3 cm long spike. I think it's for sticking into styrofoam boards, if building a railroad model on such a base.

Since all the trees are the same height, it might look a bit dull. So using a small birthday flag (cheapest plastic tube you'll find) cut out various length of tube. Glue to the base with hot glue.

Fill the tube with hot glue and stick in that tree. Add the other trees to the base with hot glue, cut off that spike on some of them.

Using the hot glue gun add texture to the plastic tube. Make that thing as thick as the tree above. Also use some hot glue to make roots on the different trees. It'll add a lot of detail to the base and make sure those trees never break off.

Sand that base, leave the the roots exposed.

Paint the trees in with different nuances of brown, use a cheap spray paint.

Add stuff to the base. Find some stones and broken twigs. I do this after base coating, because the natural color of the twigs and stones looks better than anything I can paint.

Time to add a lot of army painter quick shade vanish. Paint the tree trunks with it. Use a super large brush to add some to the branches (it's fairly messy and I had brown varnish spots on my face for a week).

Also make sure to varnish those stones and twigs. That layer of brown wash will tie the natural stuff into the model and make it look just right. 

Having a layer of wet varnish drop some leaves on the terrain. I've run out of the birch tree seeds I always use (come on autumn) - but found wome weird small brown seeds from a hazel tree instead. Looks really good. 

It'll soak with the varnish, dry up and be held down really well. No need for glue.

Add static grass after the varnish is dry. 

Last thing to do after that is all to spray with the brown wash / glue mix mentioned above. And lastly hit the thing with a coat of matt varnish spray. That tie those leaves and grass down for good.