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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Terrain Workshop: Wire Trees

By Dirty Jon Baber

Terrain Master Eric "Truckstop" Lauterbach has been talking on the podcast lately about how to build up some cheap terrain.  Trees seem to take up a bunch of time, money or both to get something decent on the table.  We suggest getting a set of nice, durable trees that cost about $1 each.  These type of trees are especially appropriate for folks who transport a ton of terrain, as these are made out of tough metal wire.

There is a little bit of work to be done, but not much -- let's get to it!

The light green looks garish in the bag, but ok on the table.

Closeup so you can find them at your local store.

These are made in Germany, but you can probably find them at your local hobby store.  They can also be found on Amazon and Howard Scenic Supplies in the UK - they look fairly available around the globe.

I found this bag at Cold Wars for $22.  It contains 25 trees that come with flimsy plastic "bases".  The bag contains three different sizes of trees in two colors - not bad for a little variety.

Supplies needed to make tough trees.
The trees as produced will not work for Flames of War.  I decided to fix them to heavy metal washers, so I picked some up at my local store.  I think I paid about $.16 each for them.  Make sure you get some heavy and large enough to hold the trees -- I think these are about an inch and a quarter.

I used hot glue to attach the trees - this is very quick and easy.  Do not worry if the tree base does not cover the hole in your washer -- you will never see the open space when complete.  After attaching to the washer, I held each tree at arms-length and sprayed the base with some dark green.  I was not careful at all and spent about 2 minutes total.  Don't forget, we are after cheap and fast here!

The next step is completely optional and probably not of much benefit. After the bases dried, I mixed up some Matte Medium in a disposable bread tin.  I dipped each tree just to add some additional toughness to the flocking on the wire.  I really, really want these to last, but you can probably skip this step.  If you do it, be sure to shake off the excess to avoid a white haze, and let the matte medium dry overnight.

The next step is to simply brush some white pva glue on the washer base and dip it in your favorite flock mix.  Make sure you let the glue dry for a few hours before sealing with some Matte Medium or some Testors Dulcote.

That's it!  See pics of the finished product below.

Even the small trees are an acceptable size.
Got some terrain tips of your own?  Tell us all about it on the forum...

Dirty Jon is one of the leading men of WWPD and you can hear him regularly on the WWPD Podcast. 

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