Thursday, May 2, 2019

Finished 15mm Forrests

 OK, we're up to the final two stages of this miniature forestry adventure - making the tree canopies and scenicing the bases.  A word of warning - both these processes are extremely messy and YOU WILL burn yourself on the glue gun.  Sometimes sacrifices must be made the the Miniature Wargaming gods.

The first step is to cut out the underbase for the tree canopies.  I like to use black foam core as its cheap, durable and the black hides any gaps from the attached foam material.  Just trace the shape of each tree base onto the foam core and the cut it out with a new facto knife blade.  For some added elevation I attached another layer of foam core.  In actual practice this didn't really do anything so I would skip that step.

With the canopy bases cut out the next step is the attache the foam.  I strongly serge you get a cheap cake pan as pictured for any flocking exercises.  The pan really controls the mess and helps me reused the flock that shakes off.  I ended up using three colors from the woodland scenic line - light, medium and dark green (very creative names).  Lay out the clump foliage and pre picked some larger pieces of dark green to attached to the sides.

Use a hot glue gun to attach the foam working on 2 to 3 inches sections at a time.  This is a bit tedious but the results are worth the effort.  As stated above you will burn yourself doing this.  You'll also use up a lot of sticks of hot glue so go buy some more right now.  No really go buy some, we'll wait - here's a link:

Hot Glue

I don't have no affiliate program, I just wanted to see how many of you clicked the link.

 After what seems like 10 hours the edges are finished.  Ok maybe 5-10 minutes but it seemed like 10 hours as this was the 6th of 12 tree canopies I was building.

Some of you might notice the lines of hot glue running form the edges into the center of the foam core.  That was done on purpose to control the hot glue strings.  One you're done putting a bead of glue along the edge, drag the tip of the hot glue gun along the top to get rid of any excess glue - that reduces the wisps by 95%.
With the edges in place, start adding the clump foiuliage working in from the outer edge.  You could use standard PVA glue but I went with even more hot glue as it was just faster.  Take your time and make sure there are no holes.  Once I got the edges done I brought in the big guns of tree foam industry.
 Thats right, I used "Foliage Clusters".  Is there a difference between to Clump Foliage and Foliage Clusters?  Kind of yes, kind of no.  Clump Foliage it just Foliage Clusters cut up into small pieces.
 Here's a picture of the two version of foliage.  The foliage cluster (on the right) is used to add height to the canopy and is a lot faster to put down, especially with hot glue.

Once all the foam is attached soak the canopy is diluted Matt medium and water to ensure the foam has a strong adherence both the foam core and the between the foam pieces.  Don't skip this step or you'll constantly need to be explaining to your spouse/partner why there are always tiny pieces of green foam around your house.  Trust me when I say these excuses eventually become ineffective.
And boom, you've got some very nice tree canopies.

 The last step is scenicing the bases.  I used a mix of let over ground foam and some leaves to make this.  I always took the gather twigs, painted the them same colors as the dowel tree trunks and added them on the bases.
 Another liberal coating of diluted matt medium....
 and there are the finished tree stands drying.
 So how do they look on the table - Lets observe this tree stand as some British calvary pass it by.
 The canopies came out grew.  An easy detail to break up the monotony of the green color is to have a dead tree branch of two poking out the the canopy.

Here's the base with the top removed.  I like how the dead (brown) leaves came out and broke up the color pattern.  I'll go back and hit the edges of this one with more flock after it's had another day of two to dry out.


john de terre neuve said...

That is a great job, I will be copying it for sure.

Lasgunpacker said...

Great work on these, and very practical for all sorts of gaming. A few individual trees of a different type, and you could tie all the bases together into a single forest.

caveadsum1471 said...

Great looking canopies! Lovely finish and convincing overall effect!
Best Iain

Ray Rousell said...

They look great Miles. I'd like to give this a go myself one day.

TamsinP said...

Very effective forests - thanks to your example, I'm thinking of going with something similar for my "primary" jungle when I get around to making it.