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izzylobo

Izzy's Mutant (and not so) Trees

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So, one of the local A.C. Moore stores is going out of business - a fact I didn't find out until they were on the last leg of the journey (and everything was 70% off) - so the place was pretty picked over. 

 

Still, I found some decent stuff for terrain building - something I haven't, in the past, been all that interested in, but with some recent sales of GW terrain at various stores, my interest in keeping a single-use gaming room (and attendant regalia) in the house, etc. - I figured I'd pick some up, and scored some trees, ground cover, lichen, etc. from Creative Time (the trees are a little short for 28mm, but still about 12' tall in scale - so, not too bad?), and, well, a bunch of stuff like this - 

post-12328-0-34876500-1407372167_thumb.jpg

 

Now, this stuff is way, way too tall for 28mm - unless it's the grandaddy of all mutant redwood forests - but the great thing about weird plastic foliage (intended for who-knows-what originally) is that it's, well, plastic (although often with wires in it, apparently, to act as bendable armatures). And plastic reacts very well to knives (and wires can be yanked out with pliers...). So after a little bit of elbow grease, I ended up with these -

post-12328-0-79823500-1407372171_thumb.jpg

 

Which are a very suitably weird band of mutant trees for my Weirdworld/Heavy Metal/Epic inspired campaign, I think. Except, of course, that few of them will stand up on their own... they need to be based. And I'd rather not waste good plastic bases on terrain. Especially since I don't think they'd stand up - too top heavy. 

 

(sigh). Okay, fine. Much as I normally dislike using washers as bases (it's a pet peeve, not really explainable), off to the local Home Depot it is. The acquisition of a couple of dozen washers (in various sizes) later, I run into another problem - normal superglue/hobby glue doesn't cut it - the bond is too fragile. 

 

Solution - Gorilla Glue! The bond is flexible enough, and strong enough, and the slight bit of foaming acts as a little bit of a filler/base build up. Only problem is I can only really set up one or two at a time, because of the need to prop things - officially, they should be bound together tightly, but the couple I've got done so far have been fine with just the pressure of the tree. And so - 

post-12328-0-78439700-1407372169_thumb.jpg

 

post-12328-0-78595500-1407372172_thumb.jpg

 

(random druid is random, and standing in for Sir Forscale...)

 

Next step - basing. I'm far from an expert at this (quite the opposite, actually - most of the time, I just paint the base a neutral grey, or a basic "sandy base with green highlighting" on broccoli bases) - but I'm figuring a couple of layers of ballast/sand, and then either lichen or ground cover on top of those? 

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What awesomely funky trees! :D Great job re-purposing those bigger foliage pieces, they make most excellent bizarre terrain.

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

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The flora has a definite alien look to it, perfect for other world adventures. There is an abundance of possibilities with this stuff. Have FUN with the project!

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Okay, one basic base is to spread a thin layer of super glue, then dip the base in sand. Give it a second then tap it gently to get rid of the excess. Paint it with a fairly thick layer of craft paint or housepaint in a mid brown, drybrush with a fairly yellowish bone (or sand!) colour. Then later add static grass to parts of it, leaving some ground exposed. It's not realistic but it looks good and the variation means you can slot it in to pretty much any scene including a battlefield.

 

I'm working on making a ground paste out of cheap white gapfiller from the hardware - $2-$3 for a caulking-gun tube of it - plus coffee grounds, and maybe ground walnut shell. Should be much lighter than a sand mix, so I can use it for larger areas, and as a bonus, it won't be as troublesome as rogue sand :/  I got the caulking idea from this idea from this very forum. Um, somewhere in this thread of awesomeness:

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/45744-carthaginians-ancient-spanish-and-elephants-historical-miniatures-15mm-corvus-belli-and-xyston/

 

 

 

I did grow up somewhere pretty dry, and live somewhere slightly less dry, so my method, compared to this guy's, might look a bit "badlands" to you ;)

Edited by smokingwreckage

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I would recommend using white glue (watered with a bit of water) or carpenter/wood glue. The key is to flock in layers. It not only looks better but helps it to stay put.

 

Sand (1 or 2 layers)

Flock (1 or 2 layers)

Seal with hair spray or very watered down white glue.

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Progress!

 

At this point, most of the trees have been based (there's some frond-like things I need to figure out basing for, which will probably involve some innovative use of green stuff or something - make a nodule-type thing the fronds sprout out of, then glue them in once it sets, or something. But first I need some green stuff...

Also, Archdruid Standin Rhandamus found Sir Justin Forscale... and the Goblin King!

post-12328-0-40978000-1407629818_thumb.jpg

post-12328-0-32073400-1407629823_thumb.jpg

(the rock formations are actually fish tank decoration/clutter, bought from Petsmart - when they have a "Buy Two, get One Free" sale, it can be worth it to poke through that stuff for useful things - next week or the week after, I'm going to pick up a couple of Giant Buddha Statues and a couple of other pieces - the sale is, I think, through the 24th of the month?)

 

These trees are, even with their extended bases, still a little too top-heavy. I might need to rebase them - glue them to a washer, then glue the washer onto one of the wooden lozenge/egg things. 

post-12328-0-83557500-1407629824_thumb.jpg

 

Some of the trees have a sort of distorted tropical/Polynesian feel...

post-12328-0-54174100-1407629829_thumb.jpg

 

while others are kind of more mid-western, almost cactus-like in appearance.

post-12328-0-46984300-1407629826_thumb.jpg

 

But they sort of work together, I guess?

post-12328-0-26163500-1407629821_thumb.jpg

 

Here we find Sir Forscale and his ally the Archdruid trying to figure out what to do about the Goblin King's treasure, buried underneath a pile of giant logs (the cast-offs from trimming the trees down... re-use and recycle, I always say!)

post-12328-0-92027500-1407629827_thumb.jpg

Edited by izzylobo
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I would recommend using white glue (watered with a bit of water) or carpenter/wood glue. The key is to flock in layers. It not only looks better but helps it to stay put.

 

Sand (1 or 2 layers)

Flock (1 or 2 layers)

Seal with hair spray or very watered down white glue.

 

Yeah, I was figuring some blend of sand/ballast and coffee grounds for larger bits, secured using thinned white glue, then some sort of ground cover to disguise the interface between the tree and the base - if I were more ambitious, I'd sculpey up some root structure and blend it in (and I might do that), but I'll admit to being a bit lazy about such things.... ::D:  

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I'd probably just use spackle or wood putty to make an irregular mound to hide the washer, and then flock as normal (glue, sand, etc.).  Cheaper and easier to get than green stuff, and doesn't need to be baked like Sculpey (which can go pear-shaped with some plastics).

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The trees do look TERRIFIC! GREAT WORK!

For the bases, I'd do the ground in plumber's epoxy (air dry clay or Milliput would work as well); if roots are desired I do a line of hot glue that I tease out into a rough texture with a toothpick before it cools...I repeat this as often as is necessary to get the right shape & thickness. Once all that is done, paint on some thinned tacky glue (avoiding the roots unless they are supposed to be covered by the soil), sprinkle with sand, &, once dry, paint. All this depends on how crazy you want to go with the beasty...I enjoy the nuts aspects of the craft.

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