Friday, September 14, 2012

Cyprus Trees

Cyprus Trees - A 28mm Terrain Article

A Simple Modelling Materclass: 28mm Scale Trees
"Cyprus Trees"
My most recent Modelling Masterclass articles have concentrated on larger or more detailed pieces of terrain. I thought it would be helpful to have a more simplistic terrain building article – something that we all use in or gaming. This post shows how I turned some cheap, second-hand ‘toy’ trees into this piece of Flintloque themed terrain. Four Cyprus Trees.
Some actual Cyprus trees.
The four ‘toy’ trees were bought at a small Toy and Train Fair for just £1.50 (for all four). They are simple bottle-brush trees with plastic or maybe even rubber trunks and were in a very sorry state with most of the foliage flocking missing.
I removed the rubber trunks and clipped the twisted wire before inserting the trunks into small sections of Balsawood dowel and securing with superglue. Once fully dry, I trimmed the trunks and then wrapped them with strips of ordinary masking tape.
While waiting for the glue to dry I cut three simple ovals of 3mm thick plastic card, chamfered the edges and smoothed out any rough edges with some coarse sandpaper.
To each of the oval bases I added a small stone taken from the garden. The stones serve two purposes; one to add some interest to the otherwise bare bases and secondly the stones add weight to the simple and light weight plastic bases.
The trunks were cut at different heights and even had some of the foliage removed with a sharp knife which once again added variety to the otherwise uniform trees. The base of the tree trunks were cut off and simply superglued to the plastic ovals.
The bases were further detailed with Das modelling clay which I built up over some uPVA glue. This helped to blend in both the tree trunks and the stones.
I further texture the bases by adding some sieved stones and sand.
The large stand of two trees was further detailed with some larger stones or gravel, once again glued down over uPVA glue.
I further detailed the plain trunks with some Milliput and Das sculpting.
As stated earlier the toy trees were in a very sorry state and had lost most of their scatter material. I sprayed each of the trees with spray fixative and after placing some fine scatter material into a plastic bag shook the bag with the tree inside (holding on to the plastic base). Once I was happy with the effect, I sprayed the trees with some more spray fixative and set them aside to dry.
Prior to painting I mixed up a simple water/glue mix and painted it over the bases. This helps to hold the sand and small stones in place prior to the rigors of dry-brushing.
Painting commenced with a basecoat of Snakebite Leather. Which was highlighted with Snakebite Leather/Skull White drybrushes.
Next to be painted were the rocks and stones. I used a simple mix of Chaos Black and Skull White to which I added a little Snakebite Leather or Charred Brown. The added colour helps to relieve an otherwise stark grey stone colour.
The trunks were painted in a dirty grey/brown. I tend not to worry too much about the exact colour, but did try to blend it from dark at the top to an almost Snakebite Leather at the base of the roots.
A couple of washes of Black/Dark Brown/Sepia and the painting was finished. Well almost. Did you notice that I have picked out some features on the trunks with lighter browns/creams?
The painted bases were ‘flocked’ with standard railway modelling flock (dyed sawdust), static grass and some green shredded foam. I used a mixture of uPVA glue and superglue.
The two single tree stands have been photographed against a plain background which shows the painting and modelling to better effect.
With Bombardier Bedford pointing out some interesting feature or other, here you see the larger two tree stand. The trees stand between 180mm and 220mm tall.
A close-up image showing the bases in greater detail.
I find that the slightly large tree terrain bases I use are more stable than usual smaller bases. In gaming terms I use the following rule;
If a figure is in base-to-base contact with the base of trees he (or she) is not in cover. If the same miniature is either partially or fully situated on the piece of terrain then he is in cover. The cover can be further defined as hard cover or soft cover.
The cost for all four trees was £1.50. The modelling and painting took place over a single weekend and I now have three small terrain pieces to add to my growing collection. I would be interested to hear comments as to the benefit of detailing how these models were made and more importantly was it of use?
Coming Soon
"Gravestones" - Tony continues his Witchlands series of articles with these selection of gravestones.

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