• Idiots guide to trees

    Are you guys fed up with having to pay a ton for GW/professional trees (I don’t want to turn this into a GW bashing session)? Aren’t really very good at making your own? Well lucky you – this is a simple way to make fairly cheap and, I think, effective trees. They aren’t especially quick but that is only because you have to wait for paint/pollyfilla/glue to dry.

    To make the trees, you will need: fairly thick yet bendable wire, modelling putty (I use Milliput), foamcard, Polyfilla (I think in America it is called spackle, correct me if I’m wrong) and tissues or that plaster impregnated bandages that they use to make plaster casts, textured paint, spray paint, coir which has been cut up into smallish pieces (I got this from a fabric shop – I think it’s used for stuffing pillows and such), flock, small foam pieces, spray varnish, basing stuff (sand, static grass etc.) and PVA (white glue).

    Step 1 Bend wire into tree like shape to make a sort of armature. Different bits shoot off for big branches:




    Step 2 Use pollyfilla soaked tissues (or equivalent) to mould over the basic armature so the wire shape isn’t too obvious:







    Step 3 Dip the upper part of the armature in textured paint and allow to dry.


    Step 4 Shape some foamcard into an appropriate base shape and ram the bottom of the trees into it. Then sculpt roots with the modelling putty and allow to dry. This not just so it looks good but also makes the tree stronger:





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    Step 5 Paint the bottom with textured paint. This can be added to the base along with some sand for some texture:







    Step 6 Add loads of glue to the branches and attach coir bits to it. Now, I find that coir looks naff if left as it is springy and coily. (I know that’s a naff way of describing it but I can’t think of a better way) So I wait for the glue to dry and give it a little trim. When you have done that, spray the tree a nice brown colour. I then like to drybrush the trunk a bit just to add some highlights:







    Step 7 Add more glue to the braches and sprinkle with foam. Now I only bought this stuff the other day and I have to say, it’s pretty cool. I bought it from www.plastruct.com, modelling suppliers. When dry, add more glue and sprinkle with flock. I find that this leaves little clumps of flock so when this is dry, I spray with GW varnish (hey this stuff does have a use!) and then flock again. Once this has been done you may want to trim the branches again:






    And there you go!! A lovely tree. I personally add static grass to the base:







    By modifying the technique, you can also make hedges.
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