Random Scenery Elements
One thing that often strikes me about wargames tables is the lack of random elements in the scenery. You’ll have a wood, a couple of buildings, roads, rivers etc., but it can be lacking a realistic level of natural “clutter”. In this article I’ll cover how to make two types of small scenery elements which are quick and easy to make, so you can produce lots of them to add a more natural look to your gaming table.
(28mm figure for scale reference)
I have made two sets of these, on 25mm and 40mm bases. The foliage is made from Woodland Scenics’ Bushes, in this example I used Olive Green FC144. The problem with this stuff is that it tends to break up into very small pieces, approx. 1 cm diameter, which is great for it’s intended purpose of small scale railway scenery, but we need bushes a 28mm figure can cower behind. If you just stick the bushes in a clump on a base they’ll come apart, so we need a frame to hold them in place.
I used a 15cm length of 2mm armature wire, which you can get from art stores, and bent it into a roughly 2cm a side cube shape.
This is then superglued onto a 25mm circular base. When set, I cover the base in my favourite basing material, sharp sand. A large bag from your local DIY centre will cost you a few pounds for enough to last you a lifetime. It’s usually quite wet, so put some in an open container and leave it for a few days to dry out.
It looks like this (28mm figure for scale reference):
Cover the base in PVA glue and dip in the sand, shaking off the excess and leave to dry, probably overnight,
As you can see I’ve painted the wire brown to hide it when complete.
Put a big dollop of glue in the centre of the base and on the insides of the wire cage.
Now add a few clumps of foliage. The trick is to add a small amount at a time and let it set.
Once set, try gently pulling any loose pieces off and then sticking more pieces on. Do this 2-3 times and you’ll end up with a bush which won’t fall apart.
The other scenic element is a tuft. I’m no gardener, so I’ve no idea what it’s meant to be, or even if there is such a plane, but I like it. This could also be used in desert scenery.
(You guessed it - 28mm figure for scale reference)
This uses Woodland Scenics’ Light Green Field Grass FG173.
Take some fibres in a bundle approx. 6-8 mm diameter when compressed together.
Holding them tightly together, apply a few drops of superglue around the centre and leave to set.
Now we need to cut this bundle in half. It gets very tough when glued, I had to use my wirecutters on it.
Trim the flat end with a scalpel to get rid of any stray hairs and blue onto a base. I used 20mm round wooden bases.
I found that if you used PVA then the tufts fall over before the glue is dried. Also, the fibres seem to suck up any superglue you put on them. The solution I used was to put a blob of superglue on the base, put the fibres in position, and then add a few drops of superglue accelerator from a pipette.
Once dry, base using sharp sand again. I’d be tempted to add some grass scatter to the base like the example figure’s base, but I wanted to use these for a desert setup.