Sunday, December 13, 2009

15mm Trees - 43 of them!

This week my wargaming time was spent completely absorbed in campaign work. I calculated losses from the huge battle throughout the 22 corps involved, as well as adjudicated the pursuit, and generated sitreps for all six players. Although it was a lot of work and very interesting to myself and the players of the campaign, it doesn't make for a very interesting blog post. Instead of more information on the campaign, I'm posting some photos of some 15mm trees I made up for the Muttenz-Nyon campaign game.

A while ago I purchased a tree kit from Scenic Express, the model railroad scenery company. The kit I purchased was the Small Deciduous Easy Tree Kit. I was happy with the trees it made although the contents of the kit confused me a bit. I received 14 armatures, which you twist up and then apply the tree foliage to with Hob-e-Tac adhesive. The process worked great and produced 14 lovely trees. What confused me was the large amount of foliage that was included, which was many times over more than was required to cover the 14 armatures included in the kit. I can only assume that Scenic Express uses the same bag of foliage for all of their tree kits and they save more money by only having one size bag, than they lose by giving me extra product. Although confusing, I was thrilled to have the extra, which I saved for later.

This past summer, while I was at the Historicon convention, I purchased a bag of Woodland Scenics Medium Sized Tree Armatures for the express purpose of using up the left over foliage from the Scenic Express kit. I was familiar with the Woodland Scenics tree kits since I've used them for most of my 25mm trees. Their tree kits come with dense foliage clusters, which is a stark contrast to the foliage that comes with the Scenic Express kits, which is much more of a loose leaf like affair. While watching TV over the next couple months I twisted up the tree armatures and glued them to their bases, and then to a large metal washer as a base. They sat in a bin on my workbench for a couple of months, until I desperately needed them for the Muttenz-Nyon game. The week before the game I applied the glue and foliage, and then flocked the base of each tree. They got a final spray of flat lacquer as a fixative the morning of the game.

I think they have sort of a poplar or magnolia look to them. I'm fairly happy with the loose-leaf foliage. I think I will mix in a set or two of the Woodland scenics trees, to round out the collection, but for now these will do nicely. As is the case with a lot of my terrain, this was a 'just in time inventory' situation. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but in my workshop she's also the mother of motivation.


Greg Sapara said...

Great blog!

A few Historicons ago I purchased a tree kit and some bases. The trees came with a black web-like product that you formed into tiny balls, then spread out and glued to the armatures with white glue. After they dry, you then use spray adhesive on the black webbing, and apply the foliage to that.

Did your kit come with the black web material? It seems rather odd to have the foliage stuck directly to the branches as they are - although they are certainly usable as they are.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I didn't receive any webbing, but the original armatures were much denser which worked better with this foliage. Some black webbing is a good idea. I bet I could make something out of cotton wool that was painted black. Thanks for the tip.