I put together the hedges and rock piles just like the other that I did in the last batch. The rock spires were constructed of pieces of pine bark glued together in layers. These were a little different than the rock piles, as I intend these to be glued vertically to their bases so they look like large slabs of stone that are standing on end out of the ground. Once all of these pieces were constructed, I set them aside to dry overnight.
|Hedges, rock piles, and rock spires drying|
To mount the rock spires to their bases, they need to be cut. Otherwise, I'd have to spend a lot of time building up around them to hold them in place. To cut them, I grabbed my hobby vice and mounted it on the end of a counter. I picked this up years ago from American Science & Surplus for cheap, and it's been a great investment. These guys have all kinds of surplus equipment and weird stuff, so they're a great resource for hobby supplies. Aside from the vice, I have purchased hobby knives, rotary tool bits, plastic containers, sculpting tools, and a lot of other things from them. Most of their things are knock-offs and off-brand merchandise, but it's all generally pretty good and the prices are right.
Before I cut the spires, I made sure they were glued together securely. I also took a look at them to decide on the angle I wanted for each piece. If you cut these correctly, you can use both ends of the piece and end up with two pieces of terrain from each one. I decided to cut the smaller piece almost straight across and the larger piece at a slight angle.
|Spire pieces ready to cut|
I mounted each piece in the vice and cut them with a hacksaw. I always use a fine hacksaw blade when cutting pieces like this. The fine teeth of a hacksaw cut the bark quickly and cleanly where a coarser saw would just shred the bark.
|Rock spire pieces cut|
With the pieces cut, I stand them on end to make sure they stand well. I trimmed a few bits that made the pieces wobble a bit. I just used a hobby knife and shaved them off.
|Testing the spires upright|
|Spires glued to their bases|
With the spires done, I added rocks and sand to the bases of the spires, hedges, and rock piles and set them aside to dry.
|The second batch textured|
The next stage in the terrain project was forest bases. I decided to create textured bases with removable trees on stands rather than having the trees attached permanently. That allows me to move the trees around to make room for models as they move through the woods and otherwise to have full bases of trees on the board.
I picked up a pile of trees from the local dollar store. They had these available as decorations for a Christmas village set. If you look at the discount stores and craft stores this time of year, you are likely to find all kinds of miniature trees for fairly cheap. I spent about $10 US and bought a big selection of different trees.
|Lots of trees|
All of the trees I got were shaped like conifers. There are six that are flocked lightly with a dark green flock that I plan to keep as evergreens. I'll need to add some flock to them to fill them out, but otherwise they're fine.
Some of the trees had a sticky, globby kind of flock on them to simulate ice in their branches. I decided to use these as the basis for my deciduous trees, since I need to reflock them anyway. These trees are constructed of either sisal or plastic wire inside a twist of metal wire. I used my wire cutters to cut off the tips of the trees and then crimped the two pieces of wire in the tree together to keep the rest of the tree from unraveling. Then I used some shears to shape them so they look a little rounder.
|My reshaped trees|
The remainder of the trees are small sisal trees that have been dyed green and then sprayed with a tiny bit of white flock. These are great for making smaller tree stands with a few trees together. I also like these when I'm using smaller-scale figures. If you use the larger trees with 6mm, 10mm, or 15mm figures, the trees look way out of scale. Having these on hand will allow me to put out some trees when I get my 10mm World War I figs on the table.
I got a couple of different packages of these - one with some larger trees and another with about a dozen of the smallest trees. All of these were mounted on scraps of wood. I twisted the bases off, making sure not to crush the fibers of the trees.
|Lots of sisal trees without bases|
Next I trimmed some of the trees to give them some variety. If you're careful when you trim the tops, you could use the tops as smaller conifers. I'm not too worried about having enough trees, so I just tossed the scraps.
|A sisal tree clipped in half|
Once the trees were all shaped, I arranged them on 40mm Games Workshop bases. To get the trees in place, I drilled a hole for each tree using my pin vice.
|Testing the arrangement of the trees on the bases|
Next I mixed a ball of green stuff. I use green stuff to hold the trees in place because it allows you to work with the positioning of all of the trees on the base and holds them more securely than just using super glue. I pull off a tiny ball of green stuff for each tree and push the stem of the tree into it. Then I push the stem into the hole in the base. Finally, I shape the green stuff using a sculpting tool.
|Green stuff holding the trees in place|
|The sisal trees mounted on their bases|
While I waited for the green stuff to dry, I worked on the forest bases. I laid out some extra 40mm bases to test how I wanted the trees to be arranged.
|Testing the arrangement of the trees|
When I was happy with the arrangement, I used a marker to trace the location of the tree bases.
|A forest base with the spaces for the tree bases marked|
The next morning I used some bark chips and sand to texture the forest bases, making sure to leave the spots marked for the trees smooth. When I put the tree bases in place, they will fill in the blank spots and blend with the texturing on the rest of the bases.
|Forest bases textured|
I'm starting to get caught up on posts! Next up some more special terrain and painting.