Monday 3 June 2024

Finishing Trees

Some thoughts on making trees. Besides wanting these trees to be robust, as in clumsy fingers proof, wanted them to look really sharp. 

So the amount of work they took to get them to this point is pretty hardcore, amounting to several hours per tree. Probably more than the average wargamer would likely want to spend making trees.

For anyone foolish enough to want to make more realistic trees, I suggest getting Modelling Trees by Gordon Gravett, from Wild Swan Books Ltd. He hand makes the trunks by twisting wire, and uses photographs to replicate specific tree.

He makes me look like a shortcut taking slacker.

So, while there's still some work to do on the bases, and the sabots they will sit in, what I've done so far can be summarized as follows:


1. Twist up a trunk (I used Woodland Scenics product)

2. Mount on a base (I added a coin for weight)

3. Prepare seafoam branches with hot glue gun

4. Glue seafoam to the trunk using either a contact adhesive, or hot glue gun

5. Texture tree with flex paste, then spray or dip the tree into Plasti Dip, or PVA (I did both)

6. Prime tree grey-green-brown (or other colour to taste) 

7. Spray tree with hairspray and sprinkle on ground foam/tea leaves, whatever works for you (repeat as needed, but don't over do it if you want a lacy see through trees)

8. I sprayed the foliage green, then sprayed a lighter shade of green, followed by a light dusting of yellow (to achieve desired colour)

9. Spray with Yacht varnish (super strong sealant)

10. Spray with mat scenic cement (belt and braces)

11. Admire your finished tree(s)


I bought three Würth 500ml Universal Pump Spray Bottles (they have metal inserts in the nozzle) for this project. The ratios for the PVA and mat medium below are more like guidelines, adjusted them as necessary.

PVA was thinned as follows: 6 parts PVA, 4 parts water, plus five drops of glycerin (acts as a flow improver for PVA).

Mat scenic cement. You can use Mod Podge, but I made my own as follows: one part isopropol alcohol, two parts water, and then add three parts matt medium.

Plasti Dip thinned using their thinners, 50/50 mix as recommended by the makers, to make the product sprayable.