Work in Progress

Middle Earth scenery

Posted by PaulRPetri on 07 Oct 2021, 00:25

It was my laptop computer I was using at my part time job as a bank guard. It is getting very old and out of date but its all I have "On the Road" so to speak. I came home I can see everything!! Looks great!!
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Posted by Peter on 08 Oct 2021, 08:52

Wonderfull pictures and battle report! Thanks for sharing! :thumbup:
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 20 Oct 2021, 11:15

Good morning all, posting early today as it doesn't look like I will get up into the attic today - Mrs P has got her busy head on. So here is what I have done so far on this project:-

After the game using the Amon Hen terrain I decided two things:
1. This particular set of terrain needs more rough ground and trees. In fact this is true for pretty much most of Middle Earth, because with Gondor sitting in splendid isolation, the Dwarves and Elves sitting sulking in their little enclaves, the place is pretty much going to seed. Nobody is tidying the place up, certainly not the orcs, it is overgrown and going back to nature.
2. Our club trees are in a very sorry state.

I don't know about others but trees and stuff like that, are things wargamers want on their wargames tables but with so many other 'shiny things' about they don't always get the attention they deserve.

Our club has a box of 'trees', but sadly, through years of neglect, they mostly look like this.
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Trees without bases, trees with oddly shaped bases or just scraps of stuff that might be a tree if it was upright.
So the plan is to base up all the trees in the club box in a uniform way.
In the process as well, I am going to create some forest bases - scenery features which will define areas that say "this is woodland/forest - cover, rough ground, obscuring terrain etc etc and etc."
If you just plonk two or three trees down and say my unit of Ents is lurking in Fangorn forest, your opponent may turn around and ask where the edge of the forest is so that they can avoid it.
This actually happened once, not in one of my games but I was present when it happened.
The orc player was told "that is Fangorn Forest", pointing at a wooded area down one side of the board.
"Okay", he says, and promptly marches three units of orcs right through the middle of it as a short-cut.
It did not end well.
IIRC three orcs out of 30+ made it out. Hugely funny, but not if you were an an orc.

So what we're aiming for is a terrain feature that says woodland, with a few trees on, and some bushes and fallen trees and so on.
Like this but with trees.
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I may even throw some ruined walls into the mix.

I began by experimenting.
I wanted something like this, that I created for the Amon Hen statues.
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The holes/slots are really there as indicators that that is where tree go/are, but you will be able to remove the trees for storage and also so that you can place troops/tanks/mechs whatever on those bases as well.

I have a lot of these.
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They're wooden discs. I buy them from a UK high street shop called The Works. I have no idea what other people use them for, but I use them mainly for figure bases as you wil have seen in the Musketeers thread. There are 20mm discs, 30mm and these, which are - I think - 40mm. So they would do nicely for the bases for the trees themselves.

Now this is where the experimenting comes in, trying to work out how to make the places where the trees will go in a way that is relatively simple, quick, inexpensive and above all, durable.

After some thought I turned to
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It's one of those 3D pen things. I picked it up in Lidl for under 20GBP, and I have seen people do incredible things with them. Me? All I wanted was to make a ring to place the tree bases in.

First attempts went well,
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They're pliable, tough, and flexible, and it doesn't take much more than a quick go round with a Dremel sanding head, and they're exactly what I was looking for.
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They hold the tree base in place but not so tightly that they can't easily be placed in and taken away.

On to basing the tree themselves.
I could have done this by mixing up some miliput, and jabbing the tree into it and letting it set. My hot glue gun is out on loan, so I thought I would try some other methods. I will probably use Miliput more for the main batch.
Using the 3D pen to hold the tree down, I created a mound of filament, and pushed the tree into it. That didn't work very well, so I glued the tree in place using superglue and baking soda. I used variations on the super glue thing for the rest of the trees in the pictures.
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This is going nicely so far.
The next task is basing up the remaining trees, finishing the bases in the same manner as the Middle earth terrain. Then the filament frames need glueing down to card, and and then they need landscaping too.

Anyway Mrs P wants me to take her out for some stuff, so I hope you all stay safe and well, and have an good day.

Pickers.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Minuteman on 20 Oct 2021, 12:34

More useful hints and tips on how to make really great scenery. Thanks Mr P !
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Minuteman  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Peter on 22 Oct 2021, 09:07

Minuteman wrote:More useful hints and tips on how to make really great scenery. Thanks Mr P !

I can only agree! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by steve_pickstock on 27 Oct 2021, 15:31

Hello all, hope you are well.

I haven't done much today - Wednesday, I have been picking at tasks - sorting out some 28mm ECW cavalry and starting a fell beast based on a cheap plastic pterosaur(ish-type thing), managed to get baking soda on my hand where there was some superglue. Note to self - don't do that again.

However, earlier this week I pretty much got all of the trees in the club box onto a functioning base.
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Because my hot glue gun is on semi-permanent loan to someone, one of errands last week resulting in a new glue gun. This makes the job go much more quickly.

While I was sorting these out I found some that had already been based up for these bases - I think they are 60mm and they fit these bigger, sabot bases.
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I think I will cut these up and spread them out a bit further apart. The next job is to landscape these into the woodland features and green them up.

Before I boxed them up to work on something else, I took the opportunity to set this picture up - the Middle Earth ruin, with the woodland growing in around it.
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This was always how I saw this in my mind, and I think it looks pretty bloody good.

Thanks for looking in, stay safe all.

Regards Pickers.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by PaulRPetri on 27 Oct 2021, 22:43

I feel your pain Steve. I to have had super glue and backing soda come together on my hand and it is not good!!
It burnssss ussss!!
And what sort of person made off with your glue gun!!
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by Peter on 31 Oct 2021, 10:11

So baking soda works good on scenery and figures but not on fingers. Good to know. :-D

Maybe you can help me with this:

viewtopic.php?f=102&t=25122&p=277384#p277384

Oh and I wish your fingers a good recovery! ;-)
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by steve_pickstock on 03 Nov 2021, 12:25

Good day all,

This is another of those pre-prepared updates as Mrs Pickers and I have to go out and go north of the river for our Covid booster jabs today, and then hopefully a quick trip to a craft store as well.

Anyway, the Club Trees refurbisment is one of those jobs where there is a lot to do but not a lot to see, after all most of what I am doing, you have seen me do before in this thread.

Up to now - all of the trees (and anything in the box that could pass for a tree in the dark) has been based, and those bases have been painted - Vallejo English Uniform.
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The slots/rings/things where the trees will go have been attached to bigger bases to make the woodland features, and lightly landscaped - though I went to town on one of the woodland features, with the modpodge and grout mix.
The areas where the trees will go and an area around them has been painted in the English Uniform (to show the bare ground under the trees. The rest of the woodland features have been painted in the way I usually paint terrain - with a coat of Yellow Ochre. (While these trees belong to the club, as the person who makes the terrain, I wanted them to match my terrain when I take it to play on wargames night.)
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Note the ruined wall on the feature at the back right-hand side. The idea is to bury that in foliage so that it looks like the forest is reclaiming old farm land.
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Some pictures of the features with trees in place.
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I haven't done a lot with the large two hole bases, though I did split two of them up, but there isn't a lot of room to go mad with them - but I'll just try to make them look as good as I can.

The trees themselves could probably go back to the club and be used as they are, which is pretty much job done there. But I want to do more with them so that the next stage is to add some washes and some more dry-brushing
Then I will 'green' everything, add some old twigs and scraps of grape vine as dead trees, clump foliage, rubberised horsehair, 'dead leaves' from dried herbs and then tufts and flock.

Stay safe all, and thanks for looking in.
Pickers

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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by huib on 03 Nov 2021, 15:17

Really nice trees, Steve.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 07 Nov 2021, 18:39

Hello all,

Where I am with the Club Trees project - Saturday 6th November.

The woodland feature bases have been dry brushed, they've had some light washing, sand has been added, some bits of twig and grape vine, patches of grass mat, and some tufts.
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In this picture you can see the wall, beginning to blend into the scenery
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I think I have mentioned this idea before but I don't think I put up a picture of it.
This woodland base has a bit more elevation and more angled slopes, so rather than attatch the grass mat with double-sided tape as I did with the other bases, I used tacky glue and clear Bostick/UHU type glue. I find with this type of grass mat and these glues, that it is important to apply almost continuous pressure to ensure that the edges adhere properly. (It's no big deal if they don't stick down completely - because there are other things that can be done, but my aim was for them to be stuck down,).
This is a vacuum pack clothing bag, it's an idea I stole from watching people working with carbon fibre mouldings. Glue everything down, place the feature on a flat board, in the bag, seal it and suck all of the air out using a vacuum cleaner. Pressure of the air on the piece should mean that all of the edges adhere properly.
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7th November - the feature bases recieved another layer of Yellow Ochre over the sandy patches and to blend in the grass mats.
Then I added flock and clump foliage to further blend the patches of mat. I was going to use some of the rubberised horsehair, to simulate briars and brambles, but decided, as I wanted to be able to place figures on these bases, that enough was enough.
Once that was done I gave everything a spritz with matt medium wash to consolidate all the foliage and hold it in place.
The attic is a bit nippy at the moment so the matt medium is taking its own sweet time to dry - hence the glossiness in the pictures below. It should be okay after it dries overnight, but if it's still glossy tomorrow I will give it a dab with some matt varnish.

This is the piece that was in the vacuum bag - first of all without trees and then with.
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One of the woodland feature bases, with and without trees
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The feature with the wall on.
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So, apart from some tweaking tomorrow or Tuesday to get them ready to be used in a game that evening, I am calling these done.
They are inevitably going to get battered as they get used every week, but it has been a useful exercise for when I do my own trees up. I will get pictures of them on the table and put those up on Wednesday.

Stay safe all.
Regards Pickers
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The aim is to have everything done by Tuesday and they can go back to the club for Tuesday night's game.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Peter on 08 Nov 2021, 20:43

I can allready hear some "Oh" and "Ah's" at your club when you present these to them! Great work Steve! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by steve_pickstock on 08 Nov 2021, 21:02

Peter wrote:I can allready hear some "Oh" and "Ah's" at your club when you present these to them! Great work Steve! :thumbup:

Not going to happen - we have all known each other too long for that sort of thing. :-D
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 10 Nov 2021, 13:40

Good afternoon all.

Well! Wonders will never cease - the arrival of the re-fubished trees at the club last night actually brought out an 'ooh!' AND an 'ah!'.

Colour me stunned!

We're not usually that demonstrative being a group of grumpy old men, not usually given to public displays of emotion. The trees impressed though, although I'm not sure whether it was the trees that caused the reaction or the sinus clearing aroma of mint, thyme, and ASDA BBQ spice rub (the leaf litter/scatter mix). Anyway all emotive contributions were gratefully accepted.

First up - These were all the re-based trees and the new woodland features put out on display.
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Laid out for the game.
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I might be biased, but this looked so much better than what we had.

And now the trees and bases with some figures in the game - Dragon Rampant, Dave's Army of men (Warhammer Empire and Friends (on the right) vs Mike's Snake Men (Wargames Atlantic figures) on the right.
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Ultimately it played out to a drawer, but overall the players seemed to enjoy themselves - a pleasure that was no doubt enhanced by the scenery :mrgreen: .

The unpainted Italeri Country House in the distance came home with me for a refurbish job, but I suspect that will be after Christmas.

Lastly before I packed the trees and everything up to go on Monday, I re-did the Middle Earth ruin picture again this time with Legolas and Gandalf. If anything it only emphasises why good scenery is so important.
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Thanks for looking on,
Stay safe everyone and take care
Pickers

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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 10 Nov 2021, 15:25

Mike's army of snake men were on the left, not the right.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Peter on 12 Nov 2021, 22:08

Ooh they did! And they give a nice view on that table! :thumbup:
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