Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

I was strolling through Home Depot (a large DIY store, for those outside of the US) picking up odds and ends for a home project when I happened to look over at the Christmas decoration area newly set up at the front of the store. What did I happen to see! A big bag 'o miniature snow covered conifer trees! The bag of wire brush trees sells for $5.99, and includes 10 each of 2 1/2" trees, 4 each of 4" trees, 2 each of 6" trees, and 2 each of 8" trees. The trees are sprayed with a white "blob" substance - not sure what I'd call it. Its tougher than a spray flock, but doesn't really look like paint. At any rate, I was intrigued and had to buy a bag of trees. A quick trip over to the hardware aisle to pick up some appropriately sized fender washers to use as bases, and I was set for a trial and error wargame tree project.

I began by gluing each tree to a fender washer using CA glue. The next step was to thoroughly spray each tree with flat black to give a dark base for shadows, as well as to completely eliminate the white snow effect on the trees.

Armed with a few shades of green spray paint (in my case, Rustoleum Moss Green, Hunter Green, Hunt Club Green, and Oregano), I prepared to add some color back to the trees. First coat was a dark shade of the greens, followed by a highlight "mist" of one of the lighter shades of green. The result was a pretty acceptable tree color, with dark depths to the tree, a dark green main body and subtle highlights.

I avoided further detailing efforts of adding flocking to the trees as I wanted to have some robust game trees and not "fiddly" railroad type trees.

A quick basing effort of applying yellow carpenter's glue to the base followed by a dip into my sand/ballast mixture gave a rugged appearance to the tree. After finishing the base to match my basing colors and style, the tree was complete! All in all, I think they look pretty good. While the 6" and 8" trees are on the extreme end of size I'd like to use, I think they'll add some nice variety to my forest areas.

I absolutely love making a game or terrain piece out of a non-game item. This project was a blast....I'm tempted to go back and buy more bags 'o trees.

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