PROJECT: “CHULT TREES” (#3)

 

This is likely the most difficult step of making the jungle trees scatter terrain. I snipped apart the trees and used a combination of white Elmer’s Glue and Gorilla Gel Super Glue to secure the tree shafts to the wooden bases. This step was difficult because I miscalculated the size of the tree shaft and the hole in the wooden wheel. So the hard part was playing around trying to get the trees to glue into the base, meaning I had to sit there and hold each one until it dried enough to stand on its own. Not the worst thing in the world but time consuming.

 

 

Check out past posts on this project:  Step #1 and Step #2

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PROJECT: “CHULT TREES” (#2)


 

If you missed Step #1, you can find it here. I am making some inexpensive scatter terrain to be used when we sit down to play the next part of  Tomb of Annihilation. I decided to make some jungle trees, and I’m sharing the process here on the blog.

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So with all the bases glued together and dry, it was time to line them up and start painting.

 

I decided to use Liquitex Basics Acrylic Color “Raw Umber” for the base color. Why? Well, the reasons aren’t that strategic. First of all, the tube is getting old and I want to use up the paint. I bought is awhile ago at a craft store that was clearing all of their Liquitex paint from stock. Secondly, it is a dark color and great for a base. And thirdly, it has a higher viscosity than many of my other paints so it’s nice to use when painting a material like wood.

 

 

I slapped the paint to the bases, making sure the coverage was good. The wood will suck up some of the paint so you might have to do a second coat. Make sure to go back after the bases are dry to paint the sides. I didn’t worry about painting the bottoms of the bases, but if you want to do so … go for it.

 

 

Although the Raw Umber is only a base coat, I like the muddy look to it.

 

 

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I decided to mix up some homemade flock. There is all kinds of flock available on the market right now made of all kinds of cool materials. However, I like to just make my own from upcycled materials. So my flock is made of two parts: coffee grounds and cilantro leaves. I like the earthy smell that the terrain has when I use these kinds of materials. I only tend to use homemade flock on terrain, using the “fancy” store-bought flock on my miniatures.

 

 

Using a star wars spoon, I pierced the Maxwell House MAX K-cup and scooped out the coffee grounds. I allowed the grounds to dry for about an hour before mixing in the cilantro leaves.  You don’t have to use a Star Wars spoon for this step, but you should. 🙂

 

 

Afterwards, I mixed the materials together in a spare plastic dish. I chose one that my wife won’t miss for the time being. Wives can be weird about their kitchen wares being used for important things like terrain making. Go figure. 😉

 

 

Now my flock is ready to rock.

 

 

The next step is to highlight the bases and apply the flocking materials.

 

 

PROJECT: “CHULT TREES” (#1)


I wanted to make some inexpensive scatter terrain for when we play through the next part of Tomb of Annihilation, so I bought a package of Quantumchaos Media‘s Palm Tree Picks Cake & Cupcake Toppers from Amazon. I decided to buy these particular trees because of the price. I wasn’t going for realism with them. I also grabbed some Craftwood wooden circles and wheels from the local Pat Catan’s craft store, and sat down to get started.

 

 

The toppers have wide bottoms that I found would not fit into the wooden wheels that I bought. Therefore, I had to snip the flat ends off of the trees. No big deal.

 

 

I sorted out the Craftwood wooden pieces and then glued them together using some Elmer’s School Glue. The larger wooden circle will serve as a base for stability. The wheel is simply being used as the base of the tree allowing the hole to hold the cup cake topper in place.

 

 

With all the bases glued, I allowed them to dry for a little awhile before starting the painting phase.

 

FLOCK! FLOCK! FLOCK!

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FLOCK!!

No, I’m not cussing. I’m talking about flock, man. No not that wacky broswer. I mean the crap you glue to your bases.
I don’t know about you, but right next to that mason jar full of marbles that I keep under my bed, I have a frickin’ huge box full of boxes, bottles, and containers of flock. I have straight flock, naked flock, mixed flock, and magic flock. I have flock with sand, flock with rocks, and flock with sea shells. I have so many kinds of flock that it’s flocking madness.
I have a little secret to pass 0n. Craft containers intended for beads make excellent storage for flock. The picture above is the best product I have found thus far. I bought mine at JoAnn Fabrics. It was $9.00 but I ninja’d it with a coupon for 40% off.
The large box is made of high impact plastic. It doesn’t snap on or anything, but it works well enough as a holder for the small round containers. Each small container (or what I call a “bin”) is slightly larger than the size of a small WARMACHINE base. The bins have twist off lids. Simply add your favorite blend of flock into the bin, twist the lid, and you have a tidy collection of different kinds of flock.


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FENRIS AND THE NODDING DONKEY

No, this isn’t some kind of strange fairy tale.

Fenris Games makes some pretty cool terrain and miniatures. They caught my attention when they started making terrain items for the Incursion Board Game. Then, I started paying close attention to their Facebook page because they are awesome and give away miscast miniatures to lucky folks who comment on Facebook posts.

Recently, they posted Clive, the Nodding Donkey and it looks awesome. I wanted to share the information here for anyone who is not familiar with Fenris Games. Check it out. It is a multi-piece laser-cut plywood and plastic kit to build an oilfield donkey pump, scaled to suit 28mm miniatures. Can be modelled in a variety of positions. Click on the picture to get more details from the Fenris Games online store. Or if you prefer, take a gander at their eBay store.

noddingdonkey

KICKSTARTER: DWARVEN FORGE GAME TILES

“Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles Kickstarter project seeks to bring revolutionary miniature terrain to everyone in the tabletop gaming world.”

I’ve been collecting Dwarven Forge terrain for awhile now. I have two Cavern Sets, 3 Ogre Dens, 2 Room & Passage sets, 2 Classic Dungeon Room sets, 1 Fantasy Floor set, 1 Wicked Editions set, 1 Wicked Editions #2 set, 1 Narrow Passage set, 2 Octagonal Room sets and 1 Sci-Fi Alpha Expansion set. I also ordered four sets of the six piece 6″ x 6″ floors.

I can make a HUGE dungeon, dude.

My only regret is that I missed out of the RotA Ruined Entrance. I thought that I was getting it for Christmas, and I did not. By the time I went to order it … it was gone. Sold out forever! Boooooo! Oh well.

So I was very excited when I heard Dwarven Forge was going to do a Kickstarter. My only worry was that they would try to go the route of using the “sturdy cardboard” construction sets that have recently become popular with certain miniature games. I was really hoping that they would NOT do that because I like the quality of the pieces I own. Here are a few examples:

Dungeoneering WARMACHINE

The Zombies were a challenge for all of the Heroes despite their amazing Sentinel rules.
Zombies!

So when the Game Tiles Kickstarter went live, I was excited to see that it was not “sturdy cardboard” but instead a new material that was less expensive. As a bonus, the stuff is super tough and doesn’t easily break or scratch. That good because I have a 13 month old who will want to “help” Daddy play Dungeons & Dragons with his plush d20.

Anyway, I talked with my wife and we decided to back the Kickstarter. I suggested that we jump in at $120 in order to get all the cool extras. To my delight, my wife suggested the $260 mark which gives us Five Sets of Game Tiles plus any bonus extras. Awesome!

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A Game Tiles set comes complete with these 34 pieces:

  • 14x Straight Wall*
  • 12x Floor*
  • 6x Corner Wall*
  • 2x Swinging Door

        *has a 2” x 2” footprint

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From the Kickstarter page: “Because the pieces are modular in design they can be re-arranged in countless ways to form many interesting encounter areas.  All the pieces have a 2” x 2” footprint, so the wall pieces can be placed in the interior of set-ups to form smaller rooms or alcoves. With multiple sets, collectors can lay out big and exciting dungeons complete with rooms and passageways.”

Check it out for yourself, I know you’ll like what you see.

DWARVEN FORGE KICKSTARTER PAGE

SIMPLE PATHS

Terrain shouldn’t be boring.

ATGM

One way to add a tiny bit of realism to your forest templates is to add a simple path, showing a footprint from living … or maybe unliving … beings having passed through before.

Regardless of whether you’re making a forest template, flocking a hill, or finishing off your new gaming board, you may want to make some simple paths. It’s easy to do as long as you know some simple tips and tricks.
(1) Gather your materials. You’ll need white PVA glue, a small spray water bottle (like the kind you get when you buy a new pair of glasses), dark green flock, and light green flock.
(2) Mix your glue. Take the spray bottle and fill it 1/4 of the way full with water. Carefully add an equal amount of white glue. Mix this by shaking until it looks to be the consistency of milk. Then fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Mix again by shaking.
(3) Spray the glue mixture over the entire project enough to make it wet.
(4) Cover the entire project with the light colored flock. The best kind of flock to use for this is referred to as “fine” flock usually used to represent lawns, and large areas of grass. Allow the flock to dry. Spray the entire project with a lighter mist of the glue mixture again. Allow this to dry. if you need to do this a couple of times, do it. Sometimes it takes two or three attempts to get good coverage. Don’t get in a hurry. Take your time.
(5) Now, use your imagination. Where do you want the path to go? Spray the glue mixture in a path across the project. Make the path straight or “s” shaped. Whatever. Now sprinkle the dark flock on the wet parts to form the path. The best kind of flock to use for this is called “Coarse” flock. It will add texture to the project on an “eyeball” level. Once the dark flock dries, mist the dark flock again to help it stick. Allow this to dry.
(6) If you like add bushes, undergrowth, tall grasses, or trees. Whatever you wish. It’s your terrain, so do with it whatever you want.
(7) Finally, take some matte spray like Dull Coat and mist the entire project. This adds a matte protectant to the terrain piece.

THE DINER

Plasticville makes some very nice O Scale buildings that can be used in miniature wargaming on the 25mm – 30mm range. This particular building is The Diner. It was given to me by my Father-In-Law in a large, dusty box that he had stashed in his outbuilding shed. He said that the box had a collection of models that he and his brother had used when they were growing up. He thought I might get some use out of them in my miniature games … and he was right.

This is what The Diner looks like normally:

And this is what I did with it:

I wanted the Diner to look like it might have been a train car at one time and now was converted into a place to sit and eat.
Everyone likes rivets, right?
The backside, complete with graffiti.

I’m pretty happy with how the building turned out. And I’m very grateful to have a cool Father-In-Law that keeps my hobbies in mind when he’s sorting through his shed.

Keep rollin’ sixes, folks!

SMALL TREES

Do you follow the crowd, or form your own opinion?

Mossy Rocks

We live in a time dominated by all kinds of public opinion polls. Decisions are being driven by the crowd, and sometimes this is a good thing. Surveys can inform us about people’s experiences with products helping us make wiser purchases. Opinion polls can tell elected officials of how their policies have been received by the public. And when information is gleaned on a personal level, it can help us in making decisions in a variety situations.

The same can be said about the scenery and terrain pieces we use with our little toy soldiers. Blogs, podcasts, and videos reveal the good, bad, and ugly about all the choices of terrain that we have out there. Before buying, most people will do a little research in order to find out if the piece is made well, transports easily, and holds up decently to the use and abuse of miniature gaming. However, in the end, personal opinion wins out.

Some people like homemade terrain, and others hate it. Some people only buy their terrain, and would never waste their time making something that they would view as “ugly” and “unattractive.” Others just want something that works and is inexpensive to put on the table. Heck, some people just use whatever is laying around like books, plates, soda cans, and pie pans.

There’s nothing like playing “King of the Hill” from WARMACHINE using a big fat pie pan.

Anyway, it really comes down to the reality of what you want in quality. Do you want to spend some hard earned cash to have beautiful stuff to put on the table, or do you need to use “upcycled” stuff from around the house and “found items” to make your terrain? It’s really up to you.

If you’re into inexpensive items that you can have fun making into terrain, then this is another idea for “Terrain on the Cheap” for you!

As I discussed last year, you can make simple, functional trees using Moss Rocks and Dowel Rods. You can likely find both items in a local craft store or dollar store. Here in town you can buy them for $1 each at the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, JoAnn Fabrics, and other stores of that kind.

Mossy Rocks

You simply need to cut the dowel rods to your desired length, and paint them to your desired color. After they are dry, carefully push one end pf the dowel rod into the foam “rock” to make a tree. You can also do this using toothpicks if you choose. Additional detail can be added easily by using Green Stuff on the dowel rods to bulk them up, and carve in details to resemble tree bark. In the end, you’ll probably want to attach them to some kind of base depending on what game you play. I recommend at least a 40mm base for WARMACHINE.

Trees

And ta-dah, you have trees for your favorite miniature wargame!

Also, go over to WWPD and check out this awesome article about making flocked felt tree templates. Not a bad idea.

Until next time, keep rollin’ sixes!

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