Sunday, 26 May 2013

Tree Bases Step-by-Step

I think battlefields always look better with plenty of trees - assuming we are talking about temperate zones, otherwise please insert your preferred local flora. So I recently ordered some more K&M trees. I chose these as the Woodland Scenics "realistic" trees I have are rather too fragile, although they do look superb.

For ease of play I prefer to have trees either individually based, or perhaps in small groups, rather than a whole forest. At some of the recent shows people have been kind enough to comment that they liked the way I based my trees and asked how I did them. So, this post is a short step-by-step on how I base my trees.

Since the trees are K&M I also use the appropriate plastic tree bases - make sure you get the right size for the trees!. These are glued on to small, irregularly shaped pieces of 3mm MDF. Take care to chamfer the edges. To these I add a few rocks, some coarse grit and a layer of sand, all held on with PVA glue. This is the result.

Next I apply a generous coat of a dark brown, usually Vallejo Leather Brown or similar. Thin the paint slightly to make it go further and also easier to apply without obscuring the sand texture.

After that, highlight the dark brown with lighter browns and creams. I've used Vallejo Flat Earth, GW Vomit Brown and Vallejo Dark Sand. Then I base coat the rocks and larger pieces of grit with black. You can also do this to areas of the sand if you prefer. Paint a small amount of the sand around the rock in black too as this will help to delineate the rocks on the finished base.

The rocks are then highlighted with a range of greys in this example, GW Codex then Fortress (Foundry Slate Shade/Mid/Light is also good), with a final highlight of pure white.

Now for the static grasses. First is the slightly darker grass.

Then the lighter variety. Don't overdo the areas covered in grass. You can always add more, but it's jolly awkward to remove if you glue on too much.

The final step is the addition of some clump foliage and/or grass tufts and flowers.

Here are Sven, and his son Sven Svensson, hunting in a Northern forest! Looking at the photo I think I agree with my wife's comment that the trunks need painting dark brown and then a quick highlight to make them blend in better.

Hope you found that useful.


BigRedBat said...

Those are great! Need to do some, myself...

Millsy said...

I use pretty much the same method with a similar number per base. They look great Matt. Maybe just paint the tree trunks to match?

marinergrim said...

What a terrific way of doing that. Excellent - will have to adapt them for myself I think. Thanks Matt.

Loki said...

Great work and I agree tree bases need a lick of paint an a dry brush

Dalauppror said...

Very nice tutorial !

Best regards Michael