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On the Road to Stalingrad, Part 2

Trees, you ay recall, were the subject of my first Stalingrad project build.  Not that they are particularly relevant, but that I needed to create some space on the workbench and a pile of trees tends to get in the way a bit.

In Part One of this piece, which you can find here: Part One , we got to the point where we had sand on the bases so as to represent the ground.  However, I was very aware from walking Freddie, the Lard Island Head of Security, that all woods have floors which are littered with debris and detritus.  In the case of pine woods this is usually pile of old needles which are slowly rotting away.  To represent this I turned to the wife’s broomstick.

Actually it’s a broom I bought to thatch (rather unsuccessfully if truth be known) my Afghan buildings.  Using a pair of strong scissors I trimmed the brush so that I go a lot of short section of bristle.

I then painted the central section of the base with PVA and sprinkled the bristles onto it.

You need to let this dry properly, so a few hours minimum, before then washing with a PVA:Water mix of about 50:50 ratio.  This holds everything together, as we saw with the sand.

Let that dry overnight and keep it on a flat surface while doing so to avoid warping.  I would recommend putting a couple of weights on either side to keep it really flat.

Now you can paint your base.  I use my usual bitter chocolate external paint and then dry brush up with household paints, specifically Crown Chocolate Suede and Crown Fawn Suede.

With that done, I add grass all around the edge and the odd bit on the woodland floor to break up the monotony.  Up to this point, I have been duplicating each step on the tree bases, but I do not do this with the trees.

And that is pretty much that.  Pop the trees in the holes and you’re there.  You could, and I probably will, dry brush up the rocks a bit more, maybe with an off yellow or a white.

And here we have the finished article on the table.  I have just dropped on a few bits of clump foliage to add a little more colour.

Please note, I grew up admiring the work of the likes of Peter GiIder and their spectacular terrain.  My admiration was always tinged wth the recognition that I could never match such artistry.  However, what my years of wargaming terrain building have taught me is that ham-fisted idiots like me CAN build nice terrain without requiring any particular skills.  This project is a case in point.  Anyone could build these and I think the end result would grace any wargames table, looking much better than they deserve considering the minimal amount of labour involved.

Unfortunately, I bought the bases off eBay so long ago that they are no longer in my history so I cannot tell you who made them (I will be happy to rectify that if the manufacturer gets in touch with his details).  However, what I have done is asked Martin at Warbases if he can make some similar and he has assured me that he will.  When he does so, I will add a link in here.

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2 Responses

  1. When you began with “cutting up the wife’s broomstick” I thought “Oh, she’ll love that!”

  2. bob696 says:

    Another option (for those that do not wish to wait) is to use a holesaw bit for for an electric drill. You can get a set off ebay for £7. You get a nice circular base for the tree as well.
    Alternatively buy a 26mm spade drill bit and use 2p coins for the base. For the delux version, use fridge magnet material as backing for the wood base and you have magnetised trees

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