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Realistic Looking Deciduous Trees Tutorial


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A quick method of making amazing looking deciduous trees for you wargames.

what you will need:

1.Woodland Scenics tree armatures (without foliage), any size or tree type is fine.

2. Sydeco tropical moss (plastic aquarium plant) comes in green or red.

3. Plasticard/expanded pvc, static grass, tufts, leaf litter for base

4. Hobby knife, superglue, paints, brushes (optional).


1. Armature


These armatures require manipulation to achieve a realistic tree shape. Before this I removed the base and cleaned off the mould lines (this is optional and can be tedious and time consuming but I cannot stand mould lines). Once cleaned the trunk can be twisted and the braches repositioned. Wrap the bottom of the trunk in tissue paper (to protect the model) then grip with pliers and twist. I then painted the armature (this is also optional).


2. Foliage




The next stage is to add the foliage. I used Sydeco tropical moss aquarium plant. You can buy this from the above website or Pets at Home (in UK) for approx. £4-6, pets at home have offers all the time. I use mostly the green but have also used the red. You will need to pull it off its armature and separate the 'branches'. You don't need to paint it although I did to make it more realistic, I also wanted an autumn silver birch colour. To paint them I put the branches on cocktail sticks (you will need to drill some as you will need the hole all the way through. I brushed on citadel paints although spraying would probably be easier. I used 4 different shades of yellow painting one colour on one 'branch' in four different batches then I mixed up the colours when applying them to the armature. The foliage simply slides onto the armature and I used superglue to secure the foliage in place.




3. Basing

Simply cut a base to size (my bases were the same width as the tree branches) glue the tree and then add whatever foliage to match your wargames table.

Autumnal Silver Birch Trees (before being based)




With scenic base, leaf litter, static grass and tufts





These trees are incredibly durable.

If you skip the mould line cleaning and painting they are quick to make but look less realistic.

Good luck and happy model making.

I will be posting more terrain tutorials if there is the interest.

comments and feedback welcome.



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27 minutes ago, Thornshield said:

Thanks for the tutorial, they look more durable than using moss foliage. Does the plastic foliage take paint well without the need for priming?

The foliage doesn't take paint that well but I wanted some of the green to show through so it took some time to paint them all with brush and citadel paints. These are plastic and probably have some oily mould release on them. I would recommend washing them in soapy water before painting and then use spray paint to 'dust' them giving them a little texture to help with matting.

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