Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ironmonger's Terrain Tutorial: Large Woods pt. III

The next step was to determine just where I wanted the trees to be placed. This required a little bit of trial and error, as I was wanting to work primarily with 'deciduous' trees (i.e. model trees that evoked a sense of Beech, Linden and Oak) because these are a.) generally bushier then their evergreen counterparts (and would therefore make for a more visually 'thick' forest), and b.) shorter on average then alot of your evergreens. Modelers within TTWG tend to forget that an 'ancient pine wood' would be at least a good foot tall on the table. Frankly, I'm a nerd for a bit more realism over fantasy... so, there ya go...



I opted to use both pre-made Woodland Scenics trees of various heights, as well as create a few of my own using their armatures and flocking. Since both come with detachable bases, I merely placed the trees where I wanted them, detached the bases, and then used a pencil to trace around them. After that I went back over the trace with a sharpie for added clarity.

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You may notice little 'x's or holes in a few spots on the base: these are for stumps! Go for a walk in a forest... ok, ok...type 'deciduous forest' into google. What's one of the ubiquitous features therein? Yep. Stumps. So, I knew then that the inclusion of stumps (especially stumps along the side of the planned trackway, showing trees cut/torn down over time to ease in passage of men and goods) was mandatory for added flavour in the over all concept, and would lend the vignette that extra little dash of 'realism.'

The next step after the placement of the tress and the positioning of the stumps was the trackway itself. I was originally going to do this one by diving into the wonderful world of MIG resin and plaster, but decided that for a small enough project like this pass-through I could simply use greenstuff/milliput without too much issue. With that said, the trackway itself was probably the easiest of the components of the entire projet thus far! All I did was make up a wad of greenstuff, stretch it wide and long and flat, and then lay it out over the desired area that was going to be the 'deepest' portion of the passage. This accomplished, I then used a few figures who's feet were not glued somewhere to act as footprints in the 'soil,' as well as a thread spool to simulate cart/carriage wheels. I think that I couldn't have gotten a better result with what I used.

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You'll notice that there is a ruddy great stump in the middle of the trackway. Well, growing up in often rural environments, I continually see this in TRW. Some stumps...well...they jus' don't wanna come outta ther, ya ke'n? Either they're too deeply rooted, or it's removed enough in the landscape that taking the stump out is just more trouble then it's worth. Either way, this was another one of those fun little extra bits of realism in the landscape that I thought should be included to make the piece of terrain that little bit more 'authentic.'

Another thing I knew that I wanted was at least one 'dead tree' that had fallen down and was starting to be reclaimed by the woods of which it is a part. I had a stump (again, Woodland Scenics) that was perfect to simulate a trees that had either died and then broken away, or had broken off in a storm. A few snips of the clippers on one of the armatures, and... voila! Dead tree!

Now, it was time to glue everything in place and take a step back:

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Looking pretty much what I'd hoped for to begin with. As an aside: No matter what I'm doing with models of terrain, I always clean and remove moldlines/flashing. The stumps were pewter, so I broke out the files. The tress were plastic, so out came the exacto. This, I feel, helps to remove the piece of terrain from the tabletop, and allows the eye to not become distracted with moldlines and odd or obviously 'fake' highlights in the middle of a game of Fantasy, Hordes, or what-have-you. My tuppence, wot?

The next thing, then, is the tree placement. I used 3 main types of trees from WS:

A 3" armature I flocked myself
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A 5" ready-made, of a lighter colour
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And a few big 8" ready mades, to stand in for some old Linden
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All these positioned looked something like this:

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A few shots with Lord Carver in them for scale:

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I think that I found a nice blend of functionality and aestheticism between the trees and the trackway; I intentionally made the trackway too small for a horde unit in WFB to easily pass through, and in games non-skirmishing units will have to reform to 5-wide in order to pass. Mmmm... tactics...

To be concluded with basing, painting, flocking and playing! Stay tuned for part IV...

4 comments:

  1. Great article series, but could you please use a break at the beginning? :D

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  2. Wow, it came out looking fantastic!

    You can take a piggy out of the wilderness...

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  3. @G. L. I just figured out how to do that, so yes, I'll be doing that from now on! ;)

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