Thursday, 4 May 2017

15mm Scale 'Countryside' Battle Mat - Part 1

For my next game of GF9's 'TANKS' I would like to have a rural setting for my little tanks to battle over. In particular, I want to try out my Jagdpanther in a defensive ambush scenario.

For this, I will have to put together some bits and pieces of homemade scenery quickly (and cheaply), so I've been looking about my workbench for 'things' to make countryside features with. It's all going to be very 'Blue Peter' cardboard and glue soft of stuff and my first priority was trees.

Scale model trees are readily available - my local model railways store has an excellent assortment - but the trouble is that ready-made model railway scenery can be a little bit expensive and my budget for this project is exactly *zero*.

Crappy Trees
The first thing that came to hand for making model trees was some packaging I got in a parcel (called 'void chips' which I believe are biodegradable expanded corn starch chips). I had already played around with some of these to make some very quick (and incredibly bad) 'smoke markers' for my Tanks game, but looking at them I thought the shape might make good little trees.

So, I skewered the little packing chips with wooden cocktail sticks and then gave them a quick spray of Grass Green...

A bit Cambellwick Green (showing my age there) but they are passable...Well, to get me started anyway. I'm not sure how many I will need, but I can easily make more.

I was a bit stuck as to what to do about the bases, at first, but then I remembered I had a pack of plastic counters that I had tried to base some figures on (before I decided that steel washers were the way to go). I drilled a hole in the counters and glued the cocktail sticks into the holes...

They needed a bit of work, though. I decided some Milliput putty might make the trucks look a bit more convincing and a little more sturdy too...

After a couple of coats of paint and a fair amount of dry brushing, the end result looks 'OK' for a quick bodged but of scenery...

I am particularly pleased with the trunks, the Milliput putty made some very natural looking twisted trunks. I will definitely use this technique again on my next attempt at scale trees.

Next: Now I have to work out how to make some little hills for my French countryside...And, once again, it'll have to be a solution that cost nearly nothing!

Amusing postscript: People are funny...I know these 'trees' are 'crap', I've gone to great pains to emphasise this point right from the start and to underscore that these are an 'emergency' bodge. Despite this, I have had several comments about how crap they are!

Now, I'm used to negative feedback - I don't call this blog 'Kitnoob' for nothing - but it makes me smile when people take what is obviously a tongue-in-cheek solution to quick scenery seriously. And what is even more amusing is that - when I checked, and as far as I could tell - the people who criticised haven't even tried to *make* their own model trees. :)

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