Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Foliage

I suspect it is a rule of life that if you don't want a green bathroom sponge then the things are everywhere. Local supermarkets offer special deals for bulk purchases of them, small children try and sell them to you through your car window (I'm guessing here, I haven't driven in 20 years), charities give them away to needy and deserving people. But as I actually did want one, there were none to be found in the neighbourhood. My original plans thwarted by the negligence of local shopkeepers, I resorted to using that kitchen essential: the pan scourer. A pack of three 4"x 6" pads, costing 49p, provided enough material to cover three of my monster-sized trees.


The scourers were chopped up into small cubes. The first of these were pushed onto the bare metal wire remaining at the tips of each bough, the wires being coated with PVA to provide a permanent bond. Other cube could then dunked into PVA and pushed onto cubes that were already in place, being held there by their tangled fibres until the PVA dried. Given the small size of the cubes (due to pan scourers being rather thin) this had to be repeated in a lot of stages, taking rather more time than I'd prefer.


Once happy with the amount of foliage added, it was pruned with a pair of nail scissors to try and remove the more visible corners of the cubes and thus give a more natural effect. The final step was brush on some light green paint to soften the deep green colour of the original pad. The net result of all this is shown in the photo.


13 comments:

MiniWargamer said...

Neat process and they look great!

Fitz-Badger said...

Wow, those look great! I wouldn't've guessed you used pan scourers for the foliage.
I suppose you could add flock to them, but they look great as is and you won't have flock raining down off of them.

MurdocK said...

Interesting, did the PVA have any discoloration around it?

I ask as I have used some similar material once and found that once it got wet everything ended up with runny green line all over the place, frustrated with the results I tossed it all out before the green stuff made a mess of my tabletop or worse got on any of the figs.

Andy Mitchell said...

Once the PVA has dried it isn't noticeable. In the small amounts used it's transparent enough to not be obvious.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

They look good.... I did try also using them as hedges once - slice them length ways with a curvy edge for the top of the hedge and a flat edge to use as a base.... wasn't altogether happy as I couldn't quite get the colour right...

Stokes Schwartz said...

Morning Andy,

Yours are some of the nicest, most "natural" looking model trees I've seen. How many more are you planning to make?

Best Regards,

Stokes

Andy Mitchell said...

I think Action! requires about 16 to accurately reproduce the map. I'll only be making 10 though (because of limited storage space) and will aim to use them judiciously to recreate the essential features of the battlefield.

johnpreece said...

Sir,

do I have the honour of adressing THE A J Mitchell, inventor of the wargames Morale Computor featured in Advanced Wargaming?

I actually made one from filing cards. I seem to remember that it took some time to construct though I cannot remember using it.

I like the trees, the pan scrubbers are even better when worn butit is a lifetimes work collecting them.

John

Andy Mitchell said...

I cannot claim that honour: in my experience it seems we Andy Mitchells are a very common breed.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Your trees look great (although I'd paint the white sides of the base, I think).


-- Jeff

tidders said...

Excellent trees !

I'm a lazy-daisy with trees; preferring plastic ones purely for their robustness on the gaming table. I have some other trees which I bought; these have various flock coverings which moult on the table - I might try using photomount spray to secure the flock.

Allan

CWT said...

Sorry I've been a bit slow to comment - it's all these green bathroom sponges getting in the way of my keyboard...

It's great to see the home-made approach to scenery, and I was thinking of doing something similar myself. The posts are great inspiration!

johnpreece said...

Andy,

Sorry for the confusion. I never liked the card computor anyway!

Talking of the pleasures of traditional home made scenery: The staff at the Model raiway museum near Abingdon told me that Horshair degenerated after 20-30 years so they never use it now.

One of the few pleasures of growing older is that the scenery is now likely to outlive us , so no worries about horsehair or foam.