Many wargames are enhanced by miniature woodlands as scenery. The first stage to building woodland scenery is to start building model trees. Generally these are either plastic trees or homemade trees, made of wire, lichen and flock. In contrast to other tabletop scenery – such as scale houses, 40k bunkers or warhammer watchtowers, trees are difficult to assemble. There are, however some easy methods for making cheap model trees as well as buying realistic tabletop forests.
Modelzone trees and games workshop trees
The cheapest trees for 28mm wargaming come from hobby supplies. For instance, cheap Modelzone trees, which come in a variety of colours and seasons. Alternatively, less cheap Games-workshop trees provide more realistic scenery for tabletop battles.
A comparison of various Modelzone trees with a Games-Workshop 40k Bad Moon ork for scale.
How to make 28mm trees and foliage
To make a cheap wire frame for a tree, all that must be done is to bend gardening wire into shape. The model tree’s wire frame is then covered in glue, textured spray or textured paint to build up the trunk. Building model trees using wire gives your miniature woodlands strong, detailed, unflexing trunks. Alternatively, twigs can be used by standing them in a ball of putty (or greenstuff), but this creates a less permanent model. Your miniature tree’s foliage is simply glued on flock or lichen (found in hobby shops catering for model railway scenery). Trees from individual gaming boards (such as the Warhammer 40k Catachan deathworld or a Warhammer Fantasy Tomb Kings desert forest) may well only need bare branches.
Piecing together your woodland scenery
Having bought or built your model trees, the final stage is to construct a forest. Either stick your woodland to a base along with flock, lichen and paint or prepare the model trees on bases separately to the area terrain – which improves manoueverability. This works well if you base trees on games workshop 40mm bases or circular bases made of cardboard, flocked and painted.
A completed miniature forest using Modelzone trees and a 28mm Victrix old guard miniature.
If you own your own woodland or have access to a woodland, this can be very helpful for collecting twigs and lichen for model-making. Careful observation of real woodlands can also help you to make more realistic model forests.