Sunday, May 25, 2014

More Ostafrika Terrain

Since my last hill came out better than I hoped, I've gone back to work on some additional terrain.  First up are some trees and bushes:

These were built on flat wooden disks I picked up at the craft store (I think they were about 10 cents each), which have been covered in the long felt/teddy bear fur I prepared earlier.  The bushes are the same plastic plants I used previously on the last hill.

For the trees, I was hoping to build something a bit taller, but was unable to locate appropriate pieces of natural wood, so had to go the Woodland Scenics route. They make tree armatures in various sizes, but the taller ones all have very pronounced central trunks.  For the pictures of east African plains I've seen, the trees seem to fan out without a central trunk, and have a very flat canopy of leaves.  As such, I picked the smaller armatures of packet TR1122, which are 3-5" in height and lend themselves to that sort of shape. I bent the branches down to create a wider canopy, giving me a clearance of of about 1 1/2-2" under the trees. Not great, but still big enough to fit a figure under them. 

The trees were dry brushed in a couple of shades of tan, and then covered with Poly Fiber (FP178).  The Poly Fiber is much less dense than the normal Woodland Scenics clump foliage, so it gives the tree leaves a wispy appearance that I think looks much more appropriate. The Poly Fiber was attached using superglue, which gives a pretty strong bond.  The only down side is the fiber can whiten when the glue dries on it.  However, a bit of dry brushing with some green during highlighting can help cover that. 

Using my previous experience, I decided to tackle another hill.  I even  remembered to take a few work in progress shots this time:

Cork bark section, with pink foam added around it.  A plastic tree will be included.

Spackle added.  It will turn white after drying .  The tree armature can be removed from its base, making prep work much easier. Resin texture sand to be added later.

After painting and the addition of grass. Sealed with a matte spray varnish.

This small hill is steeper than my last, so I left more exposed rock on the sides.
Still a lot more work to go on this project (additional plants, hills, and trails), but I'm happy how things are moving along.


  1. Excellent work. Those trees really look like if they're taken directly from a photobook about Africa. But the hill with the steep cork flank simply looks amazing. I can imagine a lioness surveying the plaines from up there.

  2. Fantastic results. Where you get the fake plants/bushes from?

  3. The plants are made by a company called Ashland and are sold at Michaels craft stores. They come in mats and you just have to cut off what you need. If it helps to find it, the tag on mine had the following numbers: 275721; 01533-2013-01; barcode 57457 51665