Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Small Scale Woods Terrain Tutorial

As promised, here is a tutorial of how I made the woods terrain pieces for the FPW game. The idea is not original, of course, but I hope it will help gamers who are looking for a step-by-step tutorial.

There are three parts to the terrain piece: the trunks, the canopy, and the foliage.

For canopy I chose to go the easy way and got a pack of Woodland Scenics tree armatures, which are of course expensive but become more affordable if you buy the bulk pack that is not pre-assembled with foliage glued on. It has the advantage of being brown to begin with, and having ready-made bases.

I made the mistake of buying armatures that are too all for mt needs. When cut off at the height I wanted (about an inch) there are not many branches showing. I compensated by gluing the upper part of the armature to the base instead.

For the canopy I used black mounting board. It is important to use black (or at least a dark coloured) mounting board as the coverage with the foliage will not be complete, and any white or light colour, including those on the edge of the mounting board, will show through if not covered.

I cut our various roughly oval or round shapes.

Using hot glue, I then glued the trunks to the bottom of the canopy. I figured I need around eight trunks for a large-sized piece to look convincing. Note the black edge of the card.

Then comes the foliage. Again, I turned to Woodland Scenics. You want the Foliage Clusters and not the looser types of clump foliage. These are denser and can be applied in large pieces, making the next step much easier. I used two colours to give a more natural look.

Using hot glue, I glued patches of the foliage to the top of the canopy piece, making sure that I cover the edges of the piece too.

And here is the finished product, with a base of 10mm Prussian infantry posing next to it.

At this scale the terrain will work with 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, and at a stretch even 20mm.

I hope to post a tutorial on how I made islands for the WW2 Pacific theatre naval project Martin has started. Stay tuned!


Stephen Holmes said...

Excellent tutorial.
And a really effective looking piece.

Once again you show the spirit of the improvising Grognard.
So much more satisfying than the modern "pre packed" trend.

I can't wait for the Pacific islands tutorial, as I have a fair collection of WW2 ships.
Do you have any atolls?

captain arjun said...


Atolls and lagoons are difficult - they feature areas of shallower, and thus a lighter-shade, which I haven't quite figures out how to pull off...

I did manage to model beaches and gradient though.