Friday, June 3, 2016

Desert terrain - more palms and a sand ridge

Following up on the desert theme from my last post, I've been able to get a lot of work done on making terrain in the past few days - better progress than I've ever been able to maintain consistently! I don't know about you, but with me it seems that almost every time I get up a good head of steam and enthusiasm for a new game, era, theatre, etc., life comes at me and quickly interrupts my progress. Or, I get in my own way by fixating on a new shiny before I complete work on --- SQUIRREL! You get the picture.

I finished the oasis piece, with the addition of some small beige tufts from Gamer's Grass.

Photo of Beige 6mm Tufts from Gamer's Grass website.
I'd never used pre-made tufts before, and I must say - I am sold. I will definitely be picking up a wider variety of these to use in all my various terrain-making and figure-basing projects. They look terrific, and they are very easy to apply. The tufts just peel off the backing paper, and they have a slight adhesive already on them. The instructions suggest using a dab of glue for a better bond. I used Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue. Peel, dab and stick. It really is as easy as that, and improves the look of the terrain tremendously, in my opinion.

Here's a group shot of the all the various desert terrain pieces I've completed:

Group shot
This stand of trees was made using MDF for the base layer, and a sheet of craft wood for the top layers. I added an extra, smaller level of wood at the rear to give the piece added relief.

Before adding any texture or paint.
Palm tree stands, textured and flocked.
Here is the completed stand of trees. I am using DUST figures (1:48 scale) to show the size.

Completed and ready for use.
I made another large stand of palm trees to complement this one:

Yes, that's the Desert Fox himself hiding in the trees...
The smallest stand of trees is made from some scrap pieces of thick sheet styrene I had lying about the work area.

Tina and Hyane patrol the palms.
After I got done adding texture to the palm tree stands, I still had quite a bit of my texturing material left. Working quickly so as not to let it dry, I cut a piece of pink insulation foam into shape as a dune/sand ridge. I used a hot wire foam cutter to shape it. I use a cheap one, very similar to this one, that I bought at Michael's.

Pink foam, ready for flocking.
The completed ridge will provide some small amount of cover for advancing troops.

Axis troops led by Red Yana.
Now I need to make some larger dunes or sand formations. That's easy - the hard part will be not getting sidetracked!

Lastly, a friend asked me how well the trees would scale with 15mm figures. I sent him a photo, but thought to share it here as well in case anyone is interested. Here you can see some Flames of War 15mm US infantry troops among the trees. I hope you find it helpful.

'Til next time.
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