When I was setting out my WW1 tank game I realised I was a bit short of bushes and soft over to scatter about! I’d given some of my older scenery bits to my boss, since he’s just started wargaming, but I’d not got round to replacing them, so I thought I’d better get that sorted! This is more a “how an idiot does things” post than a masterclass, since there are a lot of people who do these things much better than me!
I know people use MDF to avoid warping issues with scenery, but I ruled that out – I reckoned I’d struggle to cut it how I wanted it. I tend to go for more irregular shapes for scenery these days and like to chamfer the edges of the bases to make them less obvious, finishes I thought I’d struggle to get with MDF!
So, I went with a new approach. I bought some laser-cut 2mm wood bases on eBay, glued them to mounting board, cut the latter with a knife about 10mm bigger than the wood and then chamfered the edges of the card. So that the scenery would be easy to pick up when finished I stuck a small irregular stone onto four of the bases (and left the other two until later). I then covered the bases in Vallejo white pumice mix to give it texture. Onto the two plain bases I dropped on resin shattered tree stumps – when dry, the paint in the texturing “sticks” the stumps down, and placing the stumps on the wet texturing avoids the need to brush it round the fiddly stumps. I also used a couple of bits of Woodland Scenics “Dead Fall” to represent fallen trees, dropping them onto the wet texture mix as well. The two bases with the stumps were test pieces to see how easy it might be to make a WW1 “shattered wood” at some point in the future!
I sprayed the bases with Humbrol acrylic dark earth and then put a thinned-down coat of Humbrol enamel dark earth over that. The Vallejo texture is quite coarse and needs a second thinned coat to fill any small holes missed by spraying – thinned enamel fills these better, since acrylics tend to “froth” and not cover completely. I painted the stones grey and the tree stumps and trunks in Vallejo German camouflage black-brown, then drybrushed everything in a sand-coloured mix.
Once the paint was dry I stuck on some pieces of Woodland Scenics light green foliage clusters for bushes and the odd grass tuft, finishing off with some static grass glued on with PVA adhesive. A coat of sprayed matt varnish then sealed everything – I’ve long given up with acrylic matt varnish and it’s frustrating habit of drying white, so I use Railmatch enamel varnish!
And that was all there was to it! I’ve included a photo of some of my Lancer Miniatures 20mm Balkan Wars Turkish reservists lurking amongst the bushes to give a better idea of the scale of the scenery!
Now what about that blasted wood!