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"Trees 2D or 3D" Topic

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UshCha22 Dec 2019 9:54 a.m. PST

Regrettably my club has had to shut down 1 of the 2 nights we played due to lack of folk.

So if I want to play twice a week I need more terrain. Trees are a pain they take up a lot of space, particularly 1/72 scale even if on the small side. One option is just to do a lot of trees in 2D. I can laser cut them no problem. Getting a good design may be difficult as I am great at Engineering but poor at art work.

The gain being that you can get far more 2D trees in a storage box than 3D so its a few vs many issue.

Many years ago I did Cruciform trees. Very low space take-up and again lots instead of a few.
Opinions ideas even pictures welcome.

Remember I don't go in for excessive art its not my thing. Detailed painting is wasted on me.

Bigby Wolf22 Dec 2019 10:21 a.m. PST


Sorry, but .. really 3D

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2019 10:36 a.m. PST

Do what works for you. If you need a bunch of trees, go the 2d route. Just remember that right after Christmas many of the hobby stores and discount stores will have their Christmas village trees on discount. One year I bought 50+ trees for less than $50 USD at the Dollar Store.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2019 11:32 a.m. PST

Since storage is the issue, perhaps you could find or make trees that can be pressed or twisted or folded to pack flat or be otherwise compressed in some way. Deciduous branches could be bendable wire wrapped on a stiff trunk. Bend em out, bend em back in. Conifers could perhaps even be simple rolled cones of a bristle-surfaced fabrics or something similar.
Or you could laser cut a cruciform trunk (or even a hexi-cruciform trunk), and then drape lichen or florist's moss on the form to give it a "leafy" canpoy. Shake the lichen/moss back in the package and disassemble trunks for storage.

JimDuncanUK22 Dec 2019 2:14 p.m. PST

Have a look here:



Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2019 4:54 p.m. PST

I'm of the 3-D faction as well.

Don't know how many you need/want, but you can get a lot of trees in a box (of various sizes, obviously).

For woods/forests, some space them out on a piece of fabric, and declare the whole area to have trees. Makes moving through them easier with minis, and you need fewer trees that way too.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Dec 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

Alternatively, cut out a canopy and cover it in clump foliage. Put penny pails around the edge as "trunks" and you have a whole clump of trees in minutes.

UshCha23 Dec 2019 6:52 a.m. PST

JimDuncan, Thats a good one simple and just flock to give it a reasonable appearance amd a separate simple D print Base. Perfect stacking.

Extra Crispy I have seen this done at 1/300 but at 1/72 it would not really work the "Trunks" would be too high I think.

Sgt Slag23 Dec 2019 8:03 a.m. PST

Physical trees block LOS, as well as cluttering up the tabletop, making it difficult to move mini's through a wooded copse, regardless of whether the rules state it is possible… Use fabric shapes to demark the forest limits, with only a few 3D trees sitting atop the cloth swatches.

I bought a large batch of 3D trees, online, from a cake supply company, 20 years back, around $80 USD worth (minimal order requirement) -- more than I could use, or even justify! I pooled with my mini's gaming friends, prior, to make certain they would buy bunches of trees off of me, when they came in. I based most of mine, but I still have a baggie full of un-mounted trees -- still ended up with too many.

I picked out some forest type prints, at the local fabric store, getting a 1/4-yard cut. I then used my wife's serger sewing machine, to cut the fabric into irregular oval shapes, with a finished edge (won't unravel). I place the ovals, as needed, on top of my table, to show the limits of the wooded areas. I often stack several ovals on top of one another's edges, to make larger, more irregular, wooded areas. I follow this by putting a few trees on top of the fabric, to drive home the point that these are wooded areas. It works superbly, for us. I do the same for swamp areas, placing a few "swamp" plant tufts, based, on top of the swamp ovals.

Here is a game photo from an Army Men game. For that game, we only used a couple of token trees. There are swamp plant tufts, along the shoreline, where the Green Team landed, purely for aesthetic purposes, but these are normally set on top of some swamp-type cloth ovals, as well.

link Swamp example.

Of course this is a compromise between visual appeal, and playability. It works well enough for us, in multiple scales, and genres, from 6mm historical, 28mm fantasy, to 54mm Army Men games. Up to you and your players to decide. Using a few, token trees, resolves the storage issue. The fabric ovals take up little room, and they have minimal weight. Cheers!

Andy ONeill24 Dec 2019 9:28 a.m. PST

I recommend "bottle brush" trees smaller than to scale. You can throw a load in a plastic bag.
Christmas tree style sisal trees are pretty cheap and will shortly be available discounted.

Friend of mine made "bushes" from green foam.

Hedges from green scourer.

Like sgt slag i use felt to denote the outline of forests and a few trees sat on top that can be moved around.

I make buildings from the extruded polystyrene from under pizzas. Card roof. This is very lightweight so you can put a bunch in a cardboard box. Alternatively the thinnest foam board from an art shop.
Make these slightly under scale.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2019 11:59 a.m. PST

Extruded polystyrene from under pizzas???

Hmmmm, never seen it sold like that. Pizza company?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2019 12:27 p.m. PST

Well, if you're set on 2D and you're capable of designing it, I'd say a cruciform conifer is your best bet. You'll have to assemble and disassemble, but they'l pack flat, and the broad conifer base is a lot more stable than anything you can do with deciduous without adding a base, which defeats the purpose.

UshCha24 Dec 2019 4:06 p.m. PST

I thought about the base. One possibility for 2D is a 3D socket base possibly with a magnet system to retainissu the "tree" in the socket. This improves storage density and allows potentially for a few bases to have an angle ajustment so they can stand on an inclined plane.

Fish26 Dec 2019 1:25 p.m. PST

Why are we even discussing the use of 2D trees…?

UshCha26 Dec 2019 9:07 p.m. PST

Lonkka1Actual, Why would you not. The key is to get the oprtium solution. I would use 2D figures If you could get them as casts or laser cut. Oh wait I do, prone figures slightly raised for ease of painting. I play the obsession with painting and over artistic terrain is a part of the hobby that has no appeal to me. 2D tress offer larger numbers with less storage space. Whats not to like?

Andy ONeill27 Dec 2019 4:05 a.m. PST

I'm not sure what proportion of supermarket pizzas still have polystyrene bases. I eat way less nowadays. At one time, you bought a marks and spencers or sainsburys pizza, it came in a box. The pizza inside was shrink wrapped to a disc of extruded polystyrene about 4mil thick under it.
I collected quite a few.

jefritrout27 Dec 2019 8:17 a.m. PST

TreeGirl would recommend 3D trees. We can store a whole host of trees in a rather small space.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2019 7:56 p.m. PST


Reading over the comments and your responses, it would seem that ease of storage is more important than appearances and certainly 'line of sight' are issues. Why have trees at all? All you need are felt areas to represent woods…more versatile and that stores even easier than 2D trees.

If it is a matter of expense, then 3D trees are no more expense to make than 2D trees and depending on the 2D trees, easier.

UshCha03 Jan 2020 2:29 a.m. PST

Mc Laddie, you are correct in that apperances are secondary, they always will be for me in wargaming.

We always mark the ground with a mat for trees (angel hair. However certainly, my brain works in 3D so somehow something treelike sticking up about the right height makes is easiser to rationalise lines of sight etc. Thats why we use models not just flat card, though flat figures, or nearly so, make up much of my infantry. Again its's why we use fold flat buildings and hills(hills only for 1/172). I provides for ease of recognition sight lines and keeps storage to an acceptable mimimum.

Unfortunatly Hexon II for 1/144 to us has no equalfor hills but is less than compact so storage space is a problem.

However the 3D printer lets me make boxes that store much of there parahanalia, of the game, swamp markers, dug in, barbed wire, markers etc in boxes that double as Hexon II terrain tiles. Perhaps even 2D trees could fit in a bigger box.

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