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Building 28mm Sci-Fi Trees

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The G Dog Fezian writes:


As for the cleanliness of my hands – when you do it right, people wonder if you did anything at all…

The flex paste stays pliant, but it really grips the material. If you feel the need to rebase, you may destroy the tree in the proces of removing the base. Its most certainly *not* 'hard and brittle'.

Revision Log
15 January 2008page first published

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The G Dog Fezian writes:

Using Stuff from Your Local Arts & Crafts Store


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian's recent article on using DAS as a basing material inspired me to jot down how I craft my oversized 28mm sci-fi/fantasy trees.

I discovered a need for "big honking trees" when I picked up Mongoose Publishing's Starship Troopers. Terrain was measured in inches based on height. Most of my existing terrain was a suitable obstacle to foot infantry, but not to the Arachnids or the jump-jet-equipped Mobile Infantry. I needed bigger terrain!

At the same time, I needed trees that would fit an alien landscape. Sure we may be fighting on a human colony, but an alien world should look alien. What better way than with trees that don't quite resemble the trees of Earth.

Lastly, these trees needed to be affordable. I could purchase amazing trees from the model railroad shop, but the price tag would break my budget.

The inspiration for the solution came from fellow TMP'er Detailed Casting Products. He'd posted pictures of his amazing terrain work on the Mongoose Publishing forum. Here was alien vegetation suitable for the game table. Fine-looking shrubs and trees with which to clutter the table. The answer lies at the local craft store - in this case, Michaels. Michaels sells what can best be called 'silk flowers'. I call 'em fake plants. There's a wide variety of sizes and plant types, allowing you to create many different trees for the tabletop.

Raw Material

Time to round up the material for this tree. Perusing the shelves at the local store, I found a suitable fake plant. Though the stem was a bit long for my purpose, it would work fine.

Fake plant

I needed basing material. I turned to my trusty Evergreen styrene plasticard, and cut out a suitably large piece to serve as a stable base for the tree. You want it large enough to stabilize the tree, but not so large as to dominate the table.

In addition, I'd need an adhesive (turning again to the 'old reliable' Flex Paste), earth-tone paints and flocking material (both at hand in my existing hobby stores).

Flex Paste


The following tools are used in this project:

  • hobby knife/box cutting razor
  • scissors
  • wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers
  • file