Friday, February 8, 2013


As part of the preparation for the Frontal Assault Tournment in Huntsville, Alabama on 16 Feb 13, I had to make 24 feet of treelines. Not to self...when designing tables be aware of what you are signing up for if you have to buy/make terrain.

To steal a line from Oddball from Kelly's Heroes as he was trying ot get some bridging support....."24 feet of treeline...I can get that anywhere."

Well, reality hit me.  24 feet of to do this.

Well, to give a little flexibility it would be nice to have 6 inch long sections. 

Now I have to build at least 48 sections to meet the requirement.  GULP!!!!

First it would be nice to know what treelines actually look like.  In Europe, you find these along many roads and rivers:

Ok, so we have tall skinny trees in a line.  Having a stick with clump foilage stuck to it and trimmed to shape  would work.  Now I am cheap...what is about the cheapest stick you can find?

Q-tips is what I came up with...and I only needed part of a $3 box!  I used the cardboard stick ones, not the plastic ones.  I found the plastic ones too flimsy.  you would be surprised at how strong theses paper sticks are.  Just cut the ends with cotton off of both ends and keep the middle piece.  Peel off as much of the cotton that might still be on the stick as you can.

Now we need a base for the trees to sit.  I had some Basswood and Birch boards laying around from another project. I then cut them into 6 in x 1 in lengths.  I ended up with 52 bases.  Always good to have a few extra.  The birch wood is thinner and looks better IMHO.

Next, I used hot glue to affix the sticks to the bases.  4 sticks per base, evenly spaced gives a nice impression of the treelines in the picture above. The little mound of glue at the bottom might look a little wierd right now, but wait till it gets painted.

Next step is to begin to landscape the base.  You could use pumice, but that is too expensive.  Sand or Woodland Scenics Ballast is a good solution.  Glue the sand/ballast down and once dry paint the base and trees a good dark brown.

Next hi-light the dirt with a lighter brown. Finally add the flock and build up the grassy areas. 

Get your wife to help if you can...

Next is to turn those sticks into trees.  This is simple...glue clump foilage to the sticks and once dry trim to ge the tall skinny tree look.  I used hot glue to stick the big pieces and then foam safe super glue for smaller pieces.

Add a few bushes inbetween the trees for flavor.

The last step is to seal the clump foilage with Matte medium...or a cheaper alternative of watered down Elmer's Glue (PVA Glue).  I have heard that Elmer's will yellow over time (several years maybe), so keep that in mind.  If you only plan on these lasting a few years, then Elmer's is a cost savings alternative.

The end result  26 feet of treeline!!!!

So what did it cost for 26 feet of Treeline:

Birch board (24"x12"x1/8"):  $7
Basswood (36"x3"x1/8"): $3
Foam Safe Super Glue:  $12
Elmers Glue:  $3
Clump Foilage (5 bags)  $9 ea
Woodland Scenics Ballast Grey Fine:  $13
Hot glue sticks:  $10
Craft Paint:  $6
Q-tips:  $3
Total: $102

If I used Matte Medium the total would be $109

Woodland Scenic Matte Medium 16 oz (Prepared):  $4.98 (would have needed 2-3

I didnt use up all the Ballast, Super glue, hot glue sticks, or paint.  Only the ballast would last through 1, maybe 2 more, sets fo 26 feet of treeline.

And it took roughly a 2 weeks to make everything if you include the drying time of teh matte medium/Elmer's glue.  A worthwhile investment for some cool terrain to add to teh table.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I feel your pain.

    I wanted to field a fortified grenadier company for a late-war Flames of War league and decided to build my own trenches. A dozen sections of trench, how hard could it be? What I built ended up looking fantastic, but it was such a long and painful process that I never fielded one.

    Now I've got five spools of GF9 barbed wire waiting to get used to finish off my barbed wire obstacles...

    Your trees ended up looking great. Rest assured that now that you have them, you'll use them often.