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Other Stuff => Workbench => Tutorials => Topic started by: Dr Mathias on May 09, 2012, 06:27:57 PM

Title: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 09, 2012, 06:27:57 PM
(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120165704.jpeg)

I've received some inquiries into my methods for making trees, bamboo, grass, etc. so I thought I'd begin a tutorial thread.


Contents, linked:
Jungle Trees
Orchids (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=41545.msg485435#msg485435)
Bamboo (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=41545.msg595283#msg595283)
Flowering Trees (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=41545.msg625089#msg625089)
Gnarly Old Trees (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=41545.msg649872#msg649872)
Arthur Rackham Trees (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=41545.msg1316607#msg1316607)
Alien Forest (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=41545.msg1531805#msg1531805)

 
Jungle Trees

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170725-43353236.jpeg)

I wanted to produce some massive rainforest trees for my dinosaur hunting games. I did some research and settled on trees that have 'buttress roots' around the base- wide, stabilizing structures on a mostly straight trunk.

I started with a hardboard (Masonite) base, a plastic PVC pipe cut to length, and the scrap remnants from the bases for the buttresses. These were spaced around the trunk semi-randomly. I needed extras which I made out of foam core (the trees have more than four buttress roots). I used two-part epoxy to glue them although a high temp hot glue would probably work as well and be easier.

After drying, I coated the trees with a liberal amount of glue and applied toilet tissue for a bark-like texture. One can also use paper towels but that is less pliable and the texture can appear more 'mechanical'. You can push the tissue around, add to it, whatever you want to build the shape and texture you want. 

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170151-43346233.jpeg)

Adding a bit to the base to provide a smooth transition to the forest floor.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170151-433491642.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170151-433502331.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170725-433542380.jpeg)

Glue sand to the base. I use PVA (Elmers for this, now I use Gorilla) for gluing sand etc.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170151-433511274.jpeg)

I attached a few strands of yarn to the sides to represent climbing vines, and gave the whole tree a base coat of dark brown. I use craft paint for this type of stuff.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170151-43352308.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170725-433552121.jpeg)

Drybush with craft paint. I used Ceramcoat 'Toffee Brown' judging from the bottle in the picture. It's my go-to for brown highlight on almost anything terrain related including the bases on my miniatures.
I use a 50/50 mix of dark green and white glue for moss effect. Dab it on sporadically, where moss likes to grow, and sprinkle on some fine flocking. The flock I use is the sort of material used by model train enthusiasts. I gave the climbing vine a quick brush of mid/light green.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170725-433562237.jpeg)

Static grass and foliage.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170824-433581924.jpeg)

Last but not least I added a little cap on the pipe- a cut out cross section of a tree.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120170824-433591662.jpeg)


Next up: The Canopy

Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Captain Blood on May 09, 2012, 06:35:03 PM
That is a great header, never mind the very smart modelling skills on offer!  :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 09, 2012, 06:47:14 PM
Jungle Tree Tops

Here is my method for the removable tops of my jungle trees. I don't think I would go this route again, although when massed on the table they look pretty nice.

I was at a state fair and saw a kid's 4-H project, a ghost made from cheesecloth. It was rigid and seemed like the method would work for me. Cheesecloth is a very loose, thin, light fabric acquired inexpensively at a fabric or sewing store.

I started by making some forms that I could drape wet cheesecloth on while it dried to shape. I used foam balls cut up and hot glued to paint cans.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171609-433601993.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171609-43361471.jpeg)

Next step was to drape glue-soaked cheesecloth over the forms. I hoped it would provide a dense, drooping, moist-looking canopy. You can see some little strings and fibers I threw on just for the heck of it to try to break up the profile a bit. Let them dry. As I recall I had some problems with sticking to the balls. A intermediary layer of wax paper might help here.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171609-43362566.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171609-433631055.jpeg)

I hot glued a cardboard tube into the hardened canopy. It is cut just short of being visible from the side when on the tree.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171610-433641229.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171721-43366309.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171721-433651321.jpeg)

To paint the canopy I sprayed them really heavily with red-brown primer and green spray paint, and poured flocking/foliage over them multiple times while they were wet. This is the least fun part and I'm sure there are better methods than mine.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171721-43367563.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171721-433682483.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171828-43370147.jpeg)

Some of the treetops have an odd fabric draped over the cheesecloth as an experiment. It was kind of web-like and green. I don't think it made much difference.

As you can see I did the trunks and canopy at the same time. As a stage dried on the trunks I moved on to the foliage. Actually, I had a third project going on as well, which I shall not yet reveal :)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171721-43369408.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171828-433711755.jpeg)

I hot glued some plastic viney pod things to the underside of the canopy. I acquired these at Hobby Lobby.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171828-43372632.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171829-43373136.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171829-433742203.jpeg)

Finished trees getting a really heavy spray coat of Plasti-Dip clear to seal everything on. Be warned this stuff imparts a slightly satin plastic feel to things, but is very tough. I use it on almost all my terrain for hardiness.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120171904.jpeg)

http://www.plastidip.com/home_solutions/Plasti_Dip

That's about it for jungle trees. Next up, orchids in pots.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dewbakuk on May 09, 2012, 06:48:02 PM
Very nice. A similar process to how I do my large jungle trees, just smaller. Hadn't actually thought of scaling it down for other trees, looks good.

Edit: Ooh, I like the canopies, clever idea that. I'd prefer it to be a little more broken up than solid but a great start, just needs a little experimentation.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 09, 2012, 06:54:35 PM
I'd prefer it to be a little more broken up than solid but a great start, just needs a little experimentation.

Agreed. Perhaps I'll make new tops for them someday, although I need to tackle a few other tree species first :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 09, 2012, 07:20:16 PM
Orchids

Here's my method for orchids in pots, which I made for my Round 9 LPL entry. I will try to make some in the near future in their natural environment.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120172656-433751788.jpeg)

I used a short piece of electrical wire for the stems. I stripped off the insulation and twisted the thin inner copper wires, and unraveled them partway to make flowers with two or more offshoots. I hot glued the stem into a wooden bead, and sculpted leaves with greenstuff. Apparently Dr. Mathias prefers Phalaenopsis varietals... 

Then I carefully glued on three pieces of glitter for petals, in a triangular shape.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120172657-433771259.jpeg)

Finally, a small dab of GW's new 'Liquid Greenstuff' in the lower part for the reproductive bits of the flower.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120172657-43378584.jpeg)

Here's a horrible photo of the beads attached to brush ends with sticky poster tack so I could handle them easily and rotate them. This is how I quickly painted on the not-so-great woven texture to the pots. I was going to make them ceramic, but Mr. Laphroaig objected to the weight and his somewhat overbearing wife Lorna was forced to relent on this rare occasion.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120172657-433792172.jpeg)

Flowers painted as anything else. Orchids have five petals and I only glued on three, so I painted the left and right to look like two each.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120172657-433801898.jpeg)


Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Mason on May 09, 2012, 07:27:36 PM
 :o :o :o

Bloody great tutorials, Dr!
Superb!

Will be stealing the canopy idea, with small modifications, like adding some strings etc.

Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on May 09, 2012, 07:32:41 PM
This is an absolutely great tutorial, Mathias!
Especially when I was thinking on how I should do my large Redwood trees :) Had some thoughts, but your valuable tutorial has really pushed me in the right direction :)
So thank you!

I had to read one phrase twice before I got it the right way lol
Quote
I coated the trees with a liberal amount of glue and used toilet tissue

Cheers!
S
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Steve F on May 09, 2012, 07:43:11 PM

After drying, I coated the trees with a liberal amount of glue and used toilet tissue for a bark-like texture.


You coated them with used toilet tissue?  That's taking recycling a bit too far!

Seriously, this a a great tutorial - thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: DoctorPete on May 09, 2012, 07:56:16 PM
Great ideas.  :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 09, 2012, 08:01:45 PM
You coated them with used toilet tissue?  That's taking recycling a bit too far!

Thank you my fellows! Word order, and more importantly, word choice, makes all the difference. I shall modify the original text  ;)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Ray Rivers on May 09, 2012, 08:10:12 PM
 :-*

Wow! I luv the way you made those tree trunks... especially the roots.

Nice tutorial, I'll have to give it try.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Wirelizard on May 09, 2012, 08:18:36 PM
Those look great, I'll have to file this away for future reference as a couple of big jungle trees have been on the agenda for my jungle terrain for a couple of years now without me actually getting anything built!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: OSHIROmodels on May 09, 2012, 08:19:11 PM
Well, that's rather good  :-* :-*

Good idea and execution  8)

cheers

James
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Remington on May 09, 2012, 09:36:48 PM
Sorry... Glitter??? Mental, Dr. M! But genius as well. I never thought that glitter pieces are that big.

Beautiful work. I seriously adore the orchids.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: MJ on May 10, 2012, 01:37:05 AM
Excellant tutorial.  :) What kind of glitter did you use for the petals?  All the glitter I've ever seen is really tiny.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: fluffy05 on May 10, 2012, 01:43:48 AM
Fantastic tutorial and brilliantly executed!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 10, 2012, 02:08:08 AM
What kind of glitter did you use for the petals?  All the glitter I've ever seen is really tiny.
Nice profile pic MJ, I'm sure it is a good likeness :)

The flakes are indeed pretty small, and crazily enough you can get it even smaller than usual if you want to. The immensity and variety in the 'world of glitter' is absolutely mind-boggling. I had some left over from the Japanese cherry tree project I did for an LPL entry. I'll take a pic of what not to use when I make a tutorial for that. In the meantime here's what I ended up using:

http://www.kitkraft.biz/product.php?productid=4451&cat=&page=1

Although glossy, it is opaque and non-iridescent- which is more important for certain things.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Marine0846 on May 10, 2012, 02:54:47 AM
Love your trees.
The next time I make some trees, will try your way.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: aggro84 on May 10, 2012, 04:34:11 AM
Thank you for sharing with us your fabulous tutorials.  :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Papa Spanky on May 10, 2012, 04:55:57 AM
You coated them with used toilet tissue?  That's taking recycling a bit too far!

Seriously, this a a great tutorial - thanks for sharing.

I have to wonder about that Toffee Brown now.

actually I use that color quite a bit myself in my terrain. Thanks for sharing the inspiring pics, I'm currently expirimenting with some trees, this will definantly help.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Agis on May 10, 2012, 06:06:44 AM
I can only second (or third, fourth...) the thankful comments above.
Thanks for this great phototutorial!!! :o 8)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Frank on May 10, 2012, 07:15:28 AM
What a wonderful tutorial! Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: tnjrp on May 10, 2012, 07:24:44 AM
Bookmarking in case there'll be further "episodes".
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Braxandur on May 10, 2012, 08:26:08 AM
 :-*

This will be of a great help for the Jungle table that I still want to make :)
Also any advice on how to convince the missus that the extra space that the scenery is a necessary good?
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: YIU on May 10, 2012, 08:35:00 AM
Your trees are amazing. I wanted to make some large trees too but never found a suitable technique. Your tutorial is really helpful and your entry was one of my favourites.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: verd on May 10, 2012, 08:36:04 AM
Awesome sir!  :o  Great inspiration.

Thanks for share.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: valleyboy on May 10, 2012, 09:34:04 AM
Astonishing, your attention to detail is mind boggling :o
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Doomhippie on May 10, 2012, 02:03:42 PM
Thanks for putting up this tutorial. I'm rellay impressed (both by the simplicity and effectiveness) with your method and will hopefully get around trying to build some trees myself. Really cool!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: The Dozing Dragon on May 10, 2012, 02:42:41 PM
Exceptional. Great modelling and great PJs all round.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Frigo97 on May 10, 2012, 03:08:44 PM
 :-* I'm without words  :-X ...
I'm a beginner, and I think I'll follow your tutorial for my game environment.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Damas on May 10, 2012, 03:21:51 PM
I am so very impressed!  :-* :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: manfred on May 10, 2012, 03:41:12 PM
Outstanding.  Just excellent work.  Excuse me now, I have to go steal the toilet paper from the bathroom.  I just know what my wife is going to say about that. Thank you for sharing!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: dijit on May 14, 2012, 08:03:30 PM
Cracking work, and fantastic tutorials.
Duncan
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Hawkeye on May 14, 2012, 10:32:13 PM
Brilliant, for lots of reasons, but one of them is that it reminds me that sometimes the best method is the one that seems like it's going to be a real pain to do - for example, three individual pieces of glitter for the flowers of the orchid. It would never occur to me that it's possible to be so careful and specific when building terrain, but of course it is, and the results speak for themselves. Wonderful, really wonderful. But now I'm curious about what the third "project" is that you had on the go between making the tree trunks and the canopies! If it's the orchids, then the mystery is solved, of course....
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Rocktroll on May 15, 2012, 02:41:01 AM
Great tutorial, cant wait to give your trees a shot.

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to make this tutorial!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Antaak on May 16, 2012, 10:56:53 AM
Woa! Exellents tutorials. especially for the orchids and the trunks of the trees.
I think the top of the canopy may be perfectible with adding more irregularity.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Antaak on May 18, 2012, 10:15:24 PM
And a plant made by myself in tribute to your tutorial. But with a difference, I have sculpted the flowers (I had no "glitter").

(http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/11/95/22/22/fumble10.jpg)

(http://i45.servimg.com/u/f45/11/95/22/22/fleur_12.jpg)

Thank you for sharing with us.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 18, 2012, 11:03:05 PM
And a plant made by myself in tribute to your tutorial. But with a difference, I have sculpted the flowers (I had no "glitter").

Wow, beautifully done! I should have sculpted them, yours looks fantastic.

Stunning painting on that figure as well, who is the manufacturer?
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Antaak on May 19, 2012, 05:19:01 AM
Thanks. The miniature is Daktari from Corvus Belli, for Infinity, Faction Nomads.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: leonmallett on May 19, 2012, 06:58:02 AM
Love the jungle trees tutorial - very inspiring and making me very tempted to follow suit. Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Hammers on May 24, 2012, 07:50:54 AM
That's a very good looking and efficient way to make boles for jungle trees. Bravo.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Ssendam on May 24, 2012, 07:57:22 AM
Great post ... and especially well timed as I am about to do a scenic/encounter marker of a dead adventurer slumped against a jungle tree.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Clearco on May 24, 2012, 12:30:29 PM
íThat┤s great! Thanks for the tutorial!! I have to try these trees  :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Massively Pic Heavy
Post by: Dr Mathias on February 19, 2013, 04:18:12 AM
Now for the long, long overdue...

Bamboo Tutorial

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173452-43381427.jpeg)

This isn't as time consuming as it looks, although there are a lot of steps and it requires some pretty specific things that might not be easily acquired depending on where you live. If you know of an attractive, inexpensive, quick alternative to this process- please don't tell me :)

The most specific thing is the foliage.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173452-433821969.jpeg)

I acquired this stuff at Hobby Lobby, the large USA hobby and craft chain. This foliage doesn't have any helpful information on it, other than a label which reads 'Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. $2.99' on one side, 'Made in China 596668' on the other. I'm not sure what type of plant it's supposed to be. Hobby Lobby sells a few different bunch sizes- these little ones have about 40 fronds held in place with a plug end and are easily pulled off.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173452-43384130.jpeg)

Single frond:

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173452-433831836.jpeg)

You'll also need some heat shrink tube (used in electrical applications as far as I know). Here's what I have:

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173906-433851498.jpeg)

And a heat gun. I tried a hair dryer... didn't work, and fried my fingers. The heat gun will do each stalk in two seconds on low.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173907-433862094.jpeg)

Step 1: Cut shrink tube into 8 to 10 inch lengths.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173907-433871650.jpeg)

Step 2: Slide the tubes onto some 18 gauge floral wire. Bend the end into a hook. Green wire will not show as much as bare metal wire if the paint chips or scrapes off the tubing.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120173907-433882030.jpeg)

Step 3: Spray paint the tubes with Krylon Fusion spray paint. I used a buff/tan color. I hung the wires by the hooks on a clothesline so they were easy to spray. Supposedly the Fusion line of paint bonds with plastic better than typical spray paint. I really can't say if it's better than primer or straight acrylic paint, but I had some so I used it :)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174019-43390895.jpeg)

Step 4: While your tubes are drying, cut down the fronds. For our bamboo we'll be looking at them upside-down. You need to snip off the plug end, flush with the closest 'leaves'. Then, using a scissors or scalpel carefully remove the leaves on the opposite end, about 3/8 inch down the length (area circled in red).

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174019-43392920.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174020-433931128.jpeg)

Step 5: Paint your tubes. I used cheap Ceramcoat craft paint. I painted some a green to match the fronds, and a few dull yellow to represent dead bamboo stalks. Here you see them hanging from a makeshift ledge.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174020-433942017.jpeg)

Step 6: Cut the tubes down to a variety of lengths from 3/4 inch to 2 1/2 inches. If you keep them somewhat regular it's easier to match wires. Cut the wires down so that one end is flush with the tube end, the other should protrude about 1/4 inch. You'll use that protruding wire to hold and mount the bamboo stalk onto whatever you decide to glue it into. If you decide to heat shrink the tube you will need to make a little shield out of stiff cardboard- that's the white rectangular piece with the slit in it. The heat from the heatgun will melt the soft plastic of the foliage very quickly and it needs to be protected.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174127-433952448.jpeg)

Step 7: At this point I superglued my thumb and two fingers together, setting me back half an hour while my wife went out to buy some pure acetone. Don't put glue into the tube!!! The 'super thin Insta-set' glue I used wicked down the tube, between my fingers, all the way down to the knuckle.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174127-433962272.jpeg)

Put a small dab onto the end of the frond that you trimmed (the section circled in red earlier), then put it into the tube with a wire- the wire and frond end should overlap. When the tube is heated it will shrink and will seal the frond into the tube very securely. There will be a bulge there but it doesn't stand out horribly in my opinion- it's more important to me that my terrain be bulletproof and stand up to hardcore handling.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174127-43397938.jpeg)

Step 8: Use the shield you cut. Slip the frond and stalk into the slit, being careful to keep the soft plastic of the foliage on one side, the tube as close as you can get it on the other. Then, heat the tube with the heat gun. You could maybe skip that step, but it reduces the diameter of the tube by half, secures the frond, and looks much better. It takes a very short time to shrink the tubing.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174127-43399367.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174127-433981613.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174249-434001965.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174249-43401847.jpeg)

Step 9: Paint a lighter version of the base tone where you want to create the characteristic segments that bamboo has. Paint a thinner dark line using a dark brown for the segment. This is where these things start to look good.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175317.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174249-43402706.jpeg)

Step 10: Mount them. In this case, I had some leftover lanterns I made from Sculpy, glued to a MDF/hardboard base. I drilled some holes to match the diameter of the wire and glued them in with two-part epoxy.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174250-43403661.jpeg)

Base as desired. I used static grass and some flocking to represent moss. Viola!

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120174250-43404802.jpeg)

I hope this tutorial is informative, and sorry for the delay. Feel free to ask questions!



Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: magokiron on February 19, 2013, 06:46:42 AM
Dr Mathias you're more than a GENIOUS!

Thanks for sharing your creativity and ingenuity with us lesser mortals.

I'll try some of your techniques.

Thanks again and best wishes.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: pocoloco on February 19, 2013, 06:53:40 AM
Many thanks for sharing a great tutorial! The end result is superb.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: fluffy05 on February 19, 2013, 07:04:30 AM
I normally hate to laugh at anothers misfortune but your Step 7 from the Making Babmoo Tutorial made me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my chair  lol

Probably because I have had similar experiences with Super GLue  :?

Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: Mjolnir on February 19, 2013, 07:21:34 AM
I'am so very impressed :-*
Fantastic tutorials
Thank you for sharing!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: Blackwolf on February 19, 2013, 07:55:13 AM
Lovely stuff Doc.! :-* Been doing some trees myself ;)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on February 19, 2013, 10:23:53 AM
He's back!

Lovely, Matt :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: WuZhuiQiu on February 19, 2013, 01:05:17 PM
Thanks, and thanks for the heads-up! How did you model the stone lanterns?
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on February 19, 2013, 02:42:46 PM
I normally hate to laugh at anothers misfortune but your Step 7 from the Making Babmoo Tutorial made me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my chair  lol
It got a lot of laughs, I posted it on my Facebook as well :)
I wasn't too bothered by it, I was smiling most of the time myself.

Thanks, and thanks for the heads-up! How did you model the stone lanterns?

The lanterns are made from Sculpey polymer clay. I made all the basic shapes (base, lantern, cap, and finial) and gently pressed them with a bit of broken concrete to give them an eroded texture. After they were baked I drilled the holes. They're serviceable and dirt cheap but very soft edged and asymmetrical. I'd like to redo them some day, or buy them from a professional.

Thanks for the comments everyone! Next up: Cherry Tree Tutorial (arriving 2015).
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: Admiral Benbow on March 01, 2013, 04:28:54 PM
Superb tutorials! I'll try some for future projects.
 :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: joekano on March 01, 2013, 04:45:27 PM
I've been looking for ideas on how to model bamboo - thanks for the excellent intructions!

Chris
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Bamboo Tutorial Added 2/18/13
Post by: Hammers on March 04, 2013, 09:41:00 AM
These are fantastic, Dr Mathias.
I'll move the thread to How to.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on April 23, 2013, 04:53:18 AM
"How did you make the cherry trees?" is probably the terrain-related question I am most frequently asked. At long last, I started a tree from the beginning so I could document it for you. I have to admit I am reluctant to give up some of these secrets, but...

Flowering Tree Tutorial

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175811-434051780.jpeg)

There are a lot of steps, however it produces an end result I am happy with. This isn't as time consuming as I remembered from my first time around. I think most of my efforts were spent discovering the optimum petal effect, and this time I knew what to do right away. Profit from my errors!

1. Create a basic tree. In this case, I used the twisted floral wire method. I used a Masonite/hardboard base, twisted some wires together, and hotglued the tree form to the base.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175811-434071029.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175811-434082270.jpeg)

Not very pretty, this was a half-assed job. The branches should have been splayed apart a little more realistically so that they transitioned more fluidly to the small branches and twigs. It's very important to actually look at the type of tree you want to make. They all have their peculiarities of proportion.

2. Paint the trunk and branches with clear acrylic polymer medium or thinned white glue. Cover the trunk and branches with bathroom toilet tissue, and apply another layer of glue or medium. I sprinkled a light dusting of sawdust while it was still wet because I happened to have some laying nearby.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175811-434091475.jpeg)

3. Add basing materials. I made a bunch of rounded stone forms out of Sculpy polymer clay. I used a little piece of broken concrete to assist with the shaping of the rounded forms, which helps to give it a pock marked weathered texture. I like using Sculpey stones because I can easily cut them in half after baking them, which gives them a nice flat bottom for gluing. Follow that with a filler. I use a drywall spackle, normally used for filling cracks in walls.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175811-434101722.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175941-434112174.jpeg)

4. Here's my big secret for foliage. Please pretend, for my sake, that I'm the first person to have come up with this.

Buy a 'cut it yourself' furnace filter that has a random organic look. I've seen them in blue and green- go for the green, for obvious reasons. I've used blue and it works fine, it just needs more careful paint coverage. I've also seen filters that look 'fuzzy'... avoid those.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175941-43412756.jpeg)

It should look like this:
(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175941-43413367.jpeg)

5. Cut off a section of the filter, and using a pair of scissors and your hands, tear and tease the fibers apart. I use a pair of pinking scissors to trim the bunches up so that the cuts have a more irregular and natural edge. I think it looks better to use multiple pieces instead of one layer. This stuff makes awesome thorn branch fences/zaribas/bomas for those of you that game Africa.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175941-434141789.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120175942-434151684.jpeg)

Careful observers will see that I decided to add a Buddha head to the base. No reason to make another tree like the others I have...

6. Use hot glue to affix the foliage to the tree trunk.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180049-43416658.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180049-43417833.jpeg)

7. Spray the tree from below with a reddish or brown spray paint. I used a rust color. Spray from the top with  a mid green. If you have some fine flock, sprinkle a little on while the paint is wet, but don't overdo it. When the flowers are in full bloom the little green buds are not visible much, at least on the tree I have in my yard.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180049-434181640.jpeg)

8. At this point I thought it would be wise to finish off the base. I glued fine sand on, then painted everything. Be sure to take a good look at trees... they're not brown. I use a three tone method on terrain... base, light drybrush, lighter drybrush. Static grass and flock for moss. Sorry for the crappy photos  ::)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180049-434191799.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180049-434201074.jpeg)

Petals

Here's where things get a little weird. You will be spray painting glitter.

Make sure you get the right kind! Look for a glitter that isn't iridescent. It will all be glossy, that's okay... but if it is pearly or translucent you will have a princessy tree that glimmers and sparkles no matter how many times you spray it. I found a white opaque glitter from Kitkraft that ended up working well. Prepare to be astounded by the sheer diversity in the types of glitter out there... its mind-boggling. 

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180204-434241976.jpeg)

I used 'fine' white. There's even smaller sized glitter flakes. I'll try that for a different type of tree or shrub sometime.

1. Scatter the glitter evenly over a smooth surface that you don't mind painting. I used a piece of foam core. Be warned, you will probably end up with glitter in every room of your house.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180305-43426551.jpeg)

2. Spray the glitter lightly with a pink satin color. If you go too heavy they will be hard to scrape up. The first time I did this I was using iridescent glitter that was pink and white mix, and I had to spray it several times with white primer to kill the sparkle. Trust me, start with white opaque.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180204-43425981.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180305-434271418.jpeg)

3. Scrape the glitter up, slowly, carefully, or they will scatter to the four winds.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180305-4342842.jpeg)

If you want them to be more pink, spread them again and spray a second time.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180305-43429500.jpeg)

Back to the tree.

9. Use a light pink 'puffy paint' to apply little dots, about a quarter of the tree at a time, then pour on the petals you made. They will stick to the puffy paint blobs and give a nice flower effect. It goes quicker than you might think.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180203-4342126.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180203-43422378.jpeg)

10. After the paint has dried overnight hit it with a very liberal matte spray or dull coat. After that I sprayed a heavy coat of clear Plasti-Dip over the whole tree. I like my terrain to be bulletproof... doubly so on this stuff because I don't want glitter coming off!

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120180204-434232411.jpeg)


I hope this tutorial is useful. I'm really pretty happy with how these trees look, in person and in photos.

I'm now accepting voting for the next tutorial... acacias, baobabs, or Arthur Rakham style thickets are what I'm considering. None of which I have yet made...
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Dr. The Viking on April 23, 2013, 05:10:32 AM
Amazing thread!!!

I think the idea of using pearls/whatever for flower pots is almost what takes me back the most!


Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Blackwolf on April 23, 2013, 05:12:24 AM
Nice tutorial :) I do my trees the same way,except for the filter stuff,have to look for some,as for the glitter,very clever!


Arthur Rackham please ;)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on April 23, 2013, 05:33:52 AM
Perfect, Matt! :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Hammers on April 23, 2013, 06:52:20 AM
These ae such concise tutorials I'd like to put them i 'How to'. Do yo mind if I split them and put them there?
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: aggro84 on April 23, 2013, 02:08:31 PM
Absolutely beautiful!  :-*
I am a big fan of Japanese wood block prints.
Seeing those trees makes me want to start a Japanese themed project!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on April 23, 2013, 02:21:11 PM
These ae such concise tutorials I'd like to put them i 'How to'. Do yo mind if I split them and put them there?

If you think that would be best, that's fine with me. As long as you use my header in each one ;)

I think when I first created this I missed the 'How To' board. I think you're right, they're more suited to it.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: magokiron on April 24, 2013, 12:28:44 AM
Just... BEAUTIFUL!  o_o  :o  :-*

Tanks for sharing.

(Thickets).

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Hammers on April 24, 2013, 06:13:34 AM
If you think that would be best, that's fine with me. As long as you use my header in each one ;)

I think when I first created this I missed the 'How To' board. I think you're right, they're more suited to it.

I decided agains splitting the topic. Your banner tells your intention, really.

Splendid work. Beautifully executed. I am sure we are all grateful  you took your time writing these.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: beefcake on April 24, 2013, 06:36:21 AM
You are ridiculously talented. That's great work.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Eric the Shed on April 24, 2013, 08:22:37 AM
Dr Mathias I am literally blown away by all these tutorials....

Well done Sir :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Mjolnir on April 25, 2013, 01:34:23 PM
Dr Mathias I am literally blown away by all these tutorials....

Well done Sir :)
Me too

Great tutorials

Now I have to try myself :'(
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Doomsdave on April 26, 2013, 12:44:24 AM
Nice tutorial :) I do my trees the same way,except for the filter stuff,have to look for some,as for the glitter,very clever!


Arthur Rackham please ;)

Ditto.  I've always wanted to do terrain that looks like his art. 

And I will be using your cherry tree method as well.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Cherry Tree Added 4/22/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on June 11, 2013, 04:48:53 AM
With the understanding that I plan to do an 'Arthur Rackham' style tutorial in the future, I temporarily digress to something slightly related...

Gnarly Old Tree Tutorial

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181618-434301453.jpeg)

I wanted a couple more hulking trees for my sylvan setting, and needed a tree that was overgrowing a stone niche for my 'Usagi' entry in the LPL, so I built a few and took pics.

I started these by cutting several pieces off a large branch that dropped off a massive maple tree in my yard. I used a large amount of high-temp hot glue to adhere them to my bases, in this case some Masonite hardboard. I used a drill to bore some holes into the 'trunks' and used the twisted wire method I described earlier in this thread. Hot glue holds the wires in place. These ones have a goofy baobab proportion, which was okay since I wanted a massive thick trunk without the tree being too high off the table. I added a few rocks made from Sculpey, and the large 'stone' being enveloped over time.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181618-434311416.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181618-434321505.jpeg)

My next step is to use a paintable caulk to make roots and smooth the transition from trunk to branches.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181618-434331488.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181725-434352289.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181725-434362235.jpeg)

While it is still wet and gooey you can use an old brush to smooth out the roots where they transition into the ground, or whatever else you might want to do to manipulate the caulking. Pretty fugly at this stage, don't worry :)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181725-43437860.jpeg)

After this has dried overnight, you can use the tissue technique to create a bark like texture. Bathroom tissue, a brush, and some thinned white glue or acrylic polymer medium. If you're careful with your brushwork technique you can mimic the cracks and texture of the bark on the real branch- leave some of the original bark exposed if you can, in order to carry the illusion and help you match color later when you paint.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181726-434381040.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181726-43439746.jpeg)

The memory card on my camera has been acting up and a few pics didn't record properly- if you read the Cherry Tree tutorial, you already know I use furnace filters for the foliage. I tore and snipped off some irregular sections and hot glued them onto the wire branches. Then I spray the foliage with a heavy coat of rust colored spray paint. After that, I base coated the tree and base, mixing a gray-brown to match the real color of the tree. It's kind of fun examining the bark and spattering it with all the various greens, blues, and yellows that appear in reality as lichens, mosses, and weathering. Drybrush highlights on with a lighter color, add basing materials, whatever you want to do. If you're doing some brown on the base, brush a little of that into the tree bark while you're at it... variety is great for that natural look.

Save the final highlight and drybrush until AFTER you've attached the foliage.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181835-43440519.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181835-434411682.jpeg)

To apply foliage, I spray a very heavy coat of olive spray paint from underneath, and then from above. Don't worry if you overspray the trunk- if anything the green will convey a more natural look. Dump flocking material liberally over the still wet paint. The foliage should adhere to the paint. Because there could be a lot of overspray, I follow this step with a final light drybrush over the entire tree. If you've mixed your paint well it should be quite hard to discern what parts are real bark, and which parts are artificial. Study trees :)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181835-43442433.jpeg)

My favorite part is gluing on moss, dabbing greens over the trunk, and attaching grass and fallen leaves in the recesses of the roots. This is where the effort pays off and these things start to look great.
Last, I spray the entire tree with clear 'Plasti-Dip' to seal the whole thing up, protect it, and keep the foliage adhered.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-120120181918.jpeg)

Good luck!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: pocoloco on June 11, 2013, 07:30:26 AM
Once again, just pure art!  :-*

Many many thanks for the tutorial Doc.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: OSHIROmodels on June 11, 2013, 07:42:49 AM
Excellent work  :-* :-*

One question, have you had a problem with 'trunks' drying out over time and cracking or hasn't it become an issue yet?

cheers

James
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on June 11, 2013, 09:05:18 AM
Great as ever Matt, thanks for the inspiration! :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on June 11, 2013, 04:04:58 PM
One question, have you had a problem with 'trunks' drying out over time and cracking or hasn't it become an issue yet?
James
It is a concern for sure, good question.
I haven't seen anything like that yet- I did have some sort of burrowing insect(s) still living in one branch one time. I found a little hole and a small pile of sawdust where their home was. Plugged it up, hopefully it wasn't termites  :o

I'd be more worried about the foliage coming off than bark splitting, I think the 'sealing' is an important step and that probably helps retain it. I don't know that Plasti-Dip spray is better than the methods many other people use, which tends to be thinned glue applied with a spray bottle.  

On smaller trees I made many years ago, with thin branches made from real tree instead of wire, I have noticed some brittleness over time- so I now try to pick branches that retain some spring over the long haul. I have a pile of trimmings from some Holly shrubs that I think will work well as its been dead for over a year and is still pretty flexible.

I've considered soaking things in a glycerin solution but I've not tried that for anything other than the fallen leaves I made (which is Oregano that's been dyed with ink and simmered in water with a tbsp of glycerin). That seems to help retain flexibility.

If someone wanted to go nuts with preservation, a little solution of Preventol would probably kill any molds and mildews that might develop. I added that to my Oregano mix once, used too much glycerin (and probably too much Preventol) and the leaves were wet after laying out for several days. I ended up drying them on a baking sheet in the oven and I think I gassed myself.

Being a mad scientist is rough :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: OSHIROmodels on June 11, 2013, 04:07:01 PM

Being a mad scientist is rough :)

Where would we be without a little experimentation  lol

Thank you for the very consise answer  8)

cheers

James
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Mitch K on June 14, 2013, 09:37:42 AM

If someone wanted to go nuts with preservation, a little solution of Preventol would probably kill any molds and mildews that might develop. I added that to my Oregano mix once, used too much glycerin (and probably too much Preventol) and the leaves were wet after laying out for several days. I ended up drying them on a baking sheet in the oven and I think I gassed myself.

Being a mad scientist is rough :)

An old flytyer's trick to keep insects and moulds at bay is to give all the materials a rinse in borax solution. I used to use borax as a tanning / drying agent for skins and feathers and never lost anything to insect infestation. For flytyers this can be an absolute menace. One good brood of dermestids will gnaw its way through hundreds of pounds worth of feathers in a very short time.

Note it has to be REAL borax, not this "borax substitute" gubbins you see sold nowadays.

Another possible solution is to use urinal cubes - these contain dichlorobenzene, which will keep insects away. Along with people, when your terrain smells like a public khasi. ;)

Although it might be in keeping for some of the modern police-type games. Very "The Sweeney"! lol
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on June 14, 2013, 01:09:11 PM
Interesting Mitch, thanks!

Funny enough I realized just a few days ago that I've never put a toilet/WC in any of the buildings I've made, from any era. Urinal cubes would be very out of place  lol
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Mason on June 14, 2013, 01:38:46 PM
Interesting Mitch, thanks!

Funny enough I realized just a few days ago that I've never put a toilet/WC in any of the buildings I've made, from any era. Urinal cubes would be very out of place  lol

Now you come to mention it, neither have I!
 lol

There is one tiny outhouse that may qualify, but no full size buildings with one.
 o_o o_o o_o

Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: DeafNala on June 14, 2013, 02:59:13 PM
Thanks for some WONDERFULLY INSPIRING ideas! The Gnarly Old Trees have started the gears turning again...slowly, but turning nonetheless.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: anevilgiraffe on June 14, 2013, 03:07:45 PM
wow... top stuff and what I'd been aiming for when I did mine from wire and tissue... still doing the foliage though
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: magokiron on June 15, 2013, 03:45:59 AM
Dr Mathias you're a GENIOUS!

Thanks for sharing your WONDERFUL creations and methods.

Best wishes.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: beefcake on June 15, 2013, 04:25:03 AM
Very nice. Your trees are awesome.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: dijit on June 24, 2013, 12:09:07 PM
Interesting Mitch, thanks!

Funny enough I realized just a few days ago that I've never put a toilet/WC in any of the buildings I've made, from any era. Urinal cubes would be very out of place  lol
But you've got plenty of trees to do your business up against or behind, so your tin soldiers are well looked after.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on June 24, 2013, 12:25:10 PM
Damn Matt! You realle have to change the date format to the european standard ;)
Day, Month, Year. Instead of Month, Day, Zodiac, NASDAQ Rating and Year...
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on June 24, 2013, 02:15:27 PM
Damn Matt! You realle have to change the date format to the european standard ;)
Day, Month, Year. Instead of Month, Day, Zodiac, NASDAQ Rating and Year...

Heh heh, okay. Will do :)
I'll start a new tutorial of some sort as penance.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on June 24, 2013, 02:51:36 PM
Heh heh, okay. Will do :)
I'll start a new tutorial of some sort as penance.
Looking forward to it lol
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: ronwheezyrox on May 30, 2015, 07:21:23 AM
Awesome tutorial!  Exactly what I was looking for.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Rhoderic on May 31, 2015, 02:09:24 PM
Seeing as this thread has been resurrected already, I must jump on the opportunity to chime in on the praise. This is top-notch terrain-building. I envy your talent for knowing how to create a sense of atmosphere and ambience with your terrain, be it that of a deep rainforest, a Japanese idyll or a gnarly old-growth temperate forest. I'm gobbling this thread up for inspiration.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 31, 2015, 03:13:41 PM
Thank you for the comments :)

I've been accumulating materials for the next two installments, so resurrecting the thread is a good incentive to get on it :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Rhoderic on May 31, 2015, 04:46:52 PM
Sounds promising!

When I get to doing proper trees for my jungle terrain set (I'm still in the early stages of doing undergrowth at the moment) I'll be drawing on this tutorial for sure. I'm leaning toward omitting the canopies, though. My reasoning is that rainforest trees can grow very tall, and at a certain height I might as well impose a "vertical cut-off plane" on my gaming tables. Any figures that climb or fly above said plane will count as having left the table, same as if they'd moved off a table edge. Plenty of epiphytes on the trunks should keep them looking "jungly" enough. A few shorter trees with canopies and a fair deal of undergrowth should finish the look.

At some later point I might want to do a cloud forest, as well. That will mean shorter, gnarlier trees and lots of epiphytes.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on May 31, 2015, 06:39:50 PM
The canopies I made were a waste of time for me. I've used them only once, the first time I had the jungle set up at a convention and they came off shortly after ;)

Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Centaur_Seducer on June 01, 2015, 06:01:47 AM
The canopies I made were a waste of time for me. I've used them only once, the first time I had the jungle set up at a convention and they came off shortly after ;)


You game!?  :o Blasphemy!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Steam Flunky on June 04, 2015, 08:40:06 AM
Missed your thread here Dr.
Great trees, :o great pics! I have some lovely terrain boards but i really need some trees like yours.
Coming friday i am playing SoBaH with Benbow and he will be bringing his trees with him so we should get some nice pictures.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Argonor on June 16, 2015, 08:49:21 AM
These tutorials should come in handy - I just lay awake last night thinking I should soon get some of all the stuff I've acquired over the years (palm trees, plastic aquarium plants, model railroad bamboos, etc) out and start making some jungle/rain forest terrain - and my biggest concern was how to get some nice big trees done...
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Mick_in_Switzerland on June 16, 2015, 09:34:27 AM
I have only just spotted this.   :o

Thank-you for such interesting tutorials   :-*

I need to build woodland for Agincourt so will try to do some ancient trees.
Then after that I want to do jungle scenery so the bamboo and jungle trees tutorials are ideal.

Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: DavyJones on October 18, 2016, 12:52:41 PM
Thanks for the awesome tutorials. I builded some jungle trees and your tutorial was a great starting point.  :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Wirelizard on February 05, 2017, 11:06:27 PM
Finally got around to doing up a few trees based roughly on the good Dr Mathias' method.

They're a bit more basic than his but I'm pleased with how they turned out!

(http://www.warbard.ca/files/jungle_3_5Feb2017.jpg)

Full blog post over here, if you want to see a few more work-in-progress photos: http://www.warbard.ca/2017/02/05/in-the-jungle-the-mighty-jungle/

Thanks for the inspiration, even if it did take me too many years to get around to the project!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Gnarly Old Tree Added 5/10/13
Post by: Dr Mathias on February 05, 2017, 11:50:11 PM
Thanks for the inspiration, even if it did take me too many years to get around to the project!

Hey, thanks! I'm glad the tutorials are useful. The trees look great, and I really like the broken off stump idea- adds some variety to the otherwise flat jungle floor.

Thanks for showing your results off too!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Dr Mathias on December 05, 2017, 04:40:15 AM
I've had the materials for this endeavor set aside for a very long time. I was beset by a sudden desire to complete it, because I have some other arboreal projects lurking...

Arthur Rackham Tree Tutorial


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_45_21_1.jpg)


I've always had a soft spot for the illustrations by Arthur Rackham, particularly the convoluted roots and the chaotically linear nature of his trees. I'd been wanting to create some trees inspired by him for quite a while (as I stated in this thread aeons back ;).

I clipped off some branches from my holly bushes a few years ago- they're still nice and springy, so I went ahead with using them. I bored a hole into the 'trunk' and glued some florist wire to use as the structure for the roots. The bases are hardboard/Masonite with some pink insulation foam for height; this was also spackled and painted with a textured wood filler. I wanted to make some dense thickets as well, so I glued in some floral wire that has a fabric layer already- I thought this would help retain texture.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_38_56_0.jpg)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_38_56_1.jpg)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_38_56_2.jpg)


The next step is similar to the "Gnarly Tree" tutorial. I used paintable caulk/sealer called 'Alex Plus' to build out the roots. This can be manipulated easily and sticks in place quite well. I also glued down some 'rocks', which are simply made from oven-bake clay using a broken bit of concrete to impart a rough texture. These shapes were baked according to the instructions and cut in half when dry, so that they had a flat side to glue down. I also coated the floral wire with the textured wood filler.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_38_56_3.jpg)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_38_56_4.jpg)


I also added a few more roots, this time using a thin paper-covered floral wire.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_40_05_0.jpg)


I added a little filler in a few places, to unite the stones into the base a bit. This was then painted with the textured filler to match.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_40_05_1.jpg)


The photo I took for the next step was blurry, so I scrapped it- what I did was use my 'bathroom tissue method' to create a bark-like texture over the root systems. My 'Jungle' and 'Gnarly Tree' tutorials describe that pretty well. This time around I used Mod Podge for the glue.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_5_36_41.jpg)


Next, I wanted to get in a little color. I wasn't sure how easy it would be to paint behind the roots I planned to add, so I wanted to get a start on that. I used an airbrush for this step.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_40_05_2.jpg)


After some initial painting I added some more roots, and used 'puffy paint' (the type for fabric, with a thin applicator nozzle) for the new roots and to add some linear whorls on the trunks. In retrospect I could have played that up a bit more. Yellow was what I had on hand, don't judge ;)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_40_05_3.jpg)


The puffy paint was slick (as expected) so I gave that a coat of textured filler, along with the new branches and thicket stems.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_40_05_4.jpg)


The real painting could then commence. Again, airbrush.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_42_26_0.jpg)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_42_26_1.jpg)


I added some bushes and underbrush as well, using the green furnace filter material. Also painted.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_42_26_2.jpg)


Some drybrushing to the trunks and ground... I got carried away. I should have attached all of the furnace filter before I got too far into the trunk detail :)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_42_26_3.jpg)


Taken a little further. I've glued a flocking mix to the furnace filter branches, and glued some leaf scatter in the areas most likely to collect them. I used a thinned-down Elmers white PVA liberally applied with a brush, then dumped the flock mix over the branches. In the past I used a spray paint method, this was much easier actually.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_42_26_4.jpg)


The next photo shows a largely completed base. I added some flock material to represent moss, and put a Siflor tuft here and there, and some static grass. I also added some mushrooms- they're simple. Whenever I have a little greenstuff or Procreate left over from a project, I make a little 'cap', and I have a couple dozen by now. The stem is just a styrene rod.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_45_21_0.jpg)


That about sums it up- the process is really similar to some of the other trees I've made.


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_45_21_3.jpg)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_45_21_2.jpg)


(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/30/4060_05_12_17_3_45_21_4.jpg)

I'm pretty happy with them overall, they have a distinctly different feel than my other trees and will work well for Warhammer 'Old World' or Tolkien-esque settings.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Elk101 on December 05, 2017, 07:31:52 AM
That's extremely effective. I haven't seen the covered florist wire before but I'll be looking out for it now. The finishing touches will be perfect for my stalled bocage project.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: pocoloco on December 05, 2017, 09:24:06 AM
Extraordinary & wonderful, both the work and finished pieces  :-*

Manty thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Captain Blood on December 05, 2017, 01:46:40 PM
Splendid Matt. Love those.
 :-*
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: DeafNala on December 05, 2017, 02:11:47 PM
WONDERFULLY INSPIRING WORK! As a maker of trees myself, it is always a motivating experience seeing your SPLENDID creations.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Andym on December 06, 2017, 07:25:58 AM
Good tutorial mate! Very useful! 8)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Michi on December 06, 2017, 07:32:06 AM
That is a splendid tutorial that will certainly lead to extraordinary results. Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Braz on December 06, 2017, 08:10:39 AM
Great tutorial. Inspiring. Thanks
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: DintheDin on December 06, 2017, 08:23:48 AM
Great tutorial. Inspiring. Thanks

+1
Constant souce of inspiration! Thank you!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Kegluneq on July 12, 2018, 04:28:49 PM
So, this has been fantastically useful to me.  I learned a great deal from it.  So although it is a bit old I do not want to see it vanish into the archives of the forum and I want to give credit where credit is due.

What I'm saying is ... thanks. 
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: Dr Mathias on July 14, 2018, 02:57:30 AM
So, this has been fantastically useful to me.  I learned a great deal from it.  So although it is a bit old I do not want to see it vanish into the archives of the forum and I want to give credit where credit is due.

What I'm saying is ... thanks.

I appreciate the comment, I'm glad that it is still useful!

Actually, thanks to all that have commented ;)

I actually have plans for another addition- alien trees. Photos have been taken I just need to edit and upload.
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Arthur Rackham Style Trees - Dec. 2017
Post by: jherazob on July 15, 2018, 11:58:31 AM
I appreciate the comment, I'm glad that it is still useful!
It absolutely is :)

I actually have plans for another addition- alien trees. Photos have been taken I just need to edit and upload.
Looking forward to it, should be useful in lots of tables, specially for those of us who have a sci-fi game as main (Infinity in my case)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: Dr Mathias on January 13, 2020, 01:39:16 AM
I spent about two hours repairing all the broken picture links in this thread (no pictures were showing up in any tutorials other than the Rackham Trees, because of the Great Photobucket Debacle of 2017). I had a couple more tutorials to post and didn't want to add them until that tedious task was done...

Alien Forest Tutorial

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/33/369-120518215100-330251452.jpeg)

This project uses a lot of re-purposing other plastic plants along with methods found in previous tutorials. I wanted a very alien landscape that looked a bit like the wild environs of He-Man's world, Eternia, but could also serve as a 40K deathworld or something for my retro sci-fi.

I started by making some landforms, using styrofoam, mounted on hardboard. I then blasted it with spray paint to pock it up and break down the sharp edges. Then I added toilet tissue and plastered it down with Mod-Podge.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020633-434541497.jpeg)

I wanted the plant life to look really integrated into the landscape, and added some ping-pong balls that I cut open and reshaped with a heat gun. My idea was to show a plant that 'popped' open and rapidly grew from a cyst-like round shape. I used latex caulk to make root systems as I have done on the past trees. Smaller styrofoam balls indicate cysts that are still growing.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020633-43455675.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020633-434561419.jpeg)

I added some texture to the ground and did a bit of painting in advance. I planned on a weird 'tertiary triad' color scheme for the forest.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020634-43457489.jpeg)

The cyst plants have three wire stalks textured with latex caulk, terminating in a styrofoam bulb.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020634-43458863.jpeg)

I found some odd looking black plastic 'plants' at the craft store and decided to mix them in. I then added more caulk to give the impression of roots, so the snake like tree seems to grow up and down.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020803-434592285.jpeg)

At this point I wasn't sure which fronds to go with. I had some clear packing material that had a neat texture, but I ended up not using it for leaves. I decided on some Christmas holly leaves for the tall trees, and ended up using the packing material on a different tree type.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020803-434601108.jpeg)

A second plant type is based on some crappy looking plastic apples from another batch of Christmas decorations. I turned the apples upside-down and textured them with toilet tissue and Mod-Podge, followed by some puff paint veins. Then I topped them with some plastic tufts from a 'grass mat'. I made a bunch of these, some to be attached to the larger bases and some individually for ease of set up.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020803-434611766.jpeg)

I ended up changing the colors :)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020803-43462811.jpeg)

A third plant type uses packing peanuts. These had to be coated with a non-waterbased epoxy first- water based glue 'eats' them. I had a bunch of white plastic plants that I thought would go well with the tubes. The pics show the process of building up a landform using insulation foam with a resin coat, followed by drywall/wall patch 'plaster', then a texture layer using carpenters wood filler, slightly watered down.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120153545-434771243.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020804-43463162.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020936-43464601.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020938-434672489.jpeg)

All that remained was to paint the rocky ground, and add a lot of moss, random seed pods, and other plastic plants found at the craft store. I made some additional small plants using wire, heat shrink tubing, and old broom bristles.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120153545-434782048.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120153545-434791722.jpeg)

After using a heat gun to shrink the tubing I used the same toilet tissue/Mod Podge method to texture them up. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of the texture method, which I learned in high school :) I painted them and glued them into the larger landforms.

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020938-43468998.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020937-434661161.jpeg)

(http://leadadventureforum.com/gallery/43/4060-130120020937-434651111.jpeg)

As always, thanks for looking!



Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: DeafNala on January 13, 2020, 03:08:44 AM
Those are amazingly imaginative, beautifully crafted, AND wonderfully inspirational creations. VERY WELL DONE indeed!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: jherazob on January 13, 2020, 05:38:23 AM
This works astoundingly well, nice job as usual :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: DintheDin on January 13, 2020, 06:18:24 AM
Great, inspirational job! Thanks for the tutorial!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: CookAndrewB on January 13, 2020, 04:53:07 PM
That is just so cool. How fragile are these? I would like to try my hand at a few, but honestly I would also like to avoid anything overly prone to breaking. I'm the only one that handles my terrain, but I'm also a bit of a klutz at times lol
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: OSHIROmodels on January 13, 2020, 04:58:56 PM
Cracking stuff  8)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: snitcythedog on January 13, 2020, 05:20:28 PM
Sir,

Splendid all round!!
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: Dr Mathias on January 13, 2020, 05:38:49 PM
Thanks all!

That is just so cool. How fragile are these? I would like to try my hand at a few, but honestly I would also like to avoid anything overly prone to breaking. I'm the only one that handles my terrain, but I'm also a bit of a klutz at times lol

I build my stuff to be durable as possible. The Mod-Podge is pretty tough- combined with the tissue it is quite strong and slightly flexible. There's also a 'hardcoat' version. I use two-part epoxy when gluing soft plastic parts and wires. I also use Plasti-Dip clear spray as a final seal. I tend to lift terrain pieces up from wherever I want to, more or less. Small fronds and stuff will pull out if you yank on it (due to the weight of the overall base) but the other stuff projecting out is fair game. :)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: Andym on January 18, 2020, 09:44:24 AM
Great tutorial Doc! 8)
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: Kadmon on March 26, 2020, 03:51:12 PM
This is a very useful tutorial! I've included a link to this forum in my article - https://alkony.enerla.net/english/the-nexus/miniatures-nexus/miniature-hobby/miniatures-miniature-terrain-scenery-making-trees-resources
Title: Re: Dr Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza - Alien Forest - Jan. 2020
Post by: Jagannath on February 20, 2021, 11:37:37 PM
Just found this topic, some brilliant stuff here!