Making Cheap 'Realistic' Trees

I've been wargaming for a number of years now and all through that time relied on ready made trees, normally intended as scenery for model railways. What always struck me was the trees would be in scale to represent 40ft trees but the trucks would be so thin. Real tree trunks on established trees are much thicker. So for my cheap battlefield project I set about making some realistic looking trees. In keeping with the rest of the battlefield the trees had to be cheap.

So nothing better than real wood from the garden. I had previously cut down a tree/shrub from my garden several months before and put it on a heap of other garden cuttings. Because of the time lapsed they had dried out nicely and so I cut them into suitable lengths and left them looking tree like with a few smaller branches.

I cut up 9 trees in the end and set about gluing them to some blue foam bases. I had to make the bases big enough to support the trees as being made of wood they were quite heavy for their size.

As you can see I stepped the bases so that I could make them quite wide to support the tree but not so they appeared as a big block. You can also see how much more realistic the tree trunk size is in scale with a 28mm miniature.

Once I had all 9 trees based I looked into painting the bases. It is worth mentioning at this point that I had no intention of worrying about doing the tree canopy. The games I will use the trees for will be ground based skirmish games so the important bit is the base of the tree to hide behind!

I painted the bases to match my gaming mat and added a few bits of moss, flocked the bases a bit to give them a bit of colour. Placed on the gaming mate I think they look quite good. As I said before the tree canopy wouldn't play a part and would just get in the way. I should of used this idea for trees a long time ago.