How to Make Realistic Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models – 2019

Brushstroke‘s guide on how to make realistic trees. For your miniature scenery or dioramas.

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How to Make Realistic Trees – Paints & Tools

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models Complete



How to Make Realistic Trees – Tutorial

Step 1

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models - Step 1

Start by stripping the Copper Wire out of a length of electrical cable. Bundle them together and twist them so they form a single cable.

Try and consider the shape of the tree you are wanting to make, the thickness of the bundle of wires will dictate the trunk’s overall width and the number of individual wires will determine the number of branches.

If you start with too few wires you may not end with enough branches.

Step 2

Start to separate A the wires into increasingly thinner and thinner strands to form the shape of your tree.

Continue to separate the twisted wires until you have single wires forming the end branches of the tree.

The roots are formed in the same way as the branches but don’t separate them down to single wires. Instead, keep them chunky

Step 3

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models - Step 3

When you’re happy with the shape of your tree, brush the trunk and main branches with PVA glue and wrap them in strips of thin tissue paper.

Coat the remaining, smaller branches and roots with several layers of PVA glue to seal the copper.

Allow it to dry fully and then Superglue your tree to its base.

Use air-dry modelling clay to cover the tissue wrapped parts of your tree. Without the under-layer of glued tissue, the clay will simply fall off the wire.

While the clay is still wet add in some rough texture to form the bark. I find using an old toothbrush to be a good tool at this stage for scoring down its trunk.

Once the clay is dry, continue to carve the detail and texture for the bark, until you are happy.

Step 4

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models - Step 4

Prime the whole model Black.

If you wish, you can also add a Zenithal highlight with a pale grey.

Step 5

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models - Step 5

Basecoat the whole tree in Dryad Bark.

Finish with a final light drybrush of Baneblade Brown

Step 6

For your foliage I have two examples:

Green Leaves Start by teasing out cotton wool thinly so that it forms a wispy tuft. Then spray it black with either a spray can or airbrush

Then brush the branches of your tree with PVA glue and stick on your cotton tufts to form the desire leaf structure.

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models - Step 7

Once the glue is fully dry, spray the tufts with a strong hairspray and sprinkle with your choice of leaf flock. My personal choice is leaf foliage from Noch Scenics.

To create the blossom clusters, add small blobs of PVA glue to your branches and sprinkle them with coloured sawdust powder. In order to get the best results, I recommend adding the blobs individually and spacing them on the branches

For the Grass, See my Grass Bases Tutorial.

How to Make Realistic Trees – Other Options

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models - Foliage

Here are some more tree examples, this time using Natural Armatures. This should give an idea of the various kinds of tree you can make. A full guide on using Natural Armatures is available on Instagram & Facebook. This will be uploaded to soon.

Materials Used

  1. Foliage
    Serious Play – Seafoam
    Noch – Leaf Foliage
  2. Trees
    Serious Play – Natural Armatures
  3. Ground Cover
    WWS – Forest Floor Scatter
  4. Serious Play – Leaf Scatter

How to Make Realistic Trees – Complete

How to Make Trees for Miniatures & Wargames Models Complete

Thank You

I hope you find this guide useful.

If you do have any questions or suggestions on how to improve it for others then please let me know.

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