Friday, January 9, 2015

Tree time!

Let's get down to some quick basing, via tree bark.  You see just about everything used in the image.

Piles of bases at the ready!

Yummy bark!!

My three types of gravel and ballast...

Piece after piece of bark will be added to the bases.  Some extend a bit further than others, since I want to leave room for figures that have a wider stance or footprint.

Oxide paste was used to fill the gaps between the bark and the base, while the super glue would do the heavy work of securing the bark to the base.

You can see some branches have been added to bases...

Look at all the different layers and shapes.  You can even pile several thin layers of bark onto each other.  Not only does this create an even more unique shape, it is now stronger due to all the glue in between those sections!

I like to have a nice supply of branches on hand.  This small collection has a variety of textures.  I try to gravitate towards gnarled shapes and 'forks' in the branches.  This does help simulate the tree appearance at this tiny scale.

These are much bigger pieces, which I have saved for large creature bases and dioramas.  These have even more dramatic textures and shapes.

My favorite branch sections were found during a fall storm.  There were just enough leaves on the trees to make them more prone to have broken branches in all the intense rain and wind.  I will be using these for my eagles and other flying creatures.

Stay tuned for more!!


  1. Good looking bases, even though they aren't finished yet. I have a question concerning bark... how long does it last? I mean, wood will probably dry or rot and either cases crumble with time, wouldn't it? How does real wood and bark put up with paint, spray primer, spray varnish, inks, dry brushes, glues and our big fat clumsy hands handling them and touching them endlessly on the tabletop during battles? I always thought that people should use fake wood (like carving "bark" out of putty) instead of real one for their bases for them to last.

    1. The bases have been fine, and have been used for many games. The paint covers it easily (plenty of posts showing that!) and seals them well.

      You can also cover them in an elmer's glue layer if you feel like you have to add extra strength...

  2. Love your basing tutorials James. I've used bark in the past but never branches. Will there be another post showing these taken to completion?

    1. There already is... you can find that in the basing techniques section :-) I used the branches for a Lord of the Rings Eagle :-)