Into the Woods

Instead of just focussing on finishing my current paint project first, my mind is already inexorably drawn towards the thing I’ll be doing after I’ve finished the current thing and the thing I’ll do in-between. Anyone familiar with that problem? Anyway.

I’m in this hobby now for 27ish years, but there’s a thing I never had: forest scenery. I know, right? I think that was always like build-your-terrain-1-0-1, and I’m sure there’s tutorials in a bunch of old White Dwarfs sitting in my parents’ basement (they are huge fans) and even the older rulebooks I still have. But nevertheless I wanted to pick your brains first.

So, I want to make a few forests for WHFB. I have some modular stuff in mind and that’s all good and well, but I could use some gentle nudging into the right direction concerning some minor details about the forests: the actual trees. I’m not looking for something fancy. The whole thing should neither be more work nor more expensive than the actual models. All I want is trees which have the right size and have good texture/colour. They should look fine when put on the table, nobody needs to be like “hoooold on, these are AWESOME, these are the best trees I’ve ever seen” and so on, but they also shouldn’t look like toys and distract from the immersion.

Long story short, what’s a size/scale people are happy with? Maybe someone even has a company/model in mind? I have a feeling I’d prefer broad-leafed trees over conifers, but maybe there’s room for variety. I guess the model-train-community is our friend here? @MichaelX, those trees you brought to CDOffline were totally fine, which ones were those? (come to think of it, maybe I should have just asked you this one-line question in the discord, but now that I’ve already written this novel…)


I dont remember exactly but they are all train trees

A part was vought by my mate who was also at CDO and the rest, kostly the pine trees, were bought by me. Mine were from china.

They should be o scale trees, but even larger scales will work, just be differently sized.

For example these or these or these or these

Scale doesnt matter too much imo, aim for trees between 7 and 15 or so cm.


Excellent, thanks mate!

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At NOCH here is also a large selection of trees.


Excellent link, thanks!

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One thing I’ve found super convenient with woods terrain is to attach the trees to a base and magnetize them! The base lets you be clear where the edge of the woods is and thus exactly where you enter or leave it. The magnets allow you to remove the trees when a unit enters the woods so they don’t get in the way of gameplay!

EDIT: And by base I mean a larger circle/oval with multiple tries attacked, not individual tree bases :smile:


Exactly what I have in mind :wink:
I want to make a couple of multi-bases with a varying number of cutouts for round bases, then make multiple sets of bases: just plain painted ones, so the whole base can double used as a hill (or maybe just some area I want to assign some rules to or so), bases with trees for, well, forests, bases with stone pillars for something mystic, and so on and so on with stuff I haven’t even thought about yet.
And with the trees on proper bases it’s always possible to just put a single tree somewhere and breathe some life into the board. As an added bonus, this will also take care of the hundreds of round bases I have lying around :joy:


I dubbed 2023 “The Year of Terrain”. It’s high time I had nice, painted terrain, now that I have painted armies :sweat_smile:

Plans are made, materials are ordered. First step was to put some trees on magnetised round bases. As planned, these will then go on painted “bases”, which can also double as hills with blank (but of course painted) bases.

All in all, I have 30 trees (10x12cm and 20x7cm) to begin with. The sweetspot for the right scale is probably something around 10cm, but I think both will work just fine.


Where did you end up ordering your trees from?


Aliexpress, like Michael suggested. There’s really a ton of stuff. In the end I paid 15€ for the whole lot including shipping, think that’s fair.


I should bookmark this thread for future reference :grin:

I stil use zillion of years old train trees from ages ago…


Oh thanks! I think they still look good though! I am anyway of the mind that the terrain, especially something minor like forests, should not overshadow the models. As long as everything is painted and set up nice, it will blend together well and that’s all we’re after I guess.


I know it’s not what you asked for but just in case someone is interested, here are some very nice tutorials that fall into the category


Thanks for the links!
Well, the nice thing about this setup with individual trees on round bases means I can always get/make better trees down the road, so in the long run all links and examples are definitely appreciated:)

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@Anzu amazing video but a little bit too much efforts for tabletop trees. It’s great for people willing to make a diorama. That owuld be fantastic. I’ll try one day, sounds like lot of fun!


Alright, let’s get some stuff done here.

First I’ve cut some shapes from 3mm MDF. Went for two classic more or less kidney-shaped ones, deep enough to hold a 5x4 unit and wide enough for a 10x2. Next was a large more or less round/square one and three small ones.

I sanded the edges a little, also just a little bevelled. On top comes 3mm foam core, just a bit recessed it. I only went ahead with the three small ones for now. In the foam core I cut openings to hold 25mm round bases. I already have the trees on bases, plus those giant mushrooms. In the future I want to make standing stones, just bare bases and whatever else I come up with.

I covered everything in Gaming Geek Scenics modelling compound. First time working with it, it’s really awesome stuff. Maybe I wouldn’t even need the foam core tbh.

I spray painted everything with Vallejo leather brown, washed it with oiled earth. I’d say, well, room for improvement :sweat_smile: I know there’s always the ugly phase in every project, but dear God, that’s putting it mildly :sweat_smile: hope once I cover everything in basing materials it will look better. Also: it’s damn terrain. Nobody cares. It’s not supposed to overshadow the models. So I remain hopeful.

I followed up with some barely noticeable dry rushing. The bases got “the same” leather brown surface primer, but from a bottle. Looks complete different. Might be because with the rattlecan I went over the rather white model compound whereas the bases were of course black. Speaking of which, I would have expected better coverage from a product called “surface primer”. Still, two coats looks decent enough.

Next step will now be covering everything in this base ready mix thing and some flock. The larger trees will first also get this modeling compound, which omitted for the small ones.

Well look at that! Quite an improvement. This might actually turn out half decent. I’ll seal everything with this spray and put it together.

Ain’t too shabby! The cutouts for the bases are quite snug, and while that obviously helps with blending it all together, removing the trees is not as easy as I hoped, since I want to take them off when a unit enters the forest. For the larger forests I will make the cutouts a tad bigger. And probably add grass flock. Still, quite happy overall!


Alright, it was time to tackle the three big ones. I followed the same recipe, but I also added some woodland scenics turf.

I have to say, I’m more than a little chuffed with the results. It was easier than I thought and looks better than expected. Win-win.