Can’t see the Wood for the Trees!

Forest tutorial
So I love making terrain! It adds so much to a game. 
I returned to war gaming 7 years ago I was quite happy to use books for
hills, unpainted GW buildings and fish tank decorations. As I’ve gone
on though I have developed such a love of painted terrain, it really
makes the whole game cinematic, and allows yourself to get lost in the
current FoW terrain I’ve mainly been working on this year, the biggest
part is my ‘realm of battle board’ I picked it up cheap with a minor
deformity but it looks great as a base for all types of games.
one thing I’ve missed up till now has been woods. I like the
battlefield in a box ones, but it’s not much for what you pay for. So I
decided to do my own!

I started with some MDF board which I carved into some irregular curved
shapes of various sizes. This way I can either have lots of small
woods, or put a couple of smaller pieces on a larger bit, for a bigger
foot print but still easily stored, and easy to move models over!

Once it was carved I sprayed it all black. This way if anything chips off later it will show black which always blends in IMHO.
Next was making mounds of Stone this breaks up the base, and adds a different texture I picked up a big bag from my local model railway

 I find terrain making very thirsty work – i recommend frequent hydration to keep you going

Following this I mixed up a load of sand and PVA and spread it unevenly over the rest of the base to give some texture.

After that a liberal coat of brown spray. (Fur brown by army painter)

that done I dry brushed the brown with some ‘tau sept ochre’ gave it a
nice warm sandy base – in keeping with my other terrain.

that it was the stones, painting on some dark grey first roughly ( I
used the last of my adeptus battle grey) following that it’s uneven dry
brush of ‘astronomicon grey’ and then ‘skull

 Next it’s the beautiful hot glue gun, and attaching my trees (again sourced from my local model railway shop!)

 Depending on the size of wood I placed 1-4 trees, it was mainly down to aesthetics, but having a base to help work out what was ‘too close’ helped

these in place I the painted on patches of PVA glue and water over
exposed areas, sprinkling on some dark grass initially and then a little
lighter grass. 

And that’s it forests for all!

 Sherman’s on Patrol through the forest – knowing me they’ll all bog down in a sec!

Category: Flames of WarTerrain


  1. Your woods are nice pieces of work though I have two ideas for the next batch.

    First is to knock the corner off the top edge of the MDF. If you round the edge over it looks a bit better. The sharp corner messes with the illusion a bit.

    Second is the mobile tree concept. Mount the trees to a large washer (30 mm or larger), do up the base nicely, and then you can move them out of the way when your Shermans bog – I mean when you drive through the woods. It doesn't look quite as good, but it games better.

    Keep up the good work!

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Article by: Mark Goddard