Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tree lines for Flames of War

In this blog post I will show you some pictures of some very simple tree lines I made from Woodland Scenics conifers. I will also explain how I made then and the reasons to include linear obstacles on your Flames of War boards.

For this project I used 2.5"-4" conifers from Woodland Scenics. I used 2.5-4" trees because I figured they were large enough for the scale and at 4" high they will easily fit inside a shoe box for storage. I try to plan storing all of my terrain when I make it as my early terrain pieces took up too much space to store. With huge tanks like King Tigers they look a little small. With infantry stands and most tanks they look pretty good. Unfortunately they are likely too small to represent full sized conifers in 28mm scale games. For that I would use the 4-6" conifers.

WIP test model for scale.
In Flames of War, linear terrain that blocks line of sight like this is a useful terrain feature to have on a board. I made my tree sections in 6" segments. This allows me to add gaps in between and to have just parts of a road with terrain that blocks line of sight. I don't want to have whole halves of the board completely concealed. Linear tree rows like this block line of sight unless a team is up against it, allowing for some nice safety for artillery and troop movement. They are a bit of a challenge for my tanks to cross but they also provide a nice screen for them to move behind and avoid enemy fire. Not that I plan my terrain around my company's needs. The group I play with likes dense terrain so I have been trying to beef up my collection a bit. In one of the Battlefront podcasts on the Flames of War website, Phil (the game designer) talks about the prevalence of linear terrain on Normandy battlefields as it divides up farmland and is often found along roads.

To build the stands, I used paint stir sticks from a hardware store as the base (as they were free!). I then glued the base of the Woodland Scenics trees to the bases. Next, I covered the bases in glue and then some sand. I cleaned up the trunks, bent them to position, and sprayed the whole thing with dark brown spray paint. I then drybrushed the trunks a little. To add the foliage I put hot glue over the trunk and branches and dipped the whole mess into some small pieces of clump foliage. I also based the bases using a variety of materials I had around. To seal the piece I sprayed it with Matte Medium (mixed with lots of water) and then a bit of varnish.

These trees were pretty quick to make and should provide lots of entertainment in games. I have some more trees for forests and a lake that I will put up on here soon. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Whoah! I'm currently building my own tree lines too! Got the pre-made Woodland Scenics pines like yours and sprayed them to heck to with Krylon Matte varnish to stop the shedding, but hadn't come up with a base idea outside of cardboard (Which I really didn't want to use due to inevitable warping.). Never even thought about paint mixing sticks..... Genius!

    Hope mine will look as nice as yours.

  2. Thanks guys. Dai, these ones were the not premade trees as I wanted to save a little bit of money. Painting sticks worked alright. You could also get some cheap moulding or baseboard material from the hardware store for $1 a foot or so.


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