Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Open forest of pine trees

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  • #176708
    Avatar photoPatrice
    Participant

    For FIW skirmishes I need something that looks like open forest, a forest easier to cross on foot (except in close order) than the rather dense European forest of the usual rules.

    Mainly pine trees, with bare trunk bottoms. Not a very precise scenery, just something that gives an overall effect.

    (28mm figures for scale, real trees can be much higher, perhaps I’ll make a few taller ones but it must be practical for gaming.)

    A few big rock and bushes, and fallen or broken dead trees, will add more cover in random places.

    I use miniature pine trees fixed on the top of wooden rods. They look better with a few dead branches on the bare lower part where sunlight does not reach them (no joke intended). I drilled some holes in the trunks, then I tried to make short branches with metal wire, but there was a danger of harming the players’ fingers and (what would be much worse!) the paint on figures when moving troops between the trees. Also tried string, but it’s too slack. For the moment I’m using fishing line (which I bought especially for this, I don’t fish) it’s strong and flexible enough. Then the whole lower trunks, including these few branches, receive a rough layer of wall covering and cheap acrylic paint.

    Still need to improve the colours, and also to decide what the ground should look like, the green field grass on the pics do not fit well in a forest.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #176709
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    Are you jamming them into the table?

    :O

    #176710
    Avatar photoPatrice
    Participant

    Are you jamming them into the table? :O

    We use polystyrene boards (60cm x 120cm, 30mm or 32mm thick) and polystyrene hills. Most trees have a thin wire pin underneath and are randomly stuck into the terrain before the games, through the green “grass” or brownish “ground” covering the polystyrene. Some others trees (not those on the pics) are glued by 2 or 3 on card bases.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #176718
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Hi Patrice,

    not sure why you think of only pine for FIW- the North Eastern forests were/ are very dense as well- although its filmed in North Carolina, see the ‘forest’ in Last of the Mohicans to see what the existing national parks are like around Massechusetts (ie Boston) and Vermont.

    Thats why its ‘Indian’ country! No seriously, I was impressed- near Concorde I walked into a trail that was there; a distnce of 5 m into the woods and you could not see the trail I had come from. A row of indians would have been impossible to see.

    I do realise you want ‘foot room’ for the figures, but ‘open’ they are not.

    Yes- heavy cardboard or edge sanded MDF, topped with a ripple of wall plaster and coloured dark will suit nicely.

    regards dave

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #176720
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    Hi Patrice, not sure why you think of only pine for FIW- the North Eastern forests were/ are very dense as well- although its filmed in North Carolina, see the ‘forest’ in Last of the Mohicans to see what the existing national parks are like around Massechusetts (ie Boston) and Vermont. Thats why its ‘Indian’ country! No seriously, I was impressed- near Concorde I walked into a trail that was there; a distnce of 5 m into the woods and you could not see the trail I had come from. A row of indians would have been impossible to see. I do realise you want ‘foot room’ for the figures, but ‘open’ they are not. Yes- heavy cardboard or edge sanded MDF, topped with a ripple of wall plaster and coloured dark will suit nicely. regards dave

     

    Just to follow up from Dave here, I’ve had friends who tried walking in some of the forests in the North East of the USA and have been told that you stick to the trail. Nothing else is really possible. Open forest like you’re producing is a sign of livestock grazing. Sheep and small browsing animals picking off the seedlings and cattle and other larger animals pushing stuff out of the way and creating rides.

     

    Left to themselves trees naturally grow to fill any gaps in the canopy.

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #176744
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Have you thought about using yard brush bristles for the dead branches? I use them for pikes and they don’t stab you if you catch them.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #176757
    Avatar photoPatrice
    Participant

    Thanks all for these ideas. 🙂

    the North Eastern forests were/ are very dense as well

    Well, yes certainly. What I meant is, in our original ruleset there was only one kind of forest, it was dense forest. It was sometimes felt to be too strict. When beginning to game the FIW there came (rather iconic) pictures of people running and fighting through open pine tree forests so the rules obviously needed an improvement. But the same would do for open orchards and I know deciduous (deciduous, is that the word? I’ve learned something) forests near my home which are quite open and easy terrain. Obviously there would be a mix of open forest, dense forest, and open terrain, on the battleground.

    For the ground, as suggested, I’ll try tea leaves, bits of brambles and bristles… 🙂

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #176761
    Avatar photobobm
    Participant

    packs of dried marjoram and oregano make good leaf litter

    There's 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.....

    #176784
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Thanks all for these ideas. 🙂

    the North Eastern forests were/ are very dense as well

    Well, yes certainly. What I meant is, in our original ruleset there was only one kind of forest, it was dense forest….  I know deciduous (deciduous, is that the word? I’ve learned something) forests near my home which are quite open and easy terrain…

    Ahh yes context is everything Patrice. Doesn’t matter how you model the ‘trees; just make sure you clearly define as open/ closed/ dense at the beginning of games and what those terms cover.

    “Deciduous” yes- decidedly!

    European ‘forest’ tend to be [near settlements] manicured entities compared to natural bush of NA. (And around here…)

    A long range view of my ‘scenic based’ trees on left and back- both pine and deciduous (with removebale coloured lichen at edges of ‘woods shaped feature’ felt)- all made 20+ years ago- compared to my friends who cant even be bothered to paint their bases at all!

    Trees -Scenery

    regards ;p)

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #176787
    Avatar photoJim Webster
    Participant

    We tend to have a base which represents the wood, and put some trees on the area that can be moved to allow figures through. Looks pretty much like those in the picture immediately above 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #176788
    Avatar photoian pillay
    Participant

    Ditto

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #176789
    Avatar photokyoteblue
    Participant

    For my Rebels and Patriots games FIW I bought a huge amount of woodland scenic trees of all kinds but use a lot of pines.  I can now cover a 4 by 6 table. Sorry, no photos.

    #176820
    Avatar photoBowman Stringer
    Participant

    Open forest like you’re producing is a sign of livestock grazing.

    Not exclusively. Channeling my Plant Ecology undergrad studies from decades ago…..

    Other causes are natural (deer) depredation, water content, humidity levels, canopy density, soil chemistry, organic debris, flooding and wildfires, amongst others.

    Forests are not monolithic, uniform things. Some are extremely dense, and some less so. And they can be in constant flux. Major disturbances such as fires, flooding/soil erosion and severe windfall will deplete a forest locally. The forest will then develop in various stages. An open forest could be indicative of the “stand initiation stage” and the early “stem exclusion stage” of forest development. Local conditions and tree species will determine how long these stages last. All these stages will eventually progress to the “old growth stage”, which many of you are describing above.

    (pedant mode off)

    Therefore you are not wrong in making your terrain a dense forest, or a less dense forest, or even open scrub/shrub land with only intermittent trees. Whatever works for your wargame.

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