02 September 2009

tabletop terrain

Like a lot of guys, I had model trains when I was young.  And like a lot of guys, I still have them.  One of the legacies of model railroading is an interest in terrain and making it look realistic.  Now a lot of wargamers do this, and more power to them.  They have it all — a beautiful table, with finely painted miniatures marching across it.  But too often the splendid miniatures traipse across a terrible excuse for a landscape.  One of my favorite additions to any table is trees, of which one can never have too many.  You can go out and break your bank buying them ready made, or do-it-yourself using the variety of techniques available just by surfing the web.  Also, there is a dedicated Yahoo egroup just for tree making.

Living in southern California gives me access to sage, which makes a wonderful armature for realistic trees in virtually any scale.  You just have to get out and go hunting in the brush.  Living near Griffith Park makes that very easy for me, and gives me the excuse I need to go hiking and biking on the trails there.  The trees one can make are stunning, and really score points when placed on a table.  It is so much better to play a game when one feels that the ground is worth fighting for, than when you have to pretend it is something that it is clearly not.

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