Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Hanging Tree 1: Framing It Up

So in Malifaux, the Hanging Tree is an iconic landmark to warn visitors and immigrants to obey the law or dangle from a rope. It's the third thing travelers on the train see before pulling into the Malifaux. There's a cool official mini that Wyrd sells on holidays, and I've always been tempted to buy it, but the price tag is a big turn-off.
Since I've been reading more terrain blogs and watching some videos, that cost-effective voice perks up and says, "I could do this myself."
So here goes my Xmas 2015 experiment.
I'd kept and old extension cord ever since I saw this YouTube video on making wire frames for miniature trees.  So one game session I stripped it and made a tree with one long arm perfect for a rope to throw around.

Knowing I had to apply wood filler, I applied some masking tape so it had something to stick to.  Here's a shot of the the taped up frame with some putty applied to the trunk. 

I'd tried some white wood filler from a tube on another mini but nothing got the wood feel quite like this stuff from Elmers. It's pretty amazing how little you have to apply. But you really need to make sure you get some watered down PVA glue or wood glue to harden it up after it dries.  It crumbles really easily and moving it around is a mistake.

Slowly adding filler up the branches...

Filler progressing up the tree.

At this point, I realized some of those branch ends had to go.  Time to trim them up.

As to the base, I added some spackle to get a simple impression of the trees underside.  Spackle works for that dirt feel (though like the wood filler, it needs some watered down PVA glue to harden it up).

The Hanging' Tree sits by the entryway to the city so I wanted to get some city cobblestone underneath - to get that  impression this evil tree is bursting up over the city, unable to be subjugated. The green stuff was used for  cobblestone  (once again, using miniGirl's template). Spackle was used for the dirt.
Applied my Terraclips City color scheme, and some Burnt Umber for the dirt color.
Had to break to hangman's rope into two sections: the rope around the tree and the noose. For the noose, I used "InstaMold" to copy the noose from the Malifaux Bayou Accessories pack.For the rope, I straightened two paper clips and then twisted them together to create the rope hanging from the branch.

I primed the whole tree section with Army Painter Uniform Grey, and did a little black wash but I decided against drybrushing white.  Most dead trees seem to have a strong grey hue so muting that as the undercoat I felt would undo a good start.  The rope I gave a light brown coat - combining Linen and Coffee Bean (FolkArt).
I eventually decided on using Reaper's Ashen Brown from their HD line as the main coat. Its a very muted brown with a hint of purple to warm it up a little. I watered it down to a thing glaze and gave two coats. The first went everyehere. The second was more selective, leaving some if the knot holes untouched for the grey to come through.

More to come.

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