I wanted something modular, and something easy to store. In the end I settled on a simple system using cheap round drinks coasters.
I chose coasters because they were cheap, because I could sit them next to one another with ease, and because without the trees they could also be used for rough terrain, or similar.
On each coaster I traced out some circles where the trees would go, painted the remainder with PVA and liberally coated them with sand I nicked from my son's sand-pit.
After shaking off the loose sand and undercoating them:
I used a dark brown paint, followed by several lighter layers of dry-brushing - each of course lighter than the last, with the final layer being a very thin coat of a flesh tone.
Lastly I added some static grass to break up the monotony. They aren't highly detailed bases, but with the trees on board they look perfectly table-suitable.
The trees themselves were a part of a Woodland Scenics pine trees kit. There were a mountain load of trees in there, so I have plenty. The trees themselves were relatively easy to put together: cut away the bases (which I also glued to metal washers to make them a little more likely to stay upright), glue them, twist the trunks to splay the branches out in different directions, and finally add the clump foliage.
Woodland Scenics recommends using their Hob-e-Tac glue - which worked perfectly well, although seem to never dry fully (rather the point I think). I liberally sprayed the foliage afterwards with watered down PVA to help them stay together.
All done they are not majestic and amazing scenic dioramas, but they look reasonable, were cheap and quick to make, look good on the table, and can be used to make lots of little copses or a couple of larger forests - I'm happy.
Being used in a game of Song of Blades and Heroes:
|Different shaped coasters in use...|