Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Terrain - Hikki Trees, Pine Forests

The draw back about wanting to use T-72s in your Soviet Force is that your main opportunity lies with the Central Group of forces and there likely invasion routes took the deep into Southern Germany and that means fighting in Bavaria which in turn means Forests and hills. To be fair most of Germany is a large pine forest. So a decent heap of Pine trees is key to fighting on the Central front.

Tools for terrain making are always bigger than those used for other tasks, these three I consider to be essential. The jigsaw allows me to create decent terrain bases from either hard board or MDF, the electric sander is essential to tidying up the resultant bases and a drill with a range of medium to large size bits ensures you can deal with the most difficult of modern trees. In addition for building woods I use a hot glue gun and a range of large flat brushes.

I found these the other day Hikki 40mm - 100mm Pine trees 100 in total for £30 how wrong could it go. they arrived densely packed in a very uninspiring plastic bag, which once I had emptied it turned out to contain 103 trees of sizes, 150mm, 100mm, 75mm and 50mm.  Note the tree ends in a very unfriendly stump to use these  you need to build bases and drill holes, having said that they were cheap.

I decided to base them in either threes or fives and set about creating the 24 bases it would take to mount them from MDF and Hard Board.  

Base creation is a simple two step process, cut out some irregular shapes, chamfer the edges with the sander then round off the corners, ensuring that your wearing a suitable mask whilst your doing it to avoid the harmful effects of inhaling small fibrous particles. Then its down to finding an appropriate size drill bit and drilling out the holes for the trees, which then get filled with hot glue prior to planting, much easier than gardening.  

The bases are then coated with white glue and sand before painting.  Painting is done with kids liquid poster colours in a range of browns using some big brushes.  Then the bases are  dressed with more white glue and a range of scatter materials.

End result looks like this 24 bases of either 3 or 5 trees and a few left over for the odd back garden

Whilst this post took a relatively short time to write the trees took the best part of three weekends to complete, the cost was low and they are relatively effective and bulk out my pine tree collection nicely. They started a terrain frenzy which lasted from late May to early August, so more on Terrain Items to follow.  The critical point to remember when doing trees is that it is very difficult to have too many.

Other Terrain related posts include: 


  1. great job and well done :-) I might copy this method but for now I am not in need of pine trees but thanks anyway

  2. Great tutorial sir. All your gaming stuff from figures to terrain is top notch. Bravo.