I originally thought I'd make one or two tree stumps for use as cover in 25mm dark-age skirmish games, but they were so simple to make, that I made quite a lot, and they are useful for marking shell-smashed forests in World War Two games as well.
First, get your twig. I found mine lying on the pavements of Gosforth. The bottom right one you can see was a thick straight one, and was useful for creating the effect of a large tree that had been sawn down. The top right one you can see was a gnarled thing with interesting bark, and creates the effect of an old tree that has died. The one on the left was a thinner one which I snapped, and creates the effect of a tree that has suffered some terrible blow. This could be from artillery, or perhaps you could paint a section of it black to suggest that lightning had done the work.
Next, make one end of your twig flat. I used a hacksaw for this, although a couple of the twigs snapped cleanly enough without the need for sawing.
Next, cut a piece of card for the base, and squirt a load of brown acrylic mastic (see river section) onto it. Cover the whole base, thinly at the edges and thickly at the centre. Squish the flat end of your twig down into the thick mastic, and with a tool spread/sculpt the mastic into a pleasing earth-like effect. While the mastic is still wet, add any decoration you might like. In the picture above you can see tufts of green garden twine used for clumps of long grass, a small horse hair and flock bush, and small twigs used to create the effect of tree roots on the surface of the ground.
No glue is needed. The mastic will do that job. The mastic dries fairly quickly. These really do not take very long to make at all.
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