Trees for Frostgrave

Just before Christmas I bought a package of second hand trees on eBay, mainly because it contained one of the Britains oak trees – as used in WFB3 on ‘that table’. It also included some rather ropey conifers that I thought would come in handy for the Frostgrave project I was starting up. Here’s what I did with them.

There were two types of conifer. The first was the ‘bottlebrush’ style shown on the left. It was recognisable as a conifer but it didn’t really look like one. ‘Never mind’, I thought, ‘I’ll put some snow on’. I didn’t have any snow flock, so I used baking soda. I painted on neat PVA (good quality Evostick not rubbish craft glue), and sprinkled with baking soda. This made a massive difference – as you can see on the right.


Bare tree and with baking soda

I wasn’t sure about the baking soda on two fronts. Although it was crisp and white and made the tree look a thousand times better, it was a little blobby in texture rather than frosty and I was worried about using it on bases and where it might come into contact with white metal – it’s a strong alkali and there might be some kind of corrosion/reaction. So I went and bought a Woodland Scenics snow flock bottle. It was quite expensive at about £10, but you do get a lifetime’s supply.

The first use was a bit disappointing as you can see below. It was frostier looking but lacked the whiteness and body of the baking soda.


Snow flock on left, baking soda on right

The next experiment was to mix white acrylic in with the PVA – not very much (maybe a quarter paint to three quarters PVA) and paint that on. This worked much better with it coming out strongly white in a single coat. It was the best of both previous attempts. I went on and did the rest – see below, including the second type of tree which consisted of individual plastic layers in soft plastic that stack up into a tree. Here they are in the flocking tray – and looking very atmospheric. Just need a lamppost and you have Narnia.

The trees themselves were glue gunned to pennies, which in turn were stuck to card bases to help them stay upright. These were then painted dark brown and drybrushed with a very pale colour. Here they are before base painting, and behind them you can see my half finished Gothic ruins. More on how they were constructed in a future post.snow_trees_4

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