Creating realistic vegetation for a tabletop gaming board

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Please edit the link to read Goobertown and not Gobbertown. :slight_smile:


Fixed. It wouldn’t be a Branwyn post without an embarrassing typo. It my watermark.

Gobbertown Hobbies – that’s the punk rock spin-off.


This book by Dave Frary covers it all.

(3rd edition is not as good, IMHO)


So… I guess the trick to creating realistic vegetation for a tabletop gaming board is… buy realistic vegetation made for tabletop gaming boards and dioramas.

I’m always looking at these kinds of videos to see how people make their vegetation… but they always buy it ready-made. (Or, very rarely, they make their own, but it looks bad.) I suppose making them from scratch would simply involve finding some plants that look convincingly like scaled-down versions of larger plants, which would be entirely dependent on what one can find in one’s area, so it doesn’t lend itself to a tutorial. The commercial products also seem to be a lot better in quality than what I remember seeing as a kid. I remember a lot of flocking and lichen…


Indeed, but you can buy this stuff too! Scenic Express sells something called Super Trees that are some kind of plant that makes realistic scaled down trunks. And they sell everything else needed to make this kind of thing. I imagine the videos on their site would apply to lots of found items too, back-yard twigs and so on.

Most of the better-looking commercial miniature plants seem to all involve some sort of plants or fungus, for some part of it at least. The few decent “make your own” projects use fine-detailed plants; I’ve seen some painted sawdust and crushed eggshell for foliage, but it doesn’t look quite right.

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There’s a video about architectural models being made in a factory in Shenzhen. Part of it shows how they make trees.

The tree part starts at 17:07.

@28:54, where they put together everything that is done at the factory, and show the finished $100,000 models, was spectacular.

That reminds me of some video I saw of a hobbyist making twisted-wire trees that they then coated with something to smooth them out, but I don’t remember them using flocking. I forget if they used some organic material, or left them bare. Deciduous trees at certain scales do most lend themselves to totally artificial materials though, compared to other plants.

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I just use broccoli. Unless it is supposed to be wintertime, then I use cauliflower.

But best of all, is to use some dank bud and cast fireball. I believe J.R.R. Tolkien referred to this as the Hobbit’s Pipe-Weed

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Then you need to watch some of Luke Towen’s instructional videos! His stuff never fails to blow my mind with its realism.

This is one where he makes his own pine forest:

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Ah, nice!

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