Sorastro

Scenery with Sorastro

26 posts in this topic

Hello! 

It's been so exciting to see so much amazing scenery and terrain work being shared here in preparation for the launch of SWL! 

I've been getting lots of inspiration from the creative ideas being shared and I and would like to give a little something back by sharing my progress with a first tutorial on building pine-tree scenery that could be used for an Endor-type battle field.  

It's nothing revolutionary and I must give full credit for the pine tree technique to the amazing Luke Towan.  Anyway I hope you like it!

S.

 

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9 minutes ago, Imperial Advisor Arem Heshvaun said:

I guess Sorastro finally  leveled up and took a Level in Druid.

Beautiful as always Maestro.

I'm curious, how do you store your dioramas?

Thanks Arem! Well I've had to pack away some of the minis I previously had on display (a Vampire Counts army)  and I've managed to fit all of these trees onto a single shelf in my figure cabinet :)

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Great video. Good to see a face to the mysterious Sorastro!

I have so many questions, but I'll keep it to just a few:

Did you fashion your own foam cutter? If so, how did you do it?

In your list of supporters, is that THE Sam Witwer actor/voice actor of The Force Unleased, Clone Wars, etc. etc. fame? 

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Cheers on the brilliant work as usual.

I look forward to all your series as a source of inspiration.

I don't know if I am the first to mention but the view from your flat is amazing. If I could look out at that everyday I would paint my miniatures and construct my builds outdoors.

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This looks great!

Also, I noticed @Sorastroused actual sticks and twigs here, what do you guys think about using actual pine needles, ground up into tiny bits, for use in flocking the forest floor? I've got access to a lot of those I could just scoop up in my neighborhood, and then chop and ground em up. I thought the color would be really nice and realistic for a conifer forest like Endor.

Do you think there would be any drawbacks?

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1 hour ago, manoftomorrow010 said:

This looks great!

Also, I noticed @Sorastroused actual sticks and twigs here, what do you guys think about using actual pine needles, ground up into tiny bits, for use in flocking the forest floor? I've got access to a lot of those I could just scoop up in my neighborhood, and then chop and ground em up. I thought the color would be really nice and realistic for a conifer forest like Endor.

Do you think there would be any drawbacks?

The only true draw back I could see would be natural resources breaking down or discolouration. I would recommend a layer of PVA glue over your finished product to seal and protect it.

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1 hour ago, manoftomorrow010 said:

This looks great!

Also, I noticed @Sorastroused actual sticks and twigs here, what do you guys think about using actual pine needles, ground up into tiny bits, for use in flocking the forest floor? I've got access to a lot of those I could just scoop up in my neighborhood, and then chop and ground em up. I thought the color would be really nice and realistic for a conifer forest like Endor.

Do you think there would be any drawbacks?

Mmmhmm.  Biology.  Evergreen is a bit of a misnomer.  But for texture,  it might be worth a try.  

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3 hours ago, Force Majeure said:

Great video. Good to see a face to the mysterious Sorastro!

I have so many questions, but I'll keep it to just a few:

Did you fashion your own foam cutter? If so, how did you do it?

In your list of supporters, is that THE Sam Witwer actor/voice actor of The Force Unleased, Clone Wars, etc. etc. fame? 

Thanks Force!  Ha ha - yes I have a face!

OK, the foam cutter is an old one I bought from Games Workshop years ago.  I think I'd like to get something more like this one though tbh: http://amzn.to/2xlgU2A

Yes - that is THE Sam Witwer!  He's been a patron since very early on and he sent me a really supportive message when I was starting out.  Great guy!

2 hours ago, C3POFETT said:

Cheers on the brilliant work as usual.

I look forward to all your series as a source of inspiration.

I don't know if I am the first to mention but the view from your flat is amazing. If I could look out at that everyday I would paint my miniatures and construct my builds outdoors.

Thank you!  Yes, that's the view from the back of our home; unfortunately my tiny studio is on the front but still, it is nice :)

2 hours ago, manoftomorrow010 said:

This looks great!

Also, I noticed @Sorastroused actual sticks and twigs here, what do you guys think about using actual pine needles, ground up into tiny bits, for use in flocking the forest floor? I've got access to a lot of those I could just scoop up in my neighborhood, and then chop and ground em up. I thought the color would be really nice and realistic for a conifer forest like Endor.

Do you think there would be any drawbacks?

Thanks! I think that's a fine idea - just let them dry out completely first :)

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35 minutes ago, C3POFETT said:

The only true draw back I could see would be natural resources breaking down or discolouration. I would recommend a layer of PVA glue over your finished product to seal and protect it.

 

33 minutes ago, thebrettski said:

Mmmhmm.  Biology.  Evergreen is a bit of a misnomer.  But for texture,  it might be worth a try.  

 

26 minutes ago, Sorastro said:

Thanks Force!  Ha ha - yes I have a face!

OK, the foam cutter is an old one I bought from Games Workshop years ago.  I think I'd like to get something more like this one though tbh: http://amzn.to/2xlgU2A

Yes - that is THE Sam Witwer!  He's been a patron since very early on and he sent me a really supportive message when I was starting out.  Great guy!

Thank you!  Yes, that's the view from the back of our home; unfortunately my tiny studio is on the front but still, it is nice :)

Thanks! I think that's a fine idea - just let them dry out completely first :)

 

Yeah, sorry, I meant, needles that had already fallen (I live in Colorado, so plenty of dried out needles available). I expected them to further decompose, but if PVA or something else would "seal" them, then they may hold their color.

I bought a bottle of "scenic cement" before I rightly knew what I was doing, but I could use this to spray over top to seal?

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4 hours ago, Force Majeure said:

In your list of supporters, is that THE Sam Witwer actor/voice actor of The Force Unleased, Clone Wars, etc. etc. fame? 

Sam Witwer is actually a gamer, he played the Star Wars West End Games as a child, and his gaming group, now adults like many of us, gets together to play a few times a year, continuing a long running campaign.

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10 hours ago, manoftomorrow010 said:

Yeah, sorry, I meant, needles that had already fallen (I live in Colorado, so plenty of dried out needles available). I expected them to further decompose, but if PVA or something else would "seal" them, then they may hold their color.

I bought a bottle of "scenic cement" before I rightly knew what I was doing, but I could use this to spray over top to seal?

It's really the moisture that helps decompose the pine needles. Fungus really needs moisture to live so if the needles are dry they should be fine. If you are concerned, a clear acrylic satin glaze would seal them from moisture further.

Pro tip while making many many trees, make the kid work for her supper.

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Now this is artistry in terrain making and what the miniature hobby is all about.....welcome to tabletop miniature wargaming gang. Actually playing the game is about 25% of your hobby/gaming time and budget. Awesome work on these!

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So I tried this technique over the weekend, and I was fairly pleased with the results! I can post pics later, I only made 2 as a test run.

I noticed a couple problems, mostly I think my fault, but any advice on anything I did wrong would be great.

1) I pulled the fibers apart too much, so the bottom layer (the largest one) of fiber became really droopy, and I just had to remove it. This should be easily fixed, and my 2nd tree turned out okay with more dense fiber from not pulling them out as much.

2) The fiber didn't stick well to the skewer, and could basically spin around it on the first attempt, likely due to the fibers being too thin. They don't fall off because of the dowel, but, it's weird that they aren't stuck in place.

3) This was my first time working with flocking, but I didn't have any coarse turf, like Sorastro used here, but fine "weeds" colored turf. I thought it looked dark enough for the conifer color, but, after a healthy amount of spray adhesive, including some "scenic cement" sprayed over top of the turf, the **** stuff is still falling off of it if the tree is even slightly tapped or moved. Advice here would be much appreciated! Maybe I'm not using strong enough spray adhesive?

 

I thought about spray-painting the fibers, and applying the turf before putting the fiber layers on the skewer, as the fiber i'm using didn't always get into the inner parts of the fiber, leaving some green "rings" basically on some layers that didn't look too great.

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14 minutes ago, manoftomorrow010 said:

So I tried this technique over the weekend, and I was fairly pleased with the results! I can post pics later, I only made 2 as a test run.

I noticed a couple problems, mostly I think my fault, but any advice on anything I did wrong would be great.

1) I pulled the fibers apart too much, so the bottom layer (the largest one) of fiber became really droopy, and I just had to remove it. This should be easily fixed, and my 2nd tree turned out okay with more dense fiber from not pulling them out as much.

2) The fiber didn't stick well to the skewer, and could basically spin around it on the first attempt, likely due to the fibers being too thin. They don't fall off because of the dowel, but, it's weird that they aren't stuck in place.

3) This was my first time working with flocking, but I didn't have any coarse turf, like Sorastro used here, but fine "weeds" colored turf. I thought it looked dark enough for the conifer color, but, after a healthy amount of spray adhesive, including some "scenic cement" sprayed over top of the turf, the **** stuff is still falling off of it if the tree is even slightly tapped or moved. Advice here would be much appreciated! Maybe I'm not using strong enough spray adhesive?

 

I thought about spray-painting the fibers, and applying the turf before putting the fiber layers on the skewer, as the fiber i'm using didn't always get into the inner parts of the fiber, leaving some green "rings" basically on some layers that didn't look too great.

Hi there! Thanks for sharing your tree-making experiences!

I have a couple of thoughts based on the issues you've mentioned: Firstly it sounds like - as you've suggested -  the spray-on glue you're using isn't quite sticking as well as you'd like.  It could be the particular brand you're using, or it could be that it needs to be left for a little longer to become tacky before applying the fibre.. just a thought.

Regarding the turf; the course turf is quite a lot more "chunky" and therefore sticks a lot better to the fibre which is why I applied it first.  The finer turf then has a much easier time of sticking to the course turf.

I hope this helps! 

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10 minutes ago, Sorastro said:

Hi there! Thanks for sharing your tree-making experiences!

I have a couple of thoughts based on the issues you've mentioned: Firstly it sounds like - as you've suggested -  the spray-on glue you're using isn't quite sticking as well as you'd like.  It could be the particular brand you're using, or it could be that it needs to be left for a little longer to become tacky before applying the fibre.. just a thought.

Regarding the turf; the course turf is quite a lot more "chunky" and therefore sticks a lot better to the fibre which is why I applied it first.  The finer turf then has a much easier time of sticking to the course turf.

I hope this helps! 

Thanks! I used Elmers' spray "craft glue" since I already had some around the house. I'll try letting it sit for a little longer, since the 2nd tree I made doesn't have any turf on it yet.

I'll keep on with the trial and error! Even though the turf keeps falling from it, the one I made looks well enough, I can try to post a picture this evening.

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how well does this hold up over time?  It seems like the edges of the base may be pretty fragile given how thin they are and the trees and ground would leave little bits of stuff everywhere for a few months or so.

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Nice work manoftomorrow!

1 hour ago, joeshmoe554 said:

how well does this hold up over time?  It seems like the edges of the base may be pretty fragile given how thin they are and the trees and ground would leave little bits of stuff everywhere for a few months or so.

Hi!  

I actually found there was very little "shedding" of the flock either from the trees or the bases, but if you really want to seal the bases you could spray on some heavily diluted PVA.

Regarding the edges of the bases; I think there's definitely a trade off between aesthetics and durability.  Being who I am I naturally wanted the scenery to look as good as possible so I went for a very tapered edge to make them look as seamless as I could, but you could of course build your edges thicker to maximise the durability at the cost of the finished aesthetic (and chunky edges might not bother you of course!) :)

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