Creepy Trees - Plastic Terrain

  • A long time ago a young boy was watching Excaliber.  And for the rest of his life he would remember a most filled scene with the dead knights hanging from a creepy tree while crows pecked out their eyes.  A profound visual.

    Pretty much as long as I've been wargaming I've wanted a creepy tree with knights hanging from it for a terrain piece.  

    My suggestion is that WGA make a creepy plastic tree(s) kit.  

    Similar to the actually pretty good if kinda small GW kit:

    Why not use the GW kit you say?  Well, because it's 98$ for three trees.  And that's dumb.

    Kit would obviously include trees.  But also crows, and hanging knights.  Maybe an ancient stone heaped with skulls to place in the center of your copse.  

    EXTRA BONUS points if the kit also includes a brawny crucified barbarian and a vulture one can attach to a tree.


  • Reaper has come out with a Tree of Woe Conan style tree in one of their kickstarters but I do not know if it hit retail yet.

    We have both styles of the GW plastic trees, so I was surprised when Archon Studios said they could not do plastic trees for their Dungeons and Lasers Kickstarter. 

    GW trees are spendy. Mantic trees less so but also much smaller.

  • I have reaper's tee of woe. It's not tiny, but not very big either... it did come with 2 naked victims... one male, one female. And 12 vultures iirc.


    here it is next to Zombicide Freddy Mercury. 

  • We use a lot of different trees from different manufacturers. Our favorite is Dwarven Forge bit they are expensive. 

    Mrs. GG painted up some of our Citadel Games Workshop trees. I painted up some of the old GW jungle trees.

    I have not gotten around to painting our Reaper Bones Tree of Woe.

    We also use Monster Fight Club and Toyvian (something we found on eBay)

    Here are some blog posts about our various trees...


  • Dwarven Forge

  • Monster Fight Club...

    Monster Fight Club

  • Toyvian trees...


    Toyvian trees

  • I'm getting great flashbacks to the 1980s, and the DFC "green army man" style Forest of Doom playset... the forest was little more than a plastic play-mat, with a couple large sheets of 2-D cardboard trees and tree-monsters, but that cardboard scenery was a thing of beauty, really helping to sell the playset's fantasy setting, such as it was - the folks responsible for the art direction and production on this playset and the others in the series really deserve more credit than they got:

    I think we've gotten kind of spoiled by the high quality of modern miniatures, but a little printed cardboard went a long way back then on practically no budget at all, and there's no reason an evocative modern 28mm haunted forest should cost a hundred bucks for three trees!

    I think those toy trees in Grumpy Gnome's last post above are a nice hint at what can be done with inexpensive "green army man" style plastic, and relatively simple manufacturing techniques:  those toy trees really aren't very detailed, elaborate, or natural-looking, but they more than get the point across, they surely wouldn't cost a lot on their own if only they were sold on their own as a set, and I bet they paint up really nicely into a moody haunted forest. 

    Something similar could easily be done for man-eating tree-demons, too, for that matter!  (Larger tree-demon figures need not be solid plastic, either - a two-part front-and-back hollow body and arms with branches on the top for those leafy bits might work nicely...)

    Not sure that Wargames Atlantic's hard plastic manufacturing is the best way to produce that sort of project, but surely someone out there can find a way to do some Made-in-the-USA soft plastic terrain pieces and even monsters like that, for something comparable to a dollar-store green-army-man budget!


    Short of that, I think those toy trees, the small trees that come in some 1/72 scale battlefield-accessory scale model sets, and the Mantic Terrain Crate trees are decent enough (if a bit small) for a haunted forest, and that Reaper Tree of Woe makes a fine centerpiece.

    CMON also made a nice batch of plastic trees, somewhat similar to Mantic's, for their "HATE" miniature war game, but I'm not sure how easy it is to find those, and they're likely to be kinda pricey.

    It's maybe also worth a reminder that there is also a small but prolific industry out there dedicated to making strinkingly realistic trees for model railroading - some assembly required - which can serve some haunted forest projects, with a little creativity.

    But, I think I've still got a soft spot in my heart for the old '80s DFC cardboard cut-out forest:  in a hobby where things can sometimes tend toward over-engineering, over-complication, and over-expensiveness, that cardboard scenery is a reminder that there doesn't have to be one way to do this!  :)  

  • @JTam Actually the real question we should be asking you is why not either use the $10-$20 diorama trees kits sold in every craft store, get them online from such venerable sites like ebay, or make your own out of bits of sticks and drift wood? (you should propose trents with the option to build them as normal trees, not just trees).

  • @Grumpy Gnome 

    Great run down on available trees, and fantastic blog!

    Thank You!

  • @Brian Van De Walker 

    The tree isn't the hard part.  The hanging knights are.  Converting a true lolling pose is not easy.  We need slack arms.  Pointing toes.

    That being said, there is obviously a market for plastic trees.  GW has been selling boxes of 3 for $98.00! for years.  Somebody is buying it.

  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    Nice post.  Soaking in nostalgia time now.

  • The bodies are surely do-able, with maybe a little scratch-building and fudging.

    I ought to try souping something up to see how close we can get with just regular wargaming figure bits.

    A box of Wargames Atlantic skeletons might not be a bad place to start, with some bits from Frostgrave cultists, some zombies, and that sort of thing.  I've probably got plenty of spare armored torsos to work with as well.

    The slack arms and legs, I'll have to experiment with, but when starting with a suitable head and torso, those ought to be easy enough to pose.  I think I might have some heavy string to use as ropes and nooses.

    Trees tall and wide enough to hang a bunch of corpses from like the screenshots would be the really tough part to source: those would most likely have to be scratch-built, I think, but I'm not going to worry about that as much as a proof-of-concept for the bodies.

    The REALLY hard part is that I need to start setting time aside for modeling and painting again, I haven't done that properly since I moved last year!

  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    Super excited to see what you can come up with of you find the time to experiment.

  • @Yronimos Whateley Holy smokes, that Forest of Doom is GLORIOUS.

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