Sunday, 7 February 2016

An Oak Tree


When pootling around 'Salute 2015' I happened to spy that '4Ground' had started to expand their buildings range to include scenic elements such as trees.  All looked rather splendid, but came with a hefty price tag that saw me, quite unusually, be sensible and pass them by.  Unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn't dislodge this discovery and during one particular late night shopping session* I succumbed, after all if you don't hand the money over in person it doesn't feel so painful! 
*Harveys Sussex Best Bitter has a lot to answer for.

I had opted for a rather splendid oak tree to add some gravitas to the forestry here at 'Awdry Towers', but at £19, I have to say that I was a little disappointed when it arrived.  Yes, it comes with a useful pre-painted MDF base, yes the additionally flocking on top of the clump foliage is a nice touch and yes the sturdy and well sculpted plastic trunk looked good, but was it worth the price tag?  I certainly didn't think so.  
Feeling the need to somehow justify the purchase to myself, I rooted around periphery of the lead pile until I discovered my quarry - 'Warbases' rabbits and pheasants; it's been a while since I returned with such a bountiful game bag, but I digress.  These tiny little additions of fur and feather were safely secured to sticks to aid the painting process and then liberally distributed around the base of the old oak tree.

With the addition of some pumice gel, a few stones and then the customary tuft or two, I was starting to feel a whole lot brighter about my purchase.
So have I learnt my lesson and will now refrain from buying things on a whim?  Obviously not, but I might be more inclined to go back to building my own using armatures; if I could get my hands on the one that '4Ground' use.  That said I they did have some splendid willows and then there were the poplars! 
Speaking of rabbits, as we were, I happened across a rather exciting section over at the 'Hasslefree Miniatures' site, where you can get your hands on some rather exotically flavoured jerky from 'Cowley's Fine Foods'.  Now I appreciate that the sight and taste of dried meat is not for everyone, but it has become a guilty pleasure of mine and find it just the sort of nourishment a chap needs when planing a long expedition to the painting table.  The  Rabbit Jerky, amusingly dubbed Watership Doom, is particularly tasty! 

77 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear the tree was less than satisfying a purchase, but the jerky sounds like a treat! I'm a fan of dried meat myself, and occasionally make my own; unfortunately the electric stove in my apartment produces much lower quality results than the gas stove at my parents' house! One of these days I'll have to invest in a proper dehydrator.

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    1. I've often wondered how involving the process was, might be tempted myself one day.

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  2. I think you've done absolute wonders with that tree Michael, and if it came fully painted and surrounded by such fantastic-looking mammals and birds then I'd certainly be happy to fork out a twenty for it. Clearly that's not the case however unless Awdry Towers is planning on branching out? Still it is now truly a wonderful looking piece of terrain :-)

    I hope the latest secret project is going well. I'm told by a mutual friend that it looks fantastic, if not an armful ;-)

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    1. Thank you Simon and the finally getting to grips with the beastie, having disentangled myself from all eight arms! Our little hirsute historian popped round last week for an update. Great to catch up, but no painting done as a result!

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  3. Very nice. Love the birds on the base. Cheers, Karl

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  4. That it a great upgrade. Tended to make my own out of twigs and lichen but they have a short shelf life. Did by 20 nice trees at the battleground show this year from the bring and buy for £6 the lot

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    1. Now £6 for twenty sounds a lot more value for money.

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  5. It's a nice looking tree, but is it worth £19? I don't think so. For the number of trees a wargamer might need to put on the table it is out of reach of most people (maybe if I won the lottery...)

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    1. This was certainly the conclusion I came to Tamsin.

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  6. The 4Ground trees really do look superb but the cost of buying enough for even a 3'x3' table certainly puts me off!

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  7. lol. It happens to us all, and you right, it is different if you hand the money over in person. Love the pheasants.

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    1. I wouldn't mind but it keeps happening! Waking up in the morning and finding an email that says you Amazon order has been dispatched is always worrying! :)

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  8. The "Midas Touch" will from now on be known as the "Awdry Touch". :D Splendid!!!

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    1. That is incredibly kind of you thank you.

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  9. The cool forest creatures rescue an expensive purchase, it looks good but £20 good?

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    1. Thank you, but I think you are right it's not worth the price tag.

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  10. Nic, very nice, and these little birds are so cute!

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  11. I often recieve items through the post and then damn my drunken eyes (surely eBay should have a sobriety test before you press the 'Buy it now' button at 2 in the morning!).

    The 4ground stuff is always on the expensive side and I think your hand made stuff knocks the stuffing out of their stuff.

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    1. Ha, that's a great idea - please complete this test before making purchase - I love it!

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  12. With the Awdry-Modeler's-Touch: addition of forest debris and fauna resting, you have fashioned a fine vignette, sir.

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  13. You certainly brought the tree to life with the pheasants and all, Michael. However, I agree with you on the price tag. Trees are something that I lack in terrain. I still use the first set of pine tree I picked up about ten years ago from a discount store. For the record, I've had my eye on the old GW Fantasy tree kit. Those aren't cheap either though.

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    1. Thank you Dean and I can recommend that GW forest, very versatile, but quite a few skulls littered around the place.

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  14. I like what you did with the tree. It will look great on the game table.

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    1. Thank you Rodney, need a few more yet, but not at that price.

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  15. I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions. The tree looks fantastic but at 19 pounds it's pretty expensive.

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    1. I can't believe they have sold that many, but the armature would fly off the shelves.

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  16. Great looking 4ground tree but a little to expensive!

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    1. I certainly can't justify another one.

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  17. A pricey purchase, but delightfully done. I must've been living in a cave for the last few months, as I hadn't come across pumice gel before. It looks useful.

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    1. Thank you A.J. and pumice gel is a splendid thing. I now use it to base all my miniatures. It is thick enough to hide the lip between miniature and base, can be built up for ground work and if you drop addition stones onto it will hold them in place so no additional gluing.

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  18. Ouch.. But you recovered it well. I have a large box of armatures you would welcome to have virtual rummage through.. Just ping a mail and I will send pics!

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    1. Thank you Dave and again thank you for the offer, next time I'm in the forestry business I shall be bothering you. I'm pretty sure I have some Woodland Scenics armatures around here somewhere too.

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  19. Excellent work Michael. But too much price wise. I like the Warbases critters. I.must purchase some to herald my return to 28mm painting and for some terrain projects I'm planning.

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    1. Thank you Mark and you are not wrong, certainly won't be rushing out and buying many more any time soon.

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  20. Looks outstanding Michael but as everyone has said, the price is a bit tough for me.

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  21. The end result looks excellent with the addition of the creatures. Can I ask how big those rabbits are? I assume scaled for 28mm figures? I've been searching for some rabbit miniatures for a while...

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    1. Thank you and the rabbits are small, I've put a ruler up against the one sitting up and he is 8mm to the top of his ears - hope that helps?

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  22. That looks very realistic and a very nice touch with the animals and birds.

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  23. "be sensible and pass them by"
    Good God sir! Surely not?!?!? :-)

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  24. That is a lovely looking tree but £19 seems expensive for what is basic terrain. The flora and fauna on the base look especially nice though.

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    1. Thank you Matt and you, of course, absolutely right - far too expensive.

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  25. Hmmm Rabbit Jerky, that I HAVE TO TRY!

    That is a nice looking tree. But the price puts it out of my pocket. especially if I might need 10 or 15 of them.

    The wild life looks very good though so good that knowing I would not paint them so well will make them a pass for me.

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    1. The jerk was particularly tasty and certainly more palatable than the tree's price tag. The thought of buying ten or fifteen of them - ouch!

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  26. Lovely brushwork on the Warbases animals, the cock pheasant looks especially good.

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    1. Thank you Roy, I was particularly pleased with me.

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  27. Hola Amigo
    Que bueno lo del árbol y los animalitos
    me gusta.buena semana
    un saludo j.d.

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    1. Thank you J.D. I enjoyed painting the animals, but they were a challenge.

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  28. Well, the tree (and its small animal "friends") looks great. I just wouldn't plan on doing Sherwood Forest...

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    1. Now there's a thought to make your wallet wince!

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  29. It turned out well.....eventually, nicely done Michael!

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  30. Whilst i applaud your 'tweaks' to make the tree more "Awdry", £19.00 for a tree? You need a breath tester - over the limit, do not buy. ;-)

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    1. I shall be referring myself to late night shoppers anonymous!

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  31. Good effort despite the hefty price tag! It turned out marvellous in the end. I still have a load of tree I bought from China to have bash with. Late not shopping yeah I've done that.

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    1. Thank you Simon and like you I have a mass of 'Chinese' palm trees - what was I thinking?

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  32. I think you've done a great job spicing up that tree!

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  33. The wildlife is a very nice addition on the base! But I agree with you the price tag is pretty outrageous. With that price you can get multiple premade model railway trees that look the same or better or then just do some yourself much cheaper and for a far better look.

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    1. I have to agree with you, I was hoping it was going to be a real statement piece, but the Woodland Scenics armatures that I had done previously were actually taller!

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  34. A wonderful addition to your ever growing collection Sir M.

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    1. Thank you my good man, still need a few more at some stage though.

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  35. Simply lovely. Excellent paintwork there!

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  36. Splendid work with the tree, my friend, although the price seems close to robbery... ;-)

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    1. Thank you so much Stefan, you are right about the price though.

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