One trouble with wargaming the New Zealand Wars is that the bush in New Zealand has so many different plants from those found in other countries. To add a real kiwi flavour to such games, you need to have at least a few tree-ferns and cabbage trees.
I’ve been mulling over this problem for months, looking at all sorts of potential sources to scratch-build such trees. Then the other day I stumbled across an ad on TradeMe (our local version of eBay) for New Zealand trees for model railways. So I splashed out and bought a box to assess their usefulness.
Well, having just received the box of trees less than an hour ago, I’ve assessed their usefulness as … very useful indeed! They look really nice.
They’re quite simply made from laser-cut green paper leaves attached to various artificial or natural products. But the end result is a perfectly distinguishable set of New Zealand plants. In the picture above you can see: a red flax, a ponga tree, a toitoi bush, a tree fern, a fern bush, a cabbage tree, and a flax bush.
In the background is one of my Empress Miniatures 28mm Māori warriors, which shows that the size of these trees is just about perfect for gaming purposes.
This picture shows the trees and plants loosely placed against one of my green tablecloths. My favourites are the cabbage tree and the flax and toitoi bushes. The Māori warrior again shows the excellent size of these trees for 28mm gaming.
I’m still mulling over basing them individually on coins, or in clumps. Some of the trunks are very thin, so I’ll have to think of a way to attach them securely. Actually, if there was only one thing I would have against these trees, it is that they are possibly going to be slightly more fragile than normal wargaming trees – but time will tell, and I’ll just have to pack them away carefully after games.
The smaller bushes will need to be dug into the basing a little bit to hide their bottoms, but that won’t be a problem at all. The taller trees will need some simple work with glue and flock to make the join between the trunk and leaves more natural – again, not a major.
So far as colours are concerned, you can see they are currently all just the same original paper colour. I think I’ll spray them black, then paint them in varieties of colours. Luckily I’ve got three cabbage trees right outside my study window to work off!
If anyone is interested in these trees, they are produced by Right Track and available from HobbyMailer here in New Zealand.