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So, building on my success from my previous lithostic terrain project, I decided to do another big ol' rock terrain piece. This time, I picked a bigger rock (area wise, as well as a taller height), and added a second, smaller rock, along with a place to try out an idea I've been mulling for awhile: a tree.

To start with, I picked out my rocks. Once again, you will notice that they don't exactly sit politely on the base:

Then, it was a matter of figuring out how I wanted them to lay out on the plasticard base:

I then went ahead and put some glue and greenstuff down, just like last time. Due to the extra weight of this bigger rock with just the same amount of actual level surface area to glue on, this rock definitely didn't glue down as well. As such, I had to be extra careful when putting the plasticard down. Once I had a band or two that went around most of the base, it started feeling a lot more stable.

In any case, After doing the base priming and all of the plasticard work, I got to a point where I was reasonably satisfied:

(you can see the hole on the right side where the tree will go)

So, this was a much bigger project, and as such took me a lot longer to do the plasticard for than the previous one. From this point, I'm going to be putting some greenstuff in to smooth things out a bit. Then I'm going to hand-prime and basecoat the terrain like normal.

The one big difference is going to be the construction of the tree. Given that all that's left, construction-wise on the rock part is the greenstuffing, I thought I'd switch over to the tree, as there is still more plasticarding that needs to be done here.

So, to start the tree, we start with a piece of plasticard tubing cut down to the length that I want it. Then, I cut the tube into two pieces. The first represents the stump that will be left over if the tree ever gets knocked over (like a tank runs over the rock/tree, or whatever) and the long part will be the tree trunk.

The next part is to put a bunch of plasticard in there in such a way where there will be a lot of points of contact between the top and the bottom. It's basically taking the problem with my plasticard store, except doing it on purpose. Here is what the stump looks like in the ground:

And here's what the tree trunk looks like on the other side:

And here you can see how the mechanism interlocks with each other:

At first I was really nervous about this. I feared that there wouldn't be enough surface area and that the tree would just wobble like mad and it would never stay in there. To my surprise, it wound up making a VERY tight fit. So much so, that I could even tip it upside down and shake it vigorously, and the tree trunk would stay in there.

Once the trunk was done, it was time to move on to the branches. While making a tree look awesome and realistic would take forever, and I'd probably not have the skill, I DO have exposure to the holy grail of cheating with trees: video games. For years, 3-D games (like counterstrike) struggled with the same problems making trees as I'm having. The end result is a clever way of cheating to get something close enough.

To start with, I needed to cut out radial planes that would serve as the backbone of my branches system:

Then, it was just a matter of gluing them on in a radial pattern. After this point, I'm going to proceed to cheat in the other radial dimension (using planes to go around in a "circle" between the spokes), and then adding on a little more radial cheating after that.

Anyways, so after looking at this project for awhile (and actually getting quite a lot done on the tree), I realised that the tree was actually sapping my will to complete this project. As such, I cut it out of the project and just continued on without it. Don't worry, I still have the tree (completed as it is...), and it's very likely to show up in some future project.

With the tree gone, I was able to quickly continue on to finish the project. I'm not disappointed with the results: