Thursday, March 13, 2014

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

A few weeks/month ago, I stumbled on a paper craft site that had a paper evergreen tree design, designed to be printed and cut on one of those automatic doo-dads (yes, doo-dad). The pieces were then assembled - the automatic cutting doo-dad presumably makes the pieces uniform so the edges match up.

The result is something like my Seussian trees, but with a much simpler assembly.

Then, a serendipitous acquisition of a discounted pack of shades of green cardstock at Michael's set the plans in motion: i would use my mechanical cutting doo-dad, i.e. scissors, and attempt to replicate the idea.


Dawn patrol.

Just what I wanted!

What the above picture shows is 3 different trees, made by three different methods. And I have tried many more. I'm not uber-concerned with ratty, not perfectly aligned edges (from wargaming distance they aren't noticeable) but I am looking for a faster method to make each tree, so I can really crank them out.

As an aside, the great downfall of the craft foam Seussian trees is how long they take to assemble.

One method I hit upon, that seems to work well is illustrated below:

Here is a real-life example:

 At first my plan was to use it as a simple triangle, no "boughs."

If this was a mid-century modern wargaming setup, maybe that would be fine, but to me it looked like a paper airplane on end.

So, a few snips of the mechanical cutting doo-dad and voila!

They mix in well with my craft foam trees, so I haven't lost that effort. At minimum, I'm shooting for a dozen trees, but two dozen is probably ideal. 

At 1-2 sheets of cardstock, depending on the width, I can make something like 50-100 trees, at a cost of $0.03 usd  to $0.06 usd, per tree!


  1. I like them, sir. They maintain that somewhat whimsical style and the slightly different sizes/shapes/colors work well together in my opinion.

    But when are you going to return to the Ever-Expanding Dungeon?

    -- Jeff

    1. Thanks, Jeff!

      As for the Ever Expanding Dungeon, it's waiting in the wings, patiently. I am the first to admit I have too many hobby fires burning : I'm laying out the zine in fits and starts, and my gamer ADD has me playing with my 1/32 WWII collection and monkeying around with converting Risus: The Anything RPG into a set of miniature wargame rules.The biggest culprit has been the social D&D game, which is meeting for it's 2nd time after only 2 weeks. The next one won't be until well into April and that will open up time for me - plus as i finish the initial stocking of the dungeon, maintenance mode will kick in.