Time to report on how things went during the last 30 days. First, the good news. With the help of the Young Master, I managed to sort, assemble, and cement to various Litko terrain bases almost two dozen Zvezda fir trees. The bases were then carefully painted with a dark green to demarcate wooded areas clearly from my light green table top. 72 cake decoration "Birch Trees" received a similar treatment although these did not need assembly. All of these trees have been in my possession for eight or nine years, so it was about time to get them stuck to bases. Very pleased with how things went, and, while not an exact match, they call to mind those vintage Merit trees used by various wargaming greats, past and present.
On a less than encouraging note, my layered foamcore hills, seen in my June 22nd post, did not turn out as hoped. "Bother!" as Winnie the Pooh might exclaim. Due to cheap materials (my fault), and a failure to paint a test piece first before continuing with the rest (again my fault), the stuff curled up like old toast around the edges as the paint was applied and dried. Worse, although I was careful to apply thin coats with a small roller, the paper on the outside of the foam bubbled and came away from the middle styrofoam layer in many places. Insert blue language here.
Valuable lessons learned: 1) Don't purchase cheap stuff for projects, and 2) do a test piece before plowing ahead with reckless abandon. As my maternal grandmother used to say, I am so mad I could spit. Grrrr. Still, as a friend once remarked, a First World problem. Goodness knows there is plenty of more troubling stuff happening right now at home and abroad.
At any rate, I am re-examining the large 50" x 100"vinyl terrain mats by Woodland Scenics online and may just pull that particular trigger (Not the irrepressible "Tigger" I hasten to add.) this weekend. Probably should have done that in the first place, but you live and learn. Even with a hobby pursuit. It will be a lot easier to place books and things underneath such mats to make an endless variety of hills and ridges without cluttering the Stollenkeller Mk II with offcuts of foam packing material or similar and the inevitable tiny bits of the stuff that always turn up no matter how many times you might use the vacuum cleaner much like Christmas tree needles. The older I become, the less I like clutter in any form. It's far nicer to keep things straight and put away when not in use with a place for everything, and everything in its place. I ought to tattoo this bit of wisdom across the forehead of the Grand Duchess. Ahem!
But the best thing to come out of this particular terrain challenge was the time spent on the trees with the Young Master. He has in all of this become interested once again in his large plastic knights from two Christmases ago and is now organizing and lining them up into distinct units according to pose/weapons carried. In addition, the Young Master has, in his words, "made" several battles with them during the last couple of days across the breakfast room floor where he likes to play. Huzzah! Naturally, when I went to photograph one such set-up two days ago, both my phone and camera needed juice.
In closing, the Young Master and I have a date for a battle on Dad's table this weekend, complete with knights, castle, close to 100 trees, and a handful of six-sided dice. That should be a blast! Keep an eye out for a few photographs here.