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The Making of the 300 Spartans Battle of Thermopylae Diorama- Part 8 Making and applying the Trees and bushes.


Adding terrain textures is where the diorama starts to really look like a miniature world. In this part of the tutorial I will show you how to add the base terrain textures. These are the base colors that make up the ground, grass and some of the smaller shrubbery. There are also small bits of stone, sand and pebbles. It is all the small ground level texturing.


Making the Trees

Tree Armatures

Woodland Scenics Makes a whole series of trees and bushes in a lot of different sizes. This makes tree making very easy. They come flattened and with bases. You simply bend them so they take on three dimensional shapes (like trees!) You can glue them into their bases but I rarely use the bases. I just punch a small hole in the diorama then glue the tree right into it. It looks more realistic but takes a little more skill.


Apply cement to the tree armature

To apply the foliage to the tree armatures you heavily coat the armature with a very tacky cement. I use Hob-e-Tac for this. You let the Hob-e-Tac sit for about 15 minutes so it gets good and sticky. (Hob-E-Tac Adhesive)


dip the tree in the terrain foliage

You then dip the tree in a bag of terrain foliage. Pull it out and touch it up by hand-adding a few more pieces.


Tree is done

Your tree is done! Set it aside so the glue will dry.

When doing your trees a good thing to think about is variety. Don't make all your trees with the same shade of green. Vary them and even vary the colors on the same tree by dipping it in different bags. You can even get autum foliage that comes in a variety of colors like orange, yellow and red.

I have even gone so far as to apply, by hand very small red beads to transform it into an apple tree!


Now if you are using the bases of the trees you can glue them and sprinkle ground texture on them. Then you can glue them right down to the diorama. If you don't use the bases then punch a small hole right in the diorama, fill it with glue then insert the tree right into it. This technique requires some skill because the tree may tend to fall over. You have to make the hole very small and let the glue set for a while before you insert the tree.

Punch a hole in the diorama surface

Using an awl or a sharp object I punch a hole through the surface of the diorama exactly where I want the tree to go.

I then fill it with glue or cement and let it set for a while so it gets nice and tacky.


insert the tree

I then insert the tree. You may need to hold it in place for a few seconds.


Tree looks great

Here is the tree in place. It looks great!


NextThis diorama is getting close to being completed! Let's add the water effects


Deciduous Tree Kit, Large (7) Thinking about making your own diorama? Amazon.com has lots of tree kits from Woodland Scenics.