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Shrubberies

Posted April 23rd, 2010 at 10:13 AM by Sylvano the Wasabus
I will be the first to admit that my shrubbery is not the most beautiful shrubbery in the history of shrubberies. My shrubbery is not even on the 1000 best shrubberies list. That said, I still like my bushes, and when itís set on the terrain it looks good, at least to me.

Our shrubberies are easy to make and we include it amongst our destructible objects- it is not fastened to a hex but rather a poker chip base, so it can be removed at any time. A bush usually has one life and a defense of 3 or 4. Sometimes if weíre playing a really wild game the shrubbed areas actually grow.





Anything I was going to make had to be both cheap and easy. I donít have a lot of spare time or money, and I have lots of kids who Scape so things had to be durable and easy to fix.

I looked through this site before I started working on shrubbery. Iím not a crafty guy and I had no idea what to do. Also, I have a very strong aversion to glue. Iím not allergic to it or anything; I just find it somehow wrong. Iím not sure, but I think glue is banned by the Valhalla society as well. Glue just isnít right.

We didnít own the jungle set. It has just come to us recently, when Santa Claus saw it on clearance. Now we have one. Those jungle shrubs and trees are okay, but theyíre not destructible and we are quite used to that. Weíve spoiled ourselves with shrubberies.

Anyway, I read something or other about using aquarium plants. First I went to a fish store. Too expensive! Then I went to a big chain Pet store. Too expensive! Then I tried Wally World. Too expensive for poor me.

I searched the Internet for all sorts of miniature terrain and there is some really fascinating stuff out there made out of wire and old car parts and all kinds of crazy things. But itís not cheap and most of it was the very opposite of easy.

My Valhalla turned out to be the local dollar store. Itís a good one. I bought: poker chips for bases, contact cement (yuk glue!), acrylic paint, modeling clay, and foliage.

They have a big section at the back with fake plastic flowers that look awful. Iíd only imagined that old ladies with poor eyesight browsed that section of the store, but there I was, flitting through the ferns and elbowing old ladies aside. Besides the stems of tulips and things they also have just foliage, which is completely adaptable and itís only a dollar.

My first attempt was to build a mound of modeling clay on a poker chip and then stick little sprigs of plastic leafys into it. I made two. The dollar store modeling clay never really dried, it was always kind of sticky and that annoyed me. (I have four kids and everything is sticky- I had to draw the line somewhere)

Okay, out went the modeling clay. I bought these great poker chips; thick, heavy- I think they may have been clay rather than plastic and they were my first bases, and they were really good, but then they all vanished- I think they must have been returned to China in that big contains-lead recall. I didnít know what to do. Couldnít get past first baseÖ

Okay no nice poker chips. Flimsy plastic chips snuck into the dollar store to replace the nice ones. With nothing else to choose from, I have grown to like them as much as one can like cheap flimsy plastic poker chips.

Then one day the dollar store had something called ďgrass matsĒ. They were incredible. They look like a little mat but what they really are is a frame with about forty little tufts of little fake plants- the perfect thing. Then I saw them at Michaelís craft store- same mat- but nine bucks! My advice is to stick with the dollar store.

Eventually as time passed I threw out the things that didnít work and kept the ideas that did. Iíve got it down to a quick, cheap, easy system. We have more than a hundred and fifty shrubs in five different styles, and I think that is more than enough bushes for anyone. Except maybe Dr. Weirdscaper.





This is the cheap easy way I made them:

1) Take plastic poker chips from the dollar store. Drill a little hole in the center.

2) Glue a metal washer on the bottom. (If you glue the washer on first and then drill the hole, the glue will give and the whole thing will come apart. I learn the hard way.)
The metal washers make them more expensive, but it raises them up a bit and gives them stability (and in a house full of cats and kids, it helps them to stay where they were put on the hex field.)

3) Paint the poker chip however you like. (usually green)

4) For shrubbery I put a ĹĒ long screw in from the bottom, usually a number 5 Robertson. (though I think Robertson screws are unique to Canada- any kind would do really). The washer raises the poker chip off the ground enough so the screw head is flush with the washer and the whole thing isnít wobbly because of the weight at the bottom. That especially helps if the forest and brush is thick.

5) Then I stick the plastic plants onto the screw. I usually have to rotate them on- screw them on really. They donít come off. No glue required!

Finished.

If Iím really feeling enthusiastic I will reach in through the foliage and touch up the screw with green paint too.

I suppose it would be easier to glue the little plastic shrubs to the poker chips and cut out the screws and possibly the metal washers all together. But then theyíd be flimsy. And did I mention I donít like glue? And screwing bushes makes me happy.
Total Comments 6

Comments

Old
Heroscape Elffy's Avatar
I prefer the term "Rubbery Shrubbery" because it's a fake plant.
Posted April 23rd, 2010 at 04:44 PM by Heroscape Elffy Heroscape Elffy is offline
Old
chas's Avatar
"It is a fine shrubbery. We are well pleased!"
--The Knights Who Say Knee,
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Did you say you're not crafty? You've got to be kidding...

I found an amazing store that combined weird stuff for outdoor garden displays with party supplies...I think. It was full of only women as customers. Anyhow, I found all kinds of truly bizarre terrain items there like 3D matting, odd colored paper mache "boulders," and all kinds of pieces that were very odd indeed! What did I use them for? Why, Victorian Mars, of course...
Posted April 24th, 2010 at 06:53 AM by chas chas is offline
Old
MegaSilver's Avatar
chas: It's pronounced "ni," not "knee." If you play the movie with the words across the bottom, that's what it reads...

StW: Now we see how the master shrubberist ()works! To me, thier cheap look actually makes them look neat on the battlefield.

MegaSilver
Posted April 24th, 2010 at 11:05 AM by MegaSilver MegaSilver is offline
Old
Pickledpie's Avatar
Cut down the tallest tree in the forest, wiiiiiiiiiith...!
A herring!


Cool shubberries BTW Sylvano.
Posted April 24th, 2010 at 12:09 PM by Pickledpie Pickledpie is offline
Old
Great ideas.

Have you thought about painting the screw before attaching the foliage?
Posted April 26th, 2010 at 09:37 AM by AMIS AMIS is offline
Old
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
Painting the screw? Maybe. It's just acrylic paint, and the foliage is so tight on the screw sometimes I have to force it on with long swear words. It never comes off, but I bet it would take the paint off the screw. But that's just an excuse! I'll try it.
Posted April 29th, 2010 at 10:27 AM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
Updated April 30th, 2010 at 12:43 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
 
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