Always on the look out for cheap terrain I came across these plastic topiary balls at a local B&M link


Plastic topiary scatter foliage

There was a variety of ‘foliage’ types and I brought home two, a spear leaf variety (plasticus vulgaris) and a broad leaf variety (plasticus orientalis). 

Plastic topiary scatter foliage Plastic topiary scatter foliage Plastic topiary scatter foliage Plastic topiary scatter foliage

The small ones measure about 7” across and consist little plastic caps, each sprouting 4 plants each, snapped on to a spiky plastic cage in two hemispheres. Each ball has a little over 120 spikes which, cleaned of it’s foliage yields nearly 500 plants! I could have kept the plants attached to their bases arranged as fours, but I wanted greater variety in my final terrain. I also noticed an opportunity for the denuded caps.

Once I had all my plants I used a dremel to drill 2mm holes in a MDF bases of varying sizes, from 25 - 50mm in diameter. The larger bases would also hold larger ‘aquatic plants’. I then dipped the base of each stem in PVA and planted my foliage. I clipped some plants to break the uniformity of heights.

The result was a quick, effective and cheap production of scatter terrain pieces. I’ll eventually paint and flock the bases with my usual recipe of sand and scatter material. I also ended up with four cage like domes - an ideal starting point for a fantasy yurt or exotic prisoner/beastie holding cage.

Plastic cages?

As for the caps I through they would make ideal holder for trees. I’ve been long looking for a better solution to mount trees. Individually mounted they always fell over during the game, but mounting them in multiple stands was too restrictive. 

Cap ends

A few minutes with a dremel cutter and I had a bunch of organic shapes cut from light plywood (and old wine box insert). I then fixed the caps with a hot glue gun, once hardened I used a 3.5mm drill in a pin vice to clear the holes. Then painted & flocked the bases.

painted tree bases flocked tree bases planted tree bases

The result is a selection of tree bases of multiple shape and sizes. The trees slot firmly in the plastic cap allowing me to create any arrangement, even a few empty bases look okay among the trees.

Beyond the Seven Seas