It's amazing the kind of stuff you find when you start digging through your wargaming storage bins. Especially the ones that contain all sorts of terrain odds and ends. My lastest adventure into the terrain bits box yielded a bag of clearance miniature Christmas trees that I picked up this past season. The problem with these tree is they are covered a white substance that is suppose to look like snow. Needing more trees and seeing as I do not have any plans for gaming a winter battle I decided to de-snow the trees.
My first attempt was to try and brush of the clumps of 'snow' however they were stuck on better than I thought and this got me know where. Second I gave one tree a quick spray of green to see if I could take the lazy way out and just cover the white with spray paint. Needless to say this looked worse then just leaving the trees as they were. In the end the following method worked well.
This is a before shot of the trees fresh from the bag. Not bad for only $2.
First I let them soak in hot water. Once the water cooled I ran a combed through the branches to get the clumps of 'snow' out. I had to do this twice as all the white stuff did not dissolve the first time. For some of the harder spots I had to use my fingers to rub the 'snow' off.
It might be kind of hard to tell from the picture, but just a word of caution to anyone else attempting this project wear gloves while cleaning the trees as the green from the fibers bled in the hot water and stained my hands a weird green color for several days.
Here you can see the cleaned trees sitting to dry. After they dried I trimmed some of the fibers that were sticking out. I gave all of the trees a light coat of dark green to add some depth. Then I painted the bases and added some flocking.
For some cheap trees I am happy with how they turned out and with several different sizes I can use the trees in multiple scales to represent different stages of their growth.