Woody End Tree Hollow

Materials, Equipment and Paints Used:
Old Newspaper
Masking Tape
Cardboard Tube
Decorators Caulk
Craft Knife
PVA Glue
Cutting Board
Modelling Sand
Green Flock
Tea Leaves
Dried Herbs
Leaf Litter
Black Paint
Brown Paint
Grey Paint
Green Paint
Plastic Aquarium Fern Plant

The sun had gone down red behind the hills at their backs, and evening was coming on before they came back to the road at the end of the long level over which it had run straight for some miles. At that point it bent left and went down into the lowlands of the Yale making for Stock; but a lane branched right, winding through a wood of ancient oak-trees on its way to Woodhall.
'That is the way for us,' said Frodo.
Not far from the road-meeting they came on the huge hulk of a tree: it was still alive and had leaves on the small branches that it had put out round the broken stumps of its long-fallen limbs; but it was hollow, and could be entered by a great crack on the side away from the road. The hobbits crept inside, and sat there upon a floor of old leaves and decayed wood.


Woody End was a forest in the Eastfarthing of the Shire.

It was located in the farthest southeastern tip of Green-hill country. It is about eight miles in diameter.

Woody End was where, in The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin meet a group of Elves led by Gildor. During the Scouring of the Shire, much smoke spewed out of Woody End because the Ruffians were burning part of it.

It is also the location of where the Hobbits hide from a Black Rider when setting out on their adventure.

This article will be based upon The Road Goes Ever On and On and be used in conjunction with the road sections made there.

The Basic Shape

With this project I could of just made the hill shape out of polystyrene like many of the other similar projects I have worked upon, but I like to try out different techniques and this is a very easy and cheap one. It is used by many model railway hobbyists to create large areas of hilly terrain.

Take a sheet of an old newspapers and fold inwards around the edges.

Use some masking tape to hold in to a ball like shape.

Make a few of these then place and arrange them on a sheet of A3 black foamcore. The shape you are aiming for is a hill with a cave/hollow at the front. Once you are happy with the shape you can begin to stick the balls in place with masking tape. It doesn't need to look neat and tidy at this stage as we will soon be covering it in Modrock.

The road at the top was made from neatly folded newspaper rather than newspaper balls.

One you are happy with the shape and everything is taped in place it is time to trim the base. Use a road section and put in place and use this to make sure it will line up correctly.

Trim the edge like the road sections.

The Tree

The tree was made from a cardboard tube that is scrunched up to form the trunk and has the base cut to form 'feet' to help stability.

I forgot to take a picture of this next stage before I modrocked it all but hopefully you can see in the picture below what I mean. The tree was covered in masking tape and then rolled up stripes of masking tape were used and shaped as the roots.

Modrocking, The Road and Painting

The entire piece was covered in a layer of modrock. Let this set for 24 hours before carrying on.

Once the modrock has completely set (in fact it may take longer than 24 hours as the newspaper may absorbed some of the water from the plaster), use decorators caulk as in the The Road Goes Ever On and On article to create the road section making sure it all lines up with the existing road sections. Allow the caulk to set. Glue some modelling sand in the floor area around the hollow.

Undercoat it all in black and then paint a dark brown. As with all terrain projects I do not use modelling paints but to give an idea of shade it would be Rhinox Hide. Drybrush in a lighter brown of about Mournfang Brown. The road area was painted in the same manner as The Road Goes Ever On and On article.

The tree was painted in a dark brown the drybrushed with a lighter brown of a shade like Steel Legion Drab, then a grey such as Dawnstone, followed by a light green like Elysian Green.

Flocking and Detailing

The hill area was flocked in the same the manner as the Simple Gaming Boards article.

In the Modular Mirkwood Boards article a forest scatter was made from tea leafs, dried herbs and leaf scatter was created and this was used to add detail around the area of the tree.

Cut bits of the plastic aquarium fern plant and glue these using PVA in places around the hollow and in between the tree roots. Glue some static grass in between as well as on the tree roots. This will act as mossy areas.