No, I’m not talking about that lame James Cameron movie, I’m talking about the tree that houses your nest base in Plaid Hat Games’ new Tail Feathers game.

The game has anthropomorphic mice who battle evil rats and bugs while riding friendly birds through the forest. It’s a pretty fun game that blends tabletop minis with standard board game elements to create a dynamic and immersive environment.

Being a minis player, I like to pimp out my terrain but always want my battlefield to be functional over just looking good. After playing a game, I started eyeing that “tree” template and wondered if we could take the game a little further.

Great looking game, albeit a little…. flat. image from Plaid Hat Games website.

I started looking at my options and thought that maybe we could pimp out the tree by going 3D. For the prototype to see if the 3D build was even possible, I grabbed a foam cylinder like the kind you find at a hobby store for fake flowers to use as the “trunk.” I then scanned the tree game piece and used it as a template on some foamcore and cut out the “limbs.” Inserting the limbs at various heights and in the general layout as the original tree game piece, my tree took shape.

home tree prototype

Weight is a big issue and what you aren’t seeing in the picture is a set of about 20 big nails on the other side to make a counter-weight to make sure the minis on the tree don’t tip it over. While this works for now as a prototype it won’t work for the final build.

I have a few other projects I’m wrapping up at the moment so this will go on the backburner but my next steps will be to build the limbs out of something sturdier. For that to work I will need to bust out the scroll saw or find time to use a Laser Cutter. A Laser cutter would be the easiest option but I don’t really have access to one so I’ll probably have to go old school. The trunk will either need to be a flat vertical piece or a series of discs that can lock together and disassemble for storage. To deal with the weight balance, a flat “foot” spreading in the direction of the limbs should keep things upright, even with the bird miniatures.

I’m pretty satisfied with the prototype so I’ll let it marinate while I wrap up some other current projects.