Back in August, 2003, the above photo appeared on the back of White Dwarf magazine in the UK. Two months later, in issue 286, we were given a step-by-step guide showing us how Mark Jones, then studio scenery builder, had made the tree for the launch of the new Beastmen range. This was back in the days before Games Workshop's selection of plastic scenery was so all-encompassing (and you couldn't, for example, just buy a box of these), so scratch-building your terrain was still very much encouraged by the company.
Although the article was a little plain to look at, it broke the construction process down into easy-to-follow steps, and quickly became another of those White Dwarf articles that really resonated with me – inspiring me to build my own take on an old, scary-looking tree. But where Mark Jones' original tree was possessed by a malevolent Chaos force, I wanted mine to simply look like the kind of gnarled, old thing you might find in the centre of a graveyard. Where the original was being lifted off the ground by its roots, I wanted mine to look like the roots were instead enveloping and perhaps even choking the surrounding area.
The original idea was that I might one day build a few other bases of graves and sepulchers, to create a wider cemetery to go around this, although, of course, me being me, I never really got around to this. But now that I'm desperately trying to finish my small selection of Undead models, accumulated over the last 30 years or so, having a little graveyard to sit them in is starting to look quite attractive again.
I built and painted this model many years ago, so, once again, my Addiction Challenge score remains sadly unchanged.
I'm really going to have to put some work in soon.