Saruman is on the march. Of course his threat level is way down compared to the forces he wielded in Isengard, but Sharkey and Worm are more than enough for the Shire.
So I need something to scour. I had started a project several years back to make some hobbit holes. I acquired 3 hole fronts (now unfortunately OOP) from the German terrain company Thomarillion. I made hills from foam block to match the fronts. I painted the fronts and then covered the first hole with the most excellent Pot Toppers (now also unfortunately OOP) that I got at Michaels. Fool of a took, I had only bought 4, which was only enough to cover one hole.
More research lead to NOCH terrain supplies (aimed at the Model RR crowd). I found 6 inch by 9 inch sheets of long LIGHT GREEN WILD GRASS MAT and matching loose static grass. I ordered 3 of these to cover the remaining two holes and then used the loose grass to make the first hole color match the second pair. Comparing Grass Mats and Pot Toppers, the grass mat looks like an O-scale lawn that needs mowing. The Pot Toppers look like clumps of 1:1 scale moss. I like the Pot Toppers better, but both are good.
I finished the vegetation up using the painted “pin-head” approach I saw in the Scouring of the Shire book. I added some red and yellow fine loose foam glued to the pin heads to make roses, holly hocks, and golden rod. To do this, I primed some stainless steel straight pins with black krylon primer, applied some paint to the pinhead (and shaft for the holly hocks and golden rod), dipped them in colored foam, secured the foam with a small drop of superglue, dipped it in water to instantly harden the glue, and then painted it with GW Red Gore, Sunburst Yellow, or Liche Purple. I then pushed these into the green lawns and voila!
Still left are some household odds and ends plus a wicker fence, but you get the picture. OBTW, these match the GW gaming mat, hedges, and trees to add to the my miniature Shire’s charm.
Last I need to paint the hobbits. From GW, you can buy pony mounted Sam, Merry, Pip, and Frodo. They also have a nice Paladin Took, a goofy Fredegar Bolger, fiesty Farmer Maggott, Sherrifs, Archers, and Militia. If you can find her (they have a new finecast set), they have a Lobelia. I bought the Mithril Lobelia and Lotho as great proxies. I also bought all the Mithril halflings that I could find in the bargain bin ten years back. Last, the folks at the Miniature Building Authority turned me onto the the great Halfling Villagers set from Mega Minis:
While I am at it, I also picked up a MBA Halfling Hole. The roof lifts off and it has a complete interior. When I get some more grass mat, I am going to cover it to match my other holes, plus build a couple of burned holes
Of course, I am trying to knock this out before Santa delivers the Limited Edition Escape from Goblin Town box! Yippee!