Modelling the Three Sisters

One of my friends had bought me some Christmas wreath material that he swore was great to use to model corn rows. He was right. However, when modelling corn rows for the legendary pre-contact era one must take into consideration that the first nations peoples planted in clumps rather than rows. Also, they grew the three sisters together, which were corn, beans and squash in the northeastern area of North America with which we are concerned. So I decided to try and model the three sisters together rather than simple corn rows. So here is a quick demonstration of how to model the three sisters for your Flint and Feather tabletop skirmish games. I don't think this is anything new to the gaming genre but adding the three sisters in may be a bit of a novelty.

1. I started with wood rectangles of 1/8 thick wood, cut to 2" x 4' size. A glue and water mixture was slathered on top and fine grain sand drizzled on top to provide texture. This was allowed to dry and then painted brown with light brown highlights. The ground was completely mottled and allowed to dry before moving on to the next step.

2. Holes were drilled in clumped patterns on the wood, and the corn stalks were cut to size ranging from 3/4" tall to 1 1/2" tall. The wires of the Christmas wreath material was then white glued into the holes to stand up the corn stalks.

3. I got some small fake plastic plant sprues from the local dollar store. I then cut these into smaller clumps using a knife. Small round balls of green, orange and purple colours can be used for the squash. Small size green leaves on stems can be cut to size for the vines on the ground about the squash. These were glued in place on the bases.

That is pretty much it. Three easy steps to get some good looking three sisters patches for use in your games. Bob Murch has already prepared a discussion on modeling Longhouses out of birch bark pieces here.
Together these two topics allows you to create most of what you need to create a First Nations village. The only thing left is the wooden palisade that ringed the village. I am looking forward to completing my village and running a scenario based on a village assault

Flint and Feather Natives hiding in the Three Sisters.



  1. I realize that it would be a bit more expensive, but how do you think this would look if instead of using the Christmas wreath material, model railroad cornstalks were used instead? I saw them at my local Hobby Lobby and was considering using them as Harvest Markers for Guild Ball and thought they would be goo for Flint and Feather also. Thanks


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