It’s a Jungle Sometimes…

… it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? The Haitian revolution project is coming along nicely. I’m making good progress with painting and I’m looking forward to playing a game some time soon. However, what I still need is terrain.

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For basic things such as roads, hills, river etc. I will use our Wars of the Roses stuff. To get a bit more of a caribbean feeling, I started working on new buildings. But the most important thing to convey the idea that we are no longer in York anymore is jungle. I’d really like to model the dense and heavy vegetation that was so central for the guerilla tactics of the insurgents.

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The easiest source for jungle terrain is a pet shop. You’ll find a great variety of plastic aquarium plants there, some of them in garish colours and strange shapes, but some that look quite ok. One thing to note is that they look better the more you put together. While a single aquarium plant can look rather cheesy, a group of them gives a nice impression of an exotic jungle.

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I decided to follow the advice of the indefatigable Diane Sutherland in Battlegames issue 17. She stuck the aquarium plants root and branch (that is, including the plastic sprue they come with) onto old CDs and covered the sprue with acrylic paint mixed with sand. As I wanted several sizes of jungle bases, I used not only CDs but also some smaller bases I had as well as an irregular shaped piece of plasticard. To fix the spare plants I bought on ebay some time ago and which came without a sprue, I glued small pieces of balsa wood and styrofoam to the bases. After covering the whole thing with filler and acrylic paint and flocking it, I drilled small holes in the wood and styrofoam and stuck the spare plants in.

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The result looks quite nice, if I say so myself. Let’s see if it will be enough. I’ve still got a couple of plant mats I bought on ebay which will be used to fill the edges of the playing table. If this still shouldn’t be enough, I’ll make some more of the bases, as they are quick and easy to produce.

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8 thoughts on “It’s a Jungle Sometimes…

  1. Pete Ware March 20, 2015 / 9:54 am

    Personally I prefer a square or rectangular base for the jungle as it is easier to pack.

    • cptshandy March 20, 2015 / 10:12 am

      Hm, never thought about using a rectangular base… I might try it, as the stuff takes a lot of space. The pieces I will use with the sprue and without basing are rectangular, though, so I can see how it looks.

  2. Pete Ware March 20, 2015 / 11:51 am

    I use square or rectangular as it also means I can buy a large sheet of 3mm MDF and cut it to whatever sizes I want rather than what the craft shop sells in drink coaster size.

    • cptshandy March 20, 2015 / 11:57 am

      Good idea!

  3. stevebaker636 March 20, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    Hmmm…normally, I like what you do – but this has a feel of “Honey, I shrunk the kids” to it. You have leaves that are four times the height of a man, flowers that are 10 to 15 feet tall…in a science fiction jungle, maybe.

    • cptshandy March 20, 2015 / 5:39 pm

      Well, I guess that’s the price of using aquarium plants… I don’t see any other way of making a jungle that won’t cost me a fortune or would take ages, so I’ll live with it. I’m not that much into realism anyway 🙂

  4. Squibzy March 24, 2015 / 10:42 am

    2 things, Cap’n! 1st, I *like* aquarium plant jungle – it’s what I use with my 15mm Peter Pig Pirates, as well as my 28mm Wargames Foundry Darkest Africa. It works well, gives a “feel” of jungle, and – point #2 – if, like me, you’re a solo wargamer then you’re only needing to please yourself. If you play with wargaming mates, then either they like it, and want to play the games, or they don’t like it… and they can just jolly well £u$$&! off!!
    Keep up the great work! We like your blog!
    Squibzy

    • cptshandy March 24, 2015 / 11:26 am

      Cheers Squibzy, thanks for your kind words! I’ve been playing with friends so far and they like it… they’re too lazy to paint & build terrain themselves, so they have no choice 🙂

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