Monday, January 25, 2016

28mm Jungle Terrain


So the guys have wanted to move some of our African gaming from the savanna into denser jungle terrain. After looking at Dr. Mathias' tutorial on LAF, I decided to take a shot at creating something that looks lush down at table level, but left plenty of  open space above for people to be able to easily move their figures around.



The first step was  to find something reasonable for the tree branches and leaves. I went through several bunches of silk plants, but the leaves always looked too large to scale properly for 28mm. I also looked at using foam semi-spheres covered in moss, but didn't think I could create something that looked satisfactory or that wouldn't get knocked over during play. In the end, I managed to find some flocked plastic ferns at the Micheal's craft store. These have metal wires running up each stem, so they are fairly sturdy and can be bent so the shapes look more natural. These are manufactured by a company called Ashland, and there are 7 stems on a bunch. Many of the leaves have curls on the ends, so I nipped those off, as I didn't think they looked appropriate for tree branches.



For the ground plants, I managed to find a great selection of cheap, plastic vivarium plants at the local pet shop.  These are made by a company called Zoo Med and come in a variety of styles and bag sizes. For this scale, I though the Amazonian Phyllo, Malaysian Fern, Australian Maple, and Borneo Star all looked reasonable.  I also threw in some plants from an Ashland greenery mat I had left over from the savanna project.



To give the impression of larger trees in the jungle, I picked up some cork bark branches at the same pet store. I sawed the ends flat for mounting, they dry brushed the branches in various shades of green to look like moss. Finally I used some shredded moss roll (left over from my hedge project) to represent vines climbing of the sides of the tree trunks.  The trunks will be mounted without branches on top, creating that open space so players can get their hands down into the jungle easily.



To mount the trees, I drilled holes in wooden disks purchased from the craft store.  The disks weren't that thick, so I doubled up areas where the trees would go to help prevent the wood from cracking over time. I originally mounted the trees first, but in hindsight I'd recommend applying the dirt and flock first. After the trees had dried, further holes were drilled for all the ground plants.



Here's a finished product. I've used various base sizes and shapes to give the jungle elements a more irregular layout, and also sprayed down each base with matte finish to reduce the shine from the plastic plants and also help hold the flock on the tree branches (they suffered from some shedding during assembly).



And another example of just the large tree trunks. There are also a few small bases of ground plants only to further fill in gaps.



Finally, here is an overheard shot showing  some of the open spaces for arms to get under the canopy easily. 

I still have more bases to finish up, but my hope is to get enough assembled to cover at least a third of a 4x6 table.  We'll try it out this weekend, so I'll report back on how it performs during game play. 

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful, fantastic terrain! Very realistic!

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  2. Brilliant! Very atomspheric. Must remember this technique when I return to my Pacific project.

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  3. Thanks Everyone! They weren't too hard to build; it was more a matter of production time and finding the right plants.

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  4. That looks superb, I have been pondering the same problem myself of late and think you have found the perfect solution.

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  5. Simply awesome! Might copy a few Ideas some day.

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  6. Gorgeous. Is it playable? With my lummox hands and hairy forearms, I can imagine spending a lot of time picking up terrain that I knocked over.

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  7. Nicely done, nicely done indeed! I shall be borrowing these ideas for my own jungle terrain. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Thanks again Everyone! We were supposed to try it out for the first time this weekend, but it looks like we're going to have to delay due to some scheduling conflicts. One we get a game up and running, I'll let you now how it worked out. Most of the tree bases are fairly wide, so hopefully that will help items from getting knocked over.

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  9. I can the monkeys from here, excellent work!

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  10. Great looking plants! And thanks for recommending Dr. Mathias's Arboreal Extravaganza. That's just brilliant. Cheers, Karl

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  11. Fabulous looking jungle terrain!

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