Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Saturday night beneath the plastic palm trees

My Pacific/Burma project is going to need lots of coconut palms as there are several actions that interest me, like Buna in New Guinea, that feature large coconut plantations. Here eBay is your friend as there seems to be a plethora of manufacturers based in China (where else!) who are selling these at very reasonable prices. I also saw a set of banana trees produced by Pegasus which would work well in a village setting. I already have trees that will work for jungle trees, so these two new types should give me something close to what I need.

Sunglasses may be required when assembling.

Coconut palms are first on the work bench. While they come in coloured plastic and didn't look too bad (certainly compared to the stuff from Pegasus), they looked a little too plastic to leave unpainted. So a quick prime with a can of grey primer before painting with the airbrush. 

I painted the leaves Tamiya acrylic Yellow Green on their outer edges and filled in the inner parts with Tamiya Flat Green. The dying leaves around the top of the trunk and the trunks themselves were painted Tamiya Flat Earth. They were then dry brushed with Vallejo Tan Yellow and highlighted with a brush of Vallejo Dark Sand. The trunks were dry brushed with Vallejo Sky Grey. I plan to base them on MDF 150mmx50mm strips that will hold two trees each. This will allow me to set up the plantations but also move trees during play. 

The extra effort in painting the trees is well worth the effort and I was very happy with the results.

Given palm plantations are in orderly rows I've mounted two trees to a base. They can be a bit top heavy and so a larger base ensures they are much less likely to be knocked over, but it also helps in having the trees look like they've been planted in rows. Here they are in use in the first game of the Chain of Command Last Stand on Opium Hill.

I gave a very similar paint treatment to the smaller Pegasus banana trees. These are made of a fairly brittle plastic and will not be as hardy as the palm trees when it comes to gaming. I decided to base these as I have my orchard trees by putting three on strips of MDF so they can be moved in different directions to allow the placement of miniatures. 

The bases were then textured with sand and PVA.

The next job was to take to all of these with the airbrush and give them a green colour that will blend them all together with other jungle terrain. Once again I used Tamiya acrylics, Flat Green and Yellow Green and this toned down a lot of the colour. The bases were painted using Dulux emulsion sample pots with my usual earth colour - a base of Deep Bamboo and a dry brush of Arava.


  1. Really nice work.
    cheers John

  2. you could also use the aquarium grass as Agave and paint them grey green, if you playing in an Americas theatre.

  3. Awesome painting by the way. Forgot to add that. :)

  4. Have just received some plastic terrain from China and painted up one of the palm trees using your instructions, thanks for sharing the information Mark.
    cheers John

    1. I’m assuming this is all part of your preparation for Cancon next year? Looking forward to seeing everything you come up with and glad I could be of some service!