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 some Pegasus banana trees which would work well in a village setting.  I already have some trees that will work for jungle trees, so these two new types should give me something close to what I need.

Pegasus banana trees in a fetching day-glo green and the eBay palms.

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.  The dying leaves were then dry brushed with Vallejo Tan Yellow and highlighted with a brush of Vallejo Dark Sand.  The trunks were then 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.

Primed and read for the airbrush

Foliage painted and highlighted

Trunks dry brushed with Sky Grey and dying fronds dry brushed in Tan Yellow

Finished trees

While surfing eBay I also looked at plastic grasses etc in the aquarium section.  Lots to choose from here although scale can be an issue, as many are way to big for 20mm or 1/72.  However I did find a few thing that should work and so messed around with some trial painting while doing the palms.

A few of these bunched together will work well as thick undergrowth or kunai grass


  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!