|A rather sparse jungle|
|More scatter terrain needed to fill the gaps....|
For the scatter terrain I had bought a square of plastic plants meant for an aquarium and these would be the basis for clumps of thick foliage.
The campaign calls for secondary jungle. This is jungle close to human habitation where some trees have been cleared and as a result a lot of undergrowth was present, making a particularly dense area. These plants could work well to represent that.
I had some round wooden bases purchased from a craft shop but too thick for mounting miniatures. These would work as bases for smaller clumps of plants. For larger clumps I cut random shapes from MDF sheet with my jigsaw. I used the sanding tool on my Dremel to rough up the edges of the MDF to remove that 'step' look and help the terrain to blend into the table better. With some holes drilled into the bases I glued in small posts to attach the plants.
Once done the bases were textured with PVA glue and sand.
The bamboo was straightforward enough. I primed the individual trees and then grouped them together onto MDF bases which I cut myself into random shapes using a jigsaw.
As before, the bases were then textured with PVA glue sprinkled with rough sand.
To add more life to the huts and villages in the campaign I wanted to use some banana trees from Pegasus to make small plantations.
To facilitate play and keep the table functional I like to base plants in orchards or plantations on strips of MDF so they can be moved in different directions to allow the placement of miniatures. So I've done the same with the banana trees.
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. 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.
Next up was to provide some dead foliage and cover for the ground. A lot of jungle floor has little grass but seems thickly strewn with dead and dying foliage from the trees and large plants so I aimed to create this effect. I mixed together some Woodlands Scenic flock, some tea leaves and a mix of dried herbs.
This mix was then built up on the bases of the various trees. It took a while to get this right as you want a reasonably thick layer and this is one of those rare occasions when more really is more.
This worked well and was useful in covering up the wooden plugs that held the plastic plants in place for the scatter foliage.
Here's how it looks interspersed with trees.
The bamboo needed quite a bit of ground scatter and after some trial and error I was happy with the end result.
I was a little more sparing with the banana plantation as this was not really in the jungle and would be reasonably maintained.
I also wanted a few small vegetable gardens to add as scatter terrain in the villages. These could be something I could use in almost any theatre of the war and so would be a good addition to the terrain collection. Here is the first one with rows of vegetation slowly being added.
I've tried to get some variety in the plants just using what mixes of flock and other elements I had in the terrain box - just don't ask me exactly what plants they are supposed to represent:
My first attempt at a paddy field was going to be kept simple and rather than opt for one full of water at the height of the season, this one would be out-of-season and dry, a bit like the ones in this picture.
A simple base of MDF received a paddy bank made out of insulation foam, cut to shape and then smoothed in using a standard filler. The field was also given a light texture with the filler. The banks were then given additional texture with PVA and sand.
Next up it received a coat of my normal ground colours.
I then used a mix of static grasses to try to capture the dry look in the photograph:
Finally I used my normal colour static grass for the banks around the paddy field for the finished result:
Now that I'm happy with the result I really want to try my hand at making a few wet paddy fields, which I suspect will prove more of a challenge.
This has got me all fired up again to make sure I have enough tropical terrain and so I hope to populate future games in the Malaya 1942 campaign and beyond with a lot more scenery. You can follow other terrain making projects for the Pacific in these posts Making palm plantations and Airfix Jungle Outposts.