Back in the Bush Again
Okay, back to the jungle project again after a brief interlude on buildings. You may recall that we had our trees in place and our more erect vegetation as well as having the ground covered by sharp sand and then herbs to represent rotted plant fibre. I wanted to paint these before I added the low-lying vegetation so as to avoid having the base too crammed with stuff to get any detail.
Several things were by now becoming clear and making me glad that I had done this test run with a handful of bases as, frankly, I had got a couple of things wrong that could have been done better and would be changed for the main build.
1. The herbs. I didn’t need to add these so early, They can wait for the final forest floor layer much later in the process.
2. The spikes I had used, cut from the plastic plant rack were too short. However, they could easily be replaced with cocktail sticks which were easier to work with and I could add ALL the cocktail sticks in one go so all of the secondary vegetation could be added at the same time. What was more, the pointed end of the cocktail stick looked rather like a plant frond, so perfect for the job.
Anyway, enough of this retrospective twaddle. Here’s one base where the jungle has been painted. Please note, I am very much taking the approach here that I am not painting individual trees, rather I am painting a jungle. I slapped on the brown base coat first and then when that was dry used a big brush to slap on any amount of green paint. My priority here was actually to use up any old shades of green that were nearly empty, then, at the last moment, I added in a huge amount of yellow kids paint and roughly slapped that on top. In the end, when all of this is complete, I will go over it and touch up the worst imperfections, but frankly life is too short to devote much time to trees. They are green. Nuff said.
The trunk I dry-brushed with khaki then followed by a light cream domestic paint I had lying about.
Now, remember the green pegs. This is what they are designed to pin in place:
These big fronds really give some depth but not enough ground cover. So to deal with that I slapped some paint on some of the ground cover plants that come on a tray type sprue. As you can see below, I painted these while on the sprue, again using a large flat headed brush. Brown first then green and then add the yellow. You can see my palette on the right, It’s a trusty old tea plate I got many years ago when my Nan died and it is great for a messy “splash it all over” project like this. Yellow really is your friend here and adding it as a highlight really makes the foliage stand out.
Now, with this dry I want to add this to the base. As mentioned above, I now regret not adding pegs for this in the shape of cocktail sticks early on in the process. As can be seen below, cocktail sticks are idea for the job.
I drilled into the bases with a Number 1 drill bit and then put a dab of superglue on the underside of the base before poking the stick through. Those with sharp eyes will note that I used a small upholstery hammer top tap the stick through. The best way to do this is to snap the cocktail stick in half before you use it. You fill two holes with one stick and the broken, blunt end is ideal for hammering through. When this is dry you can just snap off the cocktail stick on the underside of the base and rub some sandpaper over it to get it smooth again. Once again using a natural product, wood, proves so much easier to work with than plastic.
And here with have the base with the main vegetation added.
As can be seen, the vegetation is now much thicker, looking much more like a jungle. All that is needed now is to strip all of this off and add some areas of ground cover. The other day when the missus was walking the dog, I took the opportunity to chuck some clump foliage in her food blender. The result was pretty blooming good, The clumpy stuff on the right, turned into the nicely milled stuff on the left. However, be warned, the food processor turned a nasty looking green and required a LOT of scrubbing before the wife returned.
I plan to add some thick flock to this as well as a healthy fist full of the herbes de province to create a mix that can be scattered onto the base before the foliage is then stuck in place (finally). With that done I should have finished the test bases and hopefully worked out how to do the job more quickly and more efficiently. I will also have identified what I need to buy to complete the entire jungle. But more on that next time.