Guilty or Not Guilty: The Bush Trial Ends
So, the moment of truth is here. The trial build of our Jungle terrain comes to an end and the jury is about to make its decision. But what of the final parts to our tale? Well, I sprinkled the bases with a mix of the finely chopped clump foliage, some chunky flock and some of the mixed herbs. I really wanted one of those spray things that you use to spray water onto plants so I ordered one from Amazon yesterday lunchtime. It arrived at 1800 (what is wrong with this world that a £2.50 plastic spray bottle needs to be delivered on the same day over the Christmas hols?) which was admittedly handy as I immediately added a spray of 1 part PVA to 8 parts water (roughly, I didn’t measure it).
What surprised me as this dried was that it actually gave a matt finish to the models which was a Brucie bonus. Anyway, I let that dry over night and this morning I got cracking to finish these off. There was still one big burning question: do I flock the bases or not? I have seen lots of photos of jungle terrain on wargames tables recently and the general consensus seems to be that leaving the bases covered with just plant fibre is the best method. I kind of like this, but adding flock around the edges of terrain pieces does allow it to better blend in with the table surface. As a result, I threw caution to the wind and added just a tiny bit of flock around the edges of each jungle base.
With that done, I set about adding the low-standing foliage using the plastic and cocktail stick pins as anchor points. Nice and easy. A dab of superglue and Bob’s your Auntie’s live-in lover.
The net result can be seen above, but I must admit that I have left out one stage. You may recall that I was not too bothered about the paint job; brown with random green gave a blotchy but generally homogenous effect. Now, with the vegetation in place, is the time to get out the paint brush and slap on some more distinct colours. As you can see in the above photo I chose a look for each plant type and brushed on (in a liberal wet dry brush manner) a particular hue for each one. Spiky fronds got more yellow, especially towards the tips. General bushy stuff got a darker look with a some added cream as a highlight. Rubbery round leaves were more of a light green blah blah blah. There is no precise science to this, just pick a colour and slap it on. Doing this now, rather than trying to differentiate each plant as you paint it individually earlier one saves acres of time and a lot of faffing about. Here’s a bit of a close up for more detail. This looks dubious with this much focus but remember, we are painting a big jungle not each tree and the collective effect is good.
Finally, some attention to small detail. I added some clump foliage to points where the plastic mould lines were most prominent, in particular the centre of the big spikey plants.
Finally, here’s the whole set of nine test bases together where, without the unnatural close-ups, you can see the overall effect we have achieved.
More importantly, doing these nine trial pieces have taught me several lessons which means that I think I can halve the build time going forwards through simple time and motion improvements, leaving out irrelevant bits, doing more of the same stuff at the same time. I have also learnt some important thing about ratio of plants to space which will, I hope, make the rest of the project even better. More on that in the next instalment. I’m off to buy some more cocktail sticks…