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Bamboo. A Pleasant Surprise

There are some aspects of terrain modelling that come as a surprise; sometimes for good reason, sometime for bad.  I usually find this occurs when I am over confident, I rush things and they go wrong.  But sometimes stuff you think will be easy turns out to be a bloody nightmare.  With bamboo, to my utter surprise, things turned out to be far easier than I expected.

Firstly, it does help that you can go on eBay and search for plastic bamboo and find bundles of it for just a few quid.  Here’s a bundle of over 100 bits I got for about a fiver.  LOADS of the stuff, but clearly the 28mm figure shown for scale meant that it was bamboo from the Land that Time Forgot as it was absurdly large.  Higher, in fact, than many of the palm trees I had just finished.  Not good.

I say not good as it seemed that to just snip these ion half and end up with 200 bits would be far too simple a solution.  It wasn’t.  It was easy and it worked.  As we can see here, the top bit had a bit too much foliage, but I could simply pull that off with ease.  I actually kept the excess biys as they will serve for fallen leaves when the model is complete.

What you can also see here was that the bamboo strand was in fact a bit of metal with a plastic coating.  I did think that drilling HUNDREDS of holes into MDF bases would be incredibly difficult, boring and leave me with endless blisters.  Well, I tried one trial base and it was easy.  I opened a bottle of vino collapso, put on a film and spent the next hour and a half with the missus barely noticing that I was drilling away like a demented dentist.  As above, I used a set of pliers to simply  snip off the end of the plastic to expose the wire.  This I expected to be hard work, but it was rather like fitting a plug where you remove the plastic casing from the wire; just snip and pull.  Simple.  With the wire exposed, a dab of superglue fixed the bamboo to the base.

As you can see, this base has 27 holes which I thought would be really hard work, but the process was simple and painless with a pin vice drill and no blisters.  In pretty short order I had a whole load of bases done.


Not much more to say here other than this was an easy job that looks like hard work but was simple.  I think the result is good.  Here’s the lot painted with my new airbrush and just going through the basing process.

I spray painted these a sage green as a  base then air brushed on a light sand colour for the trunk before going with a bright green for the foliage. Finally I added a few dabs of a light stone domestic paint to show the “knuckles” on the stems (the funny round ridges you get)

The airbrush created a a nice blend of tan and green to suggest new growth.   When the bases are dry I will add some herbs to show old rotted foliage and some fallen leaves from the ones I saved. Hopefully we can show you that tomorrow.


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4 Responses

  1. This looks much better than my attempts. Given the size, would it work cutting the bamboo lengths in half for 15mm?

  2. moiterei_1984 says:

    Looking good so far. While I‘ve never been into the acific theatre your project here is quite tempting.

  3. pb says:

    Well done Rich. I did frcactly the same thing a few months ago. I did not paint the trunks though. I am going to give that a go. Really like the look.

  4. I did it earlier last year.My first post of 2018 to exact.. My bamboo is red. There are blue, black and red beside the green. It looks very good to me!

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