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Author Topic: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)  (Read 5576 times)

Offline Rob_bresnen

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Hello. Welcome to my new thread on building my jungle.

Many moons ago I built some jungle scenery for my 28mm figures, and to be frank it is starting to look old and a bit crap. I used mounting board for the base, and most of my trees came from a Chinese source on ebay. It looked 'OK' but my the standards of the terrain I make nowadays it could hardly pass.I als bought some pre-made terrain to add to the collection. This was mounted on MDF, but the vegetation was sparse and the bases were not beveled and did not match the rest of the terrain. In addition I also had some VERY OLD pieces with resin mushrooms and alike...these must be over twenty years old and are really fit for nothing apart from scrapping for parts.

So the situation I find myself in is that I have a big box full of sub-standard jungle terrain that don't match each other and look a bit naff on the table top. What I want is enough terrain to fill a table with dense jungle for Congo, WW2 in Burma, pirate games like Freebooter's Fate, and for my modern African imagi-nation Zugando. The odd pulp/sci-fi element like jungle ruins and man-eating plants might be useful too.


So here is what I have got to work with...This is my old terrain, with its cardbaord base- not pretty...



You can see that the boards have warped over time and no longer sit flush...




And this is the terrain I bought...a bit sparse and the bases don't match. I forget who made it but I probably bought it at the West Midlands Military Show...



And this is my VERY OLD terrain. I think the plants might have been nibbled by a mouse in the garage at some point in the past.



I began by dismantling my old terrian, and sorting it into piles, along with the new plastic plants and a few old bits and bobs I had hanging around that I thought might have looked the part.

I bought this from a shop called Tigre. Their a chain and are all over the UK. This is supposedly a soap dish (it cost £3).



I rescued these from my wife's Christmas table centerpiece. I figure the stamen in the middle will be useful...


I bought a BIG bag of aquarium plants from Pets at Home for £12



These rocks are resin...might be form TSS?



This Ruin is from Jarvis, I think. I have had it hanging around for years.



Having pulled all my terrain apart and sorted it I have this to work with...



Right. I have just watched Avatar and Carry on up the Jungle for inspiration, as well as Mel the Terrain Tutors you tube tutorials. I feel suitable inspired. Now to make some bases...wish me luck!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:03:33 PM by Rob_bresnen »
Theres more 28mm Superhero Madness at my blog, http://fourcoloursupers.blogspot.com/
And for Ultra-modern Wargaming check out Hotel Zugando at http://ultramoderngaming.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Coronasan

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 02:28:32 PM »
Good luck! I have plenty of terrain from 20+ years ago that either needs this treatment or just throwing away...
So much to do, so little time...

Offline Eric the Shed

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 03:29:21 PM »
Looks like this is going to be a fun project

Offline Rob_bresnen

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 10:05:46 PM »
Some inspiring pictures I found on the net...








Offline Rob_bresnen

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 10:15:07 PM »
Today I made a load of bases for my jungle...


I had a big sheet of hardbard hanging around form a DIY project.



After lots of cutting, beveling and sanding it looked like this....



I want the bases to be highly textured. I usually just add a coat of sand and PVA, but I wanted something under this to make it look more wild and overgrown. I also need it to be quick and cheep. I will be adding a layer of sand and other materials latter. this is just the foundation.

I began by experimenting with ways of adding texture to the bases without warping them. I tried the following methods...

blue foam with the surface attacked with poly-cement



Premixed plaster filler



ripped up card covered with PVA and tissue paper...





Paper mache



If anyone has any other ideas then let me know.

I will post results as soon as these are fully dry and I can judge if there is any warping etc.


Offline Roo

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 11:00:36 PM »
Looking forward to the results Red Rob, especially now you game with Al!

Roo

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 12:25:51 AM »
I'll be very interested in how you progress with this. I've used hardboard quite a lot and usually had problems with warping to a greater or lesser degree.
I've sometimes found coating the back of the board with PVA alleviates warping but not eliminates it. So will be interested to see what you find works best, especially as I need to do some jungle piece myself.

By the way the stuff you have taken apart didn't look too bad, so I'm looking forward to seeing how you improve on it.
Good luck

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 03:36:19 AM »
As vagabond says, hardboard can warp.  If you have access to a table saw try adjusting the blade depth to about a quarter or a third of the thickness of the hard board and then score the under sides of the larger pieces - but BE INCREDIBLY CAREFUL!!! Don't want to lose your fingers.  Might be safer to do the scoring with a hand saw.  Just make the lines parallel.  This isn't guaranteed to prevent warping but it will help reduce it.  The best way to avoid warping is to store your pieces dead flat.  And minimize using anything with moisture content.

I've done similar to you, cutting out pieces and beveling them but I use a product called underlayment (used for floor work, linoleum or such if I understand it right).  Still worry about warping but so far so good on almost all of the 120 pieces I've cut with well over half either finished or in process.  But I'm really careful to keep things flat.  Will have to check how they survive our recent wet and cold weather (stored in plastic drawers on a covered patio.

I'd say avoid the colorful fantasy looking piece but since you mentioned Avatar as part of your inspiration I doubt that is appropriate advice. 

Do you have a geographic region for your jungle?  Location might make some adjustments to what your 'jungle' will look like.  Good luck and I, too, will be watching.

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 02:12:20 PM »
Great rejuvination project! That's a lot of material, and I'm certain a nice set of jungle terrain will be the result :)

As an aside; I have those exact Tigre soap dishes (I have 3, bought in Antwerp), which are really useful. Obviously the foliage is great for terrain, but the trays themselves are great for holding bits for project.

As I always have several running simultaneously, it's great having these sitting around, so I can easily select the one with my project of choice... :)
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson

Offline Rob_bresnen

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 04:30:46 PM »
Great rejuvination project! That's a lot of material, and I'm certain a nice set of jungle terrain will be the result :)

As an aside; I have those exact Tigre soap dishes (I have 3, bought in Antwerp), which are really useful. Obviously the foliage is great for terrain, but the trays themselves are great for holding bits for project.

As I always have several running simultaneously, it's great having these sitting around, so I can easily select the one with my project of choice... :)


I thought that it might also make a nice building for s 15mm scifi setting?



I'd say avoid the colorful fantasy looking piece but since you mentioned Avatar as part of your inspiration I doubt that is appropriate advice. 

Do you have a geographic region for your jungle?  Location might make some adjustments to what your 'jungle' will look like.  Good luck and I, too, will be watching.

My jungle will have to represent Africa, South America and possibly Burma too, so I am going for a 'generic jungle vibe'. The Alien and fantasy pieces will be restricted to just a few bases so I can mix them in as required, or leave them in the box for historical or 'real world' actions in my African imagi-nation.


Anyway. the verdict is in on the basing. So far all four methods have dried and are ready for covering in sand. none of the bases have warped so far. The Paper mache is very rough, but perhaps that was the way I applied it. it also too longest to dry.
Plaster dried quickest but is very hard and not flexible. I worry that if the board does warp, even slightly, it could just fall off.
The card and tissue worked OK- it is a bit naff looking at the moment, too regular and no 'natural' enough but I think after it has been covered with sand and grit it will look better. I might also try using the card, but covering it in a thin layer of paper mache to make it more uneven. this will have the advantage that the paper mache will be thin and so should dry quicker.
The Blue foam didn't really work- it was also smelly and more expensive than the other methods.

To conclude... Paper mache and corrugate cardboard are 'maybe's, while plaster and Blue foam are definite 'No'

As an aside I popped into B+M today and bought tow plastic plants £3 each





I don't think I really need all this foliage, but different shaped leaves and plants can only be a good thing by repenting the bio-diversity found in a jungle. At least that is how I justify it.  lol

Offline tin shed gamer

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 05:24:16 PM »
Great minds(and all that)Rob!😄
I'll be keeping an eye your terrain thread.As its a back burner project for me .Which means I'm sitting back and collecting (robbing) ideas.
One I've already 'found' on another thread (can't for the life of me remember who's ) is to use dried Italian mixed herbs as leaf litter.

Offline Hupp n at em

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 08:50:52 PM »
Love to see a good refurbishing project!  :D

Offline Rob_bresnen

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 07:39:01 PM »
OK!

 More results in. Last night I gave the test boards a coat of PVA, then sand and mixed herbs. When this was dry I applied another coat of watered down PVA. This afternoon I coated this with Burnt Umber acrylic paint.


And the result are in. Two boards showed some warping, and two have not warped. The larger of the boards has warped the most- not surprisingly- not catastrophically, but enough to put me of the idea of doing even bigger boards. All of the surfaces look good under a layer of sand and paint- and there isn't much difference with the appearance so far. The plaster filler coated board hasn't warped yet. The cardboard/tissue paper board has warped (that was the larger one) and one of the paper mache boards has warped while the other hasn't, so thee is nothing conclusive there.

In conclusion I would say that no one method has come out far and above the others... the end results is quite comparable. Give that I am worried that the plaster filler might not be durable/flexible enough, and that the blue foam is expensive, I think that using layers of card covered with tissue paper (or perhaps paper mache) looks like the way to go.

Offline tin shed gamer

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 07:57:56 PM »
Rob,
If you add a layer of pva on the mdf before adding the plaster .Plus add pva to the plaster mix.Then you'll have a much more durable base.

Mark.

Offline Braz

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Re: Welcome to the Jungle...Rob_Bresnen's Jungle Build (or Re-build)
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 01:18:26 AM »
I second plaster (spackle) with generous amount of PVA.  Could also try DAS air dry clay (it's paper mache product) with PVA though it takes a couple of days to dry. I've had success with both and no warping on 3mm hardboard though haven't tried on a bigger piece . I'm in the process of jungle making also and instead of big pieces I've cut up the hardboard so the small to medium pieces can nest one next to the other to make a bigger piece.

Using yellow carpenter's glue instead will turn it rock hard.

I've also added a bit of dark brown acrylic paint so if ever there are chips it won't show through as white.

Marc ( and two Marks can't be all wrong :D)

 

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