Friday 24 January 2020

Jungle Boogie! - Building a Malaysian jungle.

Ok, I was going to make some witty reference to the Jungle Boogie lyrics, but thanks 'Kool and the Gang', it seems to be 'Get down' and 'Jungle Boogie' in various juxtapositions, interspersed with occasional noises.

I've been working away for a while on getting my terrain sorted for Jungle settings, primarily Malaya, but I suspect if I am not careful, at some point in the future, it could well be standing in for Vietnam (those Empress and Gringo Vietnam miniatures are very tempting), and the Pacific Islands, (if I ever add to my single squad of US Marines).

Lots of things have been put together, cheap purchases of aquarium matting and plants, plastic bamboo plants and palm trees, and a bunch of 3mm MDF. I've been watching the TooFatLardies build, and the scenery done by The Tactical Painter. 

For information, I used the following products: Palm Trees: 


The aquarium matting:

I also bought other bits to add, that haven't been added yet:


So the last couple of days I finally started putting it all together. First step was to get a bunch of 3mm MDF sheets (cheap eBay purchase), and roughly draw out a bunch of random shapes, then get to work with an electric jigsaw. This was rough and ready.

There doesn't need to be any great accuracy, as I had to sand down the edges anyway, and that gave me a chance to deal with any dodgy cutting marks. I can't emphasise this strongly enough.. do this outside, wear old clothes and a facemask, the MDF dust is dangerous and incredibly fine and messy.

So the bases are cut and chamfered..  you've cleaned up several kilos of zombie sawdust...

The next step is to drill out the holes for pegs on which to stick the aquarium matting. I have two drills set up, one for the pegs, and one for holes for the palm trees. It's much easier than having to swap back and forward, or mucking about enlarging holes.

Some of the bases with the pegs inserted, and turned upside down to dry.

Quick and dirty - I have a pack of bamboo skewers, dip the end into white glue, twist into holes, then snip off with heavy duty wire cutters. By using the cutters with the cutting edge facing upwards, and the jaws flat against the surface I was able to get the pegs to a more or less consistent height.

One of my bamboo bases, showing what the mat foliage looks like pressed down onto the pegs.  

Stuff..   for adding to bases

Trimmed rocks form the aquarium plants

Aquarium mat, each one about 90+ individual tufts

All your bases..  S for secondary jungle

After an exciting night with gravel, a hot glue gun, paint and sand
Add trees

Added aquarium mat plants to the bamboo stubs.
I'm relatively pleased with progress, I have ideas about adding tree roots, (string dipped in paint), creeper (string dipped in green paint) - plus there's the 'Herb d' Provence' to add for the leaf litter.

The madness continues..  no creepers, but a good session with the airbrush, several pots of Tamiya paint, and a bucket load of white glue and Herb d' Provence. Tomorrow, it will be sealed with a spray mix of watered down white glue, and final highlighting done. Phew. It's been a big build.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Out of Control - and JOP

OK, this is getting silly, I now have 4 vehicles needing weathering, and another dozen of all kinds, awaiting airbrushing. Unfortunately for me, I need the extension cord for my airbrush, and that has been attached to the Christmas Tree lights, so I have been waiting patiently for the time when the Christmas Tree can be taken down. Today! All Christmas packed away.

So this week will be the great airbrushing. My Japanese infantry are all assembled, based and undercoated, and they will be getting airbrushed too. So hopefully this week I will have a big session and get things moving again.

Anyway, to make sure something got done while I couldn't airbrush, I have been working on the Brits for Malaya, and for the Japanese some Jump Off Points. Fairly pleased with how these turned out.

Rolled out Green stuff, spares from the bits box, boxes and drums from Anyscale Models, basil for ground cover, and Christmas Tree off-cuts for jungle plants.

The Christmas Tree we have is an artificial one, and this year, one of the little sub branch thingies dropped off, so I managed to scavenge that to create some greenery for the bases. I am pretty happy with the look of these. The partner, who is a Christmas tragic, is probably quite lucky the tree got put away before I realised the branches could be re-purposed.

Incidentally, one of the AFVs I built recently (today) was the Soviet IS-2 from Warlord Games, in plastic, and my goodness that's a big beast of a tank. Having being building mainly Early War stuff for a while, the size of the gun alone is a shock. But it was 50% off in the manager's special - so along with some plastic Fallschirmjäger, the Fallschirmjäger support pack and the plastic Chi Ha, it was too good an offer to pass up.

All purchased in 2019, as well as a Perry Miniatures 2lb gun that is yet to arrive, so I am still lead/plastic free in 2020!  I will need some green paint, some more basil though!

Wednesday 1 January 2020

A New Hope

Or a New Year, but I just like the Star Wars reference. I managed to fit in a last minute splurge with Warlord's Bad Santa sale, and the local hobby shop had a 1/56 Soviet BA10 Armoured Car from Rubicon, so it would have been rude not to help them free up the shelf space.

Overall, this year has been pretty productive. I haven't managed to play as many games as I would like, and I have pretty much exclusively played Chain of Command, but I have got a fair amount of painting and terrain building stuff in.

I do think I should be better at not getting distracted by support options, specifically armour, as I just enjoy building and painting them. Looking at the painting queue, there are currently 11 AFV awaiting paint.

For projects, I finished (ha!) my Early War German & French forces, I completed my Soviets, and I am a good way in to the forces for Malaya.

Next steps - finish the Malaya forces (Japanese, and Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders). Then kick off the terrain for this campaign. I think I have all the terrain components I need, they just need to be assembled.

Then there's forces for the forthcoming 'Infamy, Infamy' from the Too Fat Lardies. There's Kickstarters on the way from War & Empire 15mm Dark Ages, plus the Flags of War Hanoverian forces for the 1745.

And the various platoons for Chain of Command, Italians, US, Fallschirmjager, US Airborne, British Airborne etc..

But first things first - my main priority is to repair the shed. Not much use painting all this stuff if it ends up under water...

So Happy Hogmanay, 'Lang may yir lum reek' and have a glorious 2020.