Monday, 21 August 2017

Dangerous Jungle Terrain



So having successfully completed my 'blocking terrain' it was time to move on to the Dangerous Terrain, specified in the Congo rules.  Dangerous Terrain allows the miniatures to enter it, availing themselves of greater cover saves, but they must first explore the perilous jungle.  This exploration might prove fruitless, equally untold treasures might bestow victory points on those brave enough to venture in, but danger lucks in the shadows and on the roll of a dice your plucky band of explorers might find themselves trying to throw off the tightening coils of a python or be neck deep in sucking quicksand!  

What was required was a series of terrain stands that gave the impression of jungle, but allowed you to place your miniatures within them - step forward 'Major Thomas Foolery's War Room'.  Chris Schuetz is a tremendous miniature painter and modeller, I find everything that he does simply irresistible, but it was his post entitled '28mm Jungle Terrain' that was to provide the catalyst for my own build.  I have no intention in stealing Chris' thunder here, you need to see his brilliant tutorial for yourselves, but I shall indulge in a couple of my own observations.
As with Chris' designs I wanted to base my own efforts on MDF, but fancied something a little more irregular.  Once again Tony of 'East Riding Miniatures' came to my rescue.  Tony does packs of laser cut terrain templates and so I picked up a large and medium and simply stuck the corresponding shapes together before priming them.  This gave me a little relief, but at the same time keeping a sizeable playing area.  I continued to follow Chris' tutorial and had plenty of bits left over form the blocking terrain, however I needed to locate some of the more specialist items that he had used to complete the homage.  The first were the wonderful plastic, vivarium plants that he had simply picked up at the local pet shop.  Chris' post assured me they were cheap, but as I trawled Amazon and the 'Pets at Home' sites, I was alarmed at how much the same product was retailing for in the UK.  The problem I faced was that I really liked the effect they brought to the piece and so persevered, widening my search.  Fortunately I stumbled across 'Swell Reptiles' and my quest was over - the very same cheap plastic vivarium plants!
The next key material to source was the cork bark branches, but again this required a bit of a hunt around, finally arriving at the 'The Spider Shop' - don't sign up for their newsletter if you are arachnophobic!  Now sadly they seem to have stopped selling the cork bark tubes that I secured, but it might be worth contacting them if you fancy some for yourself.  I bought 2KGs worth for just under £20, not really knowing how much I would need and I can tell you now half that amount was enough for the five stands I created.  What I would add here is that if you get a chance to specify the diameter of your branches then do.  I didn't and whilst length is not a problem, you simply saw them down, some of the wider pieces I felt were too big for my needs.
All that remained was to simply put it all together, paint and add what additional details you desired.  In my case I used the same clump foliage and flock that I had previously employed along with different tufts and some leaf litter for the interiors.  I did manage to pick up some florist's moss roll, but struggled to use this as effectively as Chris had, partly down to my impatience, but nevertheless it does help to break the 'bark' feel of the trees and helps to tie everything together nicely.
I can't tell you how pleased I was with these and combined with the blocking terrain and the mat from 'Deep Cut Studio' I was now really excited about the prospect of playing the game.  By standing on the shoulders of giants, I was able to create a tabletop jungle beyond my expectations, thank you Gentlemen! 
All that was left now was to get the miniatures out and see how they looked, including some very excitable dinosaurs! 
Purely for reference the plants bought from 'Swell Reptiles' were:
Zoo Med Amazonian Phyllo (Small) £2.99
Zoo Med Borneo Star (Small) £2.99
Zoo Med Australian Maple (Small) £2.99
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93 comments:

  1. All this terrain you've done, so far, is excellent, Michael. Brilliant work.

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    1. Thank you so much Roy, I was on a bit of a roll at the start of the holiday.

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  2. Great terrain, really looks the part. The T Rex looks at home here

    Cheers, Ross

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    1. Thank you Ross, Rexie really enjoyed his playtime in the jungle.

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  3. Very nice jungle terrain Michael and some great tips on where to get stuff :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin and always happy to share, ;)

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  4. More excellent terrain. Stunning it will be to see the whole board set up. (That is not a hint to show photos BEFORE you are ready)

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    1. Thank you Clint, there are some pictures on the games day post of it all in place, but hopefully so more to follow as I log all the other bits and pieces to come.

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  5. Those are stunning. Consider this page bookmarked for future projects.

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    1. Nothing would make me happier and thank you.

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  6. Nice, I did my jungle on various sized round MDF stands. You can then build what you want by placing the stands together and vary the foliage. I also did this with some of the plastic bamboo.

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    1. Sounds like a great idea is there anywhere I can see some examples?

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  7. Great looking terrain once again!
    Best Iain

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  8. Absolutely superb, Michael, as was your previous jungle terrain in your last post. Not much call for jungle plants in my cutremt project, unless I do a conservatory at Kew...hmmm, that sounds like it might be quite fun...

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    1. Thank you Jez and funny you should mention the glass houses at Kew. I was thinking of a Victorian conservatory/potting shed for Audrey II, to be located behind the haunted house (yet to be built!). We started designing one and the Head of Design Technology was up for turning it into a 'solid works' drawing which he could then send to his laser cutter. If it comes to anything, I shall let you know.

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    2. Hils and I ran a Victorian (circa) - quasi 1888 rpg a few years back for the lads and lasses (strangely, despite the setting, it was actually the biggest campaign group we ever had for a single game, running at 17 players and 2 GM`s). Uuugh,they had there... especially by night... and in the fog, at one stage Hil literally made two of our group (Mandy and Liz) scream so loud and almost faint with terror hahaha. I think what I`m saying Jez is..hehe.. terrain like Michael`s can have a part to play in a "Penny Dreadful" type game, you just got to find the right occasion :))

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    3. ... much of that was set in a vast glass house too,,, and tunnels of course. You gotta have tunnels, don`t ya *wink*

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    4. ....I still shiver at the memory of having to hand drawing six full size graph maps (all of them fitted together) to represent the relevant portion of old London.

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    5. Now that sounds amazing! Tunnels, yes tunnels - lots of tunnels linking the haunted house to the abandoned glasshouse! That reminds me, I have this recollection of a scene from a film where the hero is in a giant vivarium below a stately home. He is trying to find a clue? Maybe his inheritance? Either way he is picking his way through the mass of snakes. I have absolutely no idea what the film was or even if I have made the whole thing up - any clues?

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    6. I must admit Jez's new project has got me very exited and I'm finding it very difficult not to jump into something similar myself, or I was until I discovered my latest distraction! :)

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    7. oh gosh, I think know that film too, what IS it. Sounds like something from Poe.

      Yep, tunnels is the way to go. Mine linked to an old disused train underground as well, most spookey *shivers*

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    8. You'll be sure to let me know if you remember, it's been bugging me for years!

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  9. Quite spectacular Mr A - you've done it again!

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  10. Your terrain pieces look wonderful. Great idea to use cork!

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    1. Thank you, the cork branches really convert a sense of scale, without necessarily getting in the way.

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  11. More fantastic looking pieces! Well worth the internet-sleuthing.

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    1. Thank you, there really are a lot of very clever people out there.

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  12. Superb stuff Sir! I must keep an eye out for that "moss roll" inspiring stuff!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger, you can pick it up for about £2.50 a roll from places like Dunelm. Mine was a bit of a pig to work with and on reflection, I wonder if soaking in PVA first before applying would have been a better way to go?

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    2. Thanks Michael, I look next time we're in there.

      Cheers Roger.

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  13. Wow I'd beware before going down to those woods! Excellent work.
    Cheers, Peter

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    1. Thank you Peter, there were all manner of creatures lurking in them when we played from warthogs to angry monkeys!

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  14. Stunning looking pieces of terrain. I will be quite jealous of this game board once you are finished!!

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  15. Marvelous terrain pieces, Michael. Each one a work of art.

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    1. That's incredibly kind of you Dean, thank you.

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  16. they are simply fantastic; is there seriously no painting involved on any of them? You didn't cheat at all?

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    1. No, there is definitely painting involved. Mostly aerosol cans and a couple of passes with the airbrush to make the brown of the cork a little more green. Mind you on reflection, not as much as you would think.

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    2. I knew I detected your magic touch there. Fabulous results!

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  17. Big Wooow! Excellent looking scenery!

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  18. You are a dab hand sir. What splendid creations.

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    1. Thank you very much Dan, I simply followed the other chaps' tutorials though.

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  19. ow gosh this is soooo cool!

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  20. Wow - these are fantastic. An inspirational and well timed post! I'm just about to get back in to my Lustrian adventures and am hoping to create a jungle table for next year's Oldhammer event. Thanks very much for the links to Chris' posts and to the suppliers!

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    1. Thank you and I am thrilled that it might prove useful - I shall definitely be looking forward to see Lustria come to life. There was a post before this one that might prove useful too. :)

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    2. Useful indeed - much obliged! You now have me eyeing up airbrushes! I've always thought plastic vegetation needed a little something extra to make it look naturalistic. I have a year to get my jungle sorted along with Rigg's shrine - built according to the plans included in one of the ancient Citadel journals. Wish me luck!

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  21. Inspired and splendid job Michael, very atmopsheric!

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  22. Just breathtaking Michael - well done, to put it mildly. I can't even rouse myself to paint pre-done terrain, and am always blown away by the folks like you who can put so much more into terrain efforts.

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    1. Thank you Greg. I think having seen the tutorials I was determined to give it a go and thrilled when I got to see to all on the table.

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  23. Very, very cool, Look superb!

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  24. Bloody brilliant I say! Really like where you're going with this and you make it all look so simple.

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    1. Thank you, that's really kind of you. It was simply insomuch as I had two great tutorials to follow, but it does take time to let things dry properly before you start the next job - thank goodness for long summer holidays.

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  25. Superb terrain, Michael! I look forward to seeing the games you'll play out amidst it and the earlier pieces you made.

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    1. Thank you A.J. the first couple of games were a great success and already my mind is turning to what terrain to use fir the savanna?

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  26. oh man, I`m just LOVING this terrain.

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    1. Thank you Steve, really pleased with how it all turned out in the end.

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  27. Very inventive! I like these scenery pieces a lot!

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  28. Simply stunning! The cork trees are magnificent and would look great in so many different games. Predator, Battle of Endor, Jurassic Park, King Kong

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    1. Thank you Andy and I was thinking the same thing - hopefully lots of uses for them in the future.

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  29. Wow, really beautiful and inspiring stuff, Michael!

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  30. Looks fantastic! Bookmarked for future reference! I've finished most of my savannah terrain, but held off on the jungle. Glad I waited, those cork trees are really terrific!

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    1. Thank you so much Lee, I may need to come and pick your brains about the Savannah set up in due course.

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  31. More excellent terrain Michael. It really is a jungle out there! :)

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    1. Thank you, there were more than one or two quizzical looks from the Saintly Mrs. Awdry as it started to come together - "how much more is there?" was certainly heard once. :)

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  32. Fantastic stuff Michael, thanks for sharing & for the links of yet even more blogs I must visit!

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    1. You are more than welcome Terry, they really were inspirational sites.

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  33. These all look fabulous so life like!

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  34. Again, fantastic and very helpful. It's interesting to see how high your pieces have gone, and it's made me realise that these would double well as an alien world for.

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    1. Thank you Kieron, the joy of the bark tubes is that it gives that massive feel, but without restricting access to your miniatures on the table.

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  35. this is simply the best, its brilliant.

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    1. Well that's just too kind. *blushes*

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  36. They look great! And thanks for the blog plug!

    Chris

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    1. Well thank you and you a more than welcome - always one of my favourite places to visit.

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  37. Sometimes a little internet-research-persistence is needed to find the best deals. Extremely well put together too. And that last shot with T-Rex ... wow! Love it.

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  38. Those all look very natural and realistic. Fantastic, your tables are going to impress!

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  39. You might be qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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