Monday, March 8, 2010

Bamboo U, Part the Last (III)

Ok, so another hour of playing around got these two test stands done, except for the sealing (which could be where I blow it - I've blasted foliage off trees before).

To sum up, I'm pretty happy with these. These pictures do kinda make them look like broccoli, but they don't from a distance (e.g. the chopper-view pictures below). I also really need to get some jungle trees done, without the reference I keep thinking these are proper trees. The 'proper' trees will be at least half again as tall, with grey-brown trunks. It's just a mindset thing.

Changes to my method, now that I'm done:

  • Paint the tops of the pins a dark green, so any pin peeking through the flock will look like foliage.
  • No need to do ground cover in the interior of the impassable bamboo! Just focus on the edges of the stand, if you want again (again, appears to have been highly variable).
  • Can probably ixnay the brown trunks, it causes me mental confusion with trees, and slows things down to switch paints over. Maybe for any special stands, but for mass production I'll fill with "fresh foliage". On the plus side, for other genres brown would work for proper trees in 3mm.

Shaky view flying in on the chopper...

About ready to land, hope the bamboo tree-line is empty...

Grunt's eye view of the passable bamboo stand, with room for 3 fire teams.

Grunt's eye view of the impassable bamboo stand.


  1. Hey there, wasn't so sure where you were going with these; things looked a bit plain with just the pins before, but wow, was I wrong- these are excellent - simple ingredients- but you've aced it!
    Let's see more pics when you've got the whole forest done... :-)

  2. Thanks Steel. I was trying to do this as a how-to, which is why there were some of the midst of the project pics.

    I need to rationalize how I'm going to go into production mode, I don't know if I can do enough to fill an entire "passable" bamboo forest, or if I'll just do the borders and then use felt as the interior, with the occasional stand in the middle as a reminder of what they're moving through.

    Impassable bamboo stands may be whole bases, since I don't need to leave room for units to move through (well, till they cut their way through...).

    I may wait for the rules and any scenarios to come out before I commit myself. Then I'll have some ideas for terrain needs. My plan is to use half-scale for 3mm; so 1"=40', assuming CDS stays true to IABSM, where 1"=20' (near perfect for 6mm).

    In doing some reading on Vietnam, terrain will be a challenge, with whole fights happening in jungles, with fallen trees and other damage done by aerial and artillery bombardment playing important roles (not to mention LZ's). Hmmm, so I may need to do "shorn" bamboo...

  3. Sounds like you've got a good handle on things; I wonder if you did some bases with random/jagged edges to break the stands up somewhat; or how about a sort of yin and yang shaped one; a circle that 'breaks apart' into two sections - that way impassable forest can be separated as those GIs cut a trail...

    Of course next you need lots of paddy fields, not to mention a muddy Mekong style river for a 'Brown Water Navy' (Irregular have some really nice 1/900th modern boats now, in the 20th century range), oh and some water buffalo, and the odd pagoda temple too! :-)

  4. Hey don't get me started! I think I'll cheat with rice paddies and go with felt. I'm actually surfing today trying to dig up photos of the Vietnamese landscape and battle locations to get a handle on what all I'll need. I have some good pics already.

    Mountains are going to be the real fly in the ointment...hope there's a foamboard sale soon, 4 boards may not be enough.

    For my brown water navy, there's actually a good selection at 3mm through Picoarmor:

    I have the monitors, alpha boats, ATC and PBR on hand already.

    I like your ideas for modular terrain, when I'll have units working through rough stuff. For elephant grass I'm using the cheap stuff I posted about a few weeks ago, cut down and on pennies so it's moveable as units move through it.

  5. What did you use for the tops of the trees. I can't tell from the pictures.

  6. Nice terrain. Good terrain is one of the most important parts of a good wargame table. How to articles like this are very helpful.

    Would you like to exchange links?

  7. Eli - the tops are Woodland Scenics Coarse Turf. I coated the pinheads in PVA/white glue, then dipped into the turf. I gave it a bit of a push/grind, then pulled out and shook off the loose stuff (had to do it again a day later after the glue dried too).

    I was worried even the coarse turf would be too fine and I'd end up with tufts of turf here and there on the trunks rather than a natural look. Turns out it worked ok; painting the tops of the pins a darker green will help too.