Sunday, June 22, 2014

Some Greens for the Table Top

While my wife was inventorying the discount bins at the local crafts store, I notice a bumpy green ball amongst the many treasures that I was hoping would not be making the trip home with us.  On closer inspection, I discovered that the bumpy green thing was a ball about 4 inches in diameter, covered with an infestation of green leafy stalks.  It looked like something that might spontaneously sprout to life in a dark corner of the bottom shelf of a neglected refrigerator.  After determining that it was unlikely to be harmful, I realized that it was indeed a treasure that needed to return home with us.

An alien life form?  No, gaming terrain in disguise.
I don't know what the thing was actually intended for, but it was loaded with small stocks of tiny leaves measuring about 3/16 inches long.  A virtual countryside of miniature foliage for my table top.  So this weekend, I brought out my box a greenery and got to work.

Some of the artificial fern fronds that I use for making jungle foliage.

I stripped leaflets off of my favorite plastic fern fronds, cut some bases out of scrap styrene, softened the edges of the bases with a Dremel and sanding drum, and armed by bottle of glue for some serious work.

A few washers were added as small weighted bases, with the centers covered over with thin styrene plastic.  I sanded the styrene on the washer into a domed shape to make the finished product a little smoother.

I made a assortment of single plants, as well as bases with clumps of foliage or small groups of palms.  The palms came from a model railroad supplier on E-bay a year or so ago.  I managed about 55 bases before using up all of the super glue.

The last step was to paint and flock the bases.  I found an old bottle of Pactra military yellow of some sort (the label fell off decades ago), and once the paint was dry, I flocked with a mix of Woodland Scenics  flock, using artists acrylic matte medium as the glue.

Clusters of foliage largely consisting of stalks from my bumpy green ball.
28mm, 20mm, and 15mm figs for size comparison.
Ferns or cycads, the larger for 28mm, smaller for 20mm and/or 15mm.
E-bay palms for use as 20mm palms and cycads in Vietnam.

The clusters of foliage will work with anything from 15mm to 28mm.  Some of the clusters feature only shorter plants up to about 3/4 of an inch tall particularly for use with my 15mmAfrican games.  All of the clusters can be used with 20mm Vietnam and 28mm Colonial and sci-fi games.

The fern leaflets serve to make nice cycad or fern fronds in the various scales, with the larger plants for 28mm games and the medium and small for use in 15-20mm. 

The palms are some of the smaller ones that I intend to add to my Vietnam riverine terrain.  The conventional palms are only about for to four and a half inches tall, and may see some use in my African games, depending on the settings for the games.  The shorter plants on the stubby trunks look more like many of the cycads that I have seen, and will be used as such in my Vietnam settings, or simply as foliage for some sci-fi games.

After picking up some glue this week, I hope to do another round of gardening next weekend.


  1. Looking great! I need to pull my finger out and do something similar.

  2. Great ideas, vey nice work!

  3. Nice work, I use the aquarium mats.