Thursday, 15 July 2010

Jungle (ish) terrain

In August of last year my local club hosted a small local friendly tournament, which we invited clubs from across the county to attend. It attracted a fair number of players and good fun was had by all. The only slight fly in the ointment was that our clubs quality and variety of terrain received some negative feedback.

Players who were not familiar with our club suggested that with the exception of a few show pieces, the scenery was quite scruffy and did not appear to have a consistent look. It didn't hang together well. It was also suggested that the boards were a bit bashed and damaged.

As a club this came as a bit of a body blow. We had got quite used to the look of the scenery and hadn't recognised the problems with it. After a brief period of indignation, we stepped back and looked at what we had got. Isn't it funny how it takes a stranger coming in to point out the obvious to you..

We have since moved to rectify the problem. We went through our stock of scenery and threw out some of the older and shabbier items. We have since run a terrain building competition, which although did not have many entries did produce a number of high quality items.

We then set about creating a standard colour scheme and presentation style for all scenery. For example we have decided that all ground is to be painted scorched earth which is then to be dry-brushed up to bleach bone and flocked using a consistent flock. If nothing else it helps make all items of scenery look as if they are meant to be used together.

We have also tried to make our scenery more robust by adding board to the bottom of hills etc.

We have now set about replacing items that need it and adding to fill gaps that  exist. A couple of weeks ago I knocked to gether a whole load of bases for woods.

As part of this process, I have been busy bashing together scatter terrain for (alien) jungles. There is nothing new or unusual about the terrain or the process used. It is just bits and pieces salvaged off plastic flowers and cheap fish tank plants.

I tried fixing to a thin plastic taken from washing powder boxes, but that just warped, so in the end I have reverted to figure bases, and huge variety of bases as-well. Essentially anything that is left over from my various projects. I finally landed on the simplest system which was to sand, paint and flock the base before adding the plants. the plant holes need to be drilled in and then glued using plastic glue. No other glue appears to provide the level of robustness that I am after.

I have prepared and painted enough to cover an A3 sheet with no gaps between. Spread out that should be enough. regardless, I am bored of the whole thing now, so that will have to do for a while.

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