How to… Make your own jungle terrain

Just a quickie! quick and simple jungle terrain!

I bought some aquarium plants from my FLPS (Friendly Local Pet Store), picking up 2 packs of plants which totalled less than $8.  I figured they may look cool as either jungle/oasis scenery, or maybe as some scenery for an exotic alien world. So, here goes…

Step one:
These suckas are all joined together, so you’ll want to take your scalpel to them to separate them up. (Remember to cut away from yourself, kiddies!)

You’ll want to try and hack them off the base too, much easier than it sounds… I had to get a heavy duty Stanley knife to this mofo. You should then be left with the foliage, thus:

I did leave a couple of pieces on the base, although I did reduce the size of the base. This will make for some slightly higher pieces of terrain.

Step two:
Now you’ll want to get some foam board that you’ll a) have lying around or b) will go and score from the craft store for about $3 a sheet, which will last you for ages. Cut out the size of base that you want your scenery piece to be, then shave the edges at an angle to make it look more natural when you put it on your gaming surface. Don’t worry, it does’t have to be perfect, you’ll see why soon.

Then, when you have your base, glue your foliage on! Again, don’t worry too much about the weird base bits, this will be taken care of.

Step three:
This is my favorite part, the messy bit. Get your spackle (or ‘filler’ as we Brits call it) and some pumice, which is essentially sand mixed into paint, which works just as well if you don’t have access to pumice. Now liberally slap on your spackle first. Build it up where you want, like around the base of the leaves etc. I had also grabbed a couple of rocks out of the garden which I included on there too, to include a more natural feel. I brought the filler all the way up to the rocks too, to make them look buried:

I added a layer of the pumice after the filler had dried, you can see I left a ‘pathway’ through the piece to make a bit of a feature of it, and added a couple of skulls from my bitz box in there too…

Here is an example of the other piece made a little higher, more like a small outcrop of foliage:

Step four:
Paint the bastid!

Basecoat is Graveyard Earth, washed with Devlan Mud, drybrushed with Graveyard Earth>Bleached Bone>little bit of Skull White

Mud trail was basecoat Scorched Brown>Devlan Mud wash>drybrushed Scorched Brown>Scorched Brown with Bleached Bone>little bit of Bleached Bone

Now with drybrushing, and some scenic odds and sods added:

Another shot:

“be vewwy vewwy qwiet, I’m huntin’ aweiens!”

And that, dear readers, is it! you should be looking at a lovely new piece or pieces of scenery! and all for under $12!

Stay frosty


Having a hobby without having time for it.

Playing tabletop wargames is by no means a whimsical hobby to be lightly flirted with. While hobbies as a whole require time and dedication there are those hobbies out there which require the hobbyist to go above and beyond, not only in the wallet department, but in the time management department too.

A couple of days ago, I read an interesting article on the House of Paincakes, highlighting some articles from Rathstar’s Ramblings Blog concerning motivation to getting miniatures painted. It prompted me to write an entry for WCF.

Ours is a tough road, this ‘ere hobby. Beset on both sides by manufacturers waving their new factions or chapters under our noses, or the sweet promises of those new, updated codexes and subsequent miniatures.  I’m sure we all know people, or are guilty ourselves of buying up armfuls of miniatures, eager to assemble them and get them on the table to test their mettle.

See, that’s the easy part.  Assembling the little blighters is, for me anyway, a quick fix. I can have a unit assembled in an evening. Painting them however is a different story. Painting armies can be quite a daunting, and sometimes even off-putting prospect.  A problem I have is that I am a perfectionist when it comes to painting, so my squads get done painfully slowly, although I have been making a considerable effort to step away from this when painting my forces, particularly the rank and file.

Some of us are just not that fond of the painting side of the hobby, whereas others have the same crushing problem I do. Not enough time. Being at work 40 hours of the week, and also a father of a 3 year old, it doesn’t leave me much in the way of time to get my loyal (and patient) forces painted up. I’ve tried a number of different approaches to tackling this, but met with little success.

It’s a mindset you have to get used to. You have to be realistic about what you want to achieve and the timeframe you want to achieve it in. I’ve become happy in the knowledge now that I’m not going to be able to paint every night. If I can paint two or three nights a week, then I am doing well. I can usually average about two or two and a half hours. Seven hours of paint time a week is not to be sniffed at especially when you have to keep LadyBoss happy and also be a responsible dad.

Awwwwhammer - Space Marine in training.


One way I have found to help me is planning. The night before I know I’m going to paint, I figure out what it is I’m going to tackle. I’ll get the items together I’m going to need, put them on my painting tray (one of the most invaluable items GW has ever made, IMO) and have it ready to grab for the following evening.  Maybe I want to do some more Black Templars, or even work some more on a competition entry, or even those Lizardmen, or the Stegadon that’s been eyeballing me every time I walk into my nerd closet*

*nerd closet.


It ‘s quite surprising just how much of your time is lost with set up and break down, if you’re like me and don’t have a permanent area for painting, and have to get everything out every time you want to paint.

The key is definitely in the planning, but also hand in hand is variety! Surely, is it not the spice of life? Change things up a little. Three straight painting sessions of painting just Black Templar armor is enough to make anyone want to take up stamp collecting instead, so, if you have other armies you play (admit it, you do, don’t you?) then paint something from them. Suddenly you’ll start seeing more minis and units coming together without really realizing it.

It’s important, most of all that you have fun and enjoy your hobby. This shouldn’t become something you dread to even think of. If you get to that point, it has become a chore, and possibly the time to sell up and move on.

Here is a sneak peek at what I have been working on bit by bit, using my procedure above. It’s almost ready to be posted up here in full glory.

Its OK, that'll buff right out.



Lizardman Skink test…

I just (literally, like 10 minutes ago) finished my first mini in my Lizardmen force. I did try a test out on a Saurus Temple Guard, but it was like someone had vomited on my mini, so he was re-undercoated. So, after taking a few days off from painting, I decided to give it another shot, this time with a smaller ‘muse’. My fiancee was convinced I said that I was going to paint a ‘skank’…

skin was base coated in a 1:1 mix of Regal Blue and Hawk Turqouise, with highlights added to this mixture with Ice Blue. I’ll be varying the tones on the different models to give them a bit more individuality.

Shield was painted with a basecoat of Scab red, washed with Badab Black and highlighted with adding Vomit Brown to the Scab Red and touching up on the corners of the plates.

Back plates were base coated with Regal Blue, washed with Badab Black and highlighted with Ice Blue and Codex Grey. No particular mix ratio, this was really a ‘this feels about right’ kinda thing.

Gold plating was base coated with a 1:1 mix of Shining Gold and Scorched brown. Highlight of Shining Gold, then a final highlight of Shining Gold with Mithril Silver mixed, at about a 1:3 ratio.

Claws/nails were a Snakebite Leather base, with Bleached Bone added in for progressive highlights. A basic version of this was used for the teeth. Eyes were simply a Tausept Ochre base, then added a bit of Bleached Bone for one layer before adding the pupil.

Onyx on the weapon was simply PP Greatcoat Grey lining, followed by a Codex Grey line highlight.

Based, and DONE!

It took me a little while to paint him, but that’s probably because I was doing a test run. I hope I get the same results on an assembly line type setup.

So that’s it! Hope you like him, comments and criticism always welcome.


Time to take my (war)hammer to my minis…

Gah! Summer, humidity and 90 degree heat have given me little to no interest in painting. I just can’t focus on the work. That and also a bunch of my paints decided to dry up as well. I’m not exactly sure how some of this crap dries out so quickly, it’s not like I leave the damn paint pots sitting out in the open for hours. I mean, some of them were almost full too, wtf? If it hasn’t dried up completely, its turned into something resembling the consistency of toothpaste.

To top all that off, I actually made myself sit down and start on a Lizardman mini the other night to test out a couple of the colors I had in mind. I was not happy with the results. so for now, he is the ‘blue turd’, until I can redo the paint job. Huzzah for test minis, and a big ‘GFY’ to blue inkwashes.

I was beginning to feel guilty that I was playing more video games that getting time in painting, then I realized ‘hey, it’s a hobby, ffs, you do it for enjoyment, right?’ so, self justification achieved, and another slew of zombies bite the dust while fighting my way through Louisiana with nothing but a couple of handguns, an AK-47 and a bottle of puke…

Thats all I got for now. So, bugger off, before I set the dawgs on yer!