Because tutorials on making jungle scenery are so easily available off the internet (links listed at the bottom), I will eschew the details and say simply that investing in a hot glue gun can be one of the best decisions you can make in the hobby.
When I first started doing them I wanted to imitate the readymade pieces sold by Miniature World Maker, which I had seen arranged to great effect on the HKSW site. So I ended up making large rectangular bases bearing four to six trees. The trees are plastic and can be bought in exorbitantly-priced packets at B2S, or in super cheap bags at Jatujak. My many critics have pointed out that I should really drybrush the trees, and give them a coat of matt varnish to lessen the shine, but quite frankly I’m too lazy to.
On the finished base pictured below is a lone battling bastard desperately fending off a typical bayonet charge. The Tommy gunner is from Sgt. Major’s Yanks range, while the surrounding Japanese are Eureka.
The idea quickly proved unfeasible, however, and I resorted to doing what many other people were doing; i.e. making smaller, irregularly shaped pieces that can be arranged any which way you want on the table.
Finally, here’s a couple of useful links for people looking for a step-by-step guide.
Matakishi’s Tea House
Wargame News and Terrain
These days FAA has become a much overlooked name, which is a shame, as their ranges, in addition to covering some very unusual subjects (Greek Evzones and Belgian Chasseurs Ardennais, for example), are very nice.
Their Japanese range is unfortunately somewhat inconsistent because two sculptors were employed to complete it. Personally I prefer the handiworks of the late Paul Barnshaw, but sadly these do not include the riflemen, some of which are poorly done.
The figures paint up well, and the range not only features the usual buglers and standard bearers, but also a flamethrower and a submachine gun-armed chap. Things you wouldn’t normally see elsewhere.
The real downside to all of this, however, is the difficulty involved in getting these. Contacting FAA is apparently no easy matter (as reported on TMP and the Guild) and their fixed postal rate of $25.00 for international orders is as bad as it can get. A real shame really, because every Pacific gamer could do with a few more of these figures.
Thanks to the venerable Airfix kit the Type 97 “Chi-Ha” medium tank is probably the most famous Japanese tank ever. I have three, all of which are from SHQ. And very crisp castings they are too, with there being very little flash to remove, or mould lines to file away. The radio antennae however was a delicate affair and a real pain to assemble, so much so that I accidentally broke a leg off each set.
Although Japanese tank camouflage is often described as consisting of dark brown and dark green painted over a base of “Japanese artillery brown”, I’ve opted for a pattern that replaces the base colour with a light green, as per the cover illustration of the Osprey New Vanguard volume, which depicts the 9th Tank Regiment’s 5th Company in action on Saipan.
As you can see, I have a very eccentric preference (definitely one that makes many aghast) for unrealistically clean vehicles; a cleanliness more suited to the parade ground than the thick jungles of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Hopefully I’ll have pictures of the other two some time next week.
Accompanying this blog’s first ever post are pictures of a very old and very unrealistic-looking hill that I made way back in April 2007. Unrealistic because I chose to glue together a stack of thin foam boards, one on top the other, which gave the piece step slopes and thus a sense of artificiality. The palm trees are paper ones sold by Siam Marketing at Central World; I have since discarded them in favour of shiny plastic ones available from Jatujak’s many aquarium stores.
The Japanese pictured above are from Sgt. Majors, while the Punjabs seen patrolling below are from Stonewall Figures. The latter are excellent little figures, being Paul Barnshaw sculpts, but are marred by indistinct looking sticks that are supposed to be, but look nothing like, .303 Enfields.
As I currently do not have my camera with me (the joys of having two homes!) this weekend’s posts will only feature old photos that should be familiar to visitors of the Guild. Hopefully I will manage to be consistent, and able to post on a weekly basis.