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Jungle foliage

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Jungle foliage

Postby bangorstu » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:44 am

So... am painting up a bunch of Chindits / general 14th Army bods to give my mate's Bolt Action Japanese a thorough shoeing.

Anyone got any idea son how to do Jungle foliage for basing? I've been told tropical fish tank stuff is the way to go but that might look a bit too plastic.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby Ronan the Librarian » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:19 am

I believe the normal route is to spray/dry brush it with various greens to give a bit more variety (most types tend to be one-tone) and then matt varnish. Of course, after a bit of rain (not unknown in the jungle), a lot of stuff is quite shiny anyway, as plants go....
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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby Etranger » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:44 pm

There is plenty of "normal" foliage in the jungle too. When using the fish tank plastic plants I sometimes paint with craft paint, espcially over the more lurid colours. Matt or satin varnish takes away the "plastic" appearance. Photos to follow.
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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby olicana » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:16 pm

I think the 'verdant green' of most fish tank stuff is very good as the base colour. The problem is shading and the fact that it is usually very 'greasy plastic'. My solution, for what it's worth, is to vigorously and quickly wash the stuff in a strong detergent (bleach) solution with a stiff household painting brush (because the bristles help to get into the crevices), thoroughly rinse, then dry (I've used a towel followed by radiator).

As soon as it's fully dry, paint / dip in a good dark green artist's (e.g. Liquitex) acrylic ink (at 1:1 solution with water).

A further tip is to apply the ink over an old plastic ice cream tub or similar because it will drip a lot - waste not, want not. Put it into a separate tray until it's almost dripped dry (to collect more drips), then place on further surface, I put that on a radiator, to finish drying (it might still drip a bit: everything has some cost). If conveyor belting this is a much easier process than it sounds.

Find a jar to store the solution you don't use in the conveyor process. This might sound a bit miserly, but at £5 for a fluid ounce of quality ink, it's worth saving.

Afterwards, a light dry brush for the final highlight might be in order- for this you can use almost anything yellowy green, including household emulsion.

Just a two penny worth.

James

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My whoring and daubing: http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby Etranger » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:21 am

As threatened/promised

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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby irishserb » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:52 pm

I tend to base jungle foliage on irregular shaped pieces of styrene sheet of .06 or .08 inch thickness. Just scribe with a knife, bend and snap at the scribe line, and sand the corners round. I also tend to bevel the edges to give smoother transitions from the base terrain. A variety of plants are used, mostly just smaller leafed plastic and ferns made from full size fern frond leaflets. They are mounted to the plastic bases with hot-melt glue. Once the glue is dry, the exposed bases can be finished with your normal texture/paint/flock methods.

Nice quality palms of various sizes and forms can be had from Ebay at reasonable prices, or can be made from fern leaflets using wire armature trunks wrapped in brown floral tape. The tape can be textured and painted, or simply left bare.

I don't tend to paint the plastic foliage, just try to find a variety of colors that are workable to start with. Foliage for multiple scales out of the same material, just cutting bits shorter, or using the smaller pieces at smaller scales. In my case, I cater sizes to 15mm, 20mm, and 28mm.

Here are a couple pics of recent attempts at foliage:

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More photos and info on my blog at:
http://irishserb.blogspot.com/2017/10/some-gungle-for-vietnam.html

http://irishserb.blogspot.com/2011/11/palms-ferns-and-cycads-jungle-for.html

Hopefully, there might be something useful in there.
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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby Stavka » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:51 am

I don't bother painting plastic plants, as the translucent plastic often catches the sunlight and looks more like natural foliage than I could ever replicate with paint or ink. I've experienced both bamboo groves and jungle, and have had my sense of smell assaulted by jungle flora; as has been pointed out, the stuff is often wet and waxy in its natural state to begin with.

Painting it all would be time and effort that I'm not convinced is really worth the extra effort for wargaming figures. Mine does get a matt spray along with the rest of the completed miniature, which takes off excess plasticky sheen.

Washing in detergent is a good idea, just to remove any oils/ release agents that might get on fingers and then on to matt-coated figures.

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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby nevinsrip » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:03 am

I've just started a Pirate project and have tried a few different methods. I have learned a few things by experimenting with various spray paints. Rather than fish stores I went to craft stores that sell plastic plants. Michael's, if you're in the States.
I found a very good selection of various useful plants including these grass mats:

http://www.michaels.com/10275721.html

I also picked up some Design Master Floral spray paints. These are formulate to stick to plastic plants and they do leave a bit of a sheen, for those who like that look. I bought various greens and yellows and sprayed all of the things that I had bought with different colors. I turned the plants upside down and used darker greens. Once dry I flipped them over and used the lighter colors. I varied the distances that I sprayed from, to allow different colors to blend.
I ended up with a nice selection.

The other thing I did was to put a bunch of the various plants in a box and hit them with a hot hair dryer. This caused all kinds of shrinkage and distortion. It transformed uniform pieces into unique shapes. It only takes a few seconds for the plastic to reshape.

I then sprayed Dulcote over the whole mess to kill the sheen. Real plants may look shiny, but shiny plastic looks fake next to figures when displayed together. Of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: Jungle foliage

Postby bangorstu » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:54 pm

Thanks for that - although I'm not in the USA... I'm in the original Bangor!

Lots to ponder, must get round to it soon.
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