After years of putting it off, I've finally built some jungle/forest terrain. Why the wait? In the distant past I have made several different types of forest base, usually for GW gaming. I was never happy with my results.
Single based Railway model trees and separate base plate
Railway model trees fixed to scenic base with space for models
Aquarium Trees individually based
Storage: Easy but messy
Here is what I came up with: Organic shaped MDF bases with a few plants strategically fixed on. Inner "plugs" of plants that fill the gaps but can be lifted out to place troops inside. In a pinch, the plugs can be used as individual terrain pieces and the bases left more sparse.
I have tried to split the difference between looks, game function and durability (while being as cheap as possible) and am very happy with the result.
I used 3 of these soap dish inserts from Tiger ( a cheap shop in the UK) for 3 pounds each. I am sure I could have got the same plastic plant cheaper on eBay, but this exact type of plant is difficult to find and it was an impulse buy. The dishes are quite handy as drawer organisers so not bad value.
For bases, I cut up some 2mm MDF that I had previously (and very foolishly) used to glue pieces of a Zuzzy mat to in an attempt to make modular street tiles. I used a stanley knife with a new blade. I whittled the edges down to a slope, then used PVA glue to stick dried coffee grounds on as texture to cover the exposed MDF.
Next, a hot glue gun was employed to stick some clumps (2 or 3 depending on base size) of plant to each base. More coffee grounds and PVA to cover the hot glue.
The remaining plants were hot glued onto (you guessed it) pieces of broken-up cork tile, each one fitting into a gap on the bases, but not glued in. Cork tile is weighty and grippy enough not to move, and soft enough not to damage anything it's sitting on. More PVA/coffee ground to hide the hot glue.
A sloppy round of craft paint acrylic burnt umber was slathered onto all the coffee parts to blend them into the bases, followed by two lighter shades of brown dry-brushed on top.
Finally, some clump foliage was added. I plan to stick on clumps of static grass in future, but it's in the post right now.
Still haven't managed to get any figures painted recently, but hoping to in the next few days. I have a ton of stuff from Khurasan waiting, and I just ordered some new Armies Army toys that should arrive soon.
Footnote: Figures from this post: Special Forces