08 June 2016

The Jungle

I started putting this terrain together about 6 months ago, it certainly is the biggest terrain project I have taken on and the most difficult. I really am not a big planner, I wanted something that I could use for an early pacific island campaign (Guadalcanal) and also something maybe in Malaya in case I wanted to paint up some Australians. Aside from that general want, there was no plan. I see a piece of terrain and say that will work and I then have to fit it in.

I had a general sense that I wanted a beach, a jungle and something to attack. I knew that unlike Normandy or Finland this would have to be very dense. Line of sight would be continuously blocked, but I wanted winding pathways through the jungle. I also wanted lots of different types of terrain. Chain of Command is a terrific game and it caters well to varying terrain.  The TFL 2015 Xmas Special had a superb Malaya campaign. The author Len Tracey had done a fantastic job of putting together some special rules for fighting in jungles. Terrain types included were primary and secondary jungle, kunai grass, bamboo copses, swamps, plantations and jungle huts. For each of these types of terrain, he defines movement and LOS, as well as cover. This information gave me a general outline for planning as I went along.
6x4 terrain with beach in foreground and the start of some hills in the farground
I was tempted to put in some sea but resisted the urge
A lot of the terrain pieces were designed to be affixed to tiles of mdf. Unfortunately it is impossible to get thin mdf in the US, Simon of Big Red Bat Cave was great in suppling me with nice pieces from the UK.
The mat is the from Cigar Box and is their dessert  one. I used used liquid wood to give the tiles texture adding some small rocks and sand. The palm trees on the beach are from Pegasus but they are enormously expensive. After buying 6 of them, I decided to do some searching on the internet and found that you can get excellent trees from China on eBay at a fraction of the cost of suppliers in the US and Europe. Shipping is very inexpensive. I believe I used 2 different types of palm trees, bamboo trees, 3 different types of regular trees, swamp plants and bushes from Chinese suppliers.
The entrance to the bamboo forest. Holes were drilled into the mdf and I think I used 600 bamboo plants 
A jungle hut from Sarissa Precision. This hut is from their 15 mm line, a little small for 20 mm gaming but it will do. 
Coconut Plantation, this is one type of palm from China
The jungle grass behind the hut is from Gale Force Nine Battle Front line. In order to get the plastic look off all the trees and plants they were dipped in a brown wash and allowed to dry. I then would give a quick mist of a bright green spray followed by a dusting of a bright yellow spray. It worked well. The trunks of all the trees were dry brushed with an ivory
Another hut this time from Airfix. I am not sure where I got the sand bunker from. 
A watchtower also from Sarissa.
A hooch that came in the Airfix kit
The hill is dry brushed 2" styrofoam. The ground cover is of two types, some sort of moss rolls from a craft shop and then some lichen from Woodland Scenics. This worked well to blend the mdf terrain pieces into the mat
Three different tree types from China. The tree bases are from Adventure Terrain and are magnetized. Very clever. The tre bases will represent primary jungle for gaming. 
I wish I could have found some rubber trees as well, but a copra plantation is good.
This represents secondly jungle with heavy ground cover
Kunai grass from Products for Wargamers

The water features are from WorldSmith Industries
Two part epoxy resin was used for the water, maybe a little shiny
USMC Patrol
A Stuart
30 cal MMG
USMC Flamethrower team heading into the bamboo
Forward Observer

Mortar Team on the beach
50 cal HMG Team

Japanese MMG team with LMG squad heading off on patrol

Into the Jungle!

Well this was a lot of work, but I am happy how it came out. I still have to decide how I am going to terrain the paths, I will probably just lay down some reddish sand. Still have 2 more sections each of USMC and Japanese to paint as well.


  1. Nice work on the Terrain, very realistic
    thanks for sharing

  2. Looks spectacular, John. Are large sections mounted on the the thin mdf plywood, and thus intended to be moveable to vary the layout?

    1. Yes Peter, I think the mdf is either 6x6" or 10x8", so very easy to change the layout. I am a little worried about storage though.

  3. Goodness! That's fantastic!

  4. Replies
    1. You actually started me on my jungle terrain quest

  5. Looks great. I wonder how many little men will go missing in that foliage! That forward observer is going to be hard to find sometimes!!

  6. That looks superb, good work!

    1. Thanks Andy, now if I could only write as good as BR as you do

  7. Very nice indeed. Inspirational stuff there.

  8. Beautiful work! Very impressive.

  9. Replies
    1. Maybe not as exciting as firing a black powder weapon though

  10. Astonishing scenery - I tip my hat to you, sir!

  11. Excellent jungle terrain! I must look into getting some of those palm trees.

    1. thanks and equally so, you have done some great terrains your self

  12. Hello John,
    That is stunning work, very realistic and must be a joy to play upon. So detailed and yet still very practical. I can see you losing figures hidden in there!

    Now you have got me thinking how basic my own table is :)

    1. Nice to hear from you Lee, I think your terrain is quite impressive.

  13. This is fantastic. Really great detail. I just finished my jungle gaming table. I see we have the same suppliers for a lot of stuff. gotta love china ;) I have built mine in 28mm. have a look here: http://zangali.blogspot.nl/

  14. Amazing job John. With the results so realistic I wonder if you will lose an element in their.

  15. Nice Terrain John
    cheers JOHN Bond