Making Bamboo Groves for Wargaming

I’m already doing the Portuguese Colonial War. Adam got me interested in Burma. Chris and Jamie are talking about Vietnam. So, inspired by Brett Simpson, I thought I’d make some Bamboo groves to extend my on-table jungle.


The end result

I put a couple of bamboo groves next to a village. You can see my Pagoda and rice paddies

Bamboo-62 Bamboo groves around Burmese village

Bamboo-62 Bamboo groves around Burmese village


Materials

Plastic bamboo (6, 8 and 10 cm)
Plastic aquarium plant mats
Foam core (5mm thick)
Sand
Wood glue / PVA
Paint


The method

Steps:

  1. Get some bamboo and aquarium plant mats from eBay
  2. Cut up foam core for bases
  3. Glue sand to bases
  4. Paint sand
  5. Chop up clumps of vegetation
  6. Five holes
  7. Glue in bamboo and vegetation
  8. Leave to dry

1. Get some bamboo and aquarium plant mats from eBay

For bamboo I went with “10/20Pcs Plastic Model Bamboo Trees Rainforest Scenery Diorama 6-15cm” and selected three sets with different heights. Brett recommended “about 9 cm” so I got 10 x 10cm, 20 x 8cm and 20 x 6cm.

I liked the idea of using lower vegetation to bulk out my bamboo features. eBay has lots of plastic aquatic plants for sale. I found one I like and ordered a pack. Mine as called “5X Artificial Water Aquatic Green Grass Fish Tank Plant Lawn Aquarium Landscape”. It gave me enough for a lifetime.

Bamboo-56 Clumps of plastic vegetation

Bamboo-56 Clumps of plastic vegetation

2. Cut up foam core for bases

I wanted free standing bamboo stands, just like my trees, so I can move them around as the troops move. I decided to use 5mm foam board for the bases, mainly because I had some and it is super easy to shape. I chopped up a bunch of bases.

Bamboo-54 Foam Core bases

Bamboo-54 Foam Core bases

3. Glue sand to bases

Then I glued some sand on the bases. I didn’t bother with filler first as I figured these weren’t going to get a lot of scrutiny on table.

Bamboo-55 Flock with sand

Bamboo-55 Flock with sand

4. Paint sand

Then painting the bases with my normal flat earth and dry brushing.

Bamboo-59 Painted sand

Bamboo-59 Painted sand

5. Chop up clumps of vegetation

The grass mat has clumps and each clump has four mini-clumps.

Bamboo-57 Clumps of vegetation

Bamboo-57 Clumps of vegetation

So I snipped off the mini clumps.

Bamboo-58 Snip - Smaller clumps of vegetation

Bamboo-58 Snip – Smaller clumps of vegetation

6. Five holes

I then poked five holes in each base. One directly from the top in the centre. Four others in a circle around the centre, about half way to the edge, and sloping towards the centre. These holes were for the vegetation in the next step.

7. Glue in bamboo and vegetation

Poke the base of a bamboo stick into some glue and poke the glued stem into the centre hole. Then do the same with four mini-clumps and the holes around the centre.

Bamboo-60 Five holes - dip glue - insert plants

Bamboo-60 Five holes – dip glue – insert plants

Leave to dry

I dry on one of my radiators. Don’t tell my wife.

Bamboo-61 Dry everything

Bamboo-61 Dry everything

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