So the guys have wanted to move some of our African gaming from the savanna into denser jungle terrain. After looking at Dr. Mathias' tutorial on LAF, I decided to take a shot at creating something that looks lush down at table level, but left plenty of open space above for people to be able to easily move their figures around.
The first step was to find something reasonable for the tree branches and leaves. I went through several bunches of silk plants, but the leaves always looked too large to scale properly for 28mm. I also looked at using foam semi-spheres covered in moss, but didn't think I could create something that looked satisfactory or that wouldn't get knocked over during play. In the end, I managed to find some flocked plastic ferns at the Micheal's craft store. These have metal wires running up each stem, so they are fairly sturdy and can be bent so the shapes look more natural. These are manufactured by a company called Ashland, and there are 7 stems on a bunch. Many of the leaves have curls on the ends, so I nipped those off, as I didn't think they looked appropriate for tree branches.
For the ground plants, I managed to find a great selection of cheap, plastic vivarium plants at the local pet shop. These are made by a company called Zoo Med and come in a variety of styles and bag sizes. For this scale, I though the Amazonian Phyllo, Malaysian Fern, Australian Maple, and Borneo Star all looked reasonable. I also threw in some plants from an Ashland greenery mat I had left over from the savanna project.
To mount the trees, I drilled holes in wooden disks purchased from the craft store. The disks weren't that thick, so I doubled up areas where the trees would go to help prevent the wood from cracking over time. I originally mounted the trees first, but in hindsight I'd recommend applying the dirt and flock first. After the trees had dried, further holes were drilled for all the ground plants.
Here's a finished product. I've used various base sizes and shapes to give the jungle elements a more irregular layout, and also sprayed down each base with matte finish to reduce the shine from the plastic plants and also help hold the flock on the tree branches (they suffered from some shedding during assembly).
And another example of just the large tree trunks. There are also a few small bases of ground plants only to further fill in gaps.
Finally, here is an overheard shot showing some of the open spaces for arms to get under the canopy easily.
I still have more bases to finish up, but my hope is to get enough assembled to cover at least a third of a 4x6 table. We'll try it out this weekend, so I'll report back on how it performs during game play.