This terrain was created as a part of a commisson for a friend. The brief was quite open and I was given free reign to create something suitable to use for modern Vietnam. The idea was to construct some towns, a river and some other smaller pieces. The buildings are all Timecast and the plastic palm trees came from ebay I believe. I added some of my own trees from Woodlands Scenics using their clump foilage system.
The basing is all on 3mm MDF and the river sections are made from plastic stationery document sleeves. I used 4-5 different types of flock for variety and to create lots of different types of undergrowth but I used a lighter ground (dirt) colour than I should have (I think it would be a redder shade).
The palm trees were cheap plastic trees so I spent a bit of time improving them. First I scraped the trunks with a knife to remove the obvious mold lines and roughen them up. Then I put some glue at the top and bottom of the palms around the area where the palms meet the trunk and sprinkled coarse sand onto the glue and painted it. The idea is that it should look like the dead parts of the tree and where the coconuts and fruit would be. It also covers the obvious and ugly joins and improves the look of the trees a lot. Finally the trees were painted to improve the look and to make them look less like plastic trees. I think this is important with the plastic ebay style trees and a little bit of extra work makes a big difference.
Click on the thumbnails to see the full sized image. Note these are about 4 times large than real so it isn't very flattering!
Vietnamese TownsThe towns were designed to fit together as well as work as individual pieces. I went with a odd shaped bases and made sure all the roads would join together. There is quite a few trees on each base but a balance is required, otherwise too many trees means that you can't put or get to figures in the base. The roads were probably wider that real life, but this is another compromise to allow figures to fit on the base.
More town shots and a villaHere are some closeup shots of the bases and one of a walled villa I created. The buildings were painted in bright but faded colours and area around the buildings is quite rough by design. It is meant to look slightly run down and overgrown, which seems to be normal based on the Vietnam movies I have seen! The villa walls were home made castings and I tried to add a paved area and a more structured and private garden with palms.
Some hooches (huts)For these very nice huts I went with rural bases with lots of foilage. For the jungle areas I went for lots of foilage and tried to use lots of different types so it looks more wild and overgrown. The idea behind them is that they are part of the surrounding jungle and I added a lot of trees and undergrowth to the bases. Because the bases are small and cramped you can't really put a lot of figures onto them except around the outskirts.
Paddy fieldsThis is my take on making paddy fields and they came out pretty well but they are the weakest part of this terrain project. The bases were made from 3mm mdf and I cut (with a sharp knife) into the base and carved out the sunken field part. This was difficult and time consuming and I would not repeat this method, and next time it would be easier to just add some strips of card to the base to build it up instead of carving the fields. Next I painted the bases brown and then layered the PVA into the sunken part, waiting for each coat to dry before adding another. Finally I added some ground textures to the raised parts and on the final layer of PVA, I sprinkled some flock onto the sunken parts, to represent the rice crops emerging from the water.
The PVA looks whiteish in the pictures but is only very slightly whiteish in reality. I probably should have used a resin water effect instead but have had problems with it setting before.
River sectionsThese are meant to be flexible terrain pieces to use, but are also a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to put together. The idea behind this design is that you can vary the width of the river and even have it lining the edge of the table. Wider river sections could be added pretty easily. The river itself is made for plastic sleeves and spray painted and then covered with PVA glue. I couldn't get rid of the brush marks completely but is a pretty durable way to make thin river sections.
The river banks are made from 3mm MDF which I cut up with a zigsaw mchine to get the wavy edges. The basing and foilage is basically the same as was used on the hooch bases. These bases consumed a lot of trees and I had to ration how many I put on each section, but the finished river sections looks great.
More river sectionsHere are some more closups of these bases which show well the wild overgrown effect of the bases. Making these used a lot of flock, tufts and clumps and they were glued on in stages.
Also you can see in the pictures some smaller paddy fields. I'm not sure if it is accurate but I thought it would make sense to have them close to water so I made some small paddy fields on the larger river sections.