Scratch Built 28mm Jungle Terrain

In preparation for a game of Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago, I made a 28mm scratch built jungle. To build this, I used fake fish tank plants, CDs (and CD cases) and static grass. Being 28mm terrain, these pieces are also perfect for Blood & Plunder, Bolt Action in the Pacific, and any other games in a warm setting.  In this post, we take a look at how I made these Jungle pieces and then showcase the terrain with some miniatures.

Building the Jungle Terrain

In chatting to my friend Dave about the gaming tables that I want to run in the near future, he came up with the idea of building terrain using some old fake plants that he had for his fish tank. The next time I saw him, he gave me his collection of plants and I went to work.

Components to make 28mm scratch built gaming jungle terrain
The picture above shows the component parts of the Jungle Terrain. Basically, a buddy of mine gave me a bunch of his old fish tank plants and I cut them up into smaller pieces using a pair of side cutters.

Using a pair of side cutters, I trimmed the plants into smaller pieces (with 28mm miniatures in mind for scale). I then pulled out my hot-glue gun and pasted them to CDs and the tops of the CD cases.

Scratch Built 28mm Fish Tank Jungle Terrain
Above are the first eight bases of terrain that I built. As you will notice, I used masking tape to cover the holes of the CDs.

After completing the CD bases, I moved on to using the CD case tops as bases.

Scratch building jungle terrain for 28mm wargames
Above are all of the jungle bases before I added the static grass to the model.

To complete the terrain pieces, I added static grass using PVA glue.

Scratch built Jungle Terrain
The picture above shows my completed scratch built jungle terrain while the glue dried. They came out looking okay.

Overall, they came out looking okay, but I did learn a few lessons from this project.

Lessons Learned

As stated above, I am happy with how these came out. That said, I learned a few things by making the terrain and would do some things differently if I were to do this project again. The main thing that I would do differently is that I would paint the CDs before applying plants or static grass. I would paint the bases because you can see the shinny surface of the CDs through the static grass. This effect isn’t noticeable from every angle (and you very well might not notice it in my showcase images) but it is very noticeable in the picture below.

Lessons learned from scratch building terrain
If you look closely, you can see some of the shine from the CD through the static grass. You can also see a number of Frostgrave Barbarians searching for a young girl hiding in the jungle flora.

The clear CD covers suffered a similar issue, but, because of their transparent nature, the effect worked well and actually added to the niceness of those pieces.

To be honest, I was really worried when I added the static grass to the clear cases because the PVA glue did not cover the surface evenly. This left patches on the bases without static grass, but, since I use gaming mats, the end result was that the terrain just looked more textured. I went back and added more glue and static grass to the bald spots anyhow.

Other than the glue not spreading well over the clear covers and the shine of the CDs showing through the static grass from certain angles, this project turned out pretty much as expected. The only thing that I would change for sure next time is that I would actually paint the CD bases (perhaps green or brown).

The Full Collection

Overall, these bases turned out pretty good and they will look very nice on my demo table from Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago.

Scratch Built 28mm Jungle Terrain for Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago
The Jungles from close to a table top level view. The head in the background is also from the fish-tank, but I did not build that. 😉
Terrain for Ghost Archipelago or Blood and Plunder
The collection from a higher angle. Here you can see the layout of the plants on each base.

These bases look pretty good and I already have plans for them in Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago, Blood & Plunder, and Bolt Action.

This is all I plan to make for now, but I have enough materials to make more if I so wish.

Showcase Pictures

Blood and Plunder Boucanier miniature in the jungle
A Blood and Plunder Boucanier moves through the jungle hunting his next meal (or perhaps preparing for battle).
Jungle Terrain and a WizKids D&D Miniature
A picture of the Pathfinder miniature I painted up for a contest wandering through the jungles. Looks like I should clean off some of the static grass from the bottom of those plants.  😉
Ghost Archipelago Terrain
Some Frostgrave Barbarians a little too far south. Can you spot all three of them in the jungle?
Ghost Archipelago Barbarian Heritor
The Barbarian Heritor
Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago scratch built Jungle Terrain 28mm
A couple of spearmen working their way through the jungle.
Scratch Built 28mm jungle terrain
A close up of a Barbarian in the flora.
Frostgrave Barbarian in the Jungle - 28mm scratch built terrain
Pulling focus on the same model. So much fun working with this camera and tripod. 😀
jungle courtyard terrain 28mm gaming
All of the square bases placed together to create some sort of Jungle courtyard.

Special Thanks

Special thanks goes out to Dave Lamers for providing Must Contain Minis with the CD bases and fish tank plants for this project.

Thanks also goes out to Cigar Box Battle for providing us with the jungle terrain battle mat. The textures of a battle mat really adds to the look of a game and we are very happy to have the mats and gaming tiles that we have been sent. As an added bonus, I find that the mats by Cigar Box Battles make fantastic backgrounds for our showcase images.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

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