Welcome to the Jungle – Death World Jungle I

To me Warhammer 40.000 and jungles are linked like gin and tonic! You simply can’t have one without the other. (Well currently, I have neither gin nor tonic, so I suppose that variant is alright).
When I look through old WD battle reports most of it is covered in green and a multitude of plants and greens are all over. It is in this lush environment that the striking red of the middlehammer era particularly comes to life.
Especially the Jungle Fighters of Catachan were a catalyst to this jungle love of mine. Add to this films like Predator and Platoon and soon you will understand the fascination with jungles in Warhammer 40.000.

Ever since I saw the above picture in the Catachan Jungle Fighters codex in the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40.000 I have been enamoured with the idea of making a jungle board similar to this.

I envisioned a 4’x’4′ table fully covered in smaller pieces of jungle trees, overgrown ruins and smaller jungel scatter pieces where the jungle fighters would flame their way through… the smaller terrain pieces being replaced by burned out ones with soot and blackened stumps as the game went on.

To make this a realisation I had to come up with some reasonably cheap terrain pieces of smaller sizes, that could be removed, and some larger ones that will remain (like rock features and so on) to add a bit of game play.
300 pipe cleaners – £3. Potentially 75 odd trees!
To this end I have thought about how I could make some twisting and turning jungle trees on the cheap… and pipe cleaners came to my mind! Unlike wireframe trees I thought the pipe cleaners would add instant bulk. And soaked in diluted PVA and covered in sand the bulk would be firm and textured. Add to that some clump foilage and static grass and I think you have a jungle tree!

In the following I have added images of the whole process of making Dr. The Viking’s Death World Jungle Trees:

Building the tree

Step 1: A typical starting point could be 3 pipe cleaners. You could use more of course. It all depends on the size of the tree. 
Step 2: The cleaners are twisted up roughly 50% of the way, not including the first bit, which will be the roots.

Step 3: Time for branching out… A fourth cleaner is twisted around two of the top branches, forming addition branches and bulking out the tree.

Step 4: A fifth branch is used to bulk out the trunk and add a last branch.


Now it is time to add glue… Painting it on would have been a chore, so instead I exploited a sealed box with approximately half an inch of 1:1 No More Nails(NMN):water mixture. You could use PVA instaed of NMN but I found that it kind of fell apart again in the later steps… whilst NMN stayed strong.

No More Nails – an indispensable product for any serious hobbyist!

Step 5: dunk the tree in the NMN:water mixture and close the can. Give it a good shaking. This would cause the whole tree to get covered and soak the NMN. Keep some kitchen towel handy as this can get messy. 

Step 6: Sanding the tree. Once the tree is soaked in NMN:water mixture it is put in a container holding sand, and sand is sprinkled all over the tree. You will find that after a minute or two the NMN:water mixture will have bled through the sand and a consecutive round of sand can be added if you so wish. It is imperative not to touch the wet tree too much as the sand easily comes off at this point. Once filled with sand, allow it to dry overnight. It is best to let it dry on a smooth plastic surface so that you can easily remove it afterwards. 

Step 7: Once dry the tree is mounted on a base. I use the cheapest MDF from the builder’s and just cut it out with a jigsaw. To glue the tree to the base I use a product called “No More Nails”. While several other brands or glues can probably do the trick as well, I am very happy about this one. 
This actually concludes the building process. 

Painting and detailing the tree

Trees have a multitude of colours when you look at it, ranging from brownish greens to grey as seen below.
Actual trees from actual real jungles of Costa Rica and the Amazon

For my use I decided on a umber brown base colour, drybrushed with greengrey and then some flock sprinkled on it… after all every part of the jungle is overgrown with stuff.

Step 1: The tree is painted brown. I used diluted crafts paint Raw Umber. Once the tree is soaked with the paint be careful not to scrub off the sand… as mentioned above using No More Nails (no, I am not endorsed by them) really eliminates this problem, but if you are using PVA expect the sand to be fairly easily removed.

Step 2: The base is now covered in a “gloop” – in my case a mixture of caulk, NMN, paint, water and sand. It should have a failry viscous consistency. And not too much sand… just enough for your liking. I went with brown based gloop for these pieces. 

Step 3: The base gets a drybrushing with a brownish paint called “Mocca” and then a buff paint. After this, apply various flock and scatter material all over the base using diluted PVA. 

Step 4:I paint the trees by drybrushing them with burnt sienna (left image) followed by dashes of green and yellow ochre (right image). I try not to be too particular to give them a bit of different colour play.

Here you can see the “palette” I used when drybrushing the trees. 

Step 5: Last few bits and bops like aquarium plants and son on are stuck on.  There you go. Shown here are three example of trees. 

Step 6: Very important – after all is done, give the trees a dusting of diluted PVA glue. This will help fix all the scatter in place and stop them from flaking.

The following was made with around 100 pipe cleaners and shown in various stages:

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