Sculpting Jungle Bases for the Maya

As convention season is upon me – starting with TotalCon 37 this weekend – I wanted to make a quick post on some jungle bases I have sculpted for my new Maya scenario. I bought some inexpensive palm trees on Amazon – the one on the left was for cake decorating and the other on the right marketed for use on railroad dioramas. I had 30 trees in total – and they looked pretty shiny as one would expect of plastic. And shiny is not what I wanted.

The basic preparation of the trees involved removing mold lines (lots), washing them, and making a plan for their use. I needed some single trees for use on a beach (sandy bases) and some larger more muddy looking bases for the jungle around a Maya village. These are for the Battle of Centla Feudal PatrolTM games I’ll be running in upcoming conventions. In addition to removing the mold lines, I lightly sanded and filed the plastic which gave the bark a more friable look.

I then mounted the trees into poster tack on specimen jars and used three different washes on the foliage (all the paints and materials that I used are listed at the end of this post for those interested).

Mounted for applying washes to the plastic foliage to make them look more realistic.

Next, I needed a more detailed plan – I wanted to make the bases such that the 30 trees were varied across all of the bases and spaced far enough apart for good gaming with miniatures. I decided to make one 5-tree base, one 4-tree base, two 3-tree bases, three 2-tree bases, and 5 single bases. The single ones would be beach bases and the others jungle bases.

The plan – with a shot of my game map as a planning guide.

For sculpting, I went with Apoxie Sculpt, a 2-piece resin that is very workable but hardens like a rock. I needed to have some support for the trees – otherwise they would have just drooped excessively while the Apoxie Sculpt cured and hardened overnight. To solve this, I removed the little tabs on the tree bottoms, and glued the trees to steel washers. I gave a few a little bend as well.

For the 2-tree and 3-tree bases, the washers were easy to sculpt around and provided support – and I added some popsicle stick supports connecting the washers that I encased with Apoxie Sculpt and sculpted over. For the two bigger bases, I made supporting bases out of several popsicle sticks, then glued the washers with the affixed trees to them. I sculpted over the bases. More or less, these actions provided structural support and allowed me to make the bases strong. I needed to make sure that I used a putty knife to lift them from time to time off of plastic plates and cutting mats else they would cure permanently to them.

After curing to tremendous rock-hardness, the next steps for them were to get painted and flocked. For the single-tree beach bases, I used chinchilla dust over PVA (thanks again TIM!) that I have used in the past. For the jungle bases, I used a texture paint, pigments, and different flocking materials.

Bases curing – a couple of jungle paths are in front. These I got from Buck Surdu and I muddied them up with a couple of inks.
Early flocking drying – pigments still wet.
Close up of beach bases with chinchilla dust and glue drying.

After the texture paint dried, I played around and added multiple (3) pigments, and let them dry.

5-tree base with pigments drying.
Pigments after drying.

At this point, I wanted to add some tufts, debris, and low-lying foliage. I had some old 4-Ground leaves, and a Ziterdes “butterbur” laser-cut foliage that had been hanging around for years with no home. I mixed those with some tufts to create a hybrid jungle-looking plant. I learned butterbur is not native to the Americas, but with the tufts it looked fine.

The completed bases – showing the debris and low-lying plants.
A close up shot of the base with a Maya warrior for scale comparison.

I have also acquired some more bases from Dave Stone’s workshop that I will eventually work into the game. These are very nice and I will also flock them similarly to match mine. Unfortunately, the UK cyber attack delayed them getting here in Massachusetts until today so they won’t get done until later – not Dave’s fault!

I hope that this was interesting – certainly it was a diversion from my recent Ozz stuff. I’m still going to run Mesoamerican games – and will be adding Ozz games too. I certainly have room for both!

Thanks for taking a look – let me know what you think!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.


  1. Scicalife Model Tree Coconut Palm Trees
  2. HUIANER Palm Tree Model Trees
  3. Coelia Greenshade (wash)
  4. Poster tack
  5. Biel-Tan Green (wash)
  6. Hexwraith Flame (as a wash)
  7. Vallejo Primer “German Dark Yellow”
  8. Army Painter “Speed Paint – Dark Wood”
  9. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  10. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Mantis Warrior Green”
  11. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matte Varnish”
  12. 1.25″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  13. Gorilla Glue
  14. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  15. Popsicle Sticks
  16. Apoxie Sculpt
  17. Vallejo “Earth Texture Acrylics”
  18. All Living Things Dry Dust Bath (chinchilla dust)
  19. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  20. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  21. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  22. Vallejo “Faded Olive Green” (pigment)
  23. Vallejo “Green Earth” (pigment)
  24. 4-Ground TSW23 “Loose Foliage – Brown Leaves”
  25. 4-Ground TSW22 “Loose Foliage – Green Leaves”
  26. Ziterdes 79554 “Pestwurz (butterbur)” laser-cut foliage
  27. Army Painter “Jungle Tufts”
  28. Army Painter “Swamp Tufts”

Meeting Engagement Rematch (Wars of Ozz)

As you saw in my last battle report, there was a game of Wars of Ozz between the Munchkins and the Gillikins. Chris’ Gillikins won 21-15. I wanted a rematch, and Chris Comeau agreed to one. We agreed to again use the meeting engagement scenario with random deployment zones as before. This post will show how this game went this time, mostly with pictures and a bit of narrative. It had a lot of excitement to be sure! We ended up playing in my cellar as opposed to the nice garage – as my wife was not feeling well and I wanted to be nearby in case she needed me.

As a side note, yes, this is a late post, but my wife Lynn and I had a subsequent unwanted medical “adventure” the day after this game – which I will describe at the end.

Back to the game – the forces were the same as last game. I did, however, end up drawing excellent characteristics for my two infantry regiments. The Zoraster’s Guard Infantry Regiment (ZGIR) was already the best musketry unit on the table – and I the “Well-Drilled” attribute which gained me an additional 2″ of range to both my long and short firing ranges. For Colonel Tik-Tok’s regiment – I got the “Impatient” characteristic which gave me first hit capability in melee. My Munchkin cavalry got the “Charismatic” attribute which only affects routing distance. My brigade commander drew the “Magical Protection” attribute which helps when your enemy has a witch nearby. My opponent was slightly less fortunate – as one of his two regiments drew the “Blind” attribute which hurt his marksmanship. His other infantry regiment drew a good attribute, “The Fortunate”, which allowed a reroll of a bad result during the game. His goat riders got “The Impetuous” attribute which improved their elan. I don’t remember his brigade commander’s attribute, but it was moderately positive. By the way, artillery batteries, allied units (like skeletons), and witches and wizards don’t get these bonuses.

The deployments were as shown below. The Munchkins are on the left and the Gillikins are on the right. I had my two Munchkin infantry regiments at opposite ends of the tabletop – one near my wizard and my medium battery – and one next to my cavalry. My opponent had a skeleton regiment screening one of his Gillikin infantry regiments on one end and his goat riders, medium battery, and the other infantry regiment on the other end.

The start – Munchkins to the left and Gillikins to the right.
Chris again used his skeletons to screen his Gillikin infantry. Here they advance with Arella the witch close by.
This time, I moved closer to the enemy. Here the ZGIR advances to engage the skeletons with musketry. Normally, skeletons are less vulnerable to musketry – lacking, well, organs.
The Gillikin Medium battery unlimbered and faced both the Munchkin cavalry and Colonel Tik-Tok. The “blind” Gillikin infantry shouldered their muskets in column and moved up quickly, with the goat riders to their left flank.
The Gillikin infantry moved up and into line formation, while the goat-riders went into column trying to close with the Munchkins quickly.
Meanwhile, I moved both the Munchkin Light Cavalry and Tik-Tok into line.

Then I decided to try to improve the ZGIR’s marksmanship with an “Uncanny Marksmanship” spell from Zoraster. This would raise my already strong marksmanship from a 7 to a 9 out of 10 hit probability at short range (on top of the increased range bonus)! As you may remember, a spell needs to roll under a spell level on a D10. Zoraster, with a level of 8, needed only to roll anything but an 8, 9, or 10. A 10 is a critical failure (which last game caused his head to explode). Sometimes a critical failure has a bizarre result that can be positive. In this game, I rolled a 10 no less than 7 times out of 12. With different dice!!!!

Luckily, this time the critical failure did not cause a head explosion, and I even got some good results. Below, I rolled my first of 7 critical failures (the zero) and got a 17 for the following result roll. This let the spell work, but lowered my spell rating to 7 for the remainder of the game. Which, when you roll 10, is largely irrelevant! In any case, my ZGIR was even more deadly – even to the point of negating the skeletons’ advantage versus my musketry.

A critical spell failure with a positive result – my best unit now hit 80% of the time (70% versus skeletons).
My Munchkin cavalry attempts to hit the Gillikin cavalry on the flank – exposing their flank to the Gillikin “blind” infantry and the Gillikin battery. They get only one hit and disorganize the goat riders.
Overview of battle at this point. The Munchkin Medium Battery aims to take out the Gillikin battery. You can see the other two fights here as well.
The Gillikin cavalry reacts and turns to face the Munchkin cavalry, which shortly after this got hit by both flanking infantry “blind” fire and in the rear from the Gillikin artillery. Not good for me.
After firing, the Gillikin infantry then tried to hit the Munchkin cavalry in the flank – and they moved away to the left to escape the trap before it could close – however now the enemy medium battery had another flank shot – which succeeded in routing the Munchkin pony riders for the second game in a row. This left Tik-Tok alone on this end of the tabletop facing three enemy units (but in a ray of sunshine as an omen perhaps?).
Flanking fire hitting the cav…
…and Munchkin cavalry routs yet again…
Meanwhile, the ZGIR was doing massive damage to the skeletons with musket fire.
In response, Arella the Witch successfully cast a “Raise the Dead” spell and raised a new and separate base of skeletons (from the casualty pile) to engage the Munchkin Medium Battery before it could hurt their own battery.
Undeterred, the ZGIR continued to pour lead down range and routed the skeletons through the close-following Gillikins, disorganizing them.
An overview of the battle at this point. The new skeleton base damaged the Munchkin battery, but it was also wiped out in the melee attempt. Arella then hit the battery with successive fireballs, and the Gillikin battery also pivoted and hit the enemy battery. Shortly thereafter, the Munchkin Battery would be wiped out. Shown here routing away are the both the Munchkin cavalry and the skeletons on opposite ends of the tabletop.

At this point in the game, I was down to my two infantry regiments, plus my wizard. The Gillikins had two infantry regiments, plus a medium battery, a damaged goat-rider regiment, and a witch.

Then, the Gillikin infantry tried to engage the ZGIR in a firefight. The ZGIR sent the Gillikins high-tailing after the already routed skeletons. Both Gillikin units would then would leave the game for safer places. Then Arella moved in to throw a fireball at the ZGIR from the rear. The Munchkins activated and performed an about face. Arella then activated and threw her fireball and missed. The ZGIR returned fire and took her out with one volley.
Arella right before her demise. Zoraster tried to throw a “Poor Luck” spell on her and – yes – rolled a 10. However, this critical failure resulted in a the gaining of a new one-base unit for the Munchkins – a giant bear! The bear immediately turned towards the beleaguered Tik-Tok regiment which was holding but getting surrounded.
Colonel Tik-Tok’s regiment with Gillikin Infantry to the front and badly damaged goat riders to the rear. The bear would aim to engage the goat riders.
The bear is coming to the rescue, oh my!

This move took the pressure off of Tik-Tok. The Gillikin cavalry was in no shape to close with the bear, but decided that that was better than being hit in the rear and routed. In the end, the bear base did its job before being eliminated, but the Gillikin Goat Riders routed nonetheless – having had enough for the day. The two infantry regiments got into melee with Tik-Tik getting the better of the exchange (being “Impatient” and getting the first hits in help a lot too). The Gillikin infantry now routed as well. This left only the Gillikin Medium Battery on the battlefield facing the two Munchkin infantry regiments – which closed in on it.

Rout the “‘blind” Gillikins! Tik-Tok holds!
An overview of the battle at this point – all Gillikins are routing away except the battery – which has two Munchkin Infantry regiments on each side of it – and bent on revenge.

In the end, it was the ZGIR which wiped out and overran the Gillikin battery, and won the game 21-18.

The Gillikin battery is wiped out and overran.

It was a good game – and I feel I was lucky to pull out the victory. Certainly the magic critical failures had us both laughing. I will be running two games similar to this at HAVOC in late March/early April.

As for our adventure, I had travelled to Shrewsbury (45 minutes away) for a 7 AM car service – while Lynn got a 10 AM doctor’s appointment at UMASS (40 minutes away) to see why she was having shooting pains in her back. My car took a while. Around 11 AM she texted me that the doctor ordered a “blood clot test” for her as that was a worry for her lungs. By the way, I hate texting but the lab was too crowded for her to speak clearly with me at that point. With my knowledge and background, I texted to ask what the name of the test was (she was unsure) and to ask/tell her not to leave the hospital until she got her results. Unfortunately, when Lynn asked the phlebotomist how long the results would take, and was told maybe an hour, maybe a day. I knew that a potential blood clot in the lung was a STAT situation, and that likely the test was a d-dimer (which I have had myself). In any case, she left and drove home – as I did and we arrived at home about 5 minutes apart around 1 PM.

Within 5 more minutes, she got both an email and a call to go to the ER as the d-dimer test was elevated. So we drove together to UMASS Memorial in Worcester, arriving at 1:51 PM in the waiting room or the ER. It was SWAMPED. We did not get into the medical area of the ER and a bed for her until after 6 PM. We waited for a CAT scan until 11:30 PM, and then a read. It was not sure if she was going to be admitted or not but the diagnosis was pneumonia. At this time they started IV antibiotics – BUT as I recently had had a bad sinus infection I was on and needed to take my own antibiotic dose (which was of course at home). So I left her, drove home, got my own pills, then got a call from Lynn that she was being discharged. I then drove back to Worcester, got her, got her late night McDonald’s (she had not eaten since the morning). We got home about 3:30 AM, at which point I’d been up for nearly 24 hours.

So, good news, she’s already better! Not a fun story, but one I’m glad worked out.

Anyways, I hope you liked the battle report – I should have a couple more posts for you this week on a couple other playtests and some jungle terrain that I built for a Maya convention game.

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