The base was trimmed around the edges to reduce its overall height and glued to some thin card with tacky glue (PVA). This is result is some warping and plastic card or non water based glue might have been a better pick. The gaps between the card and the original base were filler with a glue and sand mixture. To texture the top of the card, I have coated it with an adhesive (PVA, Matt Media, Latex Paint, or specialty Base Paste, can be used). Once well coated I pour a small mound of very fine sand I collected from a local inland sand dune. High winds and low rainfall make these a common feature in my area. The wind blown sand and left over volcanic ash form an almost concrete like mixture. This I use to represent soil. Once the coating has fully hardened, I enhance the soil effect by washing the sand with greatly thin acrylic paint. In this case a medium brown. With sufficient thinning the paint will not dry to a perfectly uniform finial shade. This variation with enhance the natural appearance of the base.
My philosophy in representing natural soils and forest floors is to create multiple layers of texture and color to simulate the soil and plant litter. As most jungle are also frequented by heavy rain fall, often running water strips away the soil, leaving exposed the typically poor sub soil. To model this, I start with patches of sand. Using some slightly watered down white glue (PVA) with a drop of wetting agent added (dish soap) I make random patches across the base. The base is then covered in a layer of builder's sand. This is much courser then that used to originally coat the base. The latest addition is allowed to dry and the excess poured off.
The next stage is to add some random patches of rich brown soil and decomposed plant matter. Again adding random patches of glue, I then cover the base with a layer of coffee. Note the differences in both color and texture between the original base, the fine sand coating, the builder's sand and the added coffee.
As there were several mold in details on the original base I decided to enhance them with some color. Above you can see the now paint fallen fronds of the cheep toy palm tree. I have used the same paints as used to paint the foliage of the palms.
To represent the small pants that grow on the jungle floor, I add a layer of flocking. This is a custom blend of commercially available products. Primarily a blend of fine and medium turfs of various color from Woodland Scenics. These can be obtained from many hobby shops, especially those which cater to model railroaders. They are also available on-line from many supple houses such as Micro-Mark . One can also make one's own flock, which I may cover at a later time. To secure the flocking I proper a mixer of Matt Media and Future floor finish. This is dabbed onto the base with a cheep brush, making sure to leave much of the pervious layers exposed. The flocking mix is then "rained" down onto the base. This is set aside until the media has dried.
The final layer of texture to be added to this base is that to represent the duff found on the floor of the jungle. Duff is the decompose leaves, needles and twigs that litter any natural forest. One again I use the Matt Media and Future floor finish mix. This I tend to add to the base nearer the truck , but also with some random patches at some distance. In the wild, one might expect the duff to pile up in the relative shelter of the tree. To represent duff I have found no material more suitable the used tea collected from tea bags. Loose tea tends to be composed of a much courses cut of the tea leaves, while tea bags contain often very finely cut tea to help in the extraction process. I fine the cheaper the tea the finer the cut. Once fully dry, I shift and blend the contained of many different brands and varieties of tea. I hope to cover this subject in some more depth on the tea page. With the media mix added to the base the tea is "rained" down onto the base, which is then set aside to dry.
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I hope to be able to add more latter.
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