Stylised scenic set dressing for heroic, poignant and honourable duelling and philosophising.
Considering that its essentially just large bits of grass, bamboo is quite romantic and exotic, bringing all sorts of Far Eastern thoughts to my temperate, primarily deciduous Northern European mind.
Its much more romantic to me than plain old cow-dinner grass anyway, as I’m surrounded by such grassy fields (and to a lesser extent, cows. And sometimes horses). YMMV.
See? Isn’t that lovely?
Of course, not only is bamboo suggestive of the Far East, it is also part of the visual character of a lot of martial arts and samurai culture and media, whether its chopping the stuff up…
…running unconvincingly across the top of it…
…climbing unexpectedly down it…
… or resting casually on it.
From the perspective of a combat game with miniature samurai, the main purpose of bamboo is for dramatically duelling in and around.
To get a miniature approximation of bamboo on my gaming table the first step in the process was to look at what other people had done. The Sarcophagi blog features a lot of good terrain ideas for skirmishing samurai, including a tutorial for making bamboo groves.
While I decided to anchor my bamboo in sheets of cork tile rather than the gorilla glue technique used there, I did get a lot of inspiration from that post, so its well worth a look if you are interested in putting some 28mm bamboo forestry together.
The process was straightforward. Hot glue bits of cork tile of descending size on each other. Roughly apply patterns of colours that suit your tabletop to the bases, almost like a camouflage pattern. Use drybrushing and inks to bring them together a bit.
Note the statuary pieces on the bases in the WIP photos. They came from Ristuls Extraordinary Market and add a little bit of thematic visual to the bases.
I stuck various bits of flock, sand, tufts and gravel to the bases to further break them up
I then drilled holes into the cork where I wanted to add bamboo later.
The bamboo (bought from a forgotten Ebay vendor) is supplied in green plastic. Its not the sort of plastic that takes paint well, but I figured that it would hold a little bit of a brown drybrush, followed by a bone colour. They took at least some of the flatness from the green plastic.
The effect is subtle but worth it I think.
The bamboo was glued into the holes in the cork. Some more tufts and other bits and pieces were added to blend some of the bamboo into the base a little better.
That was it. All ready for gaming with.
While I was at it I rebased a load of green trees from my early days as a wargamer, back in the early 90s I think.
Im almost finished with my pseudo feudal Japanese plantlife now, although there is one more iconic type of foliage to add in addition to bamboo and cherry blossom.