Friday, 14 June 2019

Dino Safari - Figures and Terrain

A few folks have asked about the figures, terrain and rules that were used in the Dino Safari Game. So I thought I'd post a quick update with a few more details.

Most of the figures (including the raptors) are either Copplestone (via Northstar or Foundry), Artisan or Pulp (both again via Northstar). The German U-Boat figures were painted by my friend Dan. The captain was from Artisan, but the crew are from Tsuba Miniatures. The sailors are listed under the red sailors section as they are meant to represent the mutinous reichsmarines in 1919. Work perfectly as our pulp submarine crew though.

The dinosaurs come from a range of sources. I was lucky enough to find this box in a charity shop from which I sourced Triceratops and Iguanodon.

I also picked up a few more of the same Triceratops models off eBay. One or two of the larger sauropods are Schleich, whilst the dead ceratopsian (supposed to be a Triceratops but different colour scheme) is from Collecta (they do dead Stegosaurus and T. rex as well). This had the in game effect of creating a distraction for predators.

Tamyia make some nice model dinosaurs, but unfortunately they are the wrong scale. The Mesozoic Creatures included juvenile T. rex, juvenile Parasaurolophus and a few other smaller dinosaurs though so proved very useful. I used the crocodile as an immature Deinosuchus. He proved useful in terrorising the Germans - who deserved it since they were terrorising everybody else!

The remainder of the dinosaurs were sourced relatively cheaply from eBay. I think some may have been from Papo. I now have quite a collection!

Some of the dinosaurs were completely repainted, some were touched up a bit and some were left untouched. The only real problem is the pvc that some of them are made from. The material doesn't take varnish very well meaning the varnish doesn't cure properly and the model remains sticky. None of the pvc models were therefore varnished and unfortunately had a slight shine to them. But to be honest, barely noticeable. I tried to keep the theme to Cretaceous dinosaurs, but some of the larger sauropods are really Jurassic.

All of the pine trees were railway models, based to match the rest of the terrain. I made my area terrain from polystyrene pizza bases. Easy to cut to shape and quite thin. Looked the part when covered in sand, painted with a few small plants added for effect. All of the remaining plants were sourced from eBay. The cycads and palms were touched up with a wash and light highlight, based to match the terrain and given a matt varnish spray to remove any shine.

I've mentioned the volcano before. It consisted of a paper mâché model from hobbycraft that I added a broader base to and painted to match my other terrain.

I thought it would be fun to bombard everybody with lava bombs and was lucky to find some 'space rocks' in a pet shop. Painted up with a little stuffing material added and they do the job!

The objectives consisted of resin crystals (Wargames Terrain Workshop), fossils (both models and real fossils copied using blue stuff), resin oil drums from Anyscale (via their eBay shop) and some dinosaur skulls that are branded Toobs (I think).

To keep the theme going, I also made my own dice tray using some animal effect felt, a paint tray and blue foam. Having made it I wish now that I had included some fossils in the outer rocks, but I was a bit rushed. Next time!

Small dragonflies were made using a paper punch, painted and added to small strands of wire for a flying effect or glued to logs. These are bit difficult to see in the game shots, but here they are on the paint table.

The truck was a repainted die cast toy off eBay. The mole is the Emerging Tunneler sold by Ironclad. Rubber dingies are from AnyScale and the cage is sold by Sarissa. I embellished the cage with a few movie posters (these were downloaded, resized and weathered).

We also used a few 3D printed pieces. All done by Dave C. at the club. There were trilobites on the beach and a couple of pith helmets in the explorers camp. The paper maps were downloaded, resized and weathered. To create the folded effect, they were first soaked in water. They retain their shape once dry.

Dave also made some snazzy vp tokens by laser cutting coloured resin (no photo of these I'm afraid). All figure movement and shooting ranges etc followed similar rules as Congo. Dave H at the club made movement sticks in sizes of S, M and L.

Lastly, you may notice that there are a number of small twigs added to various terrain pieces and figure bases. Small twigs from coniferous trees have markings where the needles attach that make them resemble prehistoric trunks. I also had a few twigs with small stems that resemble fallen pine trees and a few pale twigs that look like driftwood. The rest of the club thought I had lost it when I produced three small tubs each with a different type of twig! To wind them up I then sprinkled a little scatter material over the game mat before adding individual fern leaves (created using a hole punch from Green Stuff World) to the mat with a paintbrush... Just a few leaves really helps to make the mat blend in with the area terrain pieces.

The mat is the zulu mat (the one without the river and custom printed without the track) available from TinyWargames. Of course, it needed a good shake out after the game!


  1. Thanks for this update; it's very useful :-) .

    1. You are welcome Hugh. I'll be putting another update out later this week on my modified rules.

  2. Cheers! I enjoyed putting some of the smaller details together. I think it helps to bring the game alive.