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1999-2003. All rights reserved.
Models and scenery by Alan


  • 2mm diameter tile spacer tubes (bits of plastic to put between ceramic wall tiles for evenly sized joints - very cheap)
  • Fine wire (eg phone wire)
  • Plastic aquarium plants
  • Mounting Board or Foamboard or MDF for base
  • Sand / Flock / Dried Tea for base texture
  • PVA
  • Epoxy Resin or Glue Gun
  • Large Needle
  • Scalpel
  • Construction

    Cut up the tile spacers
    Each tile spacer should be cut more or less in half. Make some 'halves' a bit longer and some a bit shorter. Then sort them out into lengths. Each bamboo stem should have longer sections at the bottom and shorter ones at the top.

    Strip the wire if necessary
    I use phone wire for the inners, (because I have a load of it). This will need the insulation stripping off. Take a fairly blunt scalpel and hold it in one hand. Put the pad of your thumb up against the blade, with the blade almost flat against your thumb. Then run the wire between the two, applying gentle pressure with your thumb to remove a strip of insulation from the wire. Once you have removed this strip you can take hold of one end of the insulation and peel it back.

    Cut up the plants
    There are two types of reasonably suitable aquarium foliage that I have seen, pictured here. Alan's bamboo all uses Type A. Cut each sprig into individual batches of leaves, leaving as little stem as possible. Type B leaves have little balls on some of the stems, which will need removing with a scalpel.

    Pierce holes in the leaves
    Take a scrap piece of corrugated cardboard or foamcard to give you something soft as a base. Lay the leaf clump on top of this and poke a large needle through the middle into the card below. If you have an electric drill with fine drill bits then you may find using this easier, but be careful of the drill bit overheating and melting a huge hole in the plastic.

    Thread the bamboo together
    Take a piece of wire slightly longer than you want the finished stem. Thread on a large section of tile spacer, then a leaf clump. Note that on the Type A foliage, the leaves should point downwards, which is the opposite way round to the direction they point on the original plant. The Type B ones look better sticking upwards. Alternate these until you get to the end of the wire using the smaller bits of tube at the top.

    Paint the stems
    The stems are then painted with a pale khaki colour. If you have the energy you could add a darker green/brown wash around the joints in the bamboo, to give it a bit of texture.

    Stick the stems to a base
    Drill a small hole in the base and poke the wire into it. Secure with epoxy resin or a glue gun.

    Texture the base

    2001. All rights reserved.