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"Alien Flora: Going NUTS!" Topic

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5,113 hits since 12 Jan 2010
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 5:44 a.m. PST

I really love what was done here, using a walnut shell:



What neat, exotic and weird-looking nut shells are you familiar with, that may have plenty of texture and shapes suitable for making miniature alien cacti, creature pods, or something of that sort?



Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 5:58 a.m. PST

I'll start with the Brazil nut:


They almost look like giant egg clusters for alien mantids:

TMP link


SimonF Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 6:43 a.m. PST

I think different types of chestnut could be very effective, even without paint.


Jana Wang Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 7:29 a.m. PST

Sweet gum.


Thieses Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 7:35 a.m. PST

Jana I have a bunch of these that I picked up in Atlanta on a golf course. They make excellent additions to any table as scenery.

Goldwyrm Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 8:02 a.m. PST

I picked up a bag full of Sycamore seed balls many years ago at a park. I use them for alien flora.


Here they are in recent Starship Troopers game setup with some of my older terrain. I clustered them in groups of 3 to mimic dried out or budding versions of the triple bush aquarium plants used.


commanderroj Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 8:17 a.m. PST

Why couldnt we have this thread before Christmas? All the shells are long gone now… (love that Walnut! But cant make out what is inside…)

Sumo Boy Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 8:58 a.m. PST

Sweet gum for the win.

TeknoMerk12 Jan 2010 9:12 a.m. PST

Almonds standing vertical could look like Alien-ish pods.

Mount them in clusters of 3 and give them some different colors for an alien look. Another idea is to use wire to simulate long cilia coming out of the top to snap up prey close by…

iouliared Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 9:42 a.m. PST

Sweet gum is freaky-cool lookin'.

Dr Mathias Fezian12 Jan 2010 9:49 a.m. PST

The first time I saw a Sweet Gum pod I was fascinated… I gathered a few up and put them in my car. Shortly thereafter they 'popped' open, scattering seeds all over the interior. Seemed pretty alien to me!

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 10:40 a.m. PST

Wow. I have got to get me a few of those Sweet Gum Pods!!!


They look awesome.

I can even imagine tentacles coming out of the openings, to reach out and grab "nutrients" nearby:


TeknoMerk: "Almonds standing vertical could look like Alien-ish pods."

How about some of these pistachios instead?



nycjadie Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 11:49 a.m. PST

Maple tree helicopters:

You could use them for all sorts of things.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 11:54 a.m. PST

Alas. I miss those winged beauties. Can't find then down in these her parts.

Goldwyrm Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 1:00 p.m. PST

Correction- I found a mislabeled seed ball on Google in my earlier pic. Mine are indeed from the Sweet Gum.. Now I know more about trees than I did yesterday.

Sumo Boy Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 1:48 p.m. PST

We had a big old sweet gum in the back yard growing up. Man those seed pods are murder on bare feet if you aren't careful to rake them all up by summer!

28mmMan Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 2:06 p.m. PST

Maple tree helos make great "wings".

There are a bunch of pods that are easily available through craft stores

bakuli picture

hibiscus picture

casuarina picture

eucalyptus picture picture

hemlock picture

american beech burr picture

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 2:16 p.m. PST

WOW!!! But, really, what craft stores sell all those awesome pods???

PS. The hibiscus pods look like ready-made alien bushes. Place on base, and done.

28mmMan Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 2:18 p.m. PST

Most large craft stores do, but you would be better served by internet stores, IMO.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 2:40 p.m. PST


Look at what I found, after following your leads:


The problem is that, if I order one of each auction, my friends are going to see the piles of stuff and think I'm running my own potpourri business!!!


SeattleGamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 5:15 p.m. PST

What an incredibly fascinating, useful and educational thread. TMP Rocks! I too now know more about trees than yesterday, and have oodles of new cheap alien terrain options.

Way cool!

28mmMan Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 5:27 p.m. PST

CC those are good hits, but too expensive for what you get…keep looking.

Deal with mass production sites, IMO.

Just because I like you guys…I will let you in on my secret stash site :) link

They have all this stuff and more. Most is 3/4-1" and $2-4 for 50-100 pieces.

Taa daa

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2010 5:35 p.m. PST


You da man!!!!


28mmMan Inactive Member12 Jan 2010 6:25 p.m. PST

ningún problema mi amigo me plazco sevir de ayuda :)

tnjrp12 Jan 2010 11:47 p.m. PST

Hmm, they even come prepainted in funny colours. Nice site. Expect the p&p will be a killer tho but will have to look.

Been collecting some pods (mahogany, for example) for a while now from the local equivalents of dollar stores, but as a rule you don't easily find really good offers on potpourri stuff hereabouts. Partly I suppose because it's all imported, partly because it's a fringe business.

Warbeads Inactive Member13 Jan 2010 11:37 a.m. PST

My own concern would be if it's organic it will draw bugs (Carey Cockroach screams, "Foooooood!!!!!") here in Saint Louis.

Do you guys seal the shells of the nuts if there is still edible elements involved before you make it into terrain? (Heck, some of the insects, et. al. locally would think the hulls and any residual nut pieces were appetizers!)



28mmMan Inactive Member13 Jan 2010 12:39 p.m. PST

Dried organics can draw the attention of specialists insects to be sure but consider that most nut/pod shells are meant to keep critters out that there is a measure of resistance.

But the quick answer is yes, I do seal the pods/shells/stems/etc.. And no, I have not had any problems with the items I have used or stored.

The nature of the non-porous sections keeps the bugs out and the nature of the porous sections absorb the seal.

Put a single moth ball in your storage container and you will be fine.


If overseas I would consider dealing with one of the big boys in wholesaling, I am sure there is a retailer closer to you than you think…contact these guys and see if they have a point of contact for you link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2010 2:36 a.m. PST

I know this is a branch of some sort, but it looks awesome as "mutant cacti":


So many cool ideas, so little time.

By the way, are these alien plant things cool, or what?
YouTube link

Legion 420 Sep 2010 9:36 a.m. PST

That's just Nuts !!!! wink

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2010 10:34 p.m. PST



Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2010 6:49 p.m. PST

Has anyone used any of these suggestions, since they were posted here?

Any pics?


TeknoMerk01 Oct 2010 5:42 a.m. PST

Acorns! We have lots of them here is Texas. They range from the size of a pinky fingernail to the size of a half-dollar coin. You can use the nut, cap or both.

Sorry, no pictures from me, since these projects are a bit down the work list. I have just collected the raw materials.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2011 2:59 p.m. PST

For fauna, here's an idea from the dried legume isle of your local grocery store:

TMP link


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2011 2:38 a.m. PST

This might inspire some cool miniatures, I think:

YouTube link


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