Times are tough - but that's no reason why you can't game in style. Recently I had read a few blogs on terrain tips and thought I would post some of my own recently discovered gems.
Pet Supply Stores. As we were there "socializing" our cunning Dachshund, Penny the Terrible, it dawned on me that these places are veritable GOLD MINES for wargamers. Whether you play historical miniatures, Warhammer or it's 40,000 brother, there is literally something for everyone at Pet Supply stores, and you will literally pay a fraction of the cost of specialty wargame terrain.
with a PETCO or PET SMART card, this baby was almost an entire dollar off - costing me a whopping 5 dollars! THis is amazing "jungle" terrain and is large and the plastic bases are sturdy as well. What's better? It's made to be cut up into smaller squares or rectangles. You could make at least 6 decent and respectable looking "Jungle" terrain pieces for CROSSFIRE VIETNAM or Pacific Theater WWII 15mm. I have attached another picture of both!
Brand is "Marineland" and the product is a "linden plant mat". So check that out. I have no doubt you could get it off Amazon or an internet company for maybe even cheaper.
Additionally, if you're into the GW role playing games, or even 40k, they have larger (about 30 dollars) pieces that would make terrific skirmish terrain. As well as colorful pink and blue plants that you could put your Catachan Jungle platoon into for some serious skirmishing with the zenos scum.
And dont get me started about all of the skulls, bridges, acropolis models, etc! Remember, PETCO, Pet Smart, or your European, South Pacific etc version of the same.
AC MOORE & Paints Lastly - good paints are hard to come by. Far be it from me to try and dissuade you from using "Army Painter" or Vallejo, which I think are excellent, albeit expensive products. I use alot of GW paints as I like their suitability to cover many periods of history (and reality), but for as long as I can remember, I use Folk Art acrylics to round out my collection as their selection of colors and prices simply cannot be beat. See below:
This is almost 3 times as large as a pot of GW paint... The color is "skin tone" and it's a perfect cross between Elf Flesh and Dwarf Flesh. Folk Art also has many other skin tone colors for peoples across the earth (and galazxy? ahh if that's your thing) best of all? It cost me a whopping $1.39 (US). With GW paint prices on the rise to about 4 dollars a pot, these Folk Art paints are becoming much more attractive, especially for generic projects. Personally if I lived in the UK, besides eating beans and rice everyday and not heating my home, I'd use this brand of paint to save more of my hard earned Sterling.
That being said, while Folk Art's "True Blue" makes an excellent 'Hessian Musketeer" blue, I would not recommend using them for the fabled "Ultramarines" unless you yourself don't care at all about the reforms in the Codex Astartes In some cases you just have to use the original as it was intended. I for one wouldn't want to piss one of those guys off...