Since I sold all my wargaming stuff a few years ago, I am starting from scratch. I decided to take a short break from painting and make a couple of hills using techniques stolen from other blogs.
The hills probably need to be taller and larger. They are made from 1" foam. I cut a hardboard base, then hotglued pine bark along one side to make cliffs. I then cut out foam to the basic shape of the base minus the area where I put the bark. I glued the foam to the hardboard, and after it dried used a foamcutter to cut an angle along the edge of the hill.
The foamcutter is a new one I recently bought at Hobby Lobby. It has a straight wire about 5" long that gets hot. Its nice, you can sculpt with it. It does cool off a bit making long cuts, but it keeps cutting but a bit slower.
After that was done, I used some little pieces of foam and spackle to fill in the gaps between the pine bark and the foam. I then used a technique that a local game store owner told me about. I covered the entire thing with latex tile mastic. You get a cheap brush, because the brush ain't comin' back from this mission, and load it with water. Swirl it in the mastic to make it a bit more liquid and then just paint it on the whole thing. It seals up the foam and makes it easier to paint, and it gives a nice skin to the foam that makes it a bit tougher. The brushes I got were 99 cents each, and the one I used was completely trashed when I finished.
After that dried, which takes about a day, I glued on a bit of railroad ballast around the top and bottom of the cliff. I had bought 2 quarts of paint, one darker brown, one lighter brown, from the local hardward store. I painted the darker color all over the foam and the area where the ballast was, using a 1" brush. (a better brush than before, this one I will reuse) Then I painted the bark a very dark gray.
After that dried I took the lighter brown color (really a light tan) and dry brushed the whole thing, including the rocks. I then used a little bit of white and light yellow to drybrush all over everything.
The final step was to put some flocking on parts of the hill. I used to have hills that looked like green lawns. I have decided I like a more mottled look.
The results are below. I will probably put some kind of final coat on to fix everything, but its basically done.