Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Making Hills

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.


  1. I like the hills. Very similar to what I would do as well. And Hobby Lobby supplies 90% of my stuff for this grand hobby.

    Of all the stuff I have, a decent set of hills is the one thing I am lacking. Its on my list, but so is a whole bunch of other stuff.

    Keep the blog going. Looks great.

    Enable followers so I can join up.