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Basic Hill Tutorial

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This is the process that we use to make the hills seen on our tables. this is not unlike the "Big" hill tutorial but has some different techniques
Basic Hill Tutorial
Scritto da Democratically Elected Republic of Players
English Language   23:02    30.04.2020
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Piece of polystyrene foam cut with old hacksaw blade to the basic shape. We wanted a higher hill for this one so cut a second piece and glue them together; always use a mask when cutting or sanding polystyrene.

Basic shape achieved with hacksaw, about to use the speed sander to round off.

Construction adhesive; must be water based to enable watering down for building up layers of sand on the polystyrene.

Fashion a small cliff on one side with the hacksaw.

After tracing around your hill on 3mm mdf, cut out with a jigsaw and sand the edges back to blend into your gaming table surface.

The hill can now be sanded back further to blend the edges on the base

Next we will use bark from Douglas firs or Radiata pines to create the cliff lines. If these trees aren't accessible you may find pieces used as mulch in gardens or in children’s playgrounds as soft-fall.

You may also find a local tree species that will suit. These varieties are used because when viewed side-on the layers give the impression of sedimentary rock.

You will need a selection of natural rock and sand. This is crusher dust which is sieved to make different sizes from larger pieces, a finer grit and a fine sand. Builders sand (used to make mortar) this makes the best finishing material for the hill.

To make the cliff-line cut the pieces of bark with a coping saw, and place them into the hill by cutting and plucking the foam until happy with the fit. Always dry fit, then attach with Liquid Nails.

Continue to glue your bark in and fill the gaps with Liquid Nails and the larger bits of rock and grit while wet. This combination can be brushed with a watered down emulsion of Liquid nails and sand added while wet. I find this combination forms a very tough layer over your foam.

Work your way around your hill keeping in mind where models might be able to be placed and access points. Add more smaller rocks and grit, then fine sand.

This shot of one end shows where access can occur and level enough for models to be placed on.

The completed hill ready to be painted

The completed cliff-line.

Overall view sloping back on the right, cliff-line on the left

It is first painted a base coat of cheap acrylic mission brown fence finish, then a heavy dry brush of the mission brown with bit yellow added to make a mid-brown mix

Next a dry-brush with a mix of the Mid Brown and white.

Add additional white to your mix to give a weathered pale brown/grey white look to your rocky surfaces.

From one end.....

…..and from the other.


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