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Attempt at a different type of hill

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(I also posted about these in the Speed/Army/Tabletop forum)


I built these to test some different techniques (the son is getting into model trains, and realism counts for more than playability in some ways). I've been building step hills for some time, but I wanted to try something a little more realistic. . . .despite the pic with the giant stomp CAV.




More pics:






The figs are to show scale, of course. The hills hit a height of 2", and, as you can see, figs can sit on the slope.

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The hills are mostly 2" extruded polystyrene (pink foam), that I carved down with a hot wire, then roughed up with a wire brush and smoothed off with sandpaper. It's messy, but not too laborious.


I then apply a generous layer of glue, flock, reflock as needed, and finish with scenic cement.

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Useful tools when working with foam...








In order to help not be so messy when cutting, sanding a shaping - spray everything down with the Static Guard. Helps to prevent the foam from sticking to everything and makes clean up easier (you can actually even sweep it up as long as the air isn't too dry).


The Surform rasps come in several different shapes and sizes and do not clog like sand paper. You can use them to do a lot of complex shapes quickly, and if you keep a shop vac handy you can take care of the shavings before they start floating around the room.


Although I still like my hot wire cutters and knives - I can get a lot better control with the jigsaw (especially when you want straight square edges). Setup a straight edge and you can follow it with the base of the jigsaw. Need a bevel? Set the bevel on the jigsaw. I started using the blades a lot last year when I stumbled on them looking for a better way to cut the foam for terrain tiles.


Great stuff. A lot of people get scared off with realistic terrain, thinking it might take too long or cost too much - but it really goes quite fast and isn't very costly at all.

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The only problem I have with realistic terrain is that CAVs are quite top heavy.

I didn't test a CAV all the way down the hills, but they do okay at the halfway point or beyond. It's the first couple of inches that might be problematic. I might try gluing a couple 1" sheets together to more easily create the downhill slope, and see if that helps.


The mess isn't that bad - and it justifies having the shop vac. :poke:

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What's this scenic cement?

Scenic cement is a thin glue, made by Woodland Scenics. (You'd find it anyplace that sells model trains, probably.) I suspect (but have never bothered to check) that it is very similar to thinned PVA/Elmer's glue. Regardless, I don't recommend buying the spray bottle that WS makes for it - you can pick up an empty spray bottle for much less, and it works as well.

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