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MojoBob

There's Hills in Them There Hills

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I've put together another couple of experimental hills. Number 1 we've seen before.

 

20170920hills.jpg

Hill #2 has a mix of steep, impassable faces and more-or-less flat terraces that a figure could stand on without immediately tumbling down. It's a bit more usable than Hill #1, while still remaining reasonably naturalistic, but to be truly playable it probably needs to be blockier still. Apart from the flock, vegetation is pretty minimal — just a few areas of clump-foliage — and I think I may add a bit more to make it look a bit less... spotty. I may also have to hit it with the airbrush, as the flock looks a bit more pallid than I'd hoped, but I'll give it another couple of days before I do that as it may just be that the PVA holding everything together isn't properly cured yet so it's still a bit white. We've been having some cool, wet weather lately, and that has really slowed things down.

Hill #3 is a two-peak hill; the upper one is steep, with a flat top to allow figures to stand, while the bottom one is much more gently sloped. The slope is still too much for single figures, but vehicles and figures in movement trays will rest there without sliding back down. There's no foliage on here at all except for the flock, which is fine.

The figures are a 15mm WW1 British 18pdr and crew. The tank is my own 3d-printed A1E1 Independent. They're all sitting on a GW "grass" mat that I picked up cheap some years ago, and have never used because it looks nothing at all like grass. I live in a Land of Grass, and I've never seen grass that looks anything like that colour. Add to that the fact that it sheds worse than a cat in moult, and it's just bloody awful.

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20170921hillsWiP.jpg

 

I've started another couple of hills, with the lessons of the first lot in mind.

In the foreground is a long (about 800–900mm) rocky ridge. It's got a bunch of flat spaces and ledges in amongst the general rockiness, as it's supposed to be impassable to vehicles, but climbable by foot troops with appropriate climbing skills.

The top half is slathered with my texture paint, which I've now remembered to actually add paint to. It's a mix of acrylic filler, paint and sand, painted and dabbed on to the foam, and it fills small seams and leaves a good ground texture. It's only on the top half at the moment, because I've just added a whole lot of clutter and rubble around the foot of the hill, and the acrylic caulk I'm using as glue (Selleys No More Gaps) isn't set yet.

I tried gluing sections of this one with construction glue (Selleys No More Nails), and though it creates a very strong bond when it eventually sets, it takes a looooooong time to set. Especially between layers of foam; it's not really ideal for use in that sort of environment I think. There are probably more specialised adhesives that would work better, but the acrylic caulk does a good enough job for my purposes, and is a lot cheaper.

The thing in the background that looks like a plate full of tofu slabs is a stepped ziggurat-style hill in its early stages of construction. When the caulk on that is set, I'll start carving and chipping it into more rounded hill shapes. It's going to be a lot less naturalistic-looking than any that I've done as yet, as it's supposed to be climbable all round, so it needs to be stepped all round so that figures can stand on it.

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Making terrain out of tofu sounds like a better idea than eating it to me! Like how the first set of hills turned out and look forward to seeing the next ones. I need more hills so it's nice to see what others are doing.

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On 9/19/2017 at 7:58 PM, lowlylowlycook said:

I think it's pretty tricky to do hills that both look natural and are useful for wargaming.   I look forward to your results.

I agree.

 

Nice work on the completed ones, too.

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20170922hill-001.jpg

The figures are 15mm WW1 British infantry by Peter Pig
The Burford-Kegresse MG Carrier is a 3d-print, designed by me and made by Shapeways.

 

 I've tried to make this hill as playable as possible without being too absolutely geometrically regular. It's not terribly naturalistic, but it does look something like some ancient fortification sites I've seen. It's a series of terraces or ledges, so individual unsupported 15mm figures will stand all over it without too may issues.

Finding a happy medium between naturalism and usability has been rather difficult. This is my best effort yet in that regard, but I think it could be better — the continuous runs of the ledges tend to draw the eye, and maybe a less regular scattering of horizontals might do the same job without looking so obviously artificial.

 

20170922hill-002.jpg

 

The bottom ledge runs right the way around, while the others all extend only around three sides.

On this side I've attempted a rock face, but it's not very convincing — it looks more like dirt. I have distant memories from childhood of setting plaster on scrunched-up tin foil to make a rocky texture, and as I recall it didn't look too bad, so I may give that another go.

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20170923MtAnthracite-005.jpg

 

Now I've finished flocking Mount Anthracite, and photographed it out in my rather overgrown back yard. The 15mm T-28 is from Battlefront, and is included for scale. I called it Mount Anthracite because when I first sprayed it all black, it looked just like a pile of coal. It's a bit less anthracitic now, but I'll keep the name nonetheless.

 

20170923MtAnthracite-006.jpg

 

I may or may not add some more vegetation to it, depending on my whim. It's quite usable just as it is. There are basically three levels of spaces for figures to stand on, though in many places those grassy ledges are too narrow to support anything bigger than 6mm.

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That is a WONDERFULLY crafted & painted terrain piece. It looks realistic, yet affords some nice flat areas for the minis without compromising the realism. VERY WELL DONE!

Edited by malefactus

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