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Author Topic: Decent hills... making or buying?  (Read 1012 times)

Offline TheBlackCrane

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Decent hills... making or buying?
« on: April 03, 2018, 12:02:52 PM »
I'm finally getting around to reinvigorating my terrain, but decent hills/raised ground are a quandry:

Anyone have any thoughts on the various pre-made hills out there? e.g. Kallistra and so on. Preferably which figures can go on top of without sliding down and enough realistic space on a flat-ish space on top.

Alternatively - making one's own, which is probably a better option. I have attempted in the past and they alway end up... unsatisfactory I shall say... Any suggestions for making hills which actually look halfway decent?

It's probably a pretty basic question but those I've made in the past always end up too big or too steep or just look wrong.

Thanks!

Offline Charlie_

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 12:40:12 PM »
One thing to consider is do you want lots of small hills, or one big slope across a table edge?

The first option is more 'wargamey' but I feel never looks realistic. The latter, if done well, will look better I feel. You could have it in several pieces so it can be arranged in a number of configurations, i.e. corners, half the table edge, the whole table edge, etc. Even better if you can have them built into modular terrain boards.

In battles where hills played a big role, it's usually one army picking the high ground and deploying along the top of a long ridge or something. Rather than random little hillocks popping up across the battlefield.

That's going to be my approach for hills when I get round to it - just have one long table-edge piece (in a few sections for modularity), and just use it for certain scenarios.

I don't have much to offer on the best way to construct them though I'm afraid!

Offline agentbalzac

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 05:16:33 AM »
In recent years I've moved to 'the hills underneath the cloth' look, using large chunks of somewhat squishy pink packaging foam.  These go underneath a thick blanket (the blue felt type used by removalists), with the coloured table top terrain cloth over the top. 

Where necessary (rarely) it is weighed down at strategic points with other bits of terrain.  The figures don't move around or slide anywhere.

However, I restrict hills like this to 15mm figures and certain 28mm skirmish games.  I used to include hills in 28mm WW2 setting, but at 28mm the scale of a game on a 6'x4' table is really 'zoomed in', and in reality hills at this scale are a rarity or should exist only as part of a specific scenario.  Even for a battlefield that is sloping, hills should only really be included if they are meant to have a significant impact on the fighting that can or needs to be reflected in the rules.

This is my experience.  YMMV.

Offline ichwillauch

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 07:44:09 AM »
I own some of the kallistra terrain (hills and trench System). In my opinion a table completely made with kallistra tiles will look great, but I see a problem in storing all the terrain elements...

Meanwhile for decent hills I use a set of 2cm tree slices made from burl. Easy to store, very stable material and the edges look like cork

Online Andym

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 08:02:27 AM »
I found this website a while ago. It seems our model train colleagues have it right when it comes to hills!

http://members.westnet.com.au/mjbd/html/body_foam_rocks_-_frocks.html

My brother and myself used these tutorials to make these.....






...and I used it for this....






Online OSHIROmodels

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 09:01:01 AM »
The main problem is having a hill that's usable in a game as accurate goundscales don't translate well for gaming.

I've done one new one for now but I do have plenty more planned. I've kept it low but with a rock feature at the 'front' so it doesn't become too large. Figures can pretty much be placed anywhere apart from the steepest slopes. It does for different scales as well (just about).

It's about 300mm across it's longest length and is normal blue/yellow/pink foam carved to the shape with a bit of filler to smooth it before painting the soil and then adding the growies.







Offline Lost Egg

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2018, 03:13:19 PM »
Very nice sir.

Out of interest Oshiro, how many different types of flock did you use on it?

@Andym - Thanks for sharing matey, they look great and I'm sure the how2 will be useful.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 03:22:28 PM by Lost Egg »

Online OSHIROmodels

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 03:50:26 PM »
About four and some of the grass was drybrushed varying tones as well.

Offline Lost Egg

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2018, 07:14:02 PM »
I think its the range of textures and colours that brings it to life.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2018, 06:05:51 AM »
I used to like 'natural' hills but they were always a challenge from a playability perspective.  I settled on 'wedding cake' hills. 

I use 1/2" plywood cut with a jigsaw and sanded/chamfered with a belt sander, wood-glued in layers - usually only two (helps prevent warping), spray painted brown, coated with glue, covered with fine and clean sand, and then painted to suit (I use an eight color formula starting with a dark chocolate brown and ending with a light dry brush of yellowish yellow-green).  The sand is vastly cheaper than flocking.  I do sometimes add bits of model railroad grass before the sand step.  In the Flouncy Shirts section of this forum you can find photos of my terrain in the FIW game thread. 

There is always going to be a compromise between visual effect and playability - unless you are creating a static diorama which can be a modeling masterpiece.

Offline vodkafan

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 04:56:59 AM »
I made a set of modular hills from cork tiles as per Matakishi's website. I like them and they are great but the cost of cork has gone silly so they are no longer a cheap option.
2018 Painting Challenge

figures bought: Lost count after Salute and Hammerhead @1000
figures painted: 74, 1 artillery piece, 4 vehicles
WIP : @ 200 figures in various stages of painting, 20 vehicles...

Offline Mindenbrush

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Re: Decent hills... making or buying?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 05:53:06 PM »
Same as Mr Bibbley - MDF/hardboard base with chamfered edges, insulation foam glued on and carved to shape, sanded, coated with basing sand, painted, drybushed and flocked to suit.
Wargamers do it on a table.
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