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Author Topic: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)  (Read 1053 times)

Offline Fitz

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Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:12:22 AM »
I finished off the first of the experimental hill terrain pieces I started yesterday, and it's shown me a thing or two. The first is that when the weather is crappy, as it has been for the last few days, diluted PVA takes a long, long time to cure.

The second is that, though nicely rounded hills are attractive, a series of flattish levels is more playable.

On this one, only the flattest slope is feasible for placing troops, and then only if they're supported in a movement tray like these ones. This terrain piece would be effectively impassable on three of its four sides, even for infantry, but that's not too terrible a thing — it's good to have the occasional piece of blocking terrain that troops can't just clamber over as if it weren't there. Not too many though.

It has a flattish bit right at the peak to create a blindingly obvious point for a FAO or sniper to sit and then be mortared into oblivion.

I'm not unhappy with it, but it's only a partial success. Fortunately, I have lots more insulation foam to play with.

Offline Coronasan

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Re: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 07:22:44 AM »
Nice finish. Maybe try a few ledges in the slopes for the bases?
So much to do, so little time...

Offline Fitz

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Re: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 10:18:44 AM »

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

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.

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.

Offline Fitz

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Re: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 10:20:01 AM »

 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.

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.

Offline Hammers

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Re: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 10:50:56 AM »
I dislike too obviously stepped hills. I prefer the types with discretely concealed steps and crannies on which you can place a 25mm base.

Offline Fitz

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Re: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 03:39:30 AM »

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.

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.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Grassy Knoll — Proof of Concept (Mk.I)
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 06:55:17 AM »
True enough, stepped hills are not as good looking as sloped hills.  But they are Vastly more playable.  Playability matters in, what do we call them?  Oh, yeah, games.   :D


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