Thursday 23 June 2011

Tutorial - Hills


There are plenty of articles on how to make hills. Here is mine:

Due to limited storage area I needed hills that were light and durable, somewhat flexible would be a nice bonus.

I had some native huts for a colonial game and was thatching the roofs as per an article I had seen somewhere in which the author had used a terry cloth towel as thatching, after I thatched my roofs I still had a large piece of terry cloth towel left and thought "why not try covering one of my upholstery foam hills" (which were functional, but didn't look that great) it had to be easier and less messy than flocking the thing.
Upholshery foam hill

I dug out my hot glue gun and glued the towel on, it looked a bit better (colour kind of sucked it was a yellow Ochrey shade), then I brushed on a 50/50 mixture of water and PVA glue completely soaking the towel, let it dry, spray painted it green and dry brushed it in lighter greens and yellows and it looked a lot better.

It is quite durable, as a demonstration I routinely grab a hill by an edge in both hands, raised it over my head and bang it onto a table corner repeatedly, no cracking, chipping or damage of any sort, the white glue and the cloth are stiff but still flexible.

Upholstery foam (I used a piece 2.54 cm thick)
Scissors (or an electric carving knife)
Hot glue gun (and glue sticks)
Terry cloth towel (the cheaper the better and the dark green and/or brown colours are better)
White glue (A.K.A. PVA glue)
Plastic container for mixing (margarine container)
Paints (greens, browns, yellow)
Paint brushes (I used a 1" wide paintbrush for the glue water mixture and a smaller brush for drybrushing)

Step 1: Cut a piece of upholstery foam into a hill shape, angle the sides.
Step 2: Hot glue a terry cloth towel to your hill shape. Take care to glue at all edges near the bottom.
Step 3: Cut around your hill leaving a bit (about 10mm) of your terry cloth towel extending beyond the base of the the hill.
Step 4 Optional: Dampen the towel with water using a brush (this enables the glue water mixture seep in easier)
Step 5: Mix white glue and water 50/50 in a container, and using your bigger paintbrush paint it onto the terry cloth towel, better too much than too little. I added paint to mine so I could see what I had covered.
Step 6: After it has dried (mine took a bout a day) go around the base of your hill agin with a pair of scissors trimming the excess towel away (the glue reduces the chance of the terry cloth towel from unravelling), paint it green or brown or both then drybrush.

They work for several scales, here's some pictures of them in use.
With my 6mm Napoleonics.
With my 28mm Wid West figures

With my 1/72nd scale Brits and Zulus.

1 comment: