Friday, 15 June 2012

Terrain - King of The Hill

Here's a quick and simple guide for making some hills to add to your terrain collection.

I decided on a Fantasy theme for this one, although the same general principles apply for Sci-Fi / 40k inspired rocky desert themes - Go crazy!

Step 1 - Head down the DIY store and grab yourself some insulation board.

What we're looking for here is a high density extruded polystyrene. The boards tend to be pink or blue in colour and products like Knauf Space Board or Kingspan Kooltherm are ideal, sold in varying sizes and at reasonable cost.

Alternatively, if you've just received your pay cheque, why not place an order on line from somewhere like this...

If you're really stuck for choice, you can just grab some good old Celotex, which is what I'll be using for this build.

Firm and satisfying to cut Space Board on the left squares up to
somewhat crumbly yet workman-like Celotex on the right.

Step 2 - Using a small handsaw cut out the rough shape of the hill you want to make. Grab your snap off knife and cut away at the insulation board, removing 'slices' to start recreating the feel of a jagged rock face. You'll need to change blades every so often as foam board blunts knives for fun...

Once you're happy with your finished shape, undercoat the hill with a primer. Once this is dry apply a further base colour of your choice - In this case GW's Steel Legion Drab, although you may want to go with a more traditional grey rock finish.

Looks appetising...

Step 3 - Using your trusty Citadel Spray Gun, or similar, lay on a further top colour that will compliment your final flock / sand finish - In this case we're going for a grassy finish so went with GW's Castellan Green.

Caution: Wet Paint.

Step 4 - Apply highlights to the edge of the rock face. In the example below, two highlights were applied - One of Karak Stone and a second, lighter highlight of Screaming Skull.

Starting to take shape...

Step 5 - To ensure a far superior bond than PVA, I recommend applying wood glue to the area of the hill you want to flock / sand finish. You may want to add a small amount of water to the glue to ensure it flows easily upon application.

Woody, gluey, wood glue.

Step 6 - Flock or sand the top of the hill. Remember to have a suitable sized flock box handy or lay down some newspaper to catch your flock for future use. Once you've finished, leave the model over night to give it a good drying out.

Cypress Hill...?

Step 7 - Place your newly finished hill onto your games table, add some additional scenic elements to garnish and pat your self on the back for a hobby job well done!

No, King of The Hill!

To help ensure your scenery goes the distance, it would be worth mounting the hill on some 5mm MDF board round about Step 2. Glue some chippings and course sand to blend the hill into the base ;)

It's worth mentioning the use of an airbrush in this build - In this case the Citadel Spray Gun, which was used to apply all of the base coats and considerably helped to speed up the overall build time.

There are of course far superior airbrushes on the market but the GW offering is more than up to the job if your starting out. Once you get a bit more comfortable with using an airbrush you'll want to start considering investing in a compressor. This post from my old buddy Pete should help set you up with all the advice you need.

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