Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Building terrain: broken green hill

I've made a few fun terrain features before, but nothing that my little friends can really climb on and fight over, so I got it into my head to make a hill. Nothing fancy here, but I'm happy with the results so I'll share my process with you, Internet.

I envisioned a hill with several terraces or tiers so that soldiers could inhabit it at different levels. Units the size of my 40-man phalanx would never be able to use this, unfortunately, but smaller units could. So I cut up and stacked some regular styrofoam.

I needed some brown paint -- a lot of people do green on green for hills, but I was going for a look with plenty of exposed dirt. A less lazy person would have gone out and bought some brown paint, but I noticed that there was some wood stain in my basement, so I figured I'd try that.

And this was the result. Looks like an ill-made chocolate cake and took a long time to dry. Regular acrylic paint probably would have been better.

But, once dried, it was a very serviceable brown lump.I had a layer of glue-water solution on the flat areas before I started sprinkling flock and afterwards I went back over the greenery dripping glue solution on any place that seemed to need a little more stick.  I have a bag of light green foliage material that is held together by tiny strings -- if you want loose flock, you have to stretch the clumps between your fingers until the green falls loose. However, this rain of green fluff gave me really nice coverage -- the flock fell not just onto the big flat areas I was planning to flock, but also into cracks and niches.  This reminds me of how plants grow even in inconvenient areas such as rocky slopes.

Here we are more or less finished. There are 4 tiers of height on which minis can stand, including a "king of the mountain" highest position that can only hold 1. I glued on a few fake plaster rocks to break up the green, but in the camera flash their whiteness is just too jarring, so I'm going to give them a light brown wash. Think I need some trees?

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