Again, With the Hills

Again, With the Hills

Postby Fitz » 19 Sep 2017

Image

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.
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby Ray » 20 Sep 2017

:thumbsup:
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby SP> » 20 Sep 2017

I like number 2, great work. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby Fitz » 22 Sep 2017

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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.

Image

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.
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby SP> » 22 Sep 2017

Looks good to me- your mix of flock lifts it up :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby Fitz » 23 Sep 2017

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Moving on to a somewhat different style of hill now; this one is supposed to be a jagged rocky ridgeline rather than the smoothly eroded grassy hills I've done before. There will be patches of grassy flock here and there, but it won't be nearly as all-covering as before — there will be almost none on the tops, for example.

Rather than being carved and torched to smooth off the foam, this one has been shaped by stabbing into it and breaking lumps off. The rubble and boulders around the base are some of these chips, stuck in place with acrylic caulk. That leaves quite a decent faceted rocky look, which I then over-painted with texture paste and sprayed solid black.

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This is the first of three layers of dry-brushing. The first, darkest tone covers most of the surface, but leaves some of the black showing through. I want a dark, rugged look to the finished piece.

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The second and third layers are progressively lighter tones of the first, with the third (and top) layer being almost — but not quite — white. Each layer is applied more lightly, with the last just outlining facets of the rocky structure.

Image

This shot from above shows up the layers of the construction, highlighted by the dry-brushing. There are quite a few places where figures can be stood, but there are many more places where they cannot — this is intended to be mostly impassable terrain, and even for infantry I'd deem it too dangerous for any without alpine training.
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby jeffreythancock » 23 Sep 2017

Splendid! Makes me think Monte Cassino or Italian East Africa. :good:
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby Fitz » 23 Sep 2017

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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.

Image

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.
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Re: Again, With the Hills

Postby SP> » 24 Sep 2017

That is great- would be ideal for a Falklands game looking at it. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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