Layered (stepped) hill

2016-09-03 Khaiell

There is a fine balance in making a tabletop hill the right mix of a gaming token, a unit display stand and an eye-candy. When you let it slide in one of the directions it will lose its unique capabilities of elevating your wargaming experience to the next (excuse the pun) layer.

More tagged: hill · layers · textured paste
Picture described below
A dwarf army set up on hills
The dwarf lord likes to be on the very top of thingsDwarf thane and mine cart unit fillers with a wounded dwarf and a monkey on a beer barrelBronze Gryphons' Last StandThis hill is mine! -- Space Marine ChaplainThe hill fits all scales -- Epic Eldar armyAnother hill, work in progressStepped hills perfect for wargaming

So what makes a hill a good one?

  • It is system independent and feels at home both in fantasy, horror and SF settings
  • It does not strike you in the head with it’s scale and can be used both in heroic 28mm world and the mass tank combat world of 15mm
  • It has several layers so that they both let you set miniatures spectacularly as if for a photo shoot and give the hill a more natural look — not like a cow-pie flat sheet that cries „I’m an ugly gaming token”
  • It has some decorations, just like real mountains: nice, big rocks, streams, lichen &c.
  • Despite the decorations it is flat enough for miniatures to stand safely and neatly in rows. In practice this means at least 40mm difference between layers as you will lose ca. 15mm for layer slope and its finish leaving you just 25mm (1”) for models
  • To hide the artificial layers the hill is finished in different colors (like green grass, orange lichen and gray rocks) serving as a camouflage for its real shape

What are my hills made of?

  • A plan! I started by drawing my hill and its layers on paper to make sure they keep the 40mm distance (see above) and look good overall
  • Corrugated cardboard for its base
  • 20mm width Styrofoam sheet (extruded or expanded polystyrene foam — I had some lying around left over from real world house insulation works); cut into rounded shapes of the layers with very steep but not quite perpendicular slopes
  • Wall filler/spackling paste/texture paste — to cover and strengthen the ugly and brittle texture of cut Styrofoam
  • Static grass, pebbles, white glue and paint for the finish

Enjoy!

See the pictures as separate pages: A dwarf army set up on hills * The dwarf lord likes to be on the very top of things * Dwarf thane and mine cart unit fillers with a wounded dwarf and a monkey on a beer barrel * Bronze Gryphons' Last Stand * This hill is mine! -- Space Marine Chaplain * …more

You may also find these interesting:
How to build a storage system that doubles as wargaming terrain, using a set of plastic Necromunda Bulkhead Doors and some foamcore. »
YouTube 02-09-2018 https://youtu.be/qJBMvkBzz68
During the April 16-17, 2016 Weekend at Games Workshop stores you had a chance to get a special edition remake of the original 1985 Space Marine model. The new version is substantially beefier than the original and the difference is much more striking than the one between the original Mk. 4 marines and their 'Betrayal at Calth' reimagining »
Reviews 18-04-2016 Khaiell
On our YouTube channel...
How to kitbash the old and the new Citadel industrial "Sector Imperialis" terrain to make the elements look cohesive. And how to make them pipes actually connect afterwards despite the conversions. »
YouTube 02-02-2018 https://youtu.be/gkZMRsakhVk
How to fix your Citadel Wood to have something resembling actual leaves using the new LukesAps foam flocks »
YouTube 31-03-2018 https://youtu.be/YNb6yQ5yg04