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  • How to make a simple HILL

    When I was looking at CMoN articles connected with terrain-making, I realised, that there is a huge lack of basic tutorials, like making (simple!!) trees, hills and buildings, which everyone can make on his own.
    At this moment, me and my friends are making whole new terrain stuff for our local fantasy club/shop. My job is to make some nice, simple hills, suitable for all kind of games - from "regimental" Warhammer to skirmish Warmachine. As hills are the basic terrain part of all wargame systems, I decided to show some beginners (and of course, intermediate, too ), how to make them really simple, quick and fine.

    First thing is - what do we need:
    -insulation foam (styrodur) - 2-3 cm thick
    -sand and pebbles
    -static grass
    -white, wood glue
    -sand paper
    -old toothbrush
    -2 old brushes (1 for gluing and 1 for drybrushing)
    -wallpaper knife
    -paints (colors in the text below)

    Ok, so if we have collected all those necessary things, let’s get it started:

    1. At first, we must draw a shape of our hill at the part of insulation foam. Feel free to create anything you want - from naturally shaped hill to a mark of chaos. It depends on you and the game you want to play on it.

    2. Now, if the concept is done, cut your shape from the insulation foam with wallpaper knife. Cut gently , with the same power all the time - never cut out things from this material, like you do it with saw, because edges of the hill would be irregluary shaped and damaged.

    3. If you see, that one (or more) of edge of the hill is cutted enough deep, feel free to break it of.

    4. Now it's time for making a simple cliff. This tutorial is prepared more for beginners, so this stage will be made very simple. I tried to find some suitable words for this part, but, because, I'm not english, I couldn't write anything reasonable to describe this part of job Try to cut out the cliff, like it is made in the picture below. When you will have some major rocks, work on smaller areas and cut out their sharp edges.

    5. Cut out vertical brinks of the hill. Remember about cutting them to suitable degree, so that all models could stand on them without falling down. Too steep hill...nasty thing, isn't it? Especially, when you see your fresh-painted models falling on their back at the rocky base...uhh...

    6. Now, using the sand paper, polish already-made hill (do not polish the cliff part). Make it very smooth, so the ready hill wouldn't be full of false and unnatural edges, and the miniatures would stand still in one place.

    7. Now, the flock part. At first - prepare a mixture of sand, that would be suitable for you. Mix normal sand with a pinch of bigger grains or reverse. As I said in one part of
    this text - all depends on you
    Cover the hill (without the rocky section) with white glue and cover it with sand. make it rest for a couple of hours.
    At this stage, add some pebbles or small rocks. Remember not to add too much of them - models must have easy road through it and they can't fall, while standing on them.

    Also work on making smooth transition between normal earth and the cliffy part. You can achieve this effect by drybrushing the glue between those two parts, so less amount of glue will lie at the rocky section.

    8. When the glue dries, turn the hill upside down and knock at its bottom couple of times. Also clean the it of sand, using old toothbrush. Remove ALL loose sand from the terrain. If you won't do this, you will have..."little" problems while drybrushing it

    9. Now, painting part. Cover the hill with black undercoat. You can use spray (remember that some sprays are lethal to syntetic materials!) or normal, acrylic paint.

    10. Cover the earth part of the hill with dark brown (for example Scorched Brown) and cliff and rocks with dark grey (1:1 grey with black).
    When the paint dries, drybrush mid-brown color at the earth part (for example Snakebite Leather or Bestial Brown) and grey color at the rocks (like Codex Grey). Last
    Last stages: drybrush Bleached Bone (or a color like it) at the earth section and light grey (like Fortress Grey) at the rocky part.
    You can also add some finishing touches to the rocky section, drybrushing it very gently with white color.
    To make the rocks feel stain and touched by time, wash them couple of times with Catachan Green (moss effect), Snakebite Leather and Bestial Brown (mud effect).

    11. One of the last thing you need to do is to add some static grass to all terrain. You can also add some green, tiny-grained (like GW's) flock to the rocky section, to acheive direct moss effect.

    12. Remember about finishing touches, like higher grass (chopped paintbrush) or some sort of plants.

    13. Voila! Hill ready to be tested in the maelstrom of battle . As you can see, it is made so simple, that anyone, anytime can make such thing on his own. Set free your imagination and try to cut out different shapes and structures, as you like. If you are already starting your terrain-creating, make about 5-10 things like this, so you will have a good start for the future and also nice practise

    I hope you like it - if you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to ask and to write below.

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