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Hills, Rocks & Crags


Florist foam (Oasis) Hills by David Z

Grand Teton Rock Spires:

  1. Tools

  2. 1 block of foam.

  3. Pocket Knife/Florist Saw

  4. Hands

  5. Paint

  6. Sand (I like to use the small dusty stuff that comes from crushed up gravel, you can find this in between bricks on walkways and it is grayer and generally darker than regular sand)

Take the pocket knife and the florist foam and roughly shape the block lengthwise into a spire. Once you have dun the rub the foam smooth and use you fingers to rub in niches and flat over hangs on which models can stand. Base. Paint brownish red and cover in small sandy gravel (brick sand). You can also cut the foam into chunk and sculpt individual rocks and them pile them up on a skewer like the other method on this page.

Small Hills:

Florist foam is great for making small hill outcrops. Just cut the block in half and make two small hills. They're the perfect size and they don't have to be so uniform as when you take foam core and stack it up.

Just make sure to put little steps in them here and there for models to sit on. Base. Sponge paint the hills a darker green. Add a few small plants (I prefer tropical like plants). Add a bit of the sand and small rounded rocks.

Large hills:

I have found that I prefer the foam core method when doing these now, but for a few bucks these aren't too hard to make and really do look great on a battle field. Take all six of the blocks or however large you want the hill to be and hot glue them together. Then shave and rub away the form of the hill you want. Make sure the blocks are fairly well stuck together before shaving. If the come apart that's fine, just glue them back together when you're done. Sponge paint your large hill darker green and add details like plants and trees. Make sure you base the hill on a nice piece of card board and it will last forever.

What I like about florist foam is that you can change a terrain piece in the middle of a game. If you find you can't stick a certain base where you want it you just grab a knife and chisel away a ledge without having to break out the hot wire cutter or get special tools. Or you can just use the base to chisel the ledge away. The foam is soft but doesn't break easily and lasts for a long time. And when you coat it in paint it becomes solid. It's a great substance, really cheap and extremely easy to work with. Plus you don't have to have such rigid looking stepped hills, which means you get the added bonus of appearance and gamely out of 1 scenery piece.

Plus you can make florist foam fit into whatever game your playing. You can make TONS of hills for Epic out of 1 block and maybe 2 for 40K. It's a really GREAT substance.

Florist Foam (Oasis) Boulders by James Mosher

All you need to do is go and buy that green floral foam you see in EVERY crafts store. This stuff is CHEAP too. About 1.99(US Dollars) for 6 pieces the same size as a brick. Now all you have to do is cut it in the desired size and shape. I find it best to cut with just a normal kitchen knife. After you have your shape, base coat it black. Any spray paint will do since it doesn't eat away at this type of foam. After you have your bisect down, spray the boulder with a cheap gray primer. try to leave this coat fairly thin and let a LITTLE bit of the black show through.

Lightweight Hills by Stephen

If you can get some chicken wire and some thin paper (at school we use cigarette paper but i guess it might work with tissue or crepe paper) & wall paper paste you can make cheap, light hollow terrain. Simply attach the wire to a board with a staple gun and bend to shape. Then cover with strips of the paper dipped in the wall paper paste. The paper will dry rock solid and this method is a lot cheaper than foamcore for making large mountain ranges and the like.

Expanded Polystyrene Hills by Ches Martin

When making craggy hillsides, rock spires, etc., I've found a great alternative to the flat soldering iron attachment trick (partly since I don't own one!). Simply build your structure out of expanded polystyrene (insulation board works best as it doesn't have the big "beads", but make sure to peel off the thin paper covering) and spray paint with a flat black! Most of us have learned (some by the hard way!) that spray paint melts polystyrene slightly, and I think it's just enough to provide a nice rocky texture. The melting will leave some areas showing through that weren't coated with paint, so touch these up with a brush and black paint, or coat with black florist's spray paint (which does not melt polystyrene). For craggy hillsides, lay a piece of newspaper or something similar on top of the hill so it's completely covered, then spray the hillsides with black paint from underneath (this only works for terraced hills, I guess you could cover realistic hills with tape in areas that you don't want textured). That's it!! I'm in the process of getting a photo scanner up and running, so I'll try to send pics of rock spires and what not as soon as I can!!

Cliff Creations by Eric Bourne

I have a great method of making rock cliffs. I coat my hill with watered down PVA glue being sure to not get any on the cliff face. Next I spray paint with green which will paint the grassy part and melt the cliff part. I then cover the grassy part and spray the cliff with black paint (unless you have living colors spray paint you'll need to coat it with PVA first), or just paint it black with a brush. Next just drybrush grey and voila! A cliff!


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