Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The hills are alive...

Wow - it has been a month since last I posted.  Much apologies to those following the Castle - it is not dead, simply AWOL.  The last month has been extremely hectic here, with a couple of medical emergencies that have meant we've been away or otherwise occupied.  Sadly during this time I haven't had much opportunity to sit down and blog, and my podcast: Games in Schools and Libraries, hasn't had a new episode posted either (they're recorded and the next will hopefully go up later this week).  Happily however the worst of the medical emergencies are behind us.

Very slowly over the last month or two I have managed to get a couple of modelling jobs on my list done - no I haven't been strutting the catwalk, I've been making hills, forests, roads and the like - which isn't nearly as exciting, but suits the marketing potentials of my physique better.

Earlier this year I got hold of some plastic vacuum moulded hills from Amera Plastic Mouldings.

These came all on one vacuum moulded sheet, which I cut out and then spent a long time mulling over what to do next.  I wanted the hills to be able to serve multiple purposes, both as hills for the Song of... series of games I've been playing, but also as islands for my burgeoning Dystopian Wars obsession.  With this in mind I didn't want to add to much specific detail, just make something that looked reasonable on the table and could pass as either a hill or island.

The plan was to cover them with a little sand, basecoat them in brown and then drybrush sequentially lighter shades, finally adding either flock or static grass to finish them off.  However the brown basecoat I found ended up far too high gloss, so I resprayed them white and used cheap acrylics to add the basecoat and the other layers.

Sand added, the PVA glue I used was very reluctant to adhere to the plastic, but the irregularity suited well in the end.
You can see the brown basecoat I used in this shot - far too glossy, the shine would have come through beneath the top layers of the drybrush, I resprayed white.

These show the successive layers of drybrushing - medium brown, lighter brown and finally a very light layer of skin tone.

Adding static grass (from Gale Force Nine)


Overall I'm very happy with how they came out - they're not as good as some of the wonderful stuff one finds online, but are certainly more than serviceable for my gaming table.



  1. The final version looks really good, but the brown basecoat version... well it looks like you have a dog that walked over your gaming table after eating a big lunch.

    Erik Dewey

  2. Ha! Thanks Erik! Yeah - I really wasn't a fan of how they turned out after the brown base spray - aside from what they looked like, they were also really glossy.

    I re-base-coated in white and started afresh.