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Im very new with terrain building and Im going to start my first hills tomorrrow. I scopred out the local home depot and read a lot of tutorials on the subject. Just had a few questions since there seems to be a lot of different methods to do it.


1) What thickness of pink insulation do you guys use for your standard hill? A lot of places say 1 inch thick.. Is that about right?

2) Do you guys use hard board bases for the hills? Some tutorials say that its needed since the insulation will warp.. Others say its fine without. If you use hardboard, what type of glue do you use to connect it?

3) When making tiered hills, do you guys usually spackle your hill levels together or create all single level hilled for a more modular design? That way you can place smaller hills on top to make double level hills, or keep them all seperated.
 

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Scenery Shogun
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917 Posts
the thickness of insulation is dependant on what ize and height of hills you want. youwant slight rises? one inch is fine.. you want a three tier / line of sight blocking/ hide a dreadnaught behind hill? You'll want more than an inch of course.

I always use hardboard/masonite whatevr you want to call it..i call it clipboard-board (that'swhat clipboards are made out of.) yes you will want it if not only to keep the hill from warping from paint/flock/sanding etc...but also it'll help weigh down the insulation so if you're moving minis around it...and you bump it..it doesn' go flying.

All my hills are made as one peiece if multi tiered ,but i have multiple hills with multiple levels... so if I want a 2 topper..i use a two topper...a four tiered...grab the 4 tiered.. etc.


Hope this helps.
 

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Father of the Failed
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1,170 Posts
I think, as said above, that the height of the hill will dictate how thick you want the foam to be. Thinner pieces will provide you more flexibility when it come to exact height as you can stick several layers together to get the desired height. On the other hand, thicker foam will make your job quicker. 1 inch should give you a good size for smaller hills, and several layers could easily be stuck together to achieve taller projects.

I would advise sticking all terrain pieces to wooden bases. I've used card in the past and found it to warp despite lots of care to ensure it doesn't There is much less chance of warping with a wooden base, which also provides more weight, and therefore stability to the terrain piece. Most glues should stick scenery to hardboard - just be careful the glue won't melt what it is your trying to stick to the base. I'd personally use a glue gun, but PVA or epoxy resin should also do the trick.

Hmmm, the third question is a good 'un. I usually make them all stuck together, but there is no reason why you cannot try and make modular hills as you are suggesting. If you feel that method holds merit then give it a shot - would be interested to see the results (just be aware of warping if you don't base the tiers though:).

Hope it helps mate,
Rich.
 

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Mad Modeling Master
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669 Posts
Well I like to use 2inch thick foam so that LO is blocked all around for tanks and infantry alike. BUt then again I tend to make outcroppings that are not friendly to having models climb up them. For a smooth and graded hill 1 inch would be perfect. If you want a higher hill as you said, grade multiple pieces of foam ontop of each other. Whe I base my scenery I use 1/4 inch foamcore board available in crafts stores in 3x2 pieces. Thi stuff tends to warps but only a little and it can be corrected later. The advantage of the foamcore over wooden bases is that you can bevel the edge with a knife so that there is a smooth transition from the tabletop the scenery base.

And if i read the thrid question right glue everything together with white glue and if you fell the need you can also use wooden skewers to pin it together. Hope this helps and check out the hill tutoural in my sig for some cool tips.
 

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Sparta!
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1,438 Posts
As said so far, basing it on something - preferably hardboard or whatever you want to call it - is the way to go. It stops the piece moving, stops it warping, and makes it nice and solid.
Personally I would go for the modular type simply because it gives you more variation straight away. It allows you to mix up your scenery while still maintaining a relatively small collection. Feel free later in the future to get adventerous and make single-piece multi-tiered hills but remember to consider storage. Single modular tiers are easier to store and more likely to get consistent use as oppossed to large multi-tier constructions.
Personally I am opposed to basing stuff on foamcore because I prefer the stability and weight of hardboard and the fact that it doesn't warp. It is also rather easy to bevel the edges on with a piece of sandpaper.
As far as the hill itself goes, if you are going to spray it make sure you cover the foam completely with a basing mixture (sand + pva etc) or even just a couple of solid coats of pva - this provides a seal and stops the aerosole eating away the foam.
I would also suggest that once you texture it (covering it in sand is a good start and then adding flock) that you give it a coat of either watered down pva or some other sealer. This seals it (surprising I know) and protects it from wear and tear during games and storage.
 
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