Hill’s are an interesting thing in wargaming, we use them in so many different games, but most are small round and flat on top. So in part two of my Terrain making I am going to show my take on hills.


Hill’s are generally flat on top simply because people don’t like to have miniatures slide off.  But as discussed after playing on my hills, you need to either make the hills very shallow nearly flat or make them rough so the miniatures don’t slide down.  I like to have a crest line on my hills many games use the concept of cover from the crest line, but I have seen people use different points of the hill as the crest, this is nobody’s fault, and I have never seen that argued, but it is something many of us forget to discuss at the start of any game. So this is the process I used.

The Process

I have a large sheet of 1.5″ thick white Expanded Polystyrene Foam.  I cut different shapes out of it, using my band-saw.


























Once cut out I went to work with the rasp, it makes short work of all foam, and I get “Shape” the basic’s of the hill.















































Once shaped to where I really want the hill, I give it sand with fine sand paper, the rasp tends to remove chunks of foam, so the sand paper smooths some of the roughness out and I get a much cleaner and smoother finish.  If I was making a taller than standard height hill, I would glue them together with “Foam Glue” by Woodland Scenic’s, it stays flexible after drying and is meant for foam. Once all the shaping was done, I coated each hill in the Foam glue in to all the holes etc. so no foam was exposed, then stuck sand on to the hills, for a  bit of texture and also it protects the foam a little more.

When that was dry I undercoated with black, then mixed up a Black/Brown paint out of poster paints as the base coat, painted in some lighter colours.

When all that was dry, I painted on a coat of PVA, then got to applying static grass, I used 2 different lengths, a 3mm and 5mm length, this adds some depth to the grass, I also used different colour fibers, for some done depth.

Once dry and all the excess fibers had been brushed off, I game them a good coat of Matt varnish, just to help set the fibers in place.

Finished Pieces.
















On the table the look quite good, and are a great size for some 15mm games I play.

Lessons Learnt

Either too smooth or too steep, I need to make the hill’s more gradual so some bases don’t slide off the hills. it is not always possible to have everything perfect, but we can at least try to minimize the problems.   I do need more hill’s so I will go back and work on how I get a better gradient on the hill’s so bases don’t slide around.

Static grass creates a mess, so put down a drop sheet. catch all the fibers so you can either re-use them or at least clean up after your self.

So I will go back now and build more.


What is next.

In the next part of the Terrain series in a few more weeks, I will be working on some 15mm and 28mm Water features, the problem with most terrain is that it is idealistic, like a lightly forested area or farmland, even with houses and buildings it rarely has what a farm or a house would have gardens, ponds etc.  So I am going to do some of the more realistic pieces that add some depth and character to a table to play on.



Picture of floppy


Floppy has been playing wargames poorly for over 20 years. A founding member of the Monday Knights.

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The Monday Knights are a gaming group based in Melbourne Australia.  We are happy to play just about any game at any time.

We meet every Monday night at the Auburn Bowls club in Hawthorn East, Victoria, from 6pm onwards.

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