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Making a Mountain out of... well, anything really.

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:32 am
by Primarch
Mountains. Big, wide, tall. But how to represent them in 28mm? That is the question for today.

If you've seen the recent project I have embarked upon, you'll know that I am planning to recreate some of the battles in India and Burma in WW2. Some of those took parts in open plains, on beaches and in rice fields. Those shouldn't pose much of a problem, (he says now). However, quite a lot of the fighting took place on or over mountains, large hills and the like. Obviously it is infeasible to make any sort of terrain to scale, (Fuji-san would still be 53m high at 1/56 scale), but the general nature of gaming tables is that they are, by and large, flat.
Now, I could jack up one end of the table to create a slope, but I'm not sure how stable it would be. Minis would also tend to fall down a lot as they don't cope well with slopes. The same would be true of any steep terrain, slopes are bad!

So what do you think? How can hills/mountains be represented well on the table? A few terraced layers of painted and flocked polystyrene? A sculpted board with a gentle incline? A straightjacket and padded cell for Prim? Any suggestions are welcome.

Re: Making a Mountain out of... well, anything really.

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:43 am
by kojibear
Having been the kind receiver of one of your previously created terraced polystyrene mountains, I can say that I think it is very useful in that it effectively represents a mountain, but also allows for the easy placement of miniatures thanks to the flat surfaces. A sculpted board with a gentle incline is coo, too, but you could not get the same height as a terraced polystyrene mountain.

Re: Making a Mountain out of... well, anything really.

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:30 am
by me_in_japan
I struggled with exactly this problem on my desert board. I wanted a rugged, canyon-y feel, but experiments with big hills led to the conclusion that you can either have realistic looking hills or you can have hills that minis won't fall off of, and practicality won out.

Stepped hills are by far the more useable of all the options. One possibility is to have quite big steps (say, 1-2") but also include some gentle sloped bits. This means they can have the height but also look maybe more natural, too? some rocks and grasses and suchlike also help add believability to hills. Sheep, too, I spose...

Re: Making a Mountain out of... well, anything really.

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:55 pm
by Konrad
Yeah, I learned the hard way slopes are not worth it. I put a like 30-degree grade on some Mordheim terrain. Thinking, "Eh, this is easier to make than stairs and the miniatures won't be all "wobbly model"." Wrong......Especially for heavier metal minis, it's like taking the kids to the park and playing on the slide.
I got it! Give the mountain a layer of steel foil under the paint and magnetize everything! :D