måndag 15 oktober 2012

Pimp my hills, part 1

Hi gang.

I'm a big fan of Amera Plastic Moulding's vacu-formed terrain. Made from plastic styrene sheets it's light-weight and cheap. Details are a bit vague, a limitation of the medium really, but it's not hard to improve the models. They have specialised in terrain in various scales and offer something for both fantasy, sci-fi and historical gamers.

A couple of cream pies? There are surface details on the hills but the white shiny plastic makes it hard to photograph.
Today I decided to make something of a couple of hills I bought a while ago. They are part of the F213 scenry set of three hill shapes, one low, one medium and one rocky. They are all around 15-20cm in diameter; the lowest around 3 cm high, the highest around 7-8 cm high. The set is quite versatile so I bought two. I had a couple of different ideas for the lowest of the hills.

Tools of the trade: Vallejo Pumice Gel, GW brown paint and genuine GW sand.
The first of the hills I wanted to do as a low rise for my 6mm desert project. I have already painted a couple of GW hills for that, but they are quite high and steep and I wanted something smaller and less intrusive on the table top.

Give the hill a good dollop with Pumice Gel.
I have started to use Vallejo Pumice Gel for more and more terrain projects. It's an acrylic based gel mixed with fine ground pumice powder available in various colours. It's water soluble and mixable with regular acrylic paints and PVA glues. Just dab it on thick with an old brush to get a good coverage. The pumice powder is murder on the brushes, so don't use one of your good ones!

Cursed brushmarks!
The Amera hills have a "lip" about a cm around with flat plastic. You could cut it away but I wanted to keep it to add stability to the finished terrain piece. So I made sure to spread the pumice gel extra thick on the lip to disguise the transition from the flat parts to the hill itself.

...much better.
To get rid of the visible brushstrokes I stippled a wet brush gently in random patterns until all the lines were gone. Make sure the brush is really wet so the brush doesn't lift the gel up. The water also makes sure that the stipple marks are soft and smooth. When the gel dries it shrinks a little bit and the texture of the pumice powder appears.

Still a bit shiny and wet, but you can see the texture of the gel already.
While the gel was still wet I sprinkled a little bit of sand here and there and pushed small stones into the gel. I tried to think about where the wind and sand wouldn't erode the stones and placed the larger pieces on the leeward side of the hill.

And there you have it. From a piece of white plastic to a windswept desert ridge in less than an hour, not counting the drying time. It's not necessary, but when the hill has dried I could accentuate the contours with a gentle white drybrush, but I'm not sure I will bother. In short, Amera terrain is very good value for your money, and the Vallejo pumice gels are perfect for adding texture to the otherwise plain plastic.

Next time I will show what I did with the other hill. 

2 kommentarer:

  1. Nice, thanks for the info regarding the gel!
    Nice touch to plan the placement of the stones. Be sure to show a picture of the dried hill later. Now it seems that the rocks will "pop" out a bit too much without any weathering, but perhaps they blend in better when the gel is dry?

    1. That is one reason to drybrush the hill with white, to blend the rocks in better. So yes, I will probably do that :-)


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