Hill Making Tutorial
One of the disadvantages to the terrain tiles is that they are flat. For the most part this isn't a problem, towns, woods and hedgerows would be a problem putting the figures in anyway and wouldn't add that much more to the game (at this size and scale). Hills on the otherhand are ideal to add dimension to the game. They are easy to make and are instantly gratifying. They really bring the board into a new dimension. And as stated they are easy to make, anyone can make hills. So without further delay...
- 1" foam (from local hardware store)
- hex template
- utility knife (kids need to have adult supervision)
- Steel ruler or straight edge
- paint (Green, Yellow, orange - I use the 'folk art' from my local hardware store, they are cheap and very effective)
- 2 big nails
- sanding screen
- Trace around a game hex on to a sturdy piece of cardboard to create your hex template. Cut using your utility knife and a steel rule. *Tip* Be sure to cut inside the line. When creating the template you want to have it the same size as a hex so that the hills will fit. When you trace the game hex you are on the outside of it making it a little bigger, this then gets translated to the foam when you go to make the actual hills. Keep this in mind when you are cutting the template.
- Trace into your foam with the template. You can create a series of hexes interlocked as they will all get cut out anyway.
- carefully cut along the hex lines and you'll slowly extract the hill hexes one by one as you cut along. To cut, extended the blade of the utility knife at least one inch to cover the thickness of the foam. Then use a slight sawing motion as you cut. I recommend using the straight edge ruler to keep the cut straight and clean.
- Once all of the hexes are cut out it is time to turn them more into hills rather than pillars. Take you sanding screen and start by taking off the top edge all the way around the top of the hill. Then sand down the cut lines starting at the top not quite down to the bottom. don't sand too much or there won't be space for your units but the end effect here is to have the hill more rounded. Be careful not to actually round the top of the hill, it needs to stay flat.
- The hills are now ready to be painted. To hold the hill for painting I used two big nails stuck into the bottom. This allows you hold the hills while painting it. Base coat the hill in green. Apply some yellow to your green to get a color similar to the terrain (I used a river tile for color reference while I painted). THen use some more yellow to get the splashes of highlight color (as seen on the actual board). To get this effect mix up more yellow than green and wipe the excess off. dab the brush on the hill sporadically. *Tip* after you have painted the hill, mix up some orange with yellow and brown to get the color of the cliff faces. then paint two hex sides of the hill in this color. When you play a cliff scenario these face the beach when you play a land scenario they face each other.
- That's All! Allow them to dry and then have fun.
*Usability Tip* Some of the scenarios have lots of hills together. because they are prone to moving on the board with the slightest touch we suggest connecting any series of hills on the bottom with a single staple from one hill to the other. This has great stability and still keeps them flat without ruining the nice hills you have just finished. Thanks to my wife, Lisa for this suggestion.