Sunday, 6 August 2017

Foam in a can wargame hills Pt5

Hello cave dwellers! Welcome back for the final instalment of this project. In the previous post I added flock and foliage. The clump foliage adds to the scenery but also works great to hide blemishes of which there are a few! The final task required for the project is a sealing coat of Pva to prevent the flock from being rubbed off, the hills then were left to dry.


This project has been a great learning process and has certainly given me a lot of items to consider for next time. I thought I would go through a few of the pro's and cons, as much for my own records!


▪ colour - definitely needs to pick up some more paints, a black and a white at least but a couple of different shades of brown and grey would make things easier and better.

▪ foam - I still have a couple of chunks of the can foam left but if/when I use can foam again I need to ensure that it is shaken properly and that I have the nozzle! It might be good to use a proper extruded foam to see if it is easier/better/nicer to work with, this will give me less air bubble holes.

▪ Base -  I used perspex for this but again next time I may change the material and try to get some thin mdf.

▪ glue - this covers both sticking the foam to the base and the flock to the foam. I really need  and new glue gun for sticking down the foam and a hundred other tasks. I also need to be more patient and wait for glues to set when sticking down flock.


There really is only one pro and that overall this is a usable, functional and reasonably decent looking piece of terrain which I'm sure will see some use in the various skirmish games I play. Another of the pros is that this project has been an invaluable learning experience, I could have achieved this with smaller scatter pieces but there we go! With the lessons I have learned from this project I'm looking forward to future builds.

Well there you go folks, the end of my first build. If you managed to make it through all of the posts thank you if not have a read to see the trials and tribulations. 

Why not leave a comment letting me know what you thought of the writing or the build.

Cheers Bill.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Foam in a can wargame hills Pt4

Welcome cave dwellers!  We're down to the final parts of the project, this means painting then flock and clump foliage.  The painting turned out to be as much a pain in the ass as I thought it would. The grey just didn't look right, the Brown looked awful etc. Things were kinda improved with a coating of agrax earth shade and multiple shades of drybrushing. I managed to get the project to a stage where I could add some flock. I did this by appling the glue roughly a quarter at time then pouring the flock on.

As per usual I managed to get over excited and shook off the excess flock before the glue had dried, this left the grassed areas looking thin and grinny . I decided the best thing to do was add some more glue using a spray bottle then top up the flock. I also found that the browns now seemed more red, I knew the paint would be an issue!! I went over everything with the grey again in hopes of getting rid of the reddy tone., this worked somewhat also the addition of extra flock also made things better.

To finish up I added some areas of foliage and wall climbers then coated up the whole project in Pva to seal the flock. Now I have to wait and see how things dry, my fingers, eyes and toes are crossed!!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Foam in a can wargame hills Pt3

Welcome back folks. The hills are progressing nicely but now I'm getting to the difficult part (for me at least)....the painting! Up to now the largest piece of terrain I have painted is the base of a miniature so this is a bit of a scale up for me. I started by giving it a couple of coats of grey. For paints I'm using tubes of acrylics from Hobbycraft, these were something like £1 or £2 each. I added a little Pva into the paint to a act as a sealer, I also ended up adding some water and a little washing liquid as I found the paint to be quite thick. Once the grey had dried I coated the cracks, crevices and flat areas in Brown. I've got to say, at this time I think it looks crap! I think the grey needed to be darker but generally it looks like a grey blob with brown smeared on (unfortunately or fortunately I forgot to take photos of the hill in this state). I'm hoping that once I start dry brushing it with break up and blend nicely.

First coat applied, the PVA is due to the hot glue not holding in one area
Just a little darker would have been better 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Foam in a can wargame hills Pt2

Welcome back! In the last post I had started carving the hills into some kind of shape. This looks fairly simple when watching others but in reality is going to take some practice for me to get right. Chipping and cutting I got the foam into a kind of hill like shape and to a point where I was (reasonably) happy, I was fairly sure once this had some texture added and its first coat that I may end up adding some more details, with this in mind I moved on to the next task.

For a base I decided to use a piece of perspex which was discarded from a workshop close by, free is always a winner. The shape of the hill was marked out and a coping saw was used to cut the perspex, this was a pain! I need a jigsaw or mdf. Disaster soon struck with the perspex cracking fortunately I had allowed enough room to be able to turn the hill and carry on sawing.

Once the base was cut out the edges needed bevelling, I started to use my dremell to do this but soon discovered that this way would take absolutely ages and I'm far to impatient. Luckily enough I have a belt sanded which I used upside down, this worked brilliantly and is well worth remembering for the future.

To stick the hill to the base I used my glue gun, this was a relatively cheap gun and has never really worked properly. I find that the glue is never quite hot enough so is almost setting before I get the chance to stick the item down, this would come back to haunt me later on. With the foam stuck to the base  I was able to start filling the gaps using some quick drying filler slightly watered down, whilst the filler was wet I also started to add some texture in the form of  a grit, sand and gravel mix. To help fix this in place I coated the textured areas with a watered down PVA mix, this seemed a good point to stop for the night and let everything set.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Foam in a can wargame hills Pt1

A little while ago the Terrain tutor made a film where he made some 28mm wargame hills using spray foam instead of sheet foam.  This was a great opportunity for me to get going with some terrain creation as I'm able to get cans of this through work.

The foam available twaso me was fire rated and coloured pink, I was hoping that both of this things wouldn't be an issue. What would be an issue though is the nozzle disappearing! Still I wasn't going to let a small detail like that stop me. I sprayed out a few mounds onto a plastic sheet, make sure you do this as otherwise the foam will stick to the surface and this stuff is a hitch to remove, oh!!! Make sure to wear gloves, I've found that the only way to get it off is using a pumice stone and sanding it off. 

I allowed the hills to set and when the outside had set gave them a turn over,  unfortunately the core and bottom had not set, crap! This would be an issue as I would not be able to carve and shape the hills if they hollow.

I turned the hills over and left them to set for longer hoping the core would eventually set. Fortunately after a couple of hours the inside seemed to set ok (the darker area was the core that took longer to set, I would have to wait and see if everything was ok inside.

I started the carving by flattening the bottom, this would also give an indication of how the foam had set on the inside. The foam was solid but was denser and more air bubbles than I would have liked, not the end of the world, it would just mean more filler would be required. With this in mind a started the carving and shaping the hills.