This sequence shows the steps in making some modular terrain from expanded polystyrene. This is rather soft stuff so it required some bracing.

Having decided on the pieces I cut them out with a Woodland Scenics hot wire foam cutter. Then I angled the edges and gave them a bit of a wave just to break up the hard lines. To cover over the busted corner of the piece I sculpted a few boulders. This serves the double purpose of filling the gap and breaking up the unnatural regularity of the piece. With cardboard I made some sides and a bottom to give the pieces a little more resilience. There is no point in fooling myself, though. Foam gets beaten up and will have to be thrown away eventually. So there is no point in going all out. All we are looking for is something that is representative.

Next, I cut out a section that could be left open to be a makeshift trench, or a river valley, or a recessed road. Or if another tier of terrain sits on top it would be invisible. Using masking tape I protected the edges of the trench and cardboard sides to minimise the cardboard’s contact with the coming surfacing. Cardboard warps something awful. Over the top of this I painted a thin layer of Agnew’s Water Putty to tie it togther.

When dry I coated the whole thing in some domestic acrylic paint in an earth shade that I picked up in a sample pot from Bunnings. This gave a protective coat. Over this I then sprayed a few streaks of lighter khaki and red-brown just to break up the uniform colours. Next I dry brushed sand, grey and then white. Finally, I put a few patches of static grass and other different flock shades on the piece.

These pieces will not be totally flocked or themed for geographic location. My aim is to have them generic. The plan is to have separate pieces that sit on top to carry the message that the hill is forest, jungle, or desert.

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