My Terrain Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid convinced me that my existing hills were too big. I need some tiny hills to fit within 4 inch hexes. The context is that I want to try some operational level wargames on a mat with a 4 inch hex grid. This is for my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rule set.
The End Result: Tiny Hills
I thought I’d start at the end of the journey. The painted tiny hills on table. The tiny hills are designed to fit within 4″ hexes. I did not want fancy hex shapes. I wanted normal roundish hills to superimpose on a hex grid. The same approach I use generally, i.e. terrain goes on top the mat/table.
There are three shapes:
- Round hill (3 inches across). This fits within a single 4″ hex.
- Short ridge shaped hill (3 inches by 2 inches). Again fits within a single 4″ hex. Just for variety.
- Long ridge shaped hill (6-7 inches long and 2 inches wide). This fills two 4″ hexes; the 2 inch dimension means they don’t cross neighbouring hexes.
- The tiny hills fit nicely onto the 4″ hex grid
- Troops can stand on them without sliding off
- They ain’t no mountains
Now the thing you have to remember is that on table these features represent massive mountains or ranges of hills at the ground scale I have in mind (where a 4″ hex is either 20k across or 40km across). And that is my only concern … although these tiny hills fit nicely within a hex or two, at 6mm tall they are not obviously mountains. Mind you, putting a mountain into a hex would be both a modelling and gaming challenge. Something to muse on.
The Beginning: Sandy Hills from S&A Scenics
I contacted Simon from S&A Scenics. He has one some special projects for me in the past so I asked him for some tiny hills. Actually, a lot of tiny hills. I have no idea how many I’ll need and I figured I may as well get them all at once. So I got 60. Yup, 60.
I asked Simon for:
- 20 x round hill (3 inches across)
- 20 x short ridge shaped hill (3 inches by 2 inches)
- 20 x long ridge shaped hill (6-7 inches long and 2 inches wide)
So, after a relatively short wait, 60 tiny hills arrived.
Given the hills have a really small foot print, I wanted them to be very low as well. So low that stands of figures don’t slide off. S&A Scenics normal hills are 12mm high but Simon has done some custom crests you did for me are 6mm high in MDF only (for Crossfire – I must blog about them). We agreed that 6mm was better than 12mm for this new project.
The Middle: Painting
I asked Simon to finish with sand. I want them unpainted so I can complete them in my normal flocking style. He glued on the sand and then I painted and dry brushed.
I didn’t dry brush evenly all over. I left the lower sides darker in an attempt to suggest shadow and (perhaps) greater height. I’m not sure how successful this was.