|The sheer rock face|
|Hill construction supplies|
So as to have a strong base, I drew out the shape of the hill base onto some scrap fiberboard I had around the house, then cut the shape out using a hand jigsaw. I used this template to trace out the first layer of foam, which was also cut out with the jigsaw. Sections of cork bark were removed from the strip, using a combination of sawing and prying (it actually took more work than i expected), and I then cut back the first layer of hill foam to accommodate them. I originally tried using a utility knife for this with mixed results, but found my jigsaw cut through it like butter and continued to use it for most of the build. I then shaved the sides of the foam before flipping it over and using the top as the template for the next foam layer. Again more cutting and fitting until I had a rough 2-layer hill with a gentle enough slope to let figures climb one side of it. Using wood glue, the fiberboard, two foam layers and two cork sections were glued into place. There were some gaps, so I filled them as best I could with the scrap foam left over from the carving.
|Small gully between the cork rock faces|
|Backside of the hill with trail leading up it|
I wanted the hill to blend into the fur felt mat I had made previously, so I decided to have the grass run up the hill. I used the base of the hill to cut out a rough section of spare felt that was slightly on the large size, but not by much. As I planned to have sections of exposed rock, I didn't worry too much if it wasn't enough to cover the entire hill.
|Another shot of the hilltop|
Lastly, I added some plastic shrubs to the hill to make it look a bit fancier and to hide some of the worst of the felt edges. These were made from plastic plant mats made by Ashland. I found these at a local craft store for about $14 for a 1'x1' square. This particular type came in a few shades of green, so I went with a more yellow green to better blend with the yellowed grass. These can be easily removed in clumps from the sheet, and the clumps can be then further cut down to get plants of various sizes. I drilled some small holes to hold the stems, which were again glued in place using wood glue.
The wood glue residue and the plastic plants were rather shiny, so the hill was finished off with a generous amount of matte spray sealant.
|Figures for scale|