The hillside for my village came off the work table this morning:
I had originally planned to have something that could hold 4 or 5 buildings, but even a hill for 3 buildings ended up taking up a 2 foot x 2 foot space. As such, I went a bit less grand.
Construction started with high density foam sheeting on a my usual MDF board base.
Instead of cork bark on the sides, I decided to use Hydrocal Plaster rocks made with Woodland Scenics rock molds. They are actually fairly easy to make if you follow their instructional video. I'm not sure how durable they will be, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. They also look better than anything I could hand sculpt. The space between the rocks was filled in with DAP spackling compound. After this dried, bis of natural rock and resin texture gel were added.
This hill was going to be mostly exposed rock (vs my African hills), so I spent a bit of time trying to get a nice color blend. I started with a medium brown, washed with diluted charcoal grey and green grey, then dry brushed pewter grey, light brown, and sandstone. Bits of flock and Woodland Scenics bush material were added to break up the rock a bit.
I wanted to be able to use this hill for other projects, so the buildings have not been glued down, and their resting spots on the hill have been textured instead of left flat. Unfortunately that means that the buildings don't sit completely flush on the base, but I feel the additional versatility is worth that shortcoming; and unless you are down at eye level, I don't think it's too noticeable.
There are two path up the hill, the main one coming between the two houses, and a narrow one winding up the hillside next to the temple.
Here are a few more detailed shots:
Mostly likely I'll make one or two more buildings to sit below to help create that nice layered look you often see in these villages. But for now, I think this is enough to get us started.