Terrain Building - Mountains!!!

Posted by Panzer Mom on April 27, 2017 at 10:15 PM

When it comes to terrain on the battlefield we are always looking for something to give us depth and height. A city scape is nice but there are times when you just want to escape out into the wilderness. My husband and I had been talking about building mountains and he had a brilliant idea! He thought that we could experiment with using the expanding insulated foam. So, it was down to Home Depot to purchase a can of “Great Stuff, Insulating Foam”. The can was very inexpensive with the cost of around $5.00.

Now it was time to experiment, I had a large piece of wood left over from our table build that I decided to use. To cover it  I chose some of the cling film (wrap) so that the insulation wouldn’t stick to the board. I would like to note that I did several different sprayings and the second time I used parchment paper and discovered that it works so much better it allows the insulation to dry all the way through and expand so much more.

Now time for spraying!  

Here is an example of the second-round I did with parchment paper and after 24 hours the foam was completely dry. When I used the cling film it did not cure after two days and it was still wet after two days. 

Since there was more ventilation, they could expand quicker and larger. Leaving the bottom rounded which I needed to sand down to a flat surface.  

So, the next step was to shape these piles of foam into something resembling a mountain. Using an craft knife I shaped the tops and then sanded down the bottoms for a flat surface so that we could base them.

The next step was basing the mountains. I used 6mm MDF board and No Nails to glue them into place and drying time is 24 hours. 

Because I am using a foam product when it dries it can resemble a sponge. So, the next step in the process was using a filler to fill in any gaps or holes. For this I use a mixture of white spackle( poly filla in the UK)  and PVA glue. This mixture at can sometimes be hard to spread so I added a small amount of water to my brush and I was able to get that smooth surface to cover the tiny holes. Drying time is 24 hours. 

Then it was time I added some texture, so I once again used a mixture of spackle and PVA Glue. Using an Artist large paint brush, I added the mixture to the surface and using the stipping motion I added texture. Drying time for this step is 24 hours. 

Now that the texturing was complete it was time to paint a base coat of cheap black craft paint which can be found at your local craft store or Walmart. Recommended drying time is 24 hours.

Next it was time to add some highlights so I started by dry brushing a standard gray color.

Next to finish off the highlights I did a light dry brush of white over the surface to really make the mountain pop. I also painted the bases brown in preparation for flocking. 

On my first round of mountains I flocked and then sprayed it with watered down PVA Glue to seal the flock and the mountains cracked. My husband did the polyurethane coat prior to flocking and sealing, and when he applied the watered down PVA glue his mountains did not crack. So we can only guess that the polyurethane protects the mountains from absorbing liquid.  

At this point you can base them appropriate to your table.

Since I  wanted mountains for a European wilderness table I flocked the bases and added a bit of foliage.

All in all, this was a really fun project and I enjoyed the time I spent making mountains. Soon after we got them down on the table for a game of Bolt Action. These new terrain pieces added so much depth and height to the table. Great if you are playing a Sniper Team!

You can see an image of the full table on our Battle Report : Intelligence Drop.

Until next time,

~ Panzermom

Categories: Terrain Making

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1 Comment

Reply Allen Fritz
4:52 PM on July 1, 2017 
Really good article on making these. I myself use thick insulation foam, but the effect is similar to yours. Excellent.