Modular hill

Next up we have a modular hill – one that can be split in half, so that it butt up against the edge of the table. You of course don’t have to make the hill modular if you don’t want and could simply make a second non-modular hill for this set.

1. Make a hill

Make a hill as per the previous tutorial, all the way until sticking the hill to the base. Don’t stick it down yet.

2. Halve it

Use a metal ruler and retractable knife to make a straight cut through the middle of the hill, where you want to split it. Try and keep the cut as close to 90 degrees vertical as you can, but it’s not a biggie if you’re not quite perfectly 90 degrees.

For the base, place one half of the hill on the base and draw along the split to show where the base needs to be cut as well. Cut it with a stanley knife and the metal ruler.

I stupidly didn’t get a picture of the base split in half, but you get the idea.

3. Border the split

As I said in the previous tutorial, styrofoam is tough but quite susceptible to dings and dents. If we just stuck the styrofoam on the base and called it a day, you would find that the hard edge of the foam very quickly becoming covered in gouges so it no longer lines up with the other half. For this reason, much like with basing, we need to cover the exposed edge with MDF.

Draw around the split onto some MDF and cut it out, using a steel ruler to make sure that the top and bottom are straight cuts.

Once you’ve cut these borders out, go over them with sandpaper to rough the surface up for gluing and to make sure that they’re flat.

4. Stick it all down

Glue the borders to the foam and then the entire lot down onto the base. Looking at the hill from the side, it should look like this:

Note that the border lines up with the edge of the base to ensure that there’s no gap when the two halves are pushed together.

5. Fill’er up again

Now grab the polyfilla and as before blend the hill into the base. This time you also want to blend the styrofoam into the MDF border as well. Finally, filler over the join between the border and the base to blend those two together as well.

Once the filler has dried, you can sand it down a bit on the joins to smoothen it out a bit more. Then proceed to texturing, sealing and leaving to the side for the next piece.

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