Over the hill

In many famous battles, topography or perhaps more specifically a ridge line was an important feature. I’ve always found this difficult to replicate on the tabletop principally because I’ve only had a series of hills that I could put together

To rectify this I decided that I would build a series of ridge boards that would be interchangeable and large enough to run down at least one side of a 12 foot table.

I put these together from some foam boards completing them in the same way as I did when I tarted up my TSS tiles a few years ago using PVA, sand and grit. The intention was they should match my baseboards, be easy to store and imposing enough  but contoured sufficiently to allow 15mm figure bases to stand without sliding of falling over

In order to make them interchangeable I marked the edge of each board with a template cut from MDF and then used an hot wire cutter and  blades to shape each one. I figured that there might be times when I wanted a ridge to end in the middle of a table so cut some end pieces and also varied the length of each board so I could vary the length of the ridge if I didn’t want it to occupy the whole table edge. The template result means that at least on their edges each board has the same depth which I suppose is a disadvantage and decided to make one end of the ridge a little steeper and the other edge a little more gentle

The boards were cut with some difficulty then covered in my usual PVA and grit mix and allowed to bake dry in the NZ sun! I added a few off cuts to some but have left others deliberately flat so I can stand additional hills on them. They vary in width from 20 to 70 cm

Once dry these were painted brown with a cheap acrylic paint mix and then dry brushed so they matched the base boards and my figure bases. When dry flock was added. The union between each board looks reasonable enough I think


I had a spare board or two and decided to make 2 special sections that would allow me to run these into some TSS low hill sections that I have so I cut a template from these to match.

Finally once I’d finished I felt that my ridge was too uniform in depth. Consequently I’ve since built 2 more sections, one  is deeper than the rest to allow the template to start at the back of one side and end at the front of the other so I can use this to bring the ridge forward. The other is intended to act as a kind of pass through a ridge

Finally to complete my terrain board set up I’ve made a few base boards with a stream along with a 1/2 size river board and a stream running into a river board. All I have to do now is to get some realistic water to finish these off

I think I’ll play a game of General D’Armee next and see if I can get the British and their Spanish allies off that ridge!



About valleyboynz

A Welsh wargamer living in NZ
This entry was posted in 15mm Napoleonics, On the workbench, Wargaming Terrain and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Over the hill

  1. Carlo says:

    Looks brilliant Kerry and a subject matter which I am also pretty keen to learn from as I am also in the midst of planning hills and ridge lines to match in with my own cloth mats. Your Peninsular table, terrain and troops look magnificent.

    • valleyboynz says:

      Thanks Carlo, missed your comment, uniformity of terrain and bases is something I’ve always been keen on and means that I still need to now rebase a no of figures but its a daunting prospect!

  2. Pete S/ SP says:

    Looks like a great bit of terrain. Wish I had room for something so big.



  3. Chris Gregg says:

    What an ambitious addition to your wonderful table. It looks absolutely great and very Spanish (just returned from a holiday in Andalusia yesterday!). The folks who game at your place are very lucky.
    Are you still coming over here soon?

    • valleyboynz says:

      Thanks Chris, the folks gaming at my place these days consist of me and my shadow!
      Yes I will be over in a few weeks, starting off with an holiday to Europe and then on to see family. I hope the Musee D’Armee Napoleonic section is open this time – it was closed the last twice I visited Paris!

      • Chris Gregg says:

        Be sure to let me know your availability dates for Gloucestershire as soon as you can then Kerry. Good luck in Paris, Musee D’armee is worth a few hours.

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