Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cutting Foam Hills - Part II

Whew.  Another opportunity to pursue my terrain building came up and I was able to find a wind channel at the side of my house.  I opened the wood gate door and began working on the carving of the 2-inch Styrofoam boards using my rigged-up Weller soldering gun.

Here's what I discovered; the copper wires can get very hot and then begin to warp.  At this point onwards they'll stop conducting heat efficiently.  What I mean is that when I first use the 10-awg wire I was able to carve with it quickly.  After several minutes it becomes a much slower task.  I replaced the wire three times and was able to carve through three pairs of hill contours.

I cut big blocks out of the 2-inch foam boards.
I rushed the cuts by cutting deep about 1-inch
and then snapping the sections apart.

I tried to maintain the cleaner machine-cut edges on
pairs of sections.  These will be used to create either
larger hills or to allow a section as an edge hill.

I numbered my sectioned pairs and tried to savvy
what a sample contour would look like.

Here's one of the smaller single-section hills
that I carved out.  Its just 'okay'.

Top of the hill.  The idea is that I'd stack smaller
hill sections upon the larger ones.

Here's the first of the section pairs.

A close-up.  Notice that I scored the edges of
the hills with the soldering iron to simulate erosion.

This is that same hill above my largest section pair.

Another section pair; a bit triangular.

The same triangular pair split apart.
As mentioned before this allows the hills
to be placed upon the battlefield edges too.


  1. Wow nice work, I'll be interested to see how you paint these, I've never had much luck using this stuff myself.

  2. @Smillie; thanks. I'm curious too and this is my first attempt at a task this big.

  3. This is most excellent. Have you considered making molds of these when you are done? You could then sell those or make and sell your own terrain. This is as good as what I'd buy from a manufacturer.

  4. @D Willhelm; thanks! You've been my inspiration for crazy projects.

    @Anne; you are making me blush! I'm not sure how to do what you suggest but I'll probably explore this idea in the future. These pieces are quite large though!

  5. BTW, I got some time and I got some pre-cut MDF board. I'll be mounting these pieces and moving forward soon. =)