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Hills Project 2018 reboot (3d printed terrain)

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I have been working on this project on and off since 2012. Finally really getting somewhere!

The idea: 

hill components that can best together to hide lines to look more realistic. An underlying geometry that assists assembly but organic surfaces.


the quick story: 

designed geometric parts long ago, then printed , made molds, cast, then sculpted. Was planning to pour cast in resin, but decided to scan and digitally finish so I can print.



prints working. Should have my first hill all printed tomorrow.


here are progress pictures from my 3 d printer.



the circles are 30mm to accept inserts to really help customize hills each time.


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Thanks, I thought about and tried 40mm but found I was getting collision with the Hill portion of a lot of the pieces (I have 8 different pieces that can go together already) 

Depending on what I want to do I could always re-scale but wanted to get a prototype printed and eventually painted so settled on the 30mm for this pass. Also I have some flat pieces and at 30mm you can have 3 inserts.

Definitely something i can revisit but in the effort to get my prototype of something that can gain some height and build with I went with the 30mm for now.

can you PM me the places that do modular terrain you know of?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok attempting to post updates weekly to keep this project moving. I have completed several components. Below is the components I have printed, less small pieces and hidden pieces that make up hill structure . Next images are three basic hills I can now make. Everything has openLOCK clips to snap the base foundations together, so you can jam two hills together in multiple manners.

this week the goals for the project are:

A) finish a 30mm insert (rock, stump, or flat)

B) finish the alternate end cap piece


I have some photos of a hill and all it’s pieces assembling but not sure if people would want to see those






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Well not gonna have much progress this weekend as the smoke in the Bay Area has me and family pack up to head for clean airs so we are up in the mountains. Starting to look at painting options. I did a text hex and half of it was coated with lodge lodge half was just plain raw print. Just did three colors white/lt gray/dkgrey mixed and slapped on then some Declan mud on ground over it. Likely I will dilute the Declan mud next test.


You can see the dry brush shows a bit of the layers if you zoom in. Through some googling I found some options I will have to test after family depart from thanksgiving. Here is the list of things I will try, if anyone has done one of these or another option let me know your results!

1) xtc 3d by smooth on, two part filling resin

2) combo of satin spray clear and a spray primer applied under a fan. Internet poster swears by it!

3) two coats lodge podge

4) rustoleum automotive filer primer.


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  • 1 month later...

Well busy fall and holidays keeping me from the progress I would like. I finally finished the first stump insert for the pieces. 30mm across, snaps right as expected with tolerances.


and the phot is upside down...oh well.


I am currently trying to decide to if I want to go with a snow themed board or summer themed. 

Here is my test piece with unpainted insert for winter theme.


And with tree!





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On 10/19/2018 at 7:50 PM, stark1261 said:

Depending on what I want to do I could always re-scale but wanted to get a prototype printed and eventually painted so settled on the 30mm for this pass. Also I have some flat pieces and at 30mm you can have 3 inserts.

It also occurs to me that 32 mm isn’t terribly larger than 30 mm, which would avoid the clipping issue, but it is also a very popular size for miniature wargame figures bases...

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Finished another component insert. First rock insert.


I printed enough inserts to plug up all three basic hills.


Then I played around with components to combine two of the hills just to demonstrate how you can snap parts together.


I have a two foot ruler off to the right tonhopefull help with size.

next steps are a) flat insert b) component that allows flexibility to combine the basic hills, you may have notice how I had to use another flat hex, I don’t have an edge piece to create a concave intention yet so will be getting that modeled up!


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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I have been making steady progress, debating where to go next with the project. I thought I should post some more finished components assembled into hills.

Three hills



The next two two shots are an attempt to show the modularity of the design. Each hex can have its edge pieces stripped off and then clipped to another hex.

Two hills, notice flat hexes in background.



Four flat hexes added to middle, you could put them together without hexes , just remove edges and clip together.



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Thanks WestRider! I am thinking of seeing what I can make on a kill team like board.

that or a 3x3 frostgrave. Here is a shot showing the vertical elevation the single step pieces I have painted can achieve. I am painting some dual step pieces tonight. 

The pieces can tessalate along all three axis so I am hoping to get some fun tables to play on once I finish out the dual step pieces.





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  • 2 months later...

An update!

So integrating some feedback from people who have had their chance to get hands on them. “Can it be a Table?” And “the angle of the scatter piece bases aren’t aesthetically pleasing.” (thanks jmgraham!)

well i am nearly done with table idea and have started rounded edges for the area terrain feature. I had to make a bunch of edge pieces, then, as is typical for this project screw up the tolerances, and fix!

Here are table progress shots! Thoughts?

table is 30”x24”



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Height goes up, that was the key to the idea.  

I already have some prototypes that step up two standard hex heights per hex the immediately pictured above all step up one. I designed an internal “frame” hex that is hollow that supports and stacks up or laterally in a nice lattice.

i have been working on some model pieces to allow me to set on edge at say 7 inches and then the other side will fall to the 1/2” most of the table above is.

the picture below has a two level hill on the left, the little out crop sits on top of four frames, the outcropping on the right back has a single hex at the second level.(in progress to paint all the silver pieces)


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