I started with a sheet of left over foam board. I then cleaned and cut down several plastic juice bottles and taped them to the foam board. This allowed
me to build up the "hill" without adding a lot of weight to the piece. I then used a can of heavy spray foam to "glue" pieces of tree bark around the
juice bottle framework. I then cut some clean cardboard to the proper dimensions and masking taped them together. Other pieces of cardboard and
masking tape were added as needed. A 1/72 plastic figure mounted on a one inch fender washer and a 28mm led are included for scale reference.
I then made a 50/50 mixture of wall spackle and white PVA glue and created the wall along the rock ledge using lava stone purchased from a garden
store. I then mixed shore sand with straight white PVA glue and applied this coating to the "natural walls" of the hill to help marry the structure to the
hilltop. For the base I mixed inexpensive kitty litter with straight white PVA glue and married the base of the hill to the playing surface. A note with
the kitty litter - great stuff but if it soaks too long it starts to break down so don't over work it too much or you'll end up with cement instead of rock.
The ladders are cut down balsa sticks held fast with dabs of white glue.
I then mixed 50/50 wall spackle and white PVA glue sprinkled with some flock for texture. This was applied in two separate coats to the human
portions of the hill fort. Let the first coat dry in order to get best results. Focus on eliminating and trace of masking tape edges or other construction
abnormalities that will jump out once you start dry brushing later on.
The structure is left to dry for several days in order to allow the glue and wall spackle to dry completely. Once this is done I use the black Krylon chalk
board spray to give the hill fort a base coat and allow the piece to dry again. Try not to leave it in direct sun light as it will cause the pieces to warp.
Once this is dry I hand painted a coat over the whole piece in order to unify with a base color. After that I tried three layers of dry brushing for both
the fort and the hill using two different color schemes. I then went back over the whole piece with some light replicating dry brushing in order to tie the
two color schemes together. Doors were made from coffee stirs, glued together on newspaper, dabbed with glue to fake iron bolts and the pull ring
is made from light wire wrapped around one of the needle nosed pliers - both doors are removable - the ladders are not.
How many guys can you fit in this fort? Here are some one inch fender washers to give you some idea. I get about 109 counting the roofs.