Following Karitas's advice, I started with some sketches in my notebook. I decided to build a city on a raised terrace on two separate pieces of my 2'x4' polystyrene (I bought this at Leroy Merlin over the weekend aproximately 15 Euro for 6 sheets sized 2'x4'). The two pieces could be together for one large city or on opposite edges of the table for two separate city sections. I wanted to put a hill on the opposite side of the same boards as the city. On the remaining 2'x4' board, I decided to place hills with trench works. The pictures will reveal that I abandoned this idea during the manufacturing process. I decided that trench works should be a separate board, and that rolling hills and craters would serve for this board.
Three of the 2'x4' polystyrene sheets would form the 'ground' for the battlefield. I used a sharpee pen and a standard tape mearsure to sketch out my pieces on the remaining three sheets of the polystyrene. I would use those pieces to build up from the 'ground.'
I cut out the raised terrace or foundation for the city portion and the three layered hill as see in the photo. Of course, I double and triple checked to make sure that they they were flush (lined up evenly) before I glued them.
I used a hot wire cutter whenever it could reach and an x-acto knife where the cutter couldn't reach. I have an old wooden chopping block which I use under all cuts with the x-acto knife to keep from cutting anything in my house, for example: my wife's Italian dining room set or a rug thrown over our tile floor.
Furthermore, hot wire cutters get hot. So, BE CAREFUL. Also, modeling knives are very sharp and cut deep. So, BE CAREFUL and cut away from yourself.
I left the raised terrace/city foundation squared off. It will become man-made concrete base for the city. However, I sloped the hills. I want them to look as natural as possible while still providing excellent places for minis to stand or drive.
After cutting and sloping and sanding the hills until I was content, I glued them to the 'ground.' On occasions like this one, I am happy to be a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy. My degrees in Theology mean that I have a fairly significant personal library with lots of big, heavy reference material to weight down the poly while the glue dries.
It was at this point in the process (beginning work on the third 'ground' sheet) that I cancelled the idea of the trench works for this board. After seeing the sheets laid out in real size, it seemed as though I was forcing a combination between two great but separate ideas for gaming boards.
I opted for rolling hills with craters. I cut out some pieces to build up my hills and began shaping them. They are sloped off with the wire cutter, melted with a butane cigar lighter, and sanded with fine grit sandpaper.
I used the cigar lighter to melt wholes into the raised portions, and on occasion slightly into the 'ground.' These wholes will become craters and blast marks later.
I glued the rolling hills on and left it all to dry. I used Wood Glue for all the gluing up to this point.