The key feature of the terrain boards I'm building is the river that winds its way across all three surfaces, providing a tactical challenge for figures that can't cross it or needing to capture bridges and fords across it. See how I did it after the jump.
If you've missed earlier steps in this process, check out:
Carving the RiverWith the foam boards edged with plastic, their edges smoothed and brought level with spackle, I began transferring my ideas for the river from my miniature mock ups to the terrain boards.
I used a length of string to map out the edges of the river. Satisfied, I traced the string's path with markers to provide the out edge of the river bank.
Because my terrain boards were created from two layers of foam, I only needed to carve out a center channel through the top board. By avoiding carving into the bottom board, my river will have a consistent depth across its entire length.
Sanding and SmoothingAfter digging out the channel, I used my hot wire cutter to create the slope from the channel bottom to the upper bank that I had traced earlier. I sanded down the banks to create a smooth surface, placing miniatures on the slope to make sure they'd be able to stand as they approached the water's edge.
And that's it for carving the river. I intend to smooth out the banks more with spackle and add stones and debris to the river bottom, but I'm holding off until I create the rest of the large terrain features. Next up, I begin adding hills and gullies.