Materials: 15 sheets of card stock, glue, transparency film
max height: 5/8″
max thickness: 65 layers
This is very close to accurate scale, about as close as one can get with cutting card stock and gluing it together. The size of the lake and the thickness of the card stock happened to align very well to fit nicely on a 8×10 layout, with each sheet representing 20ft.
I was able to find vector based topology maps of the area, unfortunately the area I needed required joining 4 separate, overlapping maps. This part was not too difficult, merely somewhat time consuming since I’ve been working in Illustrator for decades, but a beginner would probably not have fun with this part. If you’re lucky, or find a better resource a lot of time and effort could be saved here.
This took a long time, but if I did it again I could probably do it in about a quarter of the time it took me the first time. The last 40 layers took less than half the time the first 20 did, although this is partially due to the fact that the corners are just easier to build by their nature.
It was only after the last sheet of cuts, representing the final 23 layers, that it occurred to me that progress photos would have been nice.