I had an opportunity to design and construct a miniature Christmas village with 34 lighted buildings. It was to be visible from both sides. How to design it? I took ten pounds of clay I'd set aside for sculpting, made a big lump out of it and started working out the landscape.
The finished landscape is carved from Styrofoam, covered in spackling compound (used for filling small holes in walls) and painted with acrylic paints. I'll re-use the clay for the next design project.