Here's an example of my terrain for my new dieselpunk tank game which I whipped up this morning:
You can see my as-yet-incomplete landship (it's a 1:700 Japanese CV flipped upside down) which obviously needs some turrets and perhaps a control tower (yet to be sourced) and, of course, a paint job. (My no-unpainted-minis rule does not apply in the privacy of my own solo playtesting sessions!)
I then coated the top in a mix of water and PVA glue. I sprinkled sand on top (the kids' sandpit comes in handy).
I then sprayed it, using up a $4 can of black spraypaint. Finally, I brushed some el cheapo $2 brown craft paint over the top.
Whilst it is not amazing, I feel it is very reasonable, for $16 and an hour's effort, and is much better than using paper terrain or books under a sheet or similar.
Russian forces continue to advance on their objective.
A supporting force moves up onto a nearby hill to provide overwatch fire.
The Russians prepare to unload engineers to inspect the landship, but French forces have crested the hill and prepare to engage.
I chose the "flat wedding cake" style layout for my hills to simplify the rules for cover/hulldown/line of sight. It also means the models sit flat on the terrain and don't slide around.
I may create a matching terrain board (simply a sheet of MDF similarly coated in PVA, sand and painted) to replace the sheet if I have an hour free next weekend.
....Anyway, the kids are clamouring for attention so I'll sign off. Have fun - and remember, in terrain making there's a broad range between exceptional and awful. There's no shame in inhabiting the "adequate" part of this spectrum.....