Unfortunately this is one of the projects I made before I realized the importance of work in progress photos; so there's not much to show but I'll try to describe it as best I can.
I started with 1" insulation foam & cut it in 4 rectangles so that each was 2 inches narrowerer on each side than the one that'll be stacked below it.
The ramp was made from 4 chunks of foam placed next to each level of the zigguarat & extends over the piece beneath it. Then I took a hot wire cutter to form the angle. I glued the ramp together with a low-temp hot glue & I was a little worried about the wire not being hot enough to make it through those gobs. As long as I went slow through those parts, it was fine.
To get some extra detail on the edges, I grabbed a decorative wood trim from the Home Depot. Bricks were carved into the foam & then the lines were continued down the wood using a sharp-tipped wood burner. Various cracks were made this way as well.
I sculpted the glyphs out of Green Stuff for the first attempt...
They turned out good, but the first ziggurat I attached them to didn't, so I made them again out of Sculpey because that was a little easier to form. They look a little funny because I burnt them (it smelled terribly), but they didn't lose structural integrity.
I didn't grab any photos of the painting process, unfortunately, but I can show you what I based it off of. I found this painting tutorial for Honey Marble. Except I didn't use the colors suggested.
The base board is just 1/8" MDF, then I spread on an acrylic texture medium
I thought it worked quite well & there was very little shrinkage as it dried, so the base is no more warped than when I started.
After looking around the net & not finding any good ideas for model palm trees, I stumbled across my own solution.
The fake flower had a decent size, hollow stem to use as the trunk. Then at the dollar store I found this quarky fall decoration. Little did that cashier lady know that I don't decorate for holidays & this little guy would end up getting cut apart for bark & chewed on by my cat.
Putting them together, I started at the top of the tree & did row by row of the straw pieces on the floral tube. Then glued the leaves from that flower on top.
There's also little scaley friends hanging out around the piece.