I just finished my first MPCNC project using both a router and laser: A 3D carving of the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis. Machine time was around 20 hours, but the vast majority of my time was spent on the design. I used QGIS to create a map with bathymetry (depth) and street data, which was a steep learning curve. From there, I generated tool paths using Estlcam (vcarve for the coastline and 3D carving for the water) and Lightburn (laser raster for streets and labels). The stock is cherry with linseed oil base coat and a shellac/wax top coat. I stained the water after carving and wiped the excess off of the land areas using mineral spirits (does not dissolve shellac).
Happy to share more details of the process if anybody is interested.