best item to use for modeling water

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by railBuilderdhd, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. I wanted to try my hand at modeling water and I wanted to get thoughts on whats the best thing to use.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    There are lots of camps on this one. I prefer acrylic gloss medium because it doesn't smell bad and is reasonably inexpensive. It does take several coats to get a convincing look though.
    By the way, that's a cool avatar!
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I've had good results with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. I also have a bottle of Woodland Scenics Water Effects but I have not had the chance to experiment with it yet.

  4. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    TrainNut, how long have you had your "Realistic Water" body of water? why i ask is, i used "Realistic Water" on a previous layout, i made it EXACTLY as the directions said, and it looked fantastic:thumb: , then about just over a year later my fisherman that was fishing in waist deep water, ended up being in water ankle deep:eeki: . i found realistic water by woodland scenics in time shrinks:eeki: , it got a little cloudy after a year too:frowns: .

    what i have found to be the best "water" is "Magic Water" brand water:thumb: , it hasn't shrunk or clouded up yet:thumb: . JUST MY EXPERIENCE THOUGH:winki: .

    :deano: -Deano
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    my answer - it depends on what kind of body of water you are modeling. I've used 2-part resin for small ponds and relatively still water with good results. For larger bodies of water (bays, estuaries, etc) I have seen people spread and stipple joint compound straight onto their plywood base, then paint it with acrylic paint and coat it with gloss medium.

  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Hmmm, well I dunno, lessee.
    (Color disclaimer for the following pictures... Before I apply the "water" I mix in 1-2 drops of blue food coloring. After about a month or so, the brightness of the blue fades and I am left with just a hint of blue.)

    - My sons 2'4 square layout - The little creek is now 3 years old. It has very little depth to it so to speak and if it has shrunk up after the initial couple of pours, it is not noticeable. It also seems to maintain it's original clarity.


    - 3 panel coffee table - 4 years old. The lake originally took 10 to 15 pours (1/8" at a time) before I was happy with the depth. On that large a body of water, it does shrink up considerably, hence the numerous pours to get it to finally maintain a consistant depth. I think it is now about 4 years old, still clear but it has shrunk a little and could use another application.


    - Same layout but a city park lake. The depth is minimal, shrinkage is considerable but not noticeable and clarity remains good.


    - round table - 3 years old. This layout also had a small city park. Depth is mininal, shrinkage is not noticeable. Several years ago I put this table out in the sun during a garage sail. BIG mistake. The sun baked all the color right out of my little pond and it looked pretty pathetic. Obviously this is a picture after the resin had been freshly poured.


    - Queen Ann style table - two ponds - 2 years old - both shrunk up but remained clear. No good pictures.

    - My current layout - this layout has 3 places where I have used WS resin...
    1. The mining creek is still clear although hard to tell as I have painted white froth and stuff on top in places. If it has shrunk, it does not matter.


    2. The cow pond on the farm has shrunk considerably and needs another couple of pours probably. It still remains clear.


    3. The canyon ranges from no depth to quite a bit of depth where I was trying to simulate swimming holes after floods. Here, for the first time, I experienced the resin bubbling. It occured several weeks after the initial pours and only seemed to occur around the real underwater rocks. It was very annoying but after poking it with an Xacto blade, it kind of went away. I also figure that you really won't see them after I add some details to the waters surface... like ripples.


    So, in summary - the oldest water feature I have is going on 4 years old. No difference in clarity other than the dust that accumulates on it.
    Shrinkage - yes, I would have to say that I have experienced that from minimal to extrememe depending on how deep the application and how fresh the pours are.
    If you apply this stuff over glue that has not had a chance to completely dry, it will cloud the water.
    Magic Water eh? I'm gonna have to try some of that then.

    Sorry, too much information I know. I got carried away.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Here's a link to a method which I used, similar to what Kevin mentioned, but using patching plaster.

    Finally, the "Pictures at 11:00" or quick, Noah, get the boat...

    A brief description of the method used can be seen by scrolling down the page to Post #11, and there's some useful info in Post #32, concerning patching plaster vs. drywall compound.

    Here's a picture that's been used elsewhere, but was not one of the photos used in the linked Thread:

  8. Docwayne,
    Thanks for the info this is a great help and thanks for the extra photos of the bay in this post, the water looks great. How many layers did it take you to get this water done? The white caps on the waves are great, did you need to paint those or do you have any tricks on how you got them so great?
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Dave, check the "Noah" thread, as I placed a reply there addressing your concerns. All of the 3-dimensional aspects of the "water" are done while the plaster is still wet and at a single sitting.


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