has it been done (real water in the lakes and rivers )

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by scoobyloven, May 30, 2002.

  1. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    i've been working on my new river and lake the last two weeks and was woundering if anyone has used real water before i have my lake (water bowl ) in place and my pumpand the top of my layout where my reiver would start. i got some fiberglass that they make boats out of from my brother to line everything.. and done some ground work around it to blend it in .I have some pics of it but flim needs to be used up. i'll post them and how i did eveything later.
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I remember vaguely an article from the 60's where a large lake was real water, there was even an operating car float which ran across it guided from a track of some sort beneath it. The layout was O scale and very large. Problems to expect are insects and high humidity. Also, water doesn't really scale down well but I am looking forward to seeing how things work out for you.

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There was a loyout picture in a British mag recently where the owner said that they'd taken it to a show and the exhibition manager was grateful that they hadn't put the water in it.

    Aside from practical problems, I think that real water doesn't always look convincing -- the surface is too flat. I can't remember ever seeing one in real life.

    When you say lake, how big? Don't forget to put enough bracing underneath to support the water; that stuff's heavy. Saw a tip on TV for caulking a bathtub to the tile wall: fill the tub with water and caulk while it's sunk as far as it goes; let the water out and the tub squeezes the caulk instead of stretching it. May have an application for you.
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Sounds tricky, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the pics.
  5. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Sounds interesting, as others have stated I would be concerned about evaporation and humidty. Would the water movement be too fast?? I have seen a few garden layouts with real running water and looks impressive. Ron..
  6. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Water, Water...Everywhere....

    A very IMPORTANT "RULE OF THUMB" -- A Gallon of water weighs about 9 Pounds. Like david says, Be sure to brace it up.

    Now for the good news..

    -- I've seen it done in O27 Gauge. The waterfall was about 4 Ft above the "lake". The lake was about 5 Ft x 3 Ft on a 27 Ft X 15 Ft layout.

    -- Also "flat or Calm" water does NOT look good... make sure that the waterfall splashes in the lake, even if it follows some outcropping that splits it from running straight down & "creeping out" to drop in the lake.

    -- Then there's the lake itself, go take pics of a local waterbed. Lots of browns & grays, some blacks, anything NOT glossy, the water will take care of the sheen....

    -- Lastly - are you done it YET!!! :) :) Where are those pics!!! ROFL
    -- Please feel free to bother us with ANY questions -- Mikey :D :rolleyes: :D
  7. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Also if you are recycling the water, even if its moving its gonna turn green. There is a chemical they put fish tanks to keep them from going green but I don't know what it will do to paint?:eek:
  8. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Sounds like a great project but I think I would only do it if I had a garden railroad.
    scoobyloven I hope you can prove us doubters wrong so need the pics please.
  9. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    well got the fill used up last night and dorped it off this moring nope i don't have me one of them digatal ones yet but as for the lake that thing is not going any where it is bolted and glued in place i had my 7 year old son stand in it that was more than i needed it it only going to hold 5 1/2 gal 5 in the lake and a half in the pump and return line as for the water a gal only ways 7 1/2 pounds. my wife is into slat water fish. as for the color i want it to get a greenbrown look so i'm going to add green and brown waterbase paint to tint the water as for the movemint i put small rocks and other stuff to brake up the water as it moves down the river.

    (but i do need one thing) any one knows where i can find plans or a kit to bash for a river logging mill with the wheel the only one i can find only has a 1/2 of a wheel. i need it in n scale

    Attached Files:

  10. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    I was told to stay away from real water. Remember, water and electrity DON'T mix!

  11. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    no they don't mix but i thought of all of that befor i started any part of track only has at a max 12 volts going through it at a time the part of track that will cross over the water would have plexieglass that would cover the water in case one of my locos wants to take a swim. have you ever put a 9 volt batery on your toung to see if it jucie that is about the size of joilt you would get.
    and i also put in fuses on the track and those parts are on their own bolck. and every thing is on a power strip with a fuse so that it wont throw a fuse in the house i tested it all and so far so good
  12. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    What about AC?

    That's all good for DC, but what about your 110VAC? That can kill! Make sure you use GFCI outlets near your layout. We don't need an electocuted engineer!

  13. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    as for the ac voltage that is all grounded and their is nothing that would use ac by the water the water wheel when i find a mill that has one would run on dc and it would be made to run at slow speeds but i can't seem to find a mill :confused: but as for the volts that is not what would kill you it is the amps it only takes 30 amps to kill you and if i rember right that is like 240 volts
  14. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    It takes less than 1/2 of a amp to kill a human. I am glad to see you are playing it safe!

  15. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Water Turning Green

    Adding a few drops of Clorox bleach to the water every now and then will keep it from turningGREEN :) Keeps it from STINKING too!:) :D
  16. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Faller makes a flour mill with an operationg wheel (or at least they did), not sure it's available in N. It's worth checking out.

  17. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Well, I hate to be a "stick in the mud", but I'm afraid that using 1:1 water to represent 1:160 water is going to present more problems than satisfactory results.
    To me, in addition to all the potential fungal, & electrical problems that have been mentioned, the real problem is simply one of scale, & realistic appearance.
    If you want to see a good example of how full scale water appears in conjunction with miniature scenery, next time you get a chance check out one of those Japanese sci-fi movies from the 60's. It was always painfully obvious that things like water, & fire were out of scale with the rest of the scene.
    But I'll keep my fingers crossed, & hope, like Robin said earlier, that you proove us doubters wrong.
    Good Luck!
  18. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Scale Elements

    I agree with Charlie...none of the three basic elements, air,water and fire can be scaled. They can only be represented by other sustances to appear to fit a given scene. Air is represented by the blue paint on a backdrop, water is represented by resins, varnish etc and fire is represented by a flickering red lightbulb. Simply reducing the size of an element does not scale it down. However, as the size of the scale increases(minimum 1 inch to the foot) the natural elements do tend to fit better into a given scene.

    As to real water on an HO layout...I have seen that done...sorry...but to me it was not convincing. It's a dramatic effect in large scales and outoor layouts in G or larger but to me its "theater" and not scale modeling.

    Just my "two cents worth" and no offense to anyone!:D :D

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