How Can I Make Fake deep water?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Viperious, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Viperious

    Viperious New Member

    I have a question...I know there has got to be SOME way of doing this...but I want to make the water in the river on my layout about 2 inches deep...the fake water that is...I don't want to paint the base and use some glossy stuff, I want it to actually be that beep...something I can mix little olive drab in and brown and stuff like that to be the color of real water...I'm sure it's out there I just don't know what it is or how to find it/use it...why I want this is because I have just made 2 custom draw bridges for my river...took a really long time and I did it because right in the middle of the river area where passengers can look over the viaduct and see it I want to have a battleship moored there...I can take all the time to cut the hull off and blah blah blah and potentially ruin it all, or I can find something I can work with to simulate river/ocean water that is deep enough to do that and have other boats and stuff in....thank you in advance, I really hope someone knows of something
  2. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member


    From how you explained it, there are two ways to skin this cat. You can use Woodland Scenic's EZ Water, which is basically the same stuff a hot glue gun squirts out and dries pretty good and is easily modifiable. [​IMG]

    Second thing you could do is a old John Allen trick to use privacy glass just to simulate the surface of the water without having the actual depth.

    Either one should work for your application that you described. Show us some pics after you're done, we'd love to see your work!

  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    On some of my Hon3 lists I have heard some horror stories from folks who used E_Z water and had it come unattached, ruining the effect, and necessitating the rebuilding of the entire scene. I like acrilic gloss medium on a painted surface, although this has worked much better at home than at the club, where I've got less environmental control, and less time to work the scene.
  4. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hello Viperious,

    I used Envirotex, a two part polymer liquid that can be poured on to waterways. It is the same material used to cover tables and bars in local watering holes. It is poured in depths of 1/4 inch but can be built up in layers. It dries hard and clear.

    It requires sealing the base very carefully as it will pour through the smallest pin hole.

    Here a few pictures of water on my previous HO layout the "C&S RR".


    Attached Files:

  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    painting skills needed

    Tom swears by the envortex, and has gotten good results with it. The biggest advantage of resins like this, is they are clear ( they can be tinted). with shallow water, poured clear, it can show bottom detail in a small stream. I have seen folks embed fish in the middle of several pours, so you could see fish in the stream. these resins are very thin, and will level out very nicely producing a very flat level surface, and that can be good or not so good, depending on the effect you are trying to get.

    one disadvantage of epoxy resin approach is, due to the thinness of the resin, it can creep up the edges of things along the shore some due to surface tension. With this technique you detail your shoreline, and paint the surface your water will cover, to help get the depth effect you want, and make a dam where the water fronts an aisle,, test it to be sure there are no holes, and then pour in the epoxy resin.

    What I don't like about this technique is it is a one shot deal. being prone to mistakes, I like multi step procedures , where I can correct or compensate for errors.

    In any case, for deep waters, even if you use enviortex, you will have to paint the surface you will pour on to get the depth issues, using black or very dark blue to indicate deep water, and lightening shades of blue or green for shallower water.

    I like painting up my water with acrylic paints, and using acrylic gloss medium to get the shine. that takes many coats. the advantage for me is in those many coats I have lots of chances to re work the colors, and help. a real disadvantage of my method os it dulls over time, and I have to add some more gloss medium every year or so to keep it looking wet. also, I have found that items, like a waterline model left on the river for a long time will stick, and this has damaged my river enough that I had to completely re do it using ployurathane floor finish instead of the gloss medium. this did not look quite as good, but the riverboat doesn't stick to it so it can be moved about.

    Envotex dries very level and flat, so if left alone as it dries it will be a smooth as a mill pond. I have seen where folks worked with it and teased it as it dried to make waves or rough water, but again that is a one shot deal. I have also seen where folks used acrylic modeling compound on top of epoxy reins to get waves and other surface effects.

    Attached Files:

  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    There was an article in the september/october issue of the Narrow gauge and Shortline Gazette on doing water with plexiglass. the author used wood putty to smooth up cracks in a plywood base and sanded it real smooth. when he figured out where he wanted the water to go he made a template. then he used the template to transfer the water shape onto some plexiglass, which he then cut to shape

    he then painted the water area, with grey on the shallows on the shoreline, going to blue and toward black at the deep water. when the plywood was dry he put the plexi on top of it, and used gravel and ballast to build up a shore line. then he used clear acrylic modeling compound to build up waves and wake around some of the waterline ship models he had in place. it looked really good in the pictures, and the author said it had a illusion of depth. he said it got a lot of attention from visitors. If my scene with the water powered sawmill and waterfalls isn't dusty, folks seeing it for the first time are always touching it, cause it looks wet, the acrylic ripples and the reflections are very convincing.

    Bill Nelson

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