realistic "DEEP" Sea water

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Jodam, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Jodam

    Jodam Member

    Hi All, you great modellers.
    As a start on our layout, Jo & I are Modelling (in N-scale) a harbour scene, loosely based on Cunningham pier, Geelong Vic AU. it's on the web.
    I've done the Pier & Rock Breakwater, to shelter the N-scale small craft fleet, (hand carved from balsa) and a Semi circular Shark netted swiming area.
    Jo has done the Restaurant that goes on the pier, complete with tables with LPB's seated. A servery with a miriad of tasty coloured wood shavings to eat.

    Having been working away without a thought of water. The time has now come.
    HELP PLEASE What is recommended for a realistic SEA from zero depth to approx 1 inch over 8 inches, through shark net rails 1/32 apart made of cotton.
    Anxiously awating replies.

    Ps, my LHS said, "Quote" Cut all the piles off short, & make the sea floor flat, then paint a graduated green , to simulate depth. Then use clear silicone about 1/4" thick for water. :curse:
    Yeah right i'm gunna destroy hours of intricate card modelling, NOT. :cry:
    My own thoughts (yeah i do have some) lean towards, Clear Epoxy bench top finish, built up in layers, to the 1 inch thickness.

    Cheers Damien.
  2. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Hey Damien,
    I'm thinking epoxy built up in layers will probably work. You may want to set up a test pour to see how it's going to flow through your shark netting before you try it on your layout. Be sure and check for leaks before you pour!

    Another approach if you have deep water with a lot of "undersea" details is to use a thin sheet of clear acrylic (like Plexiglass) on the top and possibly the edge of you "water." But it sounds like you're too far along on construction to do that.

    Do you have some pictures you could post? It sounds like a great projcet.

  3. JBBVry

    JBBVry Member

    i tryed this one time i did a river and lake about inch and a half deep don't use what i did i used Fiberglass Resin none of the Fiberglass cloth in it. stuff looked real good looked like dirty water and you could see the bottom detail real good. only problem was it made everyone run out of the house for 3 days. and i was the one doing it so i spent 3 days high as a tree. and then a week with a headache. i would say to use Enviro-Tech I have seen it used for water up to 2 inches deep.
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Deep water is always tricky. Photos help, but actually seeing the area to be modeled is best. Unless the water is very clear,(pierside in Frederickstad, St Croix, you could see a penny on the botom, 22' down), light decreases rapidly, and visibility with it. The best idea is to measure the depth of the deepest visible object, and duplicate that depth in scale. Beyond that will be black, or you will only see the reflection of the sky in the water.
    If you use the multiple pour method, you can add detail with each layer, and each layer can get more transparent. Just be careful of a "stepped visibility" at the edges.
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    In 32 years in the hobby, I've never really been happy with any water techniques I've seen and used. John Allen used real water though humidity and stagnation were big problems. Sheet glass or plastic requires meticulus planning and leaves a reflective gap at water's edge to deal with. Epoxies and casting resins are better than glass but tend to creep up details, giving an unrealistic concaved look to the water. This is especially pronounced in small water settings with lots of pilings or plantings in the "water".

    Painting is the one I use until I find something better. After painting the bottom, "depth" is attained by painting multiple layers of clear gloss medium slightly tinted with greens and blues followed by several coats of untinted gloss. Putting a layer of silcone caulk over it can work but it is messy, hard to control and has a very short working time. However, I have seen it used effectively to replicate shoreline wave action when used in combination with acrylic "No Fire" snow. Find the best way to do this and you'll have the respect and admiration of legions of modelers. :thumb:
  6. Jodam

    Jodam Member

    Thanks mates,
    I'll take some shots, & hope for the best with posting them.
  7. Davidglinn

    Davidglinn New Member

    Deep Blue Water and me.

    I'm sorry. This has got absolutely nothing to do with railway model making but I am trying to load a photo, any photo, just for the practice. I have never done it before and it is doubtful if I have done it this time. But I must give it a go.
    David U.K.

    Attached Files:

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  8. Muddy Creek

    Muddy Creek Member

    David: That water looks very realistic! I would go with whatever water-creating method you used.!

    Damien, I'm about to model my first water scene, a rather large N scale log pond. With only one chance to get it right, I'm going to first experiment with the various methods I've come across on a smaller scale. Any successes can be used elsewhere on the layout, failures won't affect anything.

  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    No, no, no...don't tell me...lemme quess. Lloyd Bridges on the set of "Sea Hunt" :p :D
  10. Davidglinn

    Davidglinn New Member

    ''No, no, no...don't tell me...lemme quess. Lloyd Bridges on the set of "Sea Hunt" [​IMG] [​IMG]''

    No, you are wrong about the film set. This is normal everyday attire for the U.K. In fact, the photo was taken in the High Street after a particularly heavy downpour.

  11. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    I will be doing a rock embanckment/breakwater eventually too. (HO scale). You've probably seen it, but the oft photographed, and exhibited "Brisbane Waters" layout, to me, has quite a good one. Dunno how they did it though. Featured it in Aust Model Railway Magazine a few months back.

    Tried to find a pic on the net, but there ain't one. (there is of the layout, but not the breakwater).
  12. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    Just a note from an tug boat captain about water color.

    Inland waters.:
    Depends on what's up stream. If you have marsh and swamp upstream the water is clear when shallow, and black when deep. The black is due to tannic acid in the water from certain types of trees and plants. Most streams where there is active logging tend to be black from the tannic acid released by the logging.
    The Mighty Mississippi is mostly dirt brown, at least the southern part of it.
    If you have heavy ground cover upstream, it will generally be a clear to milkey green with any depth. Any modern city or any industry will generally add some color to the water downstream, and each one of them is a little different.

    Sea water:
    If there are rivers emptying into the sea in the area, the near offshore water will take on a lighter hue of what the river is, with a dividing line where the two water masses (salt/fresh) meet. If there are no rivers, bays or what not in the area, the water will be clear, showing the bottom color, till about 6 feet of depth. The water continuely turns a darker green till the water depth reaches 60 feet. This is due to the light absorbson qualities of the water. The deeper the water, the more colors that are filtered out, till nothing is left to reflect but blue.

    The main thing is that clear, clean water will go from clear at less than 6 feet, to blue at 60 feet. The color doesn't really change after that all the way to the middle of the ocean.
  13. I_LuV_AliyA

    I_LuV_AliyA Member

    i have a sujestion! wlel i was at a model rail road exhibit and what i saw was at costal areas he put white sand, and had coral on the bottom. as he got further in he paints the bottom darker colors. then when u fill in the water thing it looks as if he got deeper and deeper
  14. FrankG

    FrankG Member

    I recently saw in an old issue of Model Railroader -- a tutorial for building deep water. It looked INCREDIBLE. They had a vertical piece of plexiglass for the edge of the water where it met the edge of the layout. But I didn't take the time to read how they filled it in. It was at a train show with MR back issues, so I can't really be more specific. Wish I had picked that one up.
  15. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr Member

    That was done with a vertical piece of plexiglass along the fascia, with another piece of plexiglass for the water surface. Then a bit of gloss medium on that for wave texture. As I recall, the bottom of the pier and the lobster boat were cut off and affixed to the underside of the horizontal plexiglass surface. The top parts were placed over these, so they appeared to be "in" the water. With proper shading of the bottom features, it was a really nice scene.

  16. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    One point about using built up epoxy - the possibility of it yellowing over time is pretty high.

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