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Water?

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el Gato Gordo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jun 2016 at 3:06pm
Ernest's Blog on scenery reminded me of one of the perennial trouble spots of landscaping a railroad layout: creating believable water.  Like Ernest, on my first two layouts I relied on Woodland Scenic's two products, Realistic Water and Water Effects. 

Realistic Water was easy to apply - just pour it out of the bottle and wait a couple of days for it to set.  The drawbacks, I found, were that although it dries to the touch, it never completely hardens.  Items set on it for more than a day or two sink into the material and bond there.  When I was salvaging a  layout to build my latest, I had the Devil's own time trying to remove ships and dock without damaging them.  I had to soak stuff in alcohol several times before they came free.  I also learned (of course, the hard way) that all edges must be thoroughly sealed or the RW would run under your landscape.  Finally, while the RW worked well on sealed plywood or Masonite, on foam it would get bubbles, even years later!  I recently opened up my HO American layout and found my stream infected with dozens of marble-sized bubbles, and one even as big as half a tennis ball!  Had to rip it up and use something else.

As for the WS Water effect, although I follow instructions explicitly, I've never been happy with the results.

In Basic Model Railroading, by Model Railroader magazine, the author recommends paint the steam or lake bed black, letting it dry, and using Gloss Medium - an acrylic based clear finish.  With this a person can do ripples and wakes, but as always much depends on the modeler's painting skills.

At a local model shop I saw a demonstration of EnviroTex Lite, a two part epoxy resing that is perfectly clear.  It pours on nicely and levels well.  However I found that I could not induce ripples or ruffles or wakes in this material.  The wakes below are created using clear silicone adhesive.  But I like the clarity (still working on color issues).



And, as I mentioned, I've never been happy with WS Water Effects, so this time I simply used Saran Wrap for  waterfalls, and added a little color.  Much happier.


Even so, I keep remembering the wonderful, life-like creations at Miniatur Wunderland.  How in the world did they get that depth and texture of water!!??



So, what materials and techniques have worked for others on this Forum?  And I sure wish I knew how MiWuLa did these!

Cheers!
Gordon


Edited by el Gato Gordo - 08 Jun 2016 at 3:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Railwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2016 at 4:05pm
The latest issue of the Austrian model train magazine Modellbahnwelt arrived this week -- and it has a multi-page article on modeling water!

While I have yet to read the article in full detail and to study the illustrations carefully, I have already found two techniques that may be useful:

For a body of water that goes to the edge of the layout -- in other words, a lake or river is sliced by the edge of the layout -- seal all other parts of the body of water.  Then, at the edge of the layout, temporarily screw in a piece of wood to close off that part of the body of water.  However, the important point is to wrap the wood in cellophane wrap -- such as Saran kitchen wrap -- before screwing on the edge board.  That will keep the "water" from adhering to the wood.  You can then cleanly remove the temporary wood piece, carefully trimming the cellophane.

For evening out waves on a body of water:  Dab on cement that will dry clear.  Then use compressed air (such as from an airbrush WITHOUT paint) to smooth out the tops of the waves before the cement sets.

The article mentions several scenic products which I have not heard of previously.  

-- Ernest
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RRVRR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2016 at 4:45pm
Yes, there are multiple techniques and products you can use.

Depending on what you like to create you might have to use different products.
For a river or harbor like on the pictures from MiWuLa it might be the easiest way to use Realistic Water from Woodland Scenic (or other manufacturer). It has a long work time, flows good in corners and you even can use tools to spread it out (careful). It levels itself and gives you a smooth surface. It requires a painted surface because it tries clear so the better your surface is prepared the better it will look later. When painting the surface it will help if you have a piece of thin acrylic glass to lay on top of your painted surface, so you get an idea how it will look after it is applied.
The texture can be made with another product called Water Effects also from Woodland Scenic (you also can use clear window color). Here you can work in layers with and make the surface as rough as you want.

If you like to do a deep clear lake or so with fishes, debris or sunken boats etc. in it you might be better of with a two component clear cast resin. You also have to prepare the surface before you pour it. Placing your objects in it and tightly secure them is important.

I would advice against granulate or other stuff you have to head up to make them liquid, got really bad experience with it like cools down to fast, dries with a yellow shine, etc.

I might have some pictures to show if I can find it in my "man cave".
best, Markus


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2016 at 2:16pm
I just saw this video of yet another technique.  His water came out looking pretty darn good!


Cheers!
Gordon
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