Author Topic: Best Of Interactive Scenery Clinic Week 4: Water, Detailing Streams , Waterfronts  (Read 15992 times)

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shark_jj

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When I started this series of threads I was hoping to get a tip here and there.  What I've gotten is a challenge to "up my game".  A great number of you are doing some simply outstanding work.  I've already accumulated a lifetime worth of tips.  There was so much good information, I tried to convert the whole thread to a PDF but couldn't get it to work, maybe one of the moderators could advise on how we can save this material. 

This time, I thought we might address Water in the N Scale environment.  Amongst the topics I can think of:

Painting the area beneath the casting medium.  What colours or blends have proven succesful. 
Detailing the shoreline of bodies of water, rivers, and streams.
What pouring mediums have you tried.  All of my past experience has been with Envirotex, back to the bad old days when you had to let it cure for a week and the air was toxic while it did.
Waterfronts, including docks and wharves, transfer bridges and the like.

Judging from the hits theirs a lot of people taking interest and probably taking notes like me, so thanks again to everyone who has been posting.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 04:58:08 PM by tom mann »

chuck geiger

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I use Woodland Scenics water. It's pricey, but it looks better than mixing the Envirotex. I have only modeled small rivers and creeks and they have come out pretty decent. I always paint the stream bed flat black and fill in with talus, small and medium with ballast to mix it up a bit. Small twigs for fallen branches. Pretty dynamic results in HO and now N.




« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 04:34:34 PM by chuck geiger »
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Chris333

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*Warning* this layout has been leaning up against a wall for a few years and isn't very 'fresh"




The water is only about 1/16" thick. The bed was detailed with dirt, rocks, whatever. I brushed on gloss medium a few times. Then did a few coats with a mud color, couple with cobalt blue added. You have to get real close, but you can still see thru it. Hopefully it might look deeper though with the coloring.

trackplan (old school  8)  )
http://rides.webshots.com/photo/1063290518044296030efXQMn?vhost=rides

Ed Kapuscinski

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I'm currently using the WS water (in a bottle) too. But because I couldn't prep the watercourse thoroughly (it's just dirt right now), instead I've been tinting the water with craft paint. So far I've made it a dark dark green (like brunswick) and it's been working. I still have LOTS of pours to go though.

I'll try and shoot some photos though.

davefoxx

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I used one coat of Envirotex (probably 3/16" to 1/4" thick), which does not require a week to cure or have noxious fumes.  Shark_jj, you may be thinking of resin, which does have some harmful fumes and stinks so bad you have to clear out the house.  I let my Envirotex river cure overnight and it was solid the next morning.  There was little smell and, although some sources recommend a propane torch to clear the Envirotex of bubbles, breathing on the surface gets rid of the bubbles just fine.  I think it's the carbon dioxide in exhaled air that draws out the bubbles.

For the riverbed, I skim coated the hollow-core door with joint compound to smooth the surface of the wood grain.  I then painted it with my scenery base color and added black to darken the color in the middle.  The colors were blended while the paint was wet to represent deeper and shallower areas.  Now that I've painted the room a nice sky blue (no longer yellow!), the reflection off of the water is soooooooo much nicer looking.  Perhaps that reflection makes it difficult to see the actual riverbed color that you would see in person from a higher angle.

Anyhow, these are shots of my river.  I intend to do one more pour to bring the surface of the river up over the rocks under the plate girder bridge, and then I plan to use gloss medium to add some "movement" to the water.  This is supposed to be a slow lazy river in central Virginia, but even those aren't flat as an icerink.





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Chris333

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Oh yeah: Envirotex

Mix it about 30 times long than you think it needs or it may not harden!

Zox

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I didn't pour my water, I laid it. :) I used a "cracked ice" fluorescent light panel: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=18425-1638-CC25/1405005&lpage=none

I painted the plywood "deck" of the module and the "cracked" face of the panel dark green, and placed the panel face-down on the deck. This left the shiny, transparent, slightly rippled backside of the panel as the top surface of the water.

To me, the effect looks pretty good in person, and even better in photos:






« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 06:20:52 PM by Zox »
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DKS

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For deeper rivers, I used dark-colored rippled stained glass for water. It takes a fair bit of planning to get the glass installed before everything else goes in, but the nice thing about glass is that you can spill paint, glue or plaster on it and it cleans off perfectly. Scrape up spills with a sharp knife, and polish it with window cleaner--you'll never find anything shinier and more durable. I bonded the glass to the base with Liquid Nails, so the glass is 100% supported everywhere.

Sorry this is such a lousy image, but it's literally the only one I have of one of two stained-glass rivers I made:



Close-up of the river--in the foreground is a stratchbuilt dam with spillway and gates:



EDIT: Cropped this one out of a really bad slide...

« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 01:20:04 PM by David K. Smith »

wm3798

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This turned out to be a happy accident.


I wanted to represent a wide, slower moving part of the Potomac, and got this effect by simply painting the rough surface of the CDX plywood base.  I used a dark blue green, faded it to a lighter greenish brown along the banks, then went over it with several coats of gloss medium.  The ripples are actually the slightly raised grain of the plywood.



For faster moving water, I have a little tutorial that's part of my website...
But sadly, it went away...
Lee
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 08:51:39 PM by wm3798 »
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davefoxx

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This turned out to be a happy accident.

Lee,

Did some engineer of an eastbound WM local have an UNhappy accident and fly off the end of the track in the background, taking out the plaster and lath?   ;D

Seriously, the water looks good, especially considering the risk you took not knowing what the outcome would be.  Gotta love it when a plan comes together.

Dave

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Phil Olmsted

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Thanks for the information.  Has anyone had good/bad experiences with Magic Water?

Thanks again,
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 01:01:18 PM by Phil Olmsted »

DKS

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Has anyone had good/bad experiences with Magic Water?

Somewhere out there on another forum is a thread about Magic Water and some big problems over time with discoloration, cloudiness, bubbling, shrinkage and/or separation. IIRC, a noteworthy modeler contributed to this thread with some less-than-encouraging information (with photos). Sorry I can't recall where this thread is, but if I come across it again, I'll be sure to post a link.

Found it:

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17157
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 01:26:59 PM by David K. Smith »

tom mann

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Somewhere out there on another forum is a thread about Magic Water and some big problems over time with discoloration, cloudiness, bubbling, shrinkage and/or separation.

Wait, hold on...Magic Water is not, I repeat, not Woodland Scenics Realistic water.  Dave Frary seems to like Magic Water.

Quote
Looks like posting a photo is a lot of work. Maybe next week when I have time to experiment. Thanks for the posting information.

I have been in contact with Woodland Scenics and talked with their product development people. I sent them the photos and a list of paint brands I use. They're going to do some experimenting to try to duplicate my problems.

Someone mentioned Magic Water. I've used it and it performs as advertised. It does seem to creep a little (very low surface tension) so you should paint in the water edges ahead of time with MW before pouring it on. The water is crystal clear and flat.

Dave Frary

I've use MW a few times since early 2007 and it holds up well.

DKS

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Somewhere out there on another forum is a thread about Magic Water and some big problems over time with discoloration, cloudiness, bubbling, shrinkage and/or separation.

Wait, hold on...Magic Water is not, I repeat, not Woodland Scenics Realistic water.  Dave Frary seems to like Magic Water.

Quote
Looks like posting a photo is a lot of work. Maybe next week when I have time to experiment. Thanks for the posting information.

I have been in contact with Woodland Scenics and talked with their product development people. I sent them the photos and a list of paint brands I use. They're going to do some experimenting to try to duplicate my problems.

Someone mentioned Magic Water. I've used it and it performs as advertised. It does seem to creep a little (very low surface tension) so you should paint in the water edges ahead of time with MW before pouring it on. The water is crystal clear and flat.

Dave Frary

I've use MW a few times since early 2007 and it holds up well.


You're absolutely right, my brain totally fell out. Too many ___ Water products. Very sorry for the confusion!

justTRAINcRaZy

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I don't think anyone's posted using Mod Podge Gloss.

This is a thin layer of wallboard joint compound spread on the blue foam board and then sanded flat. The color was airbrushed on to the joint compound and then about 3-4 coats of Mod Podge brushed on with the final coat going back and stippling with the brush to create the waves.