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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning on building a small pond about 20 cm in diametre and need some advice.

My problem is that the Woodland Scenery web site no long has written instructions, only a video that doesn't work for me. I am hoping that one of you can help.

Here is the situation. I understand that woodland scenery's realistic water can only be 1/8" deep so I am planning to fill a naturally occurring "bowl"-shaped area in my paper mache landscape with plaster of paris to make a flat surface. Then paint it to represent the bottom of the pond. Then pour in the realistic water.

Is there a better alternative to the Woodland Scenery water?

Can you tell me how to paint the bottom of the pond? As I recall it is a ring of light ochre on the outside, then a ring of ochre and dark ochre in the centre. Does this sound right?

Is it better to buy the water in the bottle or the pellets that you heat and pour?

Any other ideas would be welcome.
 

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Bill
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QUOTE (honestjudge @ 7 Feb 2007, 06:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>have you thought of using real water?
Never use real water. It's a pain, and it doesn't really look that good. Look at these sites: 10 Ways to Model Water and Fugate's "Doing Realistic Water" (scroll down half a page). I'm just about to undertake some major work in creating water on my layout, and I'll let you know the results. I've tried EZ water, and it's easy and works okay if you carefully follow directions. I'm going to use acyrlic gloss medium for my next project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I want to stay away from real water (kids in house).

jm, what did you ot like about ez water?

What was your paint process under it?

Will you do the same paint scheme with the Envirotex?
 

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The directions for the woodland scenics product are a bit misleading. Actually you can fill up a five gallon bucket with the stuff. What they are trying to tell you is that you should only do a 1/8" pour at a time-otherwise the stuff will never harden up. While I'm not a real fan of this stuff, it has it's points-one of which is that it is self-leveling-a desirable quality if you are doing a major pour-and you're not sure about how 'level' the bottom of your lake/pond/river/etc. is. Of course, if you want water to run downhill, then that becomes a different issue. The "best" water I ever saw was actually just sheet rock mud textured a bit, and then painted with acrylics, blending the color on the edges-followed with a matt medium coating.
 

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Bill
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QUOTE (Slots-O-Fun @ 7 Feb 2007, 10:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>jm, what did you ot like about ez water?

What was your paint process under it?

Will you do the same paint scheme with the Envirotex?
Hi Slots, EZ water is pretty easy--that's what I like about it-but you have to pour it very thin or it never dries. Even when it does dry, it seems like a soft plastic. Basically, the process of painting under the water is the same for most of the techniques. And, a lot of the results (from what I can gather) are how well you do the under painting. I find it's best to use three or four colors (blue, green, black, brown, tan -- tan and brown near the shore) and blend them by painting when they're all wet so they go seamlessly from one color to the next. If you don't like the way it turns out, just paint over it! Practice makes perfect, right? I'm sure there are people much more experienced than I on this list (e.g., Spamodeller and TileGuy). But since I'm working on it right now (slowly), I'll show you where I'm at.

Doing Waterfalls and Water in Process

This is half done. You can see that I've started lining the upper pond with rocks (which are really just painted plaster chips). I'm not sure about it, but I think I may want to add more. I've started painting the ponds pretty dark, which will make them seem deep. I've combined black, blue, and brown (around the edges), but I haven't poured anything on top. I'm still thinking I may have to add some more "gravel/rocks" around the edge of the upper pool. I could try painting the rocky (i.e., grayish) bottom, but I think that's hard to do well. So, I think actual texture on the edges will be better. This means, however, a pretty deep pour, which means I'd have to build out the front of the upper pool a bit more. For the waterfalls, I really haven't done anything. What you do see is a little dacron, which will be used to simulate mist -- but I've got to put the water behind it. Woodland Scenics makes a product to do this (and I've used it before -- see below my old layout and the water). However, I think I can save money (and get a good effect) by using clear silicone. The waterfalls, however, have to go in after the water. A little stream will eventually run out of the left side of the lower pool (but that's another challenge). I've experimented a little with this stuff on my previous layout, and it turned out okay, but I'm hoping I can do it a bit better this time.

My old layout waterfall made with Woodland Scenics + dacron and white paint
 

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Thanks for this jm,

I have seen your work before and think it is great. It is good to know how you got there.

I looked up the acrylic gloss medium last night on the web and got kind of excited about it. Do you know how deep you can pour it? Can it go 1/8" deep or more? Is it more like paint and must be kept to a thin layer?

With either EZ Water or the acrylic, can I "peel" up the water if the paint effect doesn't look good, change it and pur again or am I comitted to the bottom once I pour?

Thanks again
 

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Bill
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QUOTE (Slots-O-Fun @ 8 Feb 2007, 03:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I looked up the acrylic gloss medium last night on the web and got kind of excited about it. Do you know how deep you can pour it? Can it go 1/8" deep or more? Is it more like paint and must be kept to a thin layer?

With either EZ Water or the acrylic, can I "peel" up the water if the paint effect doesn't look good, change it and pur again or am I comitted to the bottom once I pour?
I'm not that experienced with these products, but you can always dig them out. I actually thought about digging out the EZ water from my last layout, but it just seemed like too much work. You need to pour acyrlic gloss in thin layers, I believe. I think Envirotex and "Magic Water" are the products to use for deeper pours.
 

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Phil B.
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On the Aberstone rallytrack I used hot glue to make a waterfall and acrylic varnish for the river so I was able to stipple it and create waves, but on the new track I used oil based varnish on a lake and it self levelled so it is flat, I don`t know if acrylic on top will do the job now!
Cheers - Phil B.
 

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Bill
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Well, since this was a recent topic, I'll give a more blow-by-blow of my experience with doing a bunch of water. First, the upper pool. I went to my local art supply store and picked up some Envirotex as well as some acrylic gloss medium. I'm thinking I'll use the Envirotex to create the depth, and then I'll top it off with some acyrlic gloss medium to get the texture. I did my first pour, and I can say that I don't like how messy Envirotext seems to be -- a little tricky to mix and clean up. I put a drop of green into the Envirotex since water is clear and reflects its surroundings -- eventually, the pool with be surrounded with greenry. Envirotex is certainly self-leveling. It dries perfectly flat. In my pour, it ran out the front a bit, which is okay because there is a waterfall going in there so I'd have to paint some acrylic gloss there anyway.

 

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Ive used several products depending on the look i am after.
From real glass painted below to Envirotex Lite to gel medium to clear silicone strands to sheet acrylic (textured panels used in light fixtures painted on the underside give a nice imitation of a windswept rippling lake or pond at a slight (arms length) distance.( i call this the 3 foot rule). The use of acrylic panels is very cost effective for small water features and not quite as messy as envirotex can be......Envirotex however looks the best up close (front of the layout features )

Remember that modeling a water feature is just like any other modeling project.It should be researched, you should have a few pictures of what you are attempting to recreate(try google image search) and a general idea of the modeling mediums available. You wouldnt build a Plaza area on a Targa circuit without knowing what the architecture looks like, right?? Treat your water model the same way.....Find a picture that will be representative of what you want your feature to look like.


Here is a very good article on Modeling a River that is well worth reading.
http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:bDlu5U...;cd=8&gl=us
 

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Bill
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QUOTE (Tileguy @ 10 Feb 2007, 05:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Here is a very good article on Modeling a River that is well worth reading.
http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:bDlu5U...;cd=8&gl=us
Great article Tileguy! Well worth reading. I also recommend the book, which has been mentioned before, How to build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery, by Dave Frary, which I found helpful. But there's also the problem of TMI -- too much information. And, nothing beats experience. I'm liking the look that I'm getting from Envirotex so it may be worth the mess. And, I've got the gloss medium to create the rippled surface of the pond. I'll also use gloss medium for the rippling stream coming from the lower pond.

I think people might also appreciate some mistakes. Here's what soured me on Woodland Scenics "Realistic Water" -- although I'm sure it was my own fault. This was the first water I ever tried on my old layout with Realistic Water. I think I poured it too deep, maybe 1/4" instead of an 1/8". First, the layout wasn't completely level so the Realistic Water went too much to one side (and I had to prop up the table underneath to level it). Second, (and worst), because I poured it too deep, it took forever to dry, and it seemed to interact with the paint underneath which gave me a strange greenish color that was not what I was looking for. Finally, the surface of the Realistic Water was always a little soft and plastic-like. I really should have painted this pond bottom with browns, but I was a novice. I'd always planned on digging it out, but it looked okay (to the amateur that I was), and I ended up selling the layout before I redid the pond. All that said, my initial experience was probably more my own inexperience than a problem with the product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is it possible to use acrylic gloss medium only or does it really need the layer of Envirotex under it?

What is so messy about Envirotex?
 

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Bill
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So, here's the first pour of Envirotex for my lower pool. I added a drop of green paint, which is a tip I've seen given by many. The bottom is painted black, brown, with a little tan by the front edge. I'll probably only put the green paint in on this pour. I envision another one or two pours for both the upper and lower pool. Already the wife & kids think it's gorgeous. It does reflect well -- something you can't fully see in the pictures. With another couple of pours, I think it will have great sense of depth and the rocks will look submerged. So, I'm liking Envirotex (especially the results) more and more even though it's not quite as easy as some of the other methods I've tried.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
jm, It looks great!

Will you bother with gloss medium for the final layer?

How thick are you making each pour?

Thanks for sharing all this info!
 

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Bill
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QUOTE (Slots-O-Fun @ 11 Feb 2007, 07:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Will you bother with gloss medium for the final layer?

How thick are you making each pour?
The pours have been fairly thin, mostly because I'm erring on the side of a little at a time. Probably only 1/8". I also read (somewhere) that you can change the amount of paint that you dye the Envirotex with if you do successive pours. I'll be using much less paint in subsequent pours and this is supposed to further create the illusion of depth. Since these will be pools with waterfalls, the Envirotex is too glassy. I'll need to use the gloss medium to create some of the ripples. I've got another little pond that I'll just use Envirotex for.
 

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Bill
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I think this actually probably should go into the "Scenery 101" thread or a blog, but here's the update. Did a 2nd pour for the upper and lower pools. I'm starting to like Envirotex more as I work with it more. The sense of depth that it creates, now with the 2nd pour, is pretty realistic. And, I like the way it reflects. It dries perfectly glassy so it would be great for anywhere you've got still water. Since I've got a waterfall here, I'll have to do something to the surface (with gloss medium) to create ripples.



 
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