To produce a good water effect you need to produce a
reflective surface. The method I have seen used involves using a sheet of
glass, painting the underside black and then countersinking it in to you
base board. I think using glass is a bad idea especially if your layout is
not permanent. The idea is sound though. Instead of glass use Perspex
(plastic), and again paint the underside a dark green (or any colour of your
choice) to imitate the true colour of most water. then fit this Perspex to
your layout, best if it is countersunk. Don't worry if it is not the
intended shape. you can produce the desired shape by covering the Perspex
with scatter. You can go a step further and use brush bristles panted a
yellowy brown to imitate reeds or green to imitate ling grass and weeds. For
best results position trees and busses the opposite side of the viewing
point of the water feature so that the trees and bushes will be reflected in
the water instead of something you don't want such as the wall.
When finished the Perspex will reflect the light from the
surroundings and give you a perfect water reflection. It is important that
the plastic is very clean and clear. This is why glass is often used as it
does not mark and can be polished up.
Making my Inner City Waterway in OO/HO
On my modern image German loft layout,
I decided to split the baseboards up by adding features over or under the
The one I am showing here is a small river which has been built up with
concrete sides etc as in runs through a city centre. No boats travel on this
as it is too small but I wanted to add a pathway alongside for interest.
The pictures and words below describe the work done, which took about a day
Here, the track has been laid, and the
cut outs made with a jig saw. A base and sides were glued and screwed in
using the same plywood as the baseboard.
These Peco girder sides were added,
not exactly German but look OK.
The end and sides are trimmed off with
a tenon saw.
Adding a piece of wood for the
footpath. This is glued and screwed in place.
Some Metcalfe tarmac sheet is now
glued on top of the wood.
In my brass bits box I found the parts
needed for the wall. Its also possible to use plastic but I like soldering!
Brass channel is soldered to some 1
These 1 inch long bits of channel are
soldered to the wall.
I also found a few bits of ladder
which I soldered on as access ladders. These are not really needed here but
the detail is interesting.
I used this blowtorch on a low
setting. Spread a little flux onto the joint area and....
Add a little solder while the brass is
hot. It should spread around the flux.
The soldering is done.
Wash down the parts to remove any left
over flux, otherwise it will ruin the paint.
Trying the work for size. Notice that
cardboard facings have been added to the walls and top of the cut out.
Getting some matt enamel paint onto
the finished article. At this stage I also painted the river bed in a mix of
green and brown acrylics.
Showing the walls fixed in place. I
glued them in with evo stick.
The same with a train passing over !
Before pouring in the EZ water, I
blocked up the ends with a bit of scrap wood. This stops you getting molten
plastic all over your feet !
Heating up the EZ water on a little camping stove (always follow the
manufactures instructions). DONT use a really good saucepan for this !!
This stuff takes a few minutes to set
hard. looks OK for my 1st go. A few bubbles in it but all adds to the
An enjoyable little job, which looks good I think, and fairly inexpensive. I
will be adding a bit of lighting to it soon.