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Modelling Water



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Still water

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

Author "david hardie" (forum member)

 

On my modern image German loft layout, I decided to split the baseboards up by adding features over or under the tracks.

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 to complete.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.

 

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.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

These Peco girder sides were added, not exactly German but look OK.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

The end and sides are trimmed off with a tenon saw.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Adding a piece of wood for the footpath. This is glued and screwed in place.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Some Metcalfe tarmac sheet is now glued on top of the wood.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

In my brass bits box I found the parts needed for the wall. Its also possible to use plastic but I like soldering!


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Brass channel is soldered to some 1 inch sheet.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

These 1 inch long bits of channel are soldered to the wall.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

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.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

I used this blowtorch on a low setting. Spread a little flux onto the joint area and....


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Add a little solder while the brass is hot. It should spread around the flux.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

The soldering is done.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Wash down the parts to remove any left over flux, otherwise it will ruin the paint.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Trying the work for size. Notice that cardboard facings have been added to the walls and top of the cut out.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

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.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.

Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

Showing the walls fixed in place. I glued them in with evo stick.


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

The same with a train passing over !


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.
 

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 !


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.


Heating up the EZ water on a little camping stove (always follow the manufactures instructions). DONT use a really good saucepan for this !!


Model Railway Water - How to construct a model railway river / canal including bridges.

 

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 appearance !!

An enjoyable little job, which looks good I think, and fairly inexpensive. I will be adding a bit of lighting to it soon.

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