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Hi All,

I've read the pros and cons of various water techniques, but haven't seen mention of using varnish or polyurethane. I just want flat water with some depth and don't mind pouring multiple layers (preferably water-based polyurethane for low odor) over a painted bottom. Has anyone tried this? What do you think?

Sprocket
 

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I've never tried this in terms of scenery making, so this is NOT a voice of experience speaking. However ...

I've done a bit of woodworking over the years. In general, an oil-based polyurethane yields a durable finish, but one that become progressively more amber with layer additions. Water-based urethanes are not quite as durable, but they tend to be more transparent (without as much ambering) with successive layers.

TJ
 

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Thanks for the input. Tonight I painted a surface dark blue and covered the wet paint with crinkled stretch-wrap. The small ripples look pretty realistic, but there are some air bubbles that spoil it. I'll do some more experimenting, as well as trying hobby store products. The photos are inspiring and the bar is set high! There are some seriously talented folks out there.

Cheers
 

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Hey, Sprocket----here's a suggestion if you're doing a pond or lake. Some people will take textured glass, like for shower doors, and paint the smooth side and install it smooth-side-down. It gives the illusion of clear depth with color from the bottom. I plan to try it soon, myself. You don't need to break a shower door---go to a local stained-glass shop and buy a small piece. For a modest fee, they should even be willing to cut it to size and shape. Keep in mind, though, that it's difficult to cut an inside curve. In other words, a round piece is all a single, outward-bulging curve. Put a dimple in it and you've created an inside curve at that point. Inside curves are harder to cut because you don't actually cut the glass---you scratch it and then break it along the fault line. Make an acute inside curve and it will break straight across the glass instead of following the scratch. Best of luck and show us some pics on what you're doing!
 

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a stained glass place has diamond band saws and grinders. They can also cut an inside radius with a glass cutter (stained glass used to be a hobby). The selection of colors and textures are mind boggling and could replicate water of many types.

Also Hobby Lobby has polymers that can be heated in water that are intended to be poured into a vase with artificial flowers to replicate water . I'm wondering how this would work poured onto a blue painted piece of glass or plywood and swirled a bit to make waves and rapids
 
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