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I downloaded “naturescapes” for my Apple phone….it had birds, sound of crickets, a babbling river, rain…..lots of different “relaxation” apps…..I recall that birds was more effective, then say babbling river, the river seemed to upfront, whereas some sounds work better in the background…cheers☕🍩
 

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I think you have to decide what your level of reality you are shooting for. Personally, I don't like graffiti, dirt, rust or oil streaks on my layout, if I want to see that I can go for a drive. I put people on my layout because the fact that moving people aren't moving isn't as strange as a ghost town. Sound is cool when it happens but I don't go looking for it.
 

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That water looks OK, perhaps it could be slowed down some by making it thicker? Dunno how to do that but it would be cool. More realistic?
This is what we mean when we say that it's very much a matter of personal opinion.

That water does NOT look OK to my eye. Scale-wise, that watercourse is as wide as a 25 foot ore car, and tumbling down a fairly steep, rocky slope. There would be pockets of foam, eddies, and back currents, not to mention that the volume of water would just appear much more massive. The appearance of depth is all wrong -- water 6-8 foot deep (estimating from width) would mostly obscure the bottom, not be crystal clear. I have several similar creeks near my home, and I can assure you, they look nothing like that. That model looks like what it is: a tiny trickle coming out of a small hose. If that looks "ok" to you, then fine, we will have to agree to disagree on that point.
 

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There are two ways for me to accept what I see:

a. the river is flowing normal rate, but it's sped up, and the train is actually only going about 5 scale mph. But the train really does seem to be running quickly, more like 20 mph, which means the river is moving impossibly/implausibly fast: or

b. the water is sped up, video-wise, and so is the train. This is maybe3X speed. Why would I want to watch a model of a river moving at 3X speed?

Leaving the unlikely speed aside, a stream moving this rapidly, but clearly, no turbidity, no silt, would either have to be in a man-made, and very well maintained channel clear of natural materials, or it's a fake. Turns out it's both.

QED

Rivers, naturally, carry detritus, bits of plants, run-off, silt, and other organic matter than render them at least semi-opaque. They also tend to move at about 1-6 knots, unless they're mountain streams, in which case they could run as fast as 10 knots, even more, but that speed requires turbulence, aeration, and therefore other artefacts that are visible. Foaming was mentioned, but how about bubbles by the millions which act like tiny diamonds. That means a rough surface and a lot of refraction. In order to replicate this, the model would have to have an aeration pump and make the water flow even faster than it appears to in this video, where it is mostly placid and crystal clear. Looks like a cute toy.

As we have all agreed, we are playing WITH TOYS. Some things help some of us with the illusion, some get in the way. This, for me, gets in the way.
 

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I think scale speed is the one thing we can all control and trains running at 100+ scale MPH look unbelievably toy-like.
 
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If I remember right, isn't the gelatin used in Jello transparent? Seems like I read somewhere there was a way to add that to water with it setting up, so you basically ended up with thicker water. If not that, I wonder if there's a transparent oil you could use for this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
It’s a model railroad. Water running “too fast”, just like steam from the model engines, is as viable as people standing frozen in time as a train goes by.

To some, like me, the water at least is moving and is water. The movement adds to the atmosphere and feeling. Same with the smoke/steam. To some, it is a negative effect.

I am considering a river and waterfalls with real water, and small fish in the river.
 

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Isn't funny how we want our clocks to run faster for "scale" speed, but the flow of real water somehow looks unnaturally fast? :) Imagine if all the little people were scurrying around like ants.
 

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Running water and a model railroad layout are not good fits….real water has a tendency to get dirty and green….and if it leaks into the benchwork, well…..
 

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Has anyone heard of the Magnorail system (magnorail.com)? I caught a video tonight where a diorama uses it, and that was pretty impressive seeing bicycles on the road.

(It's a half hour video and not much of it is about this system)
 
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