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Modelling Tip Of The Day – 49

Modelling Tip Of The Day – 49

Modelling Tip Of The Day – 49

This Modelling Tip Of The Day is an ongoing series, in which we’ll be posting a modelling tip that may be of use to the newbie right up to the seasoned modeller. Today’s tip is:


Adding a water scene feature to a layout adds interest & is easy to do. These range from rivers, lakes/lochs, waterfalls, ponds, seas, drainage ditches, puddles etc.  As well as using try & tested methods such as varnishes there is also various modelling water products available out on the market. Ready-mixed & ready to pour modelling water products are great & easy to use. The likes of Deluxe Materials Aqua magic & Woodland Scenics water products are great & easy to use.

For doing deeper water scenes or adding depth, pour the modelling water in layers & allow to set before pouring additional layers to achieve the depth you require. Some water products allow you to pour deeper layers such as Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Clear & Deep Pour Murky. You can add tints to the water to help achieve a more natural look, so for example:

  • Canal’s & river estuaries are usually a murky brown colour.
  • Deepwater is usually a dark or black looking colour.
  • Sea’s range in colours from greens, blues, browns & dark colours.
  • Rivers usually are more clear along the shallow edges changing to browns & darker colours towards the deeper middle parts of the river.
  • Faster moving water can be modelled using one of the water effects products that to create ripples, waterfalls etc. Add a white pigment paint to highlight foam & bubbles etc.



In the image below you can see Deluxe Materials Aqua Magic being poured straight out the bottle to create a small pond area. Once poured, using a flat plastic spatula carefully move/ drag the water into all the edges & create ripples. Then leave for at least 24 to 36 hours to cure & set. It’s best to place some kind of cover over the scene to prevent any dust from getting onto the water material as it cures & sets.

You can add more interest to say a pond by placing weeds & other things that are often seen below the surface of the water. Add these to the scene before pouring the water material. One example could be an old bicycle that has been thrown in & is partly sticking out the water.

Another idea is puddles such as on a muddy track or footpath. Once you’ve modelled the scene, add a thin layer of the modelling water material along the track in places you’d expect to find puddles. Add colour tints to give a muddy effect. The photo below shows a muddy track with puddles.


For a canal lock, for example, print off a coloured texture sheet or paint in suitable murky dark browns, dark greens. Then apply a layer of the modelling water material over the texture sheet or painted area. This will give an impression of depth. An example of this can be seen below.


For a canal section or river, for example, you may want to add depth to middle & shallower on the sides. In the photo below, Woodland Scenics Deep Pour Murky water was applied to this scene. So naturally, along the shallower edges, it’s clearer & less murky looking but less clear towards the centre. The water depth in this scene is around 1/4 of an inch deep.


Deep pour murky water by Woodland Scenics comes as a two bottle set complete with full instructions, gloves, mixing beakers, & stirrers. The two bottles are the murky tint & the water material its self. It involves mixing the tint into the water material to achieve the depth of murkiness you require for your scene. To see how it works watch this video:


As you can see in the photo below what comes in the box with these deep pour water kits, also shown is the Aqua Magic by Deluxe Materials.

There is other water products & resin materials for modelling water available, so worth searching & checking them out as well. If you’ve never modelled a water scene before, try making a small diorama like a pond scene, for example, to practice on. Above all have a go & have fun creating your water scene.


Happy modelling

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  1. ClaytonCanuk

    Many thanks for sharing your advice and comments on this subject.
    I am in the process of compiling hints, information etc. on producing water features and types before I try it for the first time.

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