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Your Layout and Models => Scenery/Landscaping => Water => Topic started by: Dan73 on February 02, 2017, 09:06:44 PM

Title: Before the water
Post by: Dan73 on February 02, 2017, 09:06:44 PM
So a slightly different Water question.

Before I get to creating the water effect, I was hoping to find out more about the techniques to show depth in a lake.

I would like to create a lake, showing deep water in the middle, then shallowing up around the edges (shore?). Can anyone point me in the direction of any tutorials or step by step instructions how to approach this?

Once I've managed to do this bit, I'll then move on the actual 'Water' questions I have


 - Dan73
Title: Re: Before the water
Post by: Webbo on February 02, 2017, 10:42:28 PM

Woodland Scenics has a number of products that can be used to model water. Here is one of their tutorials that shows how  colour the bottom to create the illusion of depth variation.

http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/video/PrepareWaterArea (http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/video/PrepareWaterArea)

To me this example shows a very shallow pond, but other types of lakes and ponds could appear very differently. Lakes with lots of algae in them will appear green in the deep parts. Deep clear lakes might be very dark blue varying to light bluish and  sandy shades in the shallow areas. I've opted for a deep clear lake on my layout. I suggest you have a good look at the lake/pond you want to model and paint your lake bed appropriately.

There are other ways of representing water as well such as varnish with websites showing how to apply the techniques. I'm not going to endorse Woodland Scenics Realistic Water over other products/techniques, but it did work very well for me.

Title: Re: Before the water
Post by: Bealman on February 03, 2017, 12:51:28 AM
Hi Dan

Back in the 70s and 80s I read of a technique in Model Railroader magazine which was very popular at the time. They actually suggested using a black river or lake bed!! This was then feathered up into earth colours near the banks, suggesting deep water in the middle.

The main premise behind this approach being that the colour of real water depends very much of the colour of the sky above. Once the water medium is poured or brushed on, it effectively produces a low grade mirror that reflects the sky backdrop and surrounding scenery.

I thought that made sense, and when I started my ancient layout, I adopted the technique. I painted the ply riverbed black and attempted to feather it up with earth colours to the banks. I used a brush for this, but in hindsight an airbrush would have been better.

I then applied coat after coat of gloss varnish (don't forget, at this point in history the Woodlands Scenic range was no where near the size it is now, and their water products were only just being introduced).

I always intended to add more layers of varnish, but the layout was neglected for a long time and that never got done. Just how effective this is is a matter of opinion.... I'm not 100% happy with it, but it has received the odd favourable comment over the years.

Here is a not very good photo of one of the as yet incomplete water areas of my layout. I certainly should have dusted the water before I took the picture!! I'll let you be the judge. If I was starting over, I'd probably go down a route similar to Webbo.

Title: Re: Before the water
Post by: Dan73 on February 03, 2017, 06:20:51 PM
Thanks both - thats very helpful information and a very useful video.

I'm off to town tomorrow to buy some paints. I have a few pieces of ply laying around which I'll practice on - I want to get the right effect before I commit it to the layout.
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