Best product for water (1/16" depth)

dave n Nov 20, 2011

  1. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm building a canal in my downtown Modesto scene and am considering options. I'd like to keep the pour thin, 1/16" give or take a 32nd or so, to enable building a rail bridge over the canal (the track is already laid). Is there a product that will give a realistic water scene w/ such a thin pour? I've done some searching, and Modge Podge looks like it could be an option. Has anyone used acrylic caulk for water w/ good results?

    Any other suggestions?

    thx in advance
  2. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    You could always just paint the canal bottom the colors you like, then give it a glossy finish. Then you can use gloss medium to add ripples. This would require no depth at all (other than the thickness of the ripples). Jamie
  3. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

    I really don't even need ripples - here's the scene I'm loosely modelling - the canal is pretty smooth. The track is on cork roadbed, and the 'bottom' of the canal is the plywood that the cork is mounted to. The bridge sits really low to the water level, so I can pull it off if I keep the water depth shallow.

  4. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

    For the flat surface you need a self-leveling liquid, and Modge Podge is a bit thick to level out smooth.
    I'd paint the bottom a dark grey (grimy black would work) and then pour a thin layer of Magic Water tinted with Floquil (a dark green, like BNSF green, and a brown/tan would work).
    You can pour a little in the center and then massage the liquid into the corners. Not enough? You've got plenty o' time to pour a little more.
    I poured about a 1/16" layer here (shown under the car float):


    I added ModgePodge over that later, but here you can see the smoothness of a thin pour tinted with floquil.
    Hope this helps.
  5. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

    MC - that looks really good, and that's the look i'm going for. Thanks for the tips!
  6. JVolz

    JVolz TrainBoard Member

    Some other options that will give similar results to Magic Water are Envirotex, Famowood and Park's Super Glaze. The latter two are available at Hope Depot and Lowe's and are both two-part epoxy resins. They can all be tinted like the Magic Water. I just finished a weekend of pouring my creek and river with the Park's Super Glaze and it came out extremely well.
  7. Arctic Train

    Arctic Train TrainBoard Member

    Individual results will vary when selecting a product for simulated water depending on skill level, environment, etc. Personally, I haven’t had the best results with woodland scenic’s realistic water. Instead I’ve been using this:
    I think the smell is better (less), it levels out better (didn’t creep), and it cures to a harder finish faster.

  8. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

    I used WS realistic water here....Mike


  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    Is that a two part epoxy resin?
  10. JVolz

    JVolz TrainBoard Member


    It's the one I mentioned in my post. I used this weekend and it came out fantastic. You can tint with a little bit of acrylic paint.

    river1.jpg river2.jpg
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Modge Podge works great. Just paint the bottom of the canal...pour the Modge Podge. You can use a putty knife to level it before it sets. Cheaper by a long shot. I bought mine at the crafts section.
  12. Caddy58

    Caddy58 TrainBoard Member

    I model Tacoma so I need a lot of water on my layout. For the Thea Foss Waterway (though in 1949 it was still the City Waterway) I simply laid down a fine-grain plywood, painted black with a few blue-green highlights and fading to tan at the shallow areas.
    I covered everything with clear acrylic paint. The texture of the plywood is still somewhat visible, giving the impression of small 1:160 ripples in the water.


    This is my NP Bridge, here is a small pic how the real thing looked like (including the small waves I tried to duplicate....)


  13. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

    I use Enviro-Tex..I paint the bottom dark green,then I airbrush the outer edges lighter green for a half inch or so,depending on how deep/shallow the body of water is,and how fast it would probably slope down in certain area,according to the actual terrain.I actually mix a little dark green Floquil right in the Enviro-tex to give it a little color.I might even put a few light green patches in the middle or other areas to simulate shallow areas.Of course,the water you're actually modeling may be different colors,blue,brown,there are streams here that have mine runoff that are a sickening orange color from iron,the entire Susquehanna river was that color when I wa a kid,tint/paint to what you model.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
  14. oldscout

    oldscout TrainBoard Member

    I used Majic Water for the base and Modge Podge to show water movement. One problem I found by accident, If you have to bring the scernery back down to the water. I am old school so I spray with water then the 50/50 white glue. When you spray water the Modge Podge will turn white. Good thing it you do not like what you did, spray it with water and peal it back off. It took more that one coat but made some good looking waves.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
  15. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm planning a small pond on my suitcase Z layout.
    I'm gonna use 5-min epoxy for it. I might be able to tease it some for gentle waves.

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