Making A Water Fall

agent9843 Oct 16, 2012

  1. agent9843

    agent9843 TrainBoard Member

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    At request, here is a small practice test I made on waterfall material. I know Woodland Scenics makes what looks like a great product for this called "Water Effects;" but I only need a small waterfall and wanted to avoid the 13-16 bucks for 8 oz. I wanted to test some products I had on-hand. I looked at Hotglue, Elmer's Glue, and Realistic Water. I actually thought that Elmer's would work, but it dried hazy and didn't provide water motion I was looking for. Realistic Water was very clear but not enough body for falling water look. From other videos on making waterfalls, "Water Effects" seems to be the best product. But for a small waterfall, Hotglue gives a good representation. Here are some images and a video (slide presentation) of my efforts:
    [video=youtube;YiHYip1p6kg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiHYip1p6kg&feature=plcp[/video]

    Please feel free to discuss... I've seen fabulous falls made by others. Aj
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2012
  2. markeschoell

    markeschoell New Member

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    thank you for taking the time to try all those different materials, u saved me a whole bunch of time.
     
  3. Robbert

    Robbert TrainBoard Member

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    that waterfall sure looks nice, thank you for testing these methods out.
    i'm going to use that hotglue on clear plastic when i'm ready for waterfalls on my layout.

    Robbert
     
  4. agent9843

    agent9843 TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen some fine detailed water created with acrylic paste or gel. I think I can find acrylic modeling paste locally so I am going to give this a try as a fall and fast moving water. Hope to post back results asap.
     
  5. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    Nicely done, and thanks for taking the time to generate the post and imagery. To me, the hot glue on foil looks the most realistic. If you were to touch up some of the flow, especially the bottom 'splash', with whitening water effects, just some light treatment here and there, I think you'd have the A+ solution.
     
  6. agent9843

    agent9843 TrainBoard Member

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    Video link changed

    [video=youtube;xkZ0ZUlJ2yA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkZ0ZUlJ2yA&feature=plcp[/video]
     
  7. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Would you anticipate any problem using real water with a small recirculating pump? I suppose one would have to be careful not to make such an installation noisy.
     
  8. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    The problem is, water doesn't scale. As a result, using real water actually looks increasingly unrealistic as you try to use it with ever smaller scales.
     
  9. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ah well, I didn't think of that. That's the reason then.
     
  10. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    Also, real water is quite wet and the moisture level around the falls would cause issues eventually.
     
  11. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    Paul! Water is WET? Man, the things you can learn on this board!

    Kiddiing! Forgive me, couldn't resist.
     
  12. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    As noted previously, real water is the very worst thing to use for simulating a waterfall--or any body of water, for that matter. Aside from posing all sorts of technical issues--making the waterways 100% water-tight, sealing all scenery nearby--it also raises the humidity of the layout space, which can lead to corroding electrical contacts, swollen wood materials (such as laser kits), and so on. But the biggest reason not to use real water is that it doesn't look anything like "scale" water. A 2" waterfall in N scale is almost 30' tall in real life, and a waterfall that tall would be misty and airy, whereas water falling 2" is a mere trickle.

    When modeling a waterfall, consider the (scale) height, and what the water would do: it's strongly recommended to refer to images as guidance. A quick image search for waterfalls will yield all of the information you need. Here is another method, one that creates more "white water" than other techniques: thick Liquitex gel tinted with white acrylic paint applied to waxed paper. This is a Z scale waterfall made that way:

    [​IMG]

    Also, for rivers, you can dispense with any poured product and simply paint a flat surface appropriate colors to create depth, and then apply thick Liquitex gel to make "waves."

    [​IMG]

    Lakes can be done the same way. (This is also Z scale.)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. cosmic

    cosmic TrainBoard Supporter

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    David, those are on your layout? Terrific! I love the rusty trestle.
     
  14. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    You know, I really should see if I can enhance the waterfall effect by combining Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel with Liquitex Natural Sand. I've been curious if the particles of the sand would better emulate the spray effect if I can get the correct mixture of the two.
     
  15. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, they were. First two images are from this layout, the third from a different one. Neither layout exists any more.

    I also made a series of small falls using only the Liquitex gel and just a little bit of white acrylic. (Not all waterfalls need to be large to be interesting...)

    [​IMG]
     

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