Luckily for you, I'll try to explain what I learned through trail and error. It took me to make seventeen test models before figuring out the exact methods. I went on a holiday and when I got back it took me another two tests to remember them again. I should have written them down somewhere.
Anyway, to create the water effect shown below you will need the following materials.
|Oil paints (*), thinner and brushes|
|Epoxy and hardener|
|The Mod Podge! (gloss version)|
I chose to make a typical blue river. While I was able to blend the various test models with acrylic paint fairly easily, I discovered it to be a lot harder on a larger surface. Although certainly not impossible, you need to work quickly when painting with acrylic paint. A bit to quick for my taste. Therefore, I decided to work with oil paints instead.
I've never worked with oil paints before, and I must say they're wonderful. The biggest advantage is the amount of time you have to paint your work. You can literally spend days correcting the paint-job. Sadly enough, this is also the biggest disadvantage. It takes ages to dry, but then again I believe the results are for the better.
|A river panel after dry-brushing the surface|
|A river panel after giving the river its blue base color.|
|A river panel after blending|
|Close-up of the river (can you see the transition?)|
Pouring the epoxy is pretty straightforward. First close the river ends with masking tape. Measure the amount of epoxy you need to make by pouring real water into the river. Remove the water, refresh the masking tape and mix both epoxy and hardener 2:1 in a container. At this stage add the desired pigment to the mix and pour it into the riverbed.
The tricky part is the amount of pigment you need to add the mix. Too much pigment will obscure the underlying paint-job, and too little will show too much of it. The right amount will help blend the underlying paint-job. I experimented with dark blue transparent dye, Vallejo Game Colors and oil paint. The Glass Attic website explains everything you need to know about this.
I chose to use the oil paint method, because I wanted to use a turquoise color. If I had a turquoise transparent dye, I would have used it instead. I needed to thin the oil paint with thinner, otherwise it wouldn't dissolve properly in the epoxy.
To avoid subtle color differences in between river panels, I created one big batch of epoxy and did all five river panels at once. I measured the required amount for each river panel. In my case I needed: (250 + 250 + 350 + 275 + 230) = 1355 - (1355 / 3) = 903 ml of epoxy and 451 ml of hardener. With a margin added I ended up making 1.5 liters in total. After pouring the epoxy in a big container I added the pigment (thinned oil paint). Stir gentle when mixing the pigment, otherwise it will create bubbles.
While adding the pigment I tested the color and its transparency on a testing piece. This gave me a good indication of the amount of pigment I needed to add.
I divided the big batch between five smaller containers, each having the required amount of epoxy for its designated river panel written on it. Finally, I poured the hardener into each container, stirred it gently and poured it into its designated river panel, and made sure all five river panels were placed on a leveled table.
Depending on the amount, it takes about 16 hours for the epoxy to completely set. When finished it looks like this.
|Sealed the river ends with masking type|
|Ready to fill the containers|
|The following day|
|A river panel with epoxy|
|Holes for the reed|
|Does this count as soft cover?|
|What have you done!?!|
There are tons of methods out there for creating waves. I only tried the Mod Podge method. Again, Mike from TerranScape knows a lot more about this than I do. He made videos about this in which he explains and tests various materials.
|Are you sure about this?|
|You see, told you so|
|Tadaa! Just couldn't wait any longer|
|Another one finished|
|Connecting the two|
I'm very pleased with how the water turned out. The pictures represent them well enough, although they don't seem to capture the clarity and the exact color very well. In RL the water has somewhat more turquoise color to it.
The only thing left to do, is the grass as explained in my previous post, but first I'll have to Mod Podge the other four river panels.
*) the oil paints I used are from the "van Gogh" series 1, from left to right: 504, 534 (series 2), 530 and 522.