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Thread: How to make rivers and lake water look real?

  1. Default How to make rivers and lake water look real?

    What is the best and cheapest way to make my river and lake water look real?

  2. Default

    Um. Do you want best... or do you want cheapest?

    The two are pretty much mutually exclusive in this area.

    Best seems to be expert use of Envirotex epoxy and gloss medium.

    Cheapest is cardboard balloon material.
    Jeff Shultz
    Willamette & Pacific - Oregon Electric Branch
    My Railroad and model railroad photos
    Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine

  3. #3
    dthurman Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by Siccmade
    What is the best and cheapest way to make my river and lake water look real?
    This is one area I want to get a whole lot better at. For now though I did it the simple way with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, some blue and black acrylic artist paints and multiple redo

    For a starter, you want to make sure you have an inpression in the scenery that your want the lake or river at. You want to be sure that it's sealed well. I know some use plaster and smooth it, I used WS Foam Putty. Once I have the lake bed the way I wanted the contours to be, I mixed the black and blue together and made it more black then blue. Then paint in your lake bottom. Once it has dried, I then poured a very thin layer, let it dry for a day or 2, then pour another layer. You can pour as many as you want, but it really doesn't seem to help with the illusion of depth.

    Like I said, mine is okay, and as I get more time I may redo them, the beauty of WS Realistic Water is you can pull it back up after a while if you want to redo it. Joe Fugate should be addressing lakes and rivers in his Scenery Clinic soon. He has some very realistic water effects. Hopefully others can chime in with some more professional results.

  4. #4


    Yep, I'll be covering how to do realistic water effects in the next few days in my scenery clinic on here ... in the meantime, here's some sample photos of the results:

    Closeup of a small pond, done using envirotex and acrylic gloss medium

    Same pond farther back, so you can see the whole scene.

    And still father back, so you can see the scene in context.
    Joe Fugate
    200,000 hits and counting ...

  5. Default

    I have a web article about making a pond from a metallic cardboard party balloon at:

    Thank you if you visit

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