2015-07.3: Creating water effects

17 Jul 2015

Average: 4.7 (21 votes)
28:17 - Jul 2015 Act III - Creating water effects (2015)

Miles Hale makes a big splash in the latest Backshop Clinic as he demonstrates four products for creating water effects on your layout.

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Very informative & especially entertaining too.

At one point in the video, Lionel asks Miles how to deal with the liquid surfaces creeping up onto the bank.  Since Miles did not get back to answer the question, I would like to know Miles' suggestions on dealing with the creep effect.


TMTV Station Agent's picture

I have applied a bit of ground foam to cover the shiny "creep" after everything has dried.  You can add rushes and scenic "tufts" too, as plant life will usually thrive along the well-watered edges of a stream or river.


TrainMasters TV producer

I have a fairly nice size river running from the backdrop to the fascia (about 2') and it is getting quite dusty.  It is smooth with no ripples at this time although I would lke to add some in the future. I used Envirotex to make it and would be interested in what others have used to clean it without marring or damaging the finish.

Thanks, Andy Keeney 

joef's picture

To fix creep usually just involves adding some fresh scenery along the edge. I use my zip texturing dirt powders - I wet my brush with the same color zip texturing I have used in the scene and paint it on over the creep. Since my zip dirt powders include plaster, it will harden and fix itself in place, leaving a nice dusty look.

You can find more about my zip dirt powders in the Sep/Oct and Nov/Dec 2010 issues of Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine - see:



I would like to mention that I just bought into Train Masters TV. I really enjoyed the show and the host kept me laughing. What I would like to address is the lengthy acylic water dry time. I know that humidity could be a factor in its cross linking but the most inportant thing is air movement. Water base when drying on a flat surface will hold a moisture layer of air at its surface. This will slow or prevent the acrylic from a drying by smothering it. Place any kind of air mover to blow across the lake or river and the acylic will dry much much faster than just being left alone. It does not have to be a lot of air moving thus blowing every thing around but somthing to create a gentle breeze across the acylic water. Also note the water is generaly down in some kind of depresion on the layout traping air over the drying acrilic water even worse.



Mike Swederska

filly535's picture

Thanks guys, good stuff as always

Miles, do you use the water effects as you did here as the total body of water, or do you mostly use it to add ripples on top of a previosly poured product?



In the video, Miles said he does both - sometimes uses the Water Effects straight, other times applies it over other water to create ripples.

If you use a graduated mixing cup, then you can mix the resin and hardener in the same cup. Use the graduated scale on the side of the cup to measure the amount of each part you pour in. Typically, the resin is a thicker consistency and the hardener is a lot more watery. I pour the resin into the cup first and then add the thinner hardener.  You can also use a hypodermic syringe without the needle (ask a vet or chemist for these) to measure the hardener and squirt that into the cup containing the resin.

You can re-use your mixing containers if you clean out the cups/syringes firstly with a paper towel and then washing them out with acetone. Cleaning needs to be done straight after you pour the product and before the mix has time to start going off.  

You can also use epoxy resin for water purchased from a ships chandler in larger quantities and usually much cheaper.

When using any of the resin based products, you should wear nitrile rubber gloves (not latex gloves).  These products are toxic and should not be handled with bare hands.

As always, Lionel's relaxed approach to hosting results in a program that is both entertaining and informative.  Keep it coming.

Don't forget the dollar store!