Jump to content

Alex Williams

Real running river on a layout? Possible?

Recommended Posts

Just seen a discussion about this somewhere else using an indoor water fountain pump, sorry, lost the link. This intrigues me. Has anyone tried adding a river with real water to their layout?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen it done, but, sadly, it just doesn't "scale".

 

By this I mean that the depth of water that could be accomodated on a model tends to flow far too fast for anything but a mountain stream. You also have the problems of containing it and constant topping up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that if you carried out 'dimensional analysis' that to scale stream flow you might need to use a fluid other than water.  Just think what might be possible with say alcohol?  That would certainly be difficult to keep topped up.

 

Cheers

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had an infinity pool style drop off at the end I suppose you could have a level meandering river. Maybe a rocky 'rapids' section in the middle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real water doesn't scale down to 1:76.  It flows too quickly, 76 times too quickly in fact, and the surface tension is about a scale 9 inches, so it looks ridiculous.  I am not aware of any liquid that could perform the function anything like realistically; you would need something more viscous to slow the flow and this means even more overscale surface tension, and this is before any problems regarding fumes, chemical reaction with surrounding material, or evaporation are considered.  Related to surface tension is the issue of foam where rapids, waterfalls, boat wakes, or waves are attempted.

 

There are materials that scale down very well, like stone, coal, and wood, but I cannot think of any liquid that does.  Any attempt to include running or for that matter static real water on a layout will look gimmicky and wrong; I have to admire the determination of those who do it on exhibition layouts. where spillages and handling have to be taken into account as well, but it looks awful!

 

This is only my opinion, of course (though it is a fact that water flowing on a 00 layout will be moving 76 times too fast; we try to run trains at scale speed, mostly anyway) and good luck to anyone who wants to have a go; don't let me rain on your parade.  I've been thinking about using a mister to provide 4mm scale rain on my layout, but the logistics are just too much for me; drainage, waterproofing my scenery, possible electrical issues.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind all the issues regarding leaks etc.

When you see models and water in films, assuming its not all computer generated, the film is invariably slowed down to make it more realistic

 

Edit. Actually I think it's shot faster and then the resulting film slowed down.

Edited by rovex
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Static water can work and can allow for moving boats, but I have never seen an effective bit of moving water on a layout. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ever get a chance, check out the old black and white film 'Sink the Bismark', which shows up on afternoon tv sometimes, or have a look on YouTube.  This is filmed slo-mo using model ships in a tank, at a fairly large scale, and shows the limitations; it doesn't look at all like the North Atlantic, or like anything much bigger than a village duck pond, and the ships' bow waves and shell splashes don't cut it at all.

 

There are other inaccuracies as well, but we'll forgive them since the right side won...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

I have seen real water used several times and to be honest in anything smaller than 16mm it looks awful. Besides the actual inconstancy's mentioned here it always looks too clean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Alsager club had an N gauge layout with a stream running across it some years ago which was quite convincing as they had put dye in the water which stopped the shine you get on plain water IIRC there was a small lake with canoes on it that were moved by magnets under the plastic container that they had used to form the lake.

 

I think that they have retired the layout now but someone at the club will be able to give details I am sure if anyone is interested.

 

Regards mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some years back, there was a cartoon in Model Railroader, depicting a modeller who had gone in for real water big-time. Things were clearly not good, however, with water pouring everywhere. He was writing a letter "Dear Editor, I can hardly wait for the next instalment of 'Waterfalls with Real Water'". 

 

You have been warned. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some piccy's showing modelled and real water. You can decide which you like best. Now these piccy's are from a 16mm layout so it does work better than 00.

post-21711-0-04297200-1539471579_thumb.jpg

post-21711-0-43799500-1539471605_thumb.jpg

post-21711-0-42619600-1539471624_thumb.jpg

post-21711-0-95078100-1539471669_thumb.jpg

post-21711-0-63713600-1539471717_thumb.jpg

post-21711-0-14428500-1539471734_thumb.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real water does look better but the other water looks like someone has modelled a body of water that is covered in duck weed using bright green sugar icing for some reason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK for still water, so long as one can do something about the over-scale meniscus, and overcome the physical problem of reliably containing the stuff. Not easy unless it's incorporated into a firmly supported permanent layout structure.

 

However, the OP's query was about representing a river and, as pointed out by others, full size water never looks or behaves like anything other than full size water as soon as movement is introduced.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything to do with fluids doesn't scale easily. It's why I don't like smoke units much either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real water does look better but the other water looks like someone has modelled a body of water that is covered in duck weed using bright green sugar icing for some reason

 

Yes, the sugar icing green water is not the best rendition of a water surface I have ever seen!  Static, stagnant, water can be represented fairly effectively in 4mm, but not by using water if you see what I mean; moving water, which is what the OP wants, is another thing altogether.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always possible. There was a layout that had the tide come in and out. But comes with a big list of essentials.

 

On an exhibition layout the water could be changed every time and the boards dried out for transit. In a home / permanent layout. You would need to consider precautions against legionella.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of being contentious, that's an awful use of water, and a perfect example of all my comments; the water's movement, and that of the ships moving in it, is 76 times too fast.  Real ship handling with tugs in confined areas like docks is done very slowly indeed, and an impact with a quayside at even walking pace can cause massive damage to both parties.  And no dock has water that clean.

 

Impressive, though, I have to allow.  Gives a good impression of how big some of those WW1 battleships really were, and some lovely factory, shipyard, and warehouse buildings.  And I'm impressed with the RC skills of the tug skippers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David and Shirley Rowe did a superb exhibit, Exebridge Quay, exquisitely detailed in their inimitable style. It used real water for the dock basin and incorporated at least moving swans, and perhaps boats, and a rotating bridge. The water wasn't flowing, but I seem to think the tide ebbed and flowed during the course of an exhibition.

I have just been to the Croydon Exhibition today, and one layout, Pont d'Elaulne et Traveaux de Graviers, made use of real water, although not flowing.

One example was a nicely modelled river

post-189-0-47170600-1539529888_thumb.jpg

The other was certainly innovative, and very surprising.  A flooded gravel pit has been created, and the HO9 diesel shunter could safely make its way through the water, with amazing reliablity.  I was assured tap water was used, nothing partlcularly special, and the loco was picking up from the rails; not battery trickery involved.

post-189-0-05704700-1539530066_thumb.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent a couple of hours operating O gauge Tollesbury Quay recently, on that the tide comes in and out. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-weUtKXAK56Q/VnAyO0x98jI/AAAAAAAAG94/WmnKig70y8s/s1600/IMGP8015%2B-%2BCopy.JPG

Tide coming in ,in the picture. Try to get a copy of MRJ246 for layout write up with a description of how the tide works, got my copy off Ebay. Buckets, piping and a sort of drip feed, there's even a sealed baseboard joint. A small leak, well drip really, occured but from a poor bucket to pipe joint. Operaters must remember to alter the clock for tides.

Edited by w124bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most impressive use of real water on a model railway must be in Hamburg - and its not 4mm, but 3.5mm scale :yahoo:

Follow the video through to the Scandinavian section

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.