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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

Modelling rivers

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As part of the fiction the railway out of Coombe Barton station crosses the river. The bridge is very, very like the one to the east of Buckfastleigh on the Asburton Branch. Very, very like.


The river is only a few feet deep in the summer, the model being staged in summer 1947** and relatively clear, maybe with a slight brownish tinge. Similar rivers are http://www.devonguide.com/photos/img18.htm and http://www.legendholidays.co.uk/content/images/RiverDart.jpg. There can be boulders and other rocks, and there will be some water movement. There are fish, and I hope a kingfisher lurking on a branch waiting for lunch. The area is wooded with beech and oak, mainly. Tree making is going to be a long process.


So for the river I'm thinking casting resin applied in layers. So the questions.

  • Is there any 'best' type/make or resin?
  • Should the river be scale depth or shallower? (I have to decide before making the baseboard)
  • I'm assuming that you model the river banks and bed first, and introduce the resin in layers.
  • I'm going to need some ripples and surface texture in places - what's the accepted way of making them? Make the water smooth with the resin and then spot add varnish?

I'm going to have to experiment first, but would appreciate some pointers of the way to go. I am aware of Gordon Gravett's use of acryllic sheet and varnish (MRJ 192) but I'm after more rocks - his's river's a probably a bit deeper than mine and runs between buildings rather than having banks. As I said, I haven't started with the baseboards yet, but the cut and depth of the river is critical to the storage opf the layout in the home.


** Subject to more confirmation and thought

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Although I have no personal experience of using it, the write up for 'Magic Water' looks good.


Available from EDM Models and illustrated here http://www.ngtrains.com/Pages/Scenic/magic_water.htm


I must declare an interest as I help Paul Martin with his trade stand at shows and we sell a lot of the stuff but I haven't spoken to anyone who has actually used it yet :D


Paul is also now a Forum Sponsor in the Narrow Gauge Modelling section and so you might see his advert pop up from time to time - have a look as it isn't all narrow gauge :rolleyes:



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I used Woodland scenics water on my O gauge layout "Clarbeston North".

It was "loaned" to me by Barry Ten, who had only used a small amount on his superb layout "Shillingstone"


I used most of the bottle though! :rolleyes:

I have to say, I think he made a better job of it than me,

but I'm fairly pleased with the result.


It took quite a long time to set - as you can only pour in a few mm at a time.....

and there is a bit of a miniscus effect at the edges,

though as I said, I'm fairly pleased with it overall...



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