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Modeling Water

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  • Member since
    February 2003
Modeling Water
Posted by markfannin2001 on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 6:13 PM

I'm building a diorama of an aircraft crashed at sea but have no idea how to model water.

Can anyone provide guidance to model realistic-looking water? The diorama will be a 1/48 Spitfire crashed at sea with the pilot standing on the wing as the plane sinks.

This project has been a long time coming and now I realize the water will be the most critical element of the diorama.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mark Fannin
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by weebles on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 10:55 PM
I've got to tell you that this is a tough one to reply to. There are a number of different techniques for doing this. The most common way seems to be using something like Sculpey or Celluclay to model the water, then painting. That works well for ships. I have a Kalmbach publication on building dioramas which has an excellent technique developed by Sheperd Paine who is famous for his dioramas. This technique uses aluminum foil, polyester casting resin, and dyes. I can't begin to explain it and it's better done with photos and step by step instructions. The best thing to do is find some good articles on the subject. Good luck!
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posted by Jeeves on Thursday, February 20, 2003 11:08 PM
If you have access to a hobby store-- there are some excellent products by Woodland Scenics for water. One product called E-Z-Water is made up of meltable beads that you heat up and then pour the molten mixture onto your base.....when it has cooled some-- you can then add in your Spitfire. They also make a liquid product that you can just pour in. Either way-- to recreate waves, use a hair-dryer (preferably one that your wife doesn't treasure ;))-- to coax the solution before it is dry to get ripples/waves in the water. Takes a little practice-- but it does wonders.

You can also use Ultra-Glo from the MicroMark company to recreate water-- comes in 2 separate bottles that you mix 50:50 to get the product.

Now-- I have used Future also-- when recreating water-filled puddles.....I am not sure if it would work the same to recreate ocean-- but be warned-- it takes a looooong time to dry.

I got most of this from the Osprey book on Terrain Modeling by Richard Windrow-- he has a whole chapter on water :)
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by Tinker on Thursday, February 27, 2003 3:14 AM
Not too long ago, FSM had a construction article where the author built a waterline model boat at sea. He used a shallow base that he painted then used clear caulking compound for the water. The caulking was easy ( he said Smile [:)] ) to shape and the dark colors gave the clear caulk the look of sea water. All he had to do then was paint highlights with his airbrush ( whitecaps, foam, etc. ) Dave has an excellent idea,too. If you can get one or both of Sheperd Paine's books on building dioramas, you'll be prepared to most any type of diorama scene. Shep Paine builds dioramas for a living. Kalmbach Publishing carries both books plus a lot of others. ( and no, I do not work for Kalmbach Smile [:)] ) I do have a bunch of their books though.
" 'Polls' are surveys of uninformed people who think it's possible to get the answer wrong." ...Ann Coulter

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