Recently, I started working on the water feature to my Test of Honour board and have been getting mixed results after the first few days. Admittedly, I knew I wasn’t “doing it right” from the get-go but decided to keep going regardless. I’m using Woodland Scenics Realistic Water (which, contrary to my title, isn’t actually resin) and finding that it is an interesting, albeit fickle, product to work with.
The directions for Realistic Water are pretty simple in that you pour a bit in your sealed and prepped area and let it dry for at least 24 hours. A big drawback is that you can only pour in 1/8th inch deep sessions. This makes the project time take forever if you are trying to do anything more than a little puddle. There are “deep pour” products out there as well but I’d already picked this product up so I decided to try it out.
I knew right off the bat that I’d have some issues and didn’t have a solid plan to get around it but decided I’d wasted enough time. Issue #1: the end of my water feature was on a corner, not a straight side of the board. I didn’t have rig or corner piece to hold that in so I did probably the worst option available- painters tape.
It did what you would expect- leak. Here’s where that time-consuming 1/8th inch pour saved me as it leaked out and hardened (on a foil base- at least I thought that far ahead) but I didn’t lose an entire pour to the process.
It did leak quite a bit by the time the 24 hours had passed. On the plus side though, the leak dammed up the shoddy tape job (I hoped) and I could pour again.
This was the leak footprint at the start of the second pour.
And here we have after the second pour. Looked the same to me so if it leaked out, it wasn’t pooling here anymore. More “water” stayed in this time so I think with the inevitable shrinking and damming up more nooks/crannies, the water has created the seal I needed.
looking at the other side of the model, we have the main part of the feature with the pond. Due to the height differences in my river bed, a natural dam formed so that side of the pour could stabilize. It did bring up issue #2: gluing the cattails into the board.
A thorough reading of the instructions would reveal a critical line about this product not playing well with PVA glue. Apparently, what that means is it breaks down the PVA and turns it all white. I guess it could be worse and it could have turned it orange but still it is not a desired effect.
Since I have a few layers to go before I get my desired pour height, I think I can hide this by eventually adding some color to the water. Having it crystal clear is nice but I don’t think it will give the desired effect I’m going for so tinting was always going to be added but maybe I should have added it from the bottom and gone lighter on the way up.
First, I’ll have to get these pours to stabilize to where I can pour the whole length at 1/8th inch so the bed can start looking like an actual river pond and less like a drying out drought bed.
The pond side is definitely getting there but if the board-edge side doesn’t fully seal, the heights of the two will merge and keep flowing out of the model (maybe via a crack or hole I’m not seeing on the edge. I still have a good amount of the bottle left so until then, I’ll pour and wait. Pour and wait.
Oh and cover it over so debris doesn’t fall in and mar up the surface. Once I have a surface to care about.