Sunday, November 4, 2012

Water world: Creating the falls!

The tournament has now come and gone.  Yes, I know that you are wanting some info on the tournament results, but that is going to have to wait for now...

You have heard over and over how time was running very low for the end of this project.  At this point, we were going to have to be leaving the house in about 5 hours.  I had not packed anything, not slept, and not even started the waterfalls!  Can't have a Fortress Falls without it.

So, out came the Woodland Scenics water effects.  It is a lot like Elmer's glue, but a slightly different set of ingredients.  I wanted churning water, so I took a relatively stiff flat brush to spread out the effects into the river bed.  If there was more time, I would have done a few layers, but there would only be time for one.

I started to get desperate, so I took the top off the bottle and started squeezing out huge chunks of it.  That really worked well!

The real fun part of all this was going to be the falls themselves.  To get this:

You need this.  It is a plastic sheet with all of the water effect spread out with a flat brush.  Once the effects dry, it forms a clear textured 'sheet' that looks like falling water!  Be careful though, as it remains sticky.  While this is great for getting it attached to the rocks, it also means that it will stick to itself like crazy!

So, you take some of your wet water effects and brush that on to where you want to attach your sheet.  Once the sheet is applied, you brush on some more effects to hide that seam, and make it have more of a nice 'edge' where it goes over the rocks

I worked out from the top center section, expanding outward and down to the river bed

Where it reached the river be, I went crazy with very heavily textured, churning water!

Here it is right after I completed that task.  I turned on an industrial strength fan to dry it faster, but that only worked partially well.  In fact, it was still drying today!

Here is a sneak preview of the finished board!  The water looks a bit different here, doesn't it?  I will have to go back over my river bed to do some more applications.  I will also have to mix in some white paint with 'hardcoat or some kind of gloss varnish to make the foamy, frothy, effect.


  1. "Water effects" that is a GW product right?

    Thanks for the pics and inspiration.

    1. The water effects is a Woodland Scenics product. It is not terribly expensive.

  2. The water definitely needs something else done to it.
    But the rest of the board looks amazing with all of the models on it! :D

    1. Forgot to ask, why does the watchtower sit a couple of centimetres above the cliff?

    2. The answer to both questions is in my massively compressed time schedule. :-) The water is normally a 3-5 step process, but I only had time for one. I will be doing the rest at a later date. The same goes for the smaller building, which is a temporary magnetized structure.

      Even that one will be replaced eventually. :-)

  3. First of all Jim, This display and army was absolutely incredible to see in person. You did a great job and congrats on your awards this weekend. Your painting is inspiring and hopefully someday I can get close to this level. My motto from now in "practice makes progress"

    1. Thanks! The stress levels in the last 3 weeks had begun to approach an overwhelming level, so being able to share that whole thing with everybody made it all worthwhile.

      Practice really is the key. There are many projects such as this where only a few months before I would not have had the knowledge to execute. With each mini I paint or terrain piece I build, it's like a new window opens up.

      I learn more every day, which is really cool at those moments when I can step back at events like Bilbo's and see it through your eyes and everyone else at the event. I am so close to it (and obsessed with the original vision), I can be very disappointed by not getting it to look like that version. :-)

      Many thanks for such a cool experience!

  4. Amazing!!
    Very interesting the waterfalls 'Step By Step'

  5. Marvellous. Just waiting for this water effect process that is missing, but the rest of the project is amazing.
    I will take some ideas from this.
    Sorry about my English.