Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Evolution of a lake, part 3

Next comes the water....this is something I've only tried a couple of times before years ago with mixed results.  I've never been a big fan of the poured stuff like the two part epoxies, so I've tried to steer clear of them.  The one process I did have good luck with was a plaster poured river bed, painted to add depth and then I brushed on several layers of Gloss Medium to give the watery effect.  This was pretty simple and convincing and had planned to use it again when I got a chance.   

But lately I've read about several new types that got me curious.  One was the Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, the other was Magic Water of which Rod referred to in his comment from the last post.  The WS realistic water just seemed too expensive, as most of their stuff is and I didn't know much about the Magic Water.  While doing some research on it I also came across another product that caught my eye: Quick Water, I found this at Michael's in their floral department.

Quick Water, like Magic Water is a two part resin mix.  It's also an acrylic resin with next to no oder that takes about 8-10 to setup. It's mainly used for floral arrangements for silk flowers.  It's designed to look like water in a clear vase that promises not to yellow, shrink or crack.  But there is a drawback that I found out later on, I'll explain it at the end of this post.

After getting the lake bed sealed up I got the bed of the lake painted with acrylic paints to simulate depth, added the rocks, got the Kudzu in place and then I added a some twigs to simulate dead fall. Once everything was glued into place and dried, I broke out the Quick Water!

One thing I wanted to try was to tint the pour to help things look murky.  Others have said to mix in the cheap acrylic paint to do this.  So I grabbed some the green I used for the lake bed and winged it!

I only mixed about 6 oz which was actually more than I needed for an approximate 1/8" to 1/4" pour. After stirring for the recommend 3-5 minutes and I added the paint, stirred a bit more and drew a heavy breath and began the pour!  It was self-leveling and went on very well!  I used the stir stick to help coax it around and into the entire area. There were a few bubbles, but they were removed simply by blowing gently across the surface.  Once poured I shut the lights off and went upstairs. I did return a few times to make sure it wasn't leaking, thankfully it never did.

Here's how it turned out the next day.

All in all I was very impressed!
The only bad things I noticed was: 

One, It did creep up into the rocks pretty good, but this could be taken care of fairly simple and it wasn't terribly noticeable since the rocks were not a straight line like the edge of the fascia.

Two, The tinting wasn't as murky as I had wished.  But I think I have a plan to help make it better.

Here are some shots that I was screwing around with afterwards.

I do like the way it reflects. This would have to be kept very clean to maintain this level of reflections.  This next shot I got the itch to play around with GIMP to see how things would look if I was more proficient with this type of software, don't laugh too hard.

Now, as for the drawback I mentioned earlier.

After 48 hrs or so, my curiosity got the best of me and I couldn't resist any longer. I went down, turned on the lights and just a like person who sees the sign "Wet Paint", I reached out and touched the lake with my finger!  Expecting to find a hard, slick surface, my finger instead was stuck to the surface like a fly on flypaper! It was so sticky I didn't think I was going to get my finger back without taking some skin off!  WTH?  I went back upstairs and sat down at the computer to do some research on Quick Water.

I found several pages where others stated that the Quick Water took longer than 48 hrs to fully setup and yet others had stated that it never got solid, but wound up with a consistency like a Super Ball. Sometime the tackiness went away, sometimes not.  Great, just great!  Now I had a great looking lake that was nothing more than a giant flytrap!

I Suppose I should have done what most do and that is to test something off layout.  That way if it goes wrong it can be tossed into the circular file without ruining the layout.  But I guess I was a little too excited to do this. Besides everything I read about this product didn't give any indication that the final consistency would being rubbery or sticky.  Common sense would say that if this was used for a floral arrangement, you wouldn't want it to collect a thick layer of dust over time that couldn't be cleaned off.  But then Common Sense is pretty much a lost art these days.

I do have one trick left up my sleeve so I'll see how that turns out and post it...  

Jump to "Evolution of a lake, part 4"


  1. Those weathered, rusty box cars look extra convincing in that environment.

    I too have had the best luck using painted surfaces and gloss medium. I like the control and if it gets dull just brush on another coat.

    1. Thanks again Brad!
      After running into the sticky mess with the Quick Water, I too wish I would have used the Magic Water and or the Gloss Medium. But you're exactly right Brad, if needed, just brush on another coat of Gloss medium and Viola! Fresh water!