Building A Realistic Waterfall Model By Luke Towan

A model waterfall adorning your space is certain to add to its charm. Although you can buy such a model from certain retail websites, a readymade one may not go with the décor of your space. The solution is to build your own model waterfall.

Of course, the mere thought of this DIY task is intimidating, but in reality, it’s not so. You can build an amazing waterfall model. And its use is not only restricted to decoration but can also be used in a railroad layout or in a military model.

Model base

The first thing you need is a firm base for the model to sit on. Although a foam board is most commonly used, one made from extruded polystyrene is a better choice. Not only is it cheaper than a foam board, but it is also easier and quicker to cut through.

If you want the best results, your model should sit on a level surface. Although the base doesn’t have to be perfectly flat, it should be as close to it as possible. Using a digital leveling tool will not only help you with leveling but also in getting the required different track gradients.

Building the model

The first step is to make a sketch. Now, cut the layers of material as per the sketch, using a hot knife, to the model its 3D shape. Once the desired shape is obtained, realistically paint and decorate it with trees and foliage.

For water of the waterfall, chooseEnvirotex Lite, since it’s most reliable and performs well on deep pours. Another option is Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, which is safe and easy to use, but cannot handle deep pours of more than 0.5 centimeters since it is prone to drying up and cracking. A readymade product for deep pours is ‘Deep Pour Water’ that comes pre-tinted in various hues of blues and even has a clear version. By mix and match, you can get the water of desired shade.

The river where resin will be poured requires a dam, without which the resin is most likely to ooze and trickle to the floor. To prevent this, apply a strip of masking tape to the edge of the river and glue it with wood glue. Since the glue takes time to dry up, wait for it to dry before pouring the resin into the river. An overnight wait is recommended.

Finishing touches

Use a large soft brush to drybrush the waterfall strips and to feather the edges of the white, similar to the white water areas on the river top. This will make your model look like a real waterfall.

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