View Full Version : Making Water

David Diaz
01-28-2007, 04:37 PM
Hello Everyone!

In this article I will describe a technique I use to create water on my dioramas. Over the years I have experimented with different materials and techniques. Most of were good but they lack of something. The best product I have found is called “Enviro-Tech light” or “Ultra Glow”. This is a resin used for giving wooden furniture that thick and glossy finish.


The advantages of Enviro-Tech are, it is easy to mix as it mixes in equal parts, it is non reactive to most modeling materials and paints and it can be colored by adding water based inks.

The materials needed for making water using this technique are:
1. A base were you want to simulate water.
2. Clear packing tape.
3. Thick Cardboard to make a frame
4. White glue
5. Regular masking tape
6. Enviro-Tech light resin
7. Small measuring cups
8. Mixing cups
9. 5 minute dry time Clear Epoxy
10. Mixing sticks

Ok, so first we start with a base where we want to put the water. For this example I will use a canal type base. This type of base is the simplest to work with since all its corners are straight. When making natural features like lakes and rivers, it’s a little harder sealing it, but the process is the same.


We will go ahead and use masking tape to cover the base so it won’t get damage.


We will then cut some strips of cardboard to make a frame for pouring the water. For this one I used foam board which is a sheet of foam sandwiched between two sheets of cardboard. I then covered the cardboard with clear packing tape. The side of the tape will face the inside. This is needed to prevent the Enviro-Tech to stick to the frame.



After that I glued the frame on top of the masking tape using white glue and let it fully dry.


Once the frame has been glued go ahead and mixed some 5 min Epoxy glue. This is used to seal the edges of the fame in order to prevent leaking of the resin. Don’t be stingy since the Epoxy will be absorbed by the Resin and it will not be noticed once you are finished. Make sure all edges and corners are seal.




After that let it fully dry.


David Diaz
01-28-2007, 04:39 PM
Once it is dry its time to mix the water.


In order to mix it efficiently and not waste any resin (its quite expensive) it is important that we calculate the amount we will need. This is done by calculating the volume that will be occupied by the resin. If you hate math (like me) donít worry its really very simple. Since the area we are going to be working is a triangle we will need to obtain the area of the triangle. This is Ĺ of its base (B) multiplied by its height (h)


Once you have this number (for this example I measured in Centimeters) you will multiply it by the dept of the water (H). This number will be in Cubic Centimeters.


Now, convert that to ounces. (I usually go to an internet conversions page, and it doest it automatically). The amount in ounces will be divided by 2 and we get the amount of each part of resin to mix. For this case it was ľ ounce of each part.

For this small measuring cups are very useful. You can get these at drugstores.


The amounts of each part were measured.


One thing I wanted was to tint the resin to represent the dirty muddy kind of greenish water of an urban canal. To do this I made a test run using water. I added ink until I liked the color. Keep this as a guide for when you tint the resin.


Now go ahead and mix the two parts of the resin in a mixing cup.


Next I went ahead and tint it, first by adding a drop of green ink.


Next I added a drop of brown ink



Next pour the water into the frame. Pour slowly as you want to avoid introducing bubbles.


After that let it dry overnight.


David Diaz
01-28-2007, 04:40 PM
Once fully dry, go ahead and remove the frame.


Sometimes, the Epoxy sticks to the sides and when you take the frame out it can chip some of the paint. Another thing that happens is that the resin tends to creep along the sides of the frame. This is impossible to avoid since it is due to the viscosity of the resin. However these things can be easily corrected.


Using a hobby knife scrape the excess Epoxy. This will be sanded and repainted afterwards.


Next to fix the creep problem. Using a new sharp blade, cut along the edges and cut away the resin where it crept.


The edge should now look like this.


Now we will again mix some 5 min Epoxy glue. Note that it is very important for the Epoxy to be clear and it must have 10 drying time. It you use a longer drying Epoxy the effect will not work.


Once mixed apply the Epoxy to the entire surface making sure you cover the areas where you cut away some of the resin.



Now using a flat mixing stick dab the Epoxy in a fast motion. This will cause the Epoxy to dry in waves and it will simulate a moving water surface.


Finally here is the complete base. The chipped paint has been repaired.




Thank you for viewing this rather long article. I hope it has been useful.
Until next time

Model on!:thumb:


David Diaz
01-28-2007, 04:42 PM
Srry Double Post

01-28-2007, 07:05 PM
Great SBS! I love the video ;)

01-28-2007, 09:21 PM
Now we will again mix some 10min Epoxy glue. Note that it is very important for the Epoxy to be clear and it must have 10 drying time. It you use a longer drying Epoxy the effect will not work.

David, are you sure is 10 minutes epoxy glue? :confused: I've seen 5 minutes and 30 minutes drying time but never 10 minutes, but let me know if I'm wrong. I think that using the 5 minute kind will be faster. What do you think? :p

David Diaz
01-29-2007, 11:59 AM
Actually you are right Ruben. I did use the 5 min Clear Epoxy. I already edited the post. I guess I was too tired when I wrote it. Remind me to label my Epoxy tubes man.


01-29-2007, 12:17 PM

Very cool sbs :thumb:


01-29-2007, 10:31 PM
David, you've got a double post there- the last one is on twice. ;) You might want to edit it all out.

David Diaz
01-30-2007, 08:15 AM
David, you've got a double post there- the last one is on twice. ;) You might want to edit it all out.

Thanks Fletcher, I already talk to James about it. He is going to delete the extra post.