Cheap and Easy Model Water

Modellers often shy away from modelling water because it is considered to be too hard… It can also be really expensive if you have a large area to cover in resin.

This week’s video shows a really cheap and easy way to model water using ingredients you probably already have in your house.

The “Real” World

I’m testing this out on my new Port Dinorwic layout that is currently under construction. It’s been a great test bed for new ideas and small layouts can be brilliant for allowing you to try new techniques.

You can find out more about this project here.

The layout is based on the old Port Dinorwic slate dock and here are some photos of what it looks like today:

The Final Result


The Amazon links are all items I have either bought or bought something similar for myself. Clicking on any links to Amazon will give me a small affiliate income which I use to produce more videos. Every little helps!

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4 thoughts on “Cheap and Easy Model Water”

  1. Bloody Brilliant Kathy.
    Have you tried a top coat of still water from Vallejo to give more waves or whatever?

    1. Hi Jeff

      I wouldn’t recommend it. I used it for ice in an upcoming MRVP video and it has interesting results but if you’re using PVA, use all PVA.


  2. Klaus-Juergen Hohmann

    HELP !
    Hi Kathy !
    I’ve tried your method of water modelling and at the beginning everything worked out fine. The layout is in my railroad room in our flat.
    I’ve painted the surface with green Tamiya colours, found a clear PVA and added 4 layers of it. Each layer had 2 days time to dry and all was clear and nice.
    I ordered the Tacky Glue you suggested, but if came to late to make the waves before our holidays.
    I left with a clear harbour, but 2 weeks later, when we came back, the whole thing looked milky. First I thought that maybe it was to hot (for a week, we had a first taste of hot summer over here, 36degr.Celsius.), but now, after waiting 4 days with normal late spring weather nothing changes. The harbour stays milky.
    Do you have any suggestion, what to do?
    It would be great, because it is the method and the type of water I was looking for for years.
    Thanks, Klaus from Germany

    1. Klaus

      I’m sorry to hear that has happened. I’m not sure what to suggest as not all PVAs are the same. I’d be tempted to try a hairdryer over it to see if that clears it.

      I find the tacky glue in thick layers has a slightly milky look in some lights but my base PVA is 100% clear when dry.

      Let me know how it goes and experiment with a varnish to seal it if you get continued problems.

      Good luck!


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