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model water tips?

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  • model water tips?

    So, I'm working with a well that's boing to be 3/4"-1" deep, about 2" diameter in the bottom, flaring to about 4".

    The well is made out of plaster and currently I have woodland scenics realistic water. I was thinking something murky with just a touch of paint to make the water on the nastier side.

    Optimally, I'd like to put a plastic pane in the well a bit below the surface to conserve on material and, if I'm feeling gimmicky, be able to have a fun light under it.

    My plan was to just paint and varnish the thing, install a pane and use some clear goop to seal it around 3/8" down, then put down a few layers of fake water, but I'm pretty inexperienced with it, having only used the stuff for a few bases. Any tips?

  • #2
    my experience is quite limited, I dont see a problem with having a cavity if the water will be cloudy/murky (Clear I dont think would work as you would see a line). Main thing is sealing the gaps first. Once you have the pane in place apply a couple of coats of pva along where the pain joins the base, this will help seal any gaps and prevent leaking.
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    • #3
      dont forget if you are lighting the well,, its supposed to be deep and dark so you will need to filter the bulb instead of having it shining brightly??
      The clear disc can be sealed with water effect gel ( Brett sells it in store) then once set usually 12 hours depending on thickness.. you can do a mix of murky waterand do a 2 mm layer.. that should work nicely.. sounds like an interesting project.. hope to see photos..


      • #4
        Thanks, both of you- should have pics of the base in a day or two.

        I'm currently on the hunt for cheap compact lights from halloween stuff I could cannibalize.

        And yes, I was planning on doing a bunch of color in the water so only a bit of light gets through, unless I could find something with a dimmer which would be ideal/more flexible, in which case I'd do a thinner effect.


        • #5
          yeah leds are an obvious choice but they tend to be quite bright. Depending how good at electronics you are you could custom build one using a lower power one. But i think a standard one masked as Norm suggests is probably a lot easier
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          • #6
            Has anyone tried using glass paints (I think they're a type of enamel) for tinting and masking LEDs before? I think it should work, though I'd normally go the circuit route as its really just a resistor change and matching up your battery to what you need.

            If the LED and the plastic panel have coats of it on, you should be able to control the colour and intensity that comes through - green led with an uneven coating of brown/red on the bottom of the panel could give a great mottled green/brown look. Even more so if the panel is frosted/matted underneath to scatter the light more.

            Can't say I've tried underwater light though, so I'm just theorising...

            edit: I have had good results making water look stagnant by getting mid green flock and sprinkling it onto the wet water effect round the edges as algae, if that helps at all!
            Last edited by Mako; 03-11-2015, 10:28 am.
            A model what I painted: My WIP thread


            • #7
              Makos theory is almost spot on but its as easy as painting the LED with normal acrylic..
              All you need is a coin battery and holder some wire a resistor and an LED you can add a switch if you wish?? But ya can just pull the battery out if ya dont want a switch.

              LED's give off very little heat and can take a lot of paint before the light is cancelled out.. there are different coloured Bulbs too ya can even get one that flickers..
              I use the very cheap and great service..
              But when filtering the bulb you need to take in to account the opacity of the water effect? The more tint in the water the less filter on the bulb. But as Brett says they are very bright.. so you will need to play with the buld and water effect...
              I would get a toilet roll tube and stick a clear disc in the end and the LED in the bottom and timt both with the colours you want.. that should give you a guide to the tint for both then ya can build the buld into the bottom of the well and then mic ya water effect when ready..
              It sounds like a lot of work but its not really.. a couple of minutes to set up the wiring and a couple to tint bulb..
              Also wells usually have green slime up the walls maybe get some green pigment from the wamp store and wet it in place i the gaps ;-)
              Just a thought ... ;-)


              • #8
                @Mako, thats a great tip for the algae.

                @Norm, a big resistor should help dim the LED sufficiently? Long time since my Electronic OND!
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                • #9
                  If you wanna get really picky, you can put in a variable resistor and tune it to exactly what you want. The circuit is pretty basic, Demonn does 'em all the time so they can't be that tough
                  A model what I painted: My WIP thread


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mako View Post
                    If you wanna get really picky, you can put in a variable resistor and tune it to exactly what you want. The circuit is pretty basic, Demonn does 'em all the time so they can't be that tough

                    maybe add a flip flop for good measure!
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                    • #11
                      Thanks, all for the advice!

                      Anyone able to give basic tips on the parts I'd need to make such circuit? I did a tiny bit of electronics work back in college or something so would be able to construct it, but definitely don't have the know-how to properly pick the parts with confidence...


                      • #12
                        go on line and get an LED at the size you want some LED wire kit a resistor about 100ohm should do, a coin battery plus holder and if you want a switch you can get one.. if you are in the UK go to they sell everything you will need they will even sell you a soldering iron for a few quid and some solder.. oh and a length od shrink wrap ;-)
                        depending on the switch you want its quite easy to put together..

                        or Ebay is always a good shout for stuff if ya not UK based..

                        if ya need a diagram drawing up im sure one of us can help you out ;-)


                        • #13
                          So, a shot of what I'm attempting. I've mounted it on MDF since I took the shot, and started filling in the gaps with more plaster. Trying to get a light in the center and have enough murk that it doesn't look 1/2" below the surface...

                          The plant designs have a tall lip designed to contain the water effects so it'll get most of the way up the mouths.


                          • #14
                            should look wicked. what colour led you going for?
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                            • #15
                              oh thats a challenge... its not a traditional well.... I think you would be better drilling a hole in the mdf for the bulb and sinking it into the MDF once the bottom of the well is painted put a thin disc of plastic over the bulb to seal it and once you have painted the well get some of your woodland scenics resin and just fill the well with you desired mix of tinted resin, that way you can take the bulb out from underneath and adjust and brightness to suit. alternatively you could pour the water effect in layer reducing the tint for each layer that way its not consistantly murky from bottom to top but should give a sense of depth??

                              an actually drawimg would be nice to see your actual plan??