My Workbench

Monday, January 7, 2013

Water Technique

A couple of folks have asked me how I did the water on the port. Since I didn't have and didn't want to spend the money on the expensive resin type water materials, I experimented on this project and came up with a cheap method that turned out really nice. So here is a short description of the method I used.


  • Americana Navy Blue acrylic
  • Anita's Acrylic 11056 Ocean Blue
  • Black acrylic
  • Americana Snow (Titanium) White
  • Rustoleum Ultimate Spar Varnish
  • Modge Podge
  • Americana Triple Thick Brilliant Gloss Glaze
  • Decorator's Solution Clear Dimensional Silicone
All purchased at Hobby Lobby except for the Varnish.

1) Mix up the paint thick with no thinning: 4 parts navy blue, 2 parts ocean blue, 1 part black (I added a little more black for inside the breakwaters.)

2) Paint the whole area with large arcing strokes toward the wind direction. I used a 1" brush. let it dry completely.

3) Apply a thin coat of the spar varnish and let it dry.

4) At this point I glued down the breakwater pieces.

5) I used a 1/4" stiff flat brush and lightly stabbed in thin white arcs to simulate the wind driven rollers coming in. I also added the breaker lines for the island, mainland, and breakwaters. After this dried I took a folded wet paper towel and rubbed the white lines to make them more subdued or suttle.

6) Add texture to the shore and breakwater breakers with the dimentional clear silicone using a flat tooth pick to apply it along the white lines. Apply about two inches worth then go back and dab the silicone with the toothpick to raise the peaks. This is tedious work but the effect was worth it IMO. Allow to thoroughly dry.

7) Dry brush the breakers with white.

8) Apply a thick layer of Modge Podge and let it dry.

9) Apply any touch ups needed like more dry brush accents for breakers, currents, reefs, etc.

10) Apply a final coat of the triple thick brilliant gloss glaze.

That's it. Again this is the first time I've done it this way and I like the way it turned out. I will use this method for larger terrain pieces. But I will continue to use the other method for my individual ship bases.

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