Wargaming Tradecraft: Water Effects: Creating Waterfalls

Water Effects: Creating Waterfalls


To wrap up the Tin Can Tree project, I'm going to demonstrate how to create waterfalls.

In the last two posts I showed how to create a few different types of water effects. Now you know how to create bottomless and moving water as well as clear and even water. (and how to muddy it up)


Large Waterfalls

First you need a clear base to build the actual waterfall on.

  1. Measure the height and width of your waterfall.
  2. Add a little extra to the height
    This lets you fold it over the source of the fall when you're ready to glue it on. (You can always cut excess off.)
  3. Subtract a little from the width.
    You don't want sharp straight lines on the side, so you'll expand it with gel later.

If you've got some clear overhead paper, you can cut a strip right now and move on to the next step.

If you don't, you'll have to create your own with either pouring medium or gel. To do this, pour / spread some out along a shiny, smooth surface. I'd recommend hard plastics, (cutting board, serving tray) laminate furniture or shiny metal. (old computer case) It's a good idea to test the surface first because you want it to be able to peel off easily.


Once it dries, carefully peel it off. A tear here and there should be ok, because you'll be covering it in more gel later.
Place the fall on and check sizing.

My height here was great, but I ended up cutting the sides off to shrink the width.

I don't glue it on yet, so that both sides are accessible for the next step.

Add some texture to the falls. As a first layer, I used more gel but this time it's a little fancier. This stuff is full of glass beads, which makes the water look bubbly.

I hung the strip from my lamp using magnets, then gelled both sides.

After, a pick can be run through the gel while it's still wet to streak and add a "flowing" appearance.



The bottom of the falls can be worked on at the same time. Remember, when water fans into more water, it churns up the bottom - your fall can't just hit the top of clear water, add some gel with some white paint / wash to create a frothing bottom. That's why in my clear water tutorial, you  can see I'm pouring around this waterfall base.

Once the basic churning is in place and the gel on the waterfall has dried, you can glue it into place at the top and the bottom of the fall. Use more gel to blend both into the falling water and while you continue to use white at the bottom, feel free to blend in whatever colour water you used at the top.


Trickle Waterfalls


For the small trickle coming from the side of the trunk, I've used a similar but simpler method.


As a base for the fall, I glued a piece of clear fishing line to the top and bottom.



For the trickle, I've covered it in pouring medium, which naturally creates the bulging effect of water falling.

Then, the tops and bottoms have been gelled and filled with more pouring medium.


If you want to expand the trickle, add more gel to it.

You'll also notice I've painted some gloss varnish behind the trickle. I did the same on the waterfall, but it was harder to see. Varnish is nice as a way to show splashing, trickling, dripping water without going as heavy as you would with gel.



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