How to make a pond for your model railroad

Make a pond for your railroad?

Hall of fame member, Rob, has been in touch.

If you want to make a pond for your model railroad, he’s put together a wonderful ‘how to’.

“Hi Alistair,

A friend of mine after seeing my lake that I call hanging lake said I should make a video of how to make a lake so people will feel confident and try to make an interesting pond, lake or river.

It is quite easy to get good results. Here are two pictures of both my lake and my waterfall.

make a pond for your model railroad

make a lake for your model railroad
(images are clickable)

In the video I take you step by step through the process. My project was done over a two day period working just an hour in total.

Water features are easy and fun to do. Anyone who is worried about how to make a pond for your model railroad should watch this video.

Thank you so much for all you do.

Rob – Farland Howe”



Flex paste | Realistic water | Water ripples | Water waves

A stunning ‘how to’ from Rob. It should be me thanking him.

It really did brighten my day because for some reason of late, the trolls have been out in force.

When I started this blog, all those years ago, they used to get me. But now I just merrily delete them and read the nice mails, which does the trick:

“I almost forgot about your site as I got out of the hobby for several years.I started up again and maybe because of age or just being away from modeling so long I forgot a lot of what you do helping others in this great hobby. But I just went up to my grage attic and found printouts from your site I save in a folder from many years ago and you still great in saving time and money for all your fellow modelers. Thank you again. Allen”

“Hi…… great site and great emails……. Gary”

“Al;

Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much I enjoy and have learned from your newsletter and blog. I purchased the “Beginner’s Guide” a while back and have read it through numerous times. It has helped me in planning for my own beginning layout which will be taking shape soon. I have a three-year-old grandson who is currently into the Thomas trains in a big way, so I have a dedicated shed at my home that will serve as the home to my layout and give the grandson plenty of room to spread out his wooden train tracks (he loves to rearrange the layouts into new and novel configurations) and “help” me run the HO layout until he gets a little older. I have gradually accumulated enough track and rolling stock to build and operate a double-loop 4X8 layout. My emphasis is on the late 1940s to early 1950s when the final transition from steam to diesel was being made. I grew up on a farm which adjoined the main rail line from Atlanta, Georgia to Knoxville, Tennessee, and was originally built in the 1850s. As a child I watched the freights and passenger trains of the Southern Railway on this line, so it is the Southern that will be principally represented on my layout.

Thanks, and best wishes from the USA!

Jim, Cleveland, Tennessee, USA”

“Al: I really love your website. All of the tips and tricks are really good info for us model railroad fans. Mike, Michigan USA”

“Al, your blog is the daily feature that I enjoy and I look forward receiving your email. I’ve been in Model railroading since I was 10 years old when I received my first model train set, a Marx metal 027 scale. I’m greatful for your efforts bringing us what most of us enjoy. Thank you! Frank, near Mickey Mouse, Orlando”

You get the idea – the nice mails / comments really do drown out the trolls.

I’m telling you this for no other reason than to say thank you. A huge thank you.

If you read my mails and enjoy the site, thank you.

And an even bigger thank you to anyone who has supported the site by investing in the Beginner’s Guide or any of the print out scenery (frankly, without them, there wouldn’t be a site).

So, thank you, thank you, thank you – you know who you are.

That’s all for today folks. Hope you enjoyed Rob’s video as much as I did. Stunning stuff.

I wonder how many of you will make a pond for your model railroad now?

Best

Al

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here (I’ve added the pond materials to it).

20 Responses to How to make a pond for your model railroad

  1. Fred says:

    Excellent job Rob…..I maybe one day will add water to my layout

    Regards Fred

  2. Antony says:

    Nice techniques. I might now give this a try. Thank you very much.
    Ant.

  3. Keith Miller says:

    Rob is another of your regulars, like Dave, who I really enjoy. Always something worth watching at Farland Howe. Some useful product information this time and a well produced ‘tutorial’. Thank you Rob, for taking the time.

    Thank you Al for continuing your good work. Sorry to hear you are occasionally pestered by sad people hiding anonymously behind their computers – thank you for filtering them out!

    Dustyk UK

  4. Eric says:

    Excellent work Rob as usual, did notice you have the same problems as I with Realistic water…bubbles, a real pain, my cure is EZ water sets quick and so long as you soak the area with scenic glue first and let it dry it doesn’t bubble as much as the liquid and they can be pricked out with a needle if any occur before fully set or blown out with a heat gun, You can use the other aids like waves and ripples on it too.
    Al, ignore the trash, block them out and keep up the excellent blog site you created, real modellers love it.

  5. steve joyce says:

    Quite an instructive video. I plan on doing a D-Day diorama and I can see using some of this to add water effects like waves to what I already had planned to use. I will definitely make use of the flex paste to seal the board

  6. don kadunc says:

    I have been using the same technique. I use latex paint to make the bottom water tight. I use Water Effects for ripples and water falls. The biggest problem is it does not come out of the bottle. I have used centrifugal force to get it off the bottom of the bottle to squeeze it out. Storing the bottle upside down is not very effective. I’ve thought of warming it in hot water, but am worried it will setup. I also used Deep Water for a large river with drops of tint. It is very true that a little tint goes a long way. Any suggestions to get Water Effects out of the bottle?

  7. Appookta says:

    Rob – Never saw such “real” looking water! Fantastic job!!!

  8. Richard says:

    Great tutorial on making a pond. Really enjoyed watching it

  9. Marklin ed. says:

    Bob you can make a dark green using red. I’m an artist and colors on the other side of the color wheel will make cleaner colors instead of using black.

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy getting your emails. I have done some HO and Z scale layouts many years ago, and probably won’t have the space or time to get into it again, but I enjoy reminiscing via the text, photos and (most of all) videos that you send. For me, my daily grind of working on the computer at my home office desk gets, well, pretty boring at times. When your emails arrive, I always mark them as “unread” and save them for another time. When I’ve finally had it up to my eyeballs with computer screens, printers and piled up work tasks, I push back in my office chair, click on my “In” box, tap your email, and in the next instant I’m transported to another time, a kinder and gentler time, as trains roll through hillsides, over trestles, around lakes, through tunnels and past busy city stations. I’m riding in a steam locomotive or taking in the passing scenery from a Pullman car…all in an enchanted land of makebelieve. I know I can’t be the only reader that gets that experience – and I feel grateful for the time and effort you put in. So “thanks” from a big kid who never outgrew his boyhood dreams!

  11. Minnesota Dan says:

    I think I have just the place for a waterfall. Keep em coming, AL.

  12. Minnesota Dan says:

    Loos like when you pour the water, you could add vegetation cover, something for the bass to hide in. Would like more info on the waterfall. Very enjoyable and doable!

  13. Peter Evangel says:

    Thank you Rob. Now I know how to make ripples!!!!!

    Pete in Silicon Valley

  14. Craig Burton says:

    Thanks Rob, an excellent how to! You make it look EASY! CRAIG

  15. Jan Watters says:

    Thank you a great help
    cheers

  16. ian mcleod says:

    what an inspiration s is to a learner, I will be trying this out and add it to any layout I start to work on, thankyou.
    Ian

  17. Hemi says:

    Absolutely STUNNING work!!!! -I’m not sure on the rest who read this but this will GREATLY help what I have planned for my own layout which I’m building and getting things to begin! Keep up the GREAT work! -Hemi

  18. SorenES says:

    Hi Rob!
    I would like to make a small waterfall and a rapidly flowing river on my mountaneous layout. So, please make a ‘hot-to’ on your waterfall technique. I admire your presenting skills!
    SorenES

  19. Jim Logue says:

    Perfect timing. I’m getting ready to put down some water scenes. I’ve never did a water scene before so this was great. Thanks ! Jim from NJ..

  20. Ian McDonald says:

    that was a stunning how to Rob. it really puts thoughts into peoples future layouts. thanks for sharing.

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