Model railroad pond

Dan’s been back in touch. This time he shows us how he added some detail to his model railroad pond:

“Al, while looking for some single topics, I thought I would tell how I made lily pads.

These lily pads were needed on a layout I did for a friend. Later I will show the entire layout.

I found these on Google. The flowers can also be pink.

model railroad pond

The basic pond idea was to fill in a spot that needed some interest. It is right up to the edge of the lower level of the layout. There are a couple of fishermen looking for dinner.

model railroad pond

Lily pads grow in shallow water. You can see the muddy bottom.

model railroad pond

A close up of the pads.

Some molders have used a paper punch to make the pads and glue them on after the Envirotex sets up. I used a different method. The pond is Envorotex over the plaster and painted bottom. I waited about an hour before the next part.

Select the shade of green that you want. I used Matte Acrylic craft paint. Dip a sharp needle in the paint. Pull out the needle with a small drop of paint. Carefully dip the needle in the Envirotex and slowly pull the needle out. This will make the shape you see in Photo 7. Repeat as many times as pads you need. I cleaned the needle each time to avoid a build up that could cause a bad pad. The next day I used a small pointed brush and painted on the flower. The owner wanted white flowers.

The epoxy causes the wrinkled edge and slightly heart shape, I think. Just like the “prototype.”

Have fun!


A big thanks to Dan for showing us how he added lilly pads to his model railroad pond.

(Dan’s last ‘pond’ post is here: HO scale water ponds.

Next on to Andrew:

Got a few more pics in from Andrew to start today off. If you missed his post last time, it’s here.

“Hi Alastair

A little more and a photo taken from the village side and from the work yard to the village side, and there is the girder bridge I built from scratch now on the layout as promised.

The small lake is done with polyurathane varnish, all the houses are cardboard kits, the next step is to do the lighting in the buildings, the wiring is going to be like spaghetti junction near me. More to follow guys. Any tips let me know cus I’m fairly new to this.

Thank you


railway bridge 2

railway bridge 3

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you join in the fun, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

Got a model train question?

9 Responses to Model railroad pond

  1. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Hi Andrew. Well done your layout is looking really. I note that you have squeezed 2 tracks onto your bridge and then moved them further apart once leaving the bridge. Have you tried tuning 2 trains in different direction over the bridge particularly at the curved areas as you enter and leave the bridge. I wonder if it would better with 2 bridges side by side each with one track central on each bridge. Just a thought it does stand out that you have squeezed the 2 tracks on your existing bridge. If of course the bridge is scratch built you could widen it

  2. Robert Brady says:

    Dan I put Lilly’s in my lake too and also sawgrass gave it a lively look.

  3. Robert Brady says:

    Andy love the color of your ballast looks like my home town real granite rock.

  4. Rob McCrain says:

    Dan, what an interesting technique for your water lilies. They look pretty convincing in HO scale. Doing the research to see what the real thing looks like is always wise.
    Polyurethane varnish can make very convincing water. It can be painted before it goes on to add depth or wave action if desired on top of the finished surface. Nice work.

  5. Terry Jacobs says:

    In Oil City Pa. They have a railroad bridge called the eye bridge. One single bridge that crosses the Allegheny and then goes to the east or west.

  6. Greg Marples says:

    Great idea(and painting method) on the water lily leaves! I’ve grown them on my pond and the leaves couldn’t be better. One suggestion, the flowers are on their own stems separate from the leaves, not sitting on them, perhaps a little white crumb of course ground foam? Glued on after everything else is dry. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Ed Copain says:

    Shades of Monet’s water lillies. Very well done.

  8. robert dale tiemann says:

    mice lilly pad pond. the rest is very nice as well.

  9. santafedan says:

    Greg, if it passes the 3 foot rule is is OK to not have stems.

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