Model train water effects

Rob’s been back in touch with his model train water effects.

This time he shares how he made the waves on his harbor wall look so realistic:

“Hi Al,

This video is about painting and adding a little relief to my harbor water element. It was easy and fun to do. It is a method that is for anyone.

You do not need a high skill level to manage this method so it is for beginners and advanced hobbyists.

I used a product called matt medium. It is generally used for thinning acrylic paints. If used for that it does not thin the color as water does. It just adds liquidity to the solution so it applies and brushes more easily.

I used a graining brush to apply the white foam accents but any brush would work as long as you wiped the excess paint from it before you touched the waves.

The graining brush offers more delicate bristles at the end and that is why I used it.

I wanted to be sure the traces of white paint were very fine and my graining brush worked a treat.

I also use a graining brush for certain aspects of weathering rolling stock so it is a good tool to have in the toolbox.

Thank you so much for your daily email. I know sometimes it probably seems like a bit of a grind to get one out every day, but I and your other readers really look forward to seeing what other modelers are up to.

Thank you so very much,

Rob – Farland Howe”

model train water effects boats waves

model train water effects harbor waves

model train water effects groun painting

model train water effects painting liquid max

model train water effects adding waves

model train water effects adding boat

model train water effects painting detail

model train water effects boat with waves

A big thanks to Rob for sharing his model train water effects. Stunning stuff.

Now on to Andrew:

“Dear Alistair,

It is always a pleasure to open your blog every morning to see other peoples layouts and receive tips and guidance to improve our modelling skills.

I was puzzled when I first saw this post as a platform to me is the raised area beside the track at stations to allow passengers to embark/disembark from trains. Much higher in the UK when compared to many European mainland stations and some in USA.

Having said that I also use platform modelling as described by Gary. Building scenery on a workbench which allows easy viewing, sculpting, and painting from every angle without getting mess on the track or layout. Something advantageous when the layout is against a wall as is the case with my layout.

Please find attached a railway cutting built to fit into a corner of my layout.

A paper template is made of the area to be modelled and transferred to a thin ply or MDF base on which the scenery is constructed with sufficient rigidity for transport onto the layout.

Thought has to be given to hiding the joins between the baseboard and the platform and there are many creative ways to achieve this.

Thank you and best wishes to all you contributors.


corner layout

corner layout

A big thanks to Andrew, and to Hall of Fame member Rob for sharing how he created his water scene.

I’d like to think of a word besides stunning, but I’m struggling to do so. Leave a comment below if you can!

Rob’s post also reminded me of Brian’s tips on water effects.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

13 Responses to Model train water effects

  1. Robert Brady says:

    great wave motion Rob. you ‘shore’ do have the knack,
    Looks like tide coming in .
    The Critic
    Can’t criticize you Rob .

  2. James says:

    Ingenious !

  3. Bob Amling says:

    Great work on the waves Rob. I don’t have wave lines as you do but I’m thinking I’ll do some white caps. Thanks so much for the lesson.
    Bob in NJ USA

  4. Marklin ed says:

    Good morning Al, I like to say that the water on Rob’s layout is wonderful, very realistic. I would also like to offer another water system for waves. On Marklin of Sweden web site there is a video of waves made from toilet paper. I think Rob’s layout is one of the most interesting layouts.
    That’s a great. Mountain you got there, very good. Thanks

  5. Stephen Hill says:

    Wow what an amazing piece of art . Truly remarkable detail . You all make it appear so simple , it’s not , it’s impressive what you’ve done .

  6. Rob, I love all the progress of your layout. The water looks great very realistic. You are the kind of guy that inspires me. I have been watching all your videos and everything that you do is top notch. I look at the pictures you send in and it looks so real that it doesn’t even look like a model at all. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Erick says:

    Great workmanship.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Vinnie from The Island of Staten. New York City says:

    I have water on my layout. Very real. I thought it came from a broken water pipe. But it came from an overflowing rain gutter that further flowed into my basement and onto the part of me layout against the outer wall. Yes very realistic

  9. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Rob… really are an artist……..beautiful.

    Andrew……nice work……great idea….

  10. matiSon says:

    Great build, Andrew. It gives me some ideas for raised areas that I am thinking of making. Your first picture reminds me of a section of the snake river canyon.

    Rob, I really like the composition of the wharves. They look attractive and realistic.

  11. Marfus says:

    Rob: the flat earth society salutes you

  12. Rob,
    Cannot thank you enough for such a great video.
    I am about to build a couple of micro layouts which will both feature a little harbor (harbour?) scene.
    Your water looks excellent.

  13. Roger Lowlicht says:

    Andrew, Wonderful waterfront; great technique and resulting realism.
    Small suggestion
    Given the strength of the current as manifested by the waves at the bow of the anchored boat, and those in the surrounding water, the anchor chain should be taut with no visible catenary!

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