Saturday, October 10, 2015

Convex Falls

So having added some surface texture to the water I decided that I still wasn't happy with the stream, specifically the small fall.

The main problem I had with the fall was that the water was following the rock surface, which doesn't happen in real life. In reality water erodes the rock from the top of the fall downwards resulting in the rock having a conave surface, i.e. it drops down before going outwards. Water flowing over the rock though forms a convex shape as the momentum carries it out before gravity pulls it down. With my water following the rock it didn't shoot out enough.

My first thought was to try and build up the water using the Woodland Scenics water effects but I decided I wanted something that naturally had some colour to it and the water effects dries clear. My solution was cotton wool.


So I took a small piece of a cotton wool ball and gently teased it out trying to keep the threads all running in one direction so that they could represent individual falls of water. I then gently tapped this to a bit of folded metal to make it easier to hold before gently wafting on some matt varnish. Once the varnish has dried the teased out cotton wool keeps it's shape remarkably well but still looks nothing like water so the last stage is to paint on a thin layer of the Woodland Scenics realistic water. Once this dries it goes clear leaving a thin film of water with white highlights inside it rather than being painted on the top. A small piece of this is then cut to shape and essentially glued in place using small amounts of water effects which then add more turbulence to blend in the edges.

I think this looks much better than the old falls, although in retrospect I should probably have used a couple of small strips to match the lip of the fall rather than shaping a single piece but I'm not going to try changing it now.

15 comments:

  1. Very impressive, it is a vast improvement.

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    1. Thanks Adrian, I really wasn't happy with the previous version but it's nice to know others thing this is better as well.

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  2. Nice work Mark, that is not only impressive but very clever as well.

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    1. Thanks Geoff. Strangely the idea came while laying on my back half under a car during a thunderstorm while trying to fix the exhaust on my wife's car! Okay not while actually fixing the exhaust, but I ended up with quite a bit of damaged skin that my wife cleaned up and treated (she is a doctor after all) with cotton wool balls soaked in something or other. I was playing with one of the cast offs while she did this and the wet nature of the cotton wool sparkling slightly set me thinking. Then it was just a case of experimenting. I'm sure it's not entirely novel but I'm quite impressed with how well it actually worked.

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  3. Hi Mark, that's really convincing. Looking back over the development of this bit of water it's amazing to see the difference between the first and last pictures. And I would have been happy with the first ones!

    The source of your inspiration - a car repair during a thunderstorm - sounds like the opening episode from a TV series on the Incredible Hulk! I remember watching it as a child and couldn't sleep all night. Glad the outcome of your situation was more peaceful :-)

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    1. I was slightly worried what the outcome was going to be when laying in a pool of water, holding on to a a chunk of rusted metal, I realised that there wasn't much of a gap between the lightening and the thunder! Glad you like the result though. I think the problem with the water has been that at each stage I've improved one aspect which has shown up how poor the rest was. Fortunately I think it's now all looking fairly good so I'm going to stop while I'm ahead, especially as I only have 20 days left to complete the diorama.

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  4. As everyone else has said, that's a whole lot better. And the first one was good!

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    1. Thanks Iain. it's good to know everyone seems to like the new version, as sometimes I find it difficult to tell if something is an improvement or not. I think this is mostly as I always hope it's better, especially if I've made an irreversible change.

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  5. Agree with everyone else that it looks better than it did before (and it wasn't too shabby before).

    Probably look even better when there's some greenery in place, but might adding a few semi-submerged stones help as well - something to justify the white water at that particular point in the river?

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    1. Yes, had I thought more about it before pouring the water I would have added some stones to help justify the white water. As it is I can't add them now as they would just sit on the surface. What I did do is use the slight changes in the surface to place the white water so it does pass around a slight rise in the surface although it isn't really obvious.

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  6. As the others have said, a worthwhile improvement. It looks like the peaty streams coming off Kinder after heavy rain. I now look forward to seeing the greenery sprout up.

    When will your scenery book be on the market? ;-)

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    1. Not sure I'm up to a book, but I did wonder if an article covering both the model and the prototype might be interesting. Given that it won't be too many more years before the moor reclaims the rest of the bridge it would be nice to record the details for posterity somewhere a little less ephemeral than a blog.

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    2. Agreed! I am sure NG & I Review would be interested :-)

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    3. Yes I think so too, it would fit in well with the Review.

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