Creek bed water

I went cycling on the Lassen and Fernley railroad near Susanville CA recently. This old logging railroad runs alongside a river I so I was able to take pictures of the wide variety of plants around the water. The challenge will be to figure out how to model some of this plant-life.

The old railway bed has been turned into a cycle path. It runs for about 25 miles through some spectacular scenery.

I really like these long grass tufts. My only attempt to make them failed to produce anything convincing. I’ll have another go soon.

Having finished detailing the creek bed it was time to add water. I felt that I had added enough plants to create a somewhat realistic scene. The scene looked flat here but I hoped by adding the water the area would begin to sparkle.

The creek bed was designed to have sandy banks with a darker center for the (fake) water.
Both products did a fine job of producing convincing water. In the end I felt more comfortable using the Mod Podge as it was just that little bit thicker and easier to produce a running water effect.

There are many methods for creating water but the two products that I wanted to try out were Woodland Scenics Realistic Water and Gloss Mod Podge.  Both had been recommended and I watched a couple of videos by other modelers as they built their own water scenes. The main difference between the two is simply consistency. The Realistic Water is much more runny than Mod Podge and is ideal for smooth surface water and deep water scenes. The Mod Podge is thicker but more easily manipulated and can be gently sculpted to create an impression of running water. I tested both on my scenery scratch pads and immediately was drawn to the Mod Podge. I just really felt at ease using it for this project.

Using an eye dropper I added the Mod Podge bit by bit and used a small toothpick to move it into the various cracks and gaps. You can add as many layers as you like until you have the effect you want.
It took about 8 hours for the majority of the Mod Podge to set. The final part near the front took about two days to clear.
Once dried, the Mod Podge hardened to a clear and very realistic gloss finish that complimented and illuminated the creek bed.
A gentle meandering stream in summer but seasonal rains can turn it into a raging torrent of water. Bridge repairs have been carried out over the years and a couple of old piles have been left in the creek bed by work crews. One of the piles is used by hikers to cross the creek.