What with the entire front of the layout being the coastline of the Isle of Skye, representing the sea in model form is going to be quite important.
With scenes like this the representation of water, the colouring and the waves will be key. Photo courtesy of Andy May.
Almost the entire layout is surrounded by water of varying depths, and in many places it needs to crash into rocks. Photo courtesy of Andy May.
A while back I made a small diorama of a piece of coastline on a polystyrene ceiling tile to test out making waves before going for it on the layout.
The same methods for painting the sea were used as in a previous blog post describing that applied on the layout.
Whilst looking for something completely different in Hobbycraft earlier on I noticed that there was a sale on in the artists supplies – somewhere I often frequent for slightly different materials to try out on the layout. I came across this product which sounded really interesting, so a pot was duly purchased.
It's an unusual material, the consistency is halfway between PVA glue and filler. Ideal for shaping as it holds whatever position it's put in.
To start with a small strip was squeezed out onto the sea in a slightly irregularly shaped line. After all, waves aren’t straight in real life.
The spatula shown in the background was used to smooth out the seaward face of the wave.
The rest of the wave was then smoothed out.
More waves were then applied, too close to be realistic, but I wanted to try a few out in the space available.
As you can see from the large waves the top of the wave was teased landward to give the impression of it breaking.
The modelling paste is stiff enough to retain it’s shape well, it’s possible to create small barrels and breaking waves, and also to represent waves crashing up against a rocky coastline.
Lots of detailed little spikes can be teased out of the paste, and it's possible to smooth the base to blend them with the sea by wetting the spatula - which I hadn't done in the above shot.
This was a test just to see how high I could get the paste to go whilst still supporting itself. I'm quite impressed.
I think the paste will become reasonably easy to sand, so the base of waves, will be easy to blend with the surface of the sea.
The base of the landward face of the paste was pulled down with a spatula to better represent a breaking wave.
Once it’s all dried I’m going to see how well it takes colour, and how easy it is to sand. Considering the waves in the shots above only took about 15 minutes to make it’s fairly quick to work with, and reasonably easy too.