Monday, June 4, 2012

Soyokaze Lake

The Soyokaze Lake project is moving forward! I've made some good progress on it.

The first step of the lake plan was to work out the location of the lake itself. I didn't want to show the whole lake, but just enough for the boat rental spot and some boats on the water. I thought this would play nicely with the vendors that I had in mind for the center section. The space worked well.
So, I penciled in the lake area and played around with where the boat house and docks might live in the scene. I planned to lock the docks down, so I wanted to make sure I liked the scene before committing to the locations. 

Once I had the area set, I thought about the water color. After doing some research on Japan pond areas and looking over my own photos of Stow Lake here in San Francisco - a personal favorite of mine, I settled on an olive green color for the lake water.

I mixed up the acrylic color and started in on the painting. I thought that I would go a little "painterly" for the scene and got a  little artsy. :) I liked how depth was handled with the lighter color. After getting the lake painted in, I wished I had a little more space for the lake area. I like how it turned out. 

The water was interesting. I had to place a piece of foam core in the back to prevent the water from running off the back of the board. However, when I poured the water onto the lake area with the board in the back, all the water ran forward in a rush and I had to lift the base board to tilt it back to prevent the water from running all the way through the base! heh Yeah...that's a "teachable moment" for sure.  I placed another scrap of foam core in the front and it solved the problem.

Once the main part was in, I used a syringe to hit the edges and the parts that were left bare in the pouring. Worked like a charm and cleaned up with a little warm water. Overall, the Woodland Scenics Realistic Water was awesome and easy to work with. The addition of the syringe was key. It made the application of the water much easier. I highly recommend it if you're planning on using this product. 

The Woodland Scenics Water Effects has potential I'm sure, but I wasn't very happy with the overall "water effect". I tried a few test patches first, but never really got it to do what I wanted. I'm sure most of this was user error, honestly. After the final parts were built up, I started to get it, but it wasn't what I had expected. It's a build up process and it will require a little more practice before I start in on my small water scene - some Japanese fishing boats and fishermen that didn't make it into the Soyokaze module.  I have high hopes that I'll be able to work it out.

What really helped was a fine, hand tuned layer of tan acrylic in the Water Effects areas. This really made the effect pop and I was able to finesse the effect and was really happy with the results. I got to bust out my painting skills. Who knew those years at the Academy Of Art would be put to use building N Scale scenes one day.

All in all, I'm really happy with the way this section turned out. I'm not done yet, but most of the work is in. I want to go back in and add additional details like moss, floating ivy and some reeds and things.

Comments Welcome!



  1. Nicely done! I'm always interested in people's water modeling experiences, since my "someday" n scale traction layout will feature a seaport. I'm thinking I should knock together a try-out diorama just for practice. You're inspiring me!

    1. Thanks for looking! :)
      I have to say, I'm happy with the result for this module, but if you're going to go for it, I'd do some sort of resin with real depth or building up the water I used to give it more depth. I did a test and it worked well. Can't beat actually looking down into the water and seeing rocks and things. That's pretty cool.

      Of course...this is what I REALLY want in the long run when I get my magical space to put Soyokaze and Shizuka together on one layout. TROELS KIRK's epic water area! :)