View Full Version : Flow like a river

18-09-2009, 09:18 PM
Hey guys,

I was wondering if you could help me. I'm thinking of building a river for War of the Ring. I've got a rohan army, and i really like the Fords of Isen scenario, so i think i'll have a go. I've had a quick search on here, but couldn't find an article about rivers.

Anyone seen any step-by-step guides, or have any brilliant tips please?

So far i'm planning on using that wood from the back of pictures (think it's called hardboard or hardwood) Using a jigsaw to get my shapes. The banks will be polystyrene foam sheets, i'll cut these up with a hotwire cutter (then put gravel/sand mixture on that and paint it)

A friend has suggested i paint the blue/green mixture with cheap acrylic paint, then put pva glue over the top. He says when it sets transparent it will look as good as the water effect GW sell. But got no experience building anything like this.

Any help please? :)

PS. I'm planning on doing a river that stretches 6ft long, and has three fords. One of the fords has an islet that measures roughly 10" x 6"

18-09-2009, 10:04 PM
trust me pva is nothing like water effect, PVA drys completly see through normally, whereas water effect dries so it looks like its wet :P

18-09-2009, 10:27 PM
Well the water effect is actually a very good way to go, but PVA will do the trick if you're not too fussy. Another way to do it, if you really want to go for that 'real water' effect, is to water-seal the area that you are going to have water, put a controllable drain in it, and then fill it with water...

For the daring and experienced modeler, using glass can be very effective (but it's a fairly lengthy and difficult procedure, so not sure if this is what you want).

19-09-2009, 12:53 AM
There is some stuff on rivers in the How to make Wargames Terrain book. I'll dig out my copy tomorrow and see what I can find for you.

Inquisitor Alex
19-09-2009, 01:09 AM
Clear Polyurethane resin - My buddy Glenn and I built a Slann-themed BloodBowl pitch with a swamp finish that looks genius. Build the edge parts, paint the bottom of your river, and pour the stuff in. Takes a while to dry though. Never used GW's water effects - might be the same thing though. Air drying clay is good for building riverbanks too - more natural looking than styro unless you're building cliffs down to the water. Hint for making turns look real - make the bank eroded at the bottom on the "outside" of the curve - like a little overhang. Give a slow slope to the inside - it's the way rivers naturally wear their banks down.

19-09-2009, 01:43 AM
Give this article at CMON (http://www.coolminiornot.com/article/aid/47) a read, it's got some good tips.

19-09-2009, 01:50 AM
Cons, go add that to the list of resources will you ;)

19-09-2009, 01:51 AM
Isn't that your baby? :p

19-09-2009, 02:38 AM
Here is a link to BTP hot to video on how to use watter effects.


Hope this helps.

19-09-2009, 03:04 AM
Isn't that your baby? :p

Doesn't mean you can't post it in the thread to save my lazy ass the effort ;)

On topic: it also occurs to me that you can use oils to create a sheen, not dissimilar to water effects. True, it won't necessarily stand up to close inspection, but then nothing does (well, with the exception of actual water). The trick is to mix in some oil, the cheap vegetable oil you can buy in those big 3 liter bottles are pretty good for that.

Mix it into the PVA or whatever substance you're using, and it'll create irregular and random reflective and semi-reflective areas, much like the appearance of water.

20-09-2009, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the replies, very useful :) I like the youtube links, i've viewed a few about making water.

The trick seems to be small layers about 5mm thick, and colour the base beforehand to give the illusion of depth. I've found a fairly good site called woodland scenics, i'm tempted but the cost does put me off a bit.

I've read somewhere that these water effect liquids eat away polystyrene sheets. Is that true? if so, bang goes my idea of using that for the river banks. Also i've read that sometimes you get small air bubbles on a layer, you have to heat these up to make the bubbles rise and vanish (a hair dryer will do the trick, even breathing on it)

20-09-2009, 07:28 PM
If you coat the polystyrene with some latex paint, you should be fine. Also, Woodland Scenics makes some good stuff but I haven't worked with their water stuffs. Depending on hos big your project is going to be will definitely factor into the cost.

Go to the bottom of this website (http://www.quindia.com/studioarticles.htm) to the last row of pictures and look at how the guy goes about making the river effects. Just another resource.

23-09-2009, 01:17 AM
I love that company.
They also have DVDs on how to do scenery. The DVDs have lots of good info on them..

24-09-2009, 05:11 AM
I use Woodland Scenics Water Effects for everything watery. It's like the thickness of PVA, but you can brush it to attain a "running water" look. For standing water (rancid puddles in the bottoms of shell-craters, swamps, etc) just normal PVA will work, but if you want like a pond or a lake that's being rippled by the wind, Water Effects can give you a "waves" look too. It takes a little know-how to work it, but it's fairly intuitive and can be picked up on rather easily... I would recommend Water Effects for a river. However, you might end up using two or maybe even three bottles, depending on the length of the river and the number of coats you put on it. If you're only doing one coat, one bottle ought to be enough.

28-09-2009, 11:24 PM
I have a trick for making waterfalls that also works for water around rocks. If you take clear plastic cling wrap and place it around your rocks, then add super-glue, it creates the "white water" effect similar to actual water crushing against boulders.

Inquisitor Alex
06-10-2009, 06:52 PM
Found pics of the Bloodbowl pitch - It's a lot flatter than your river will be, but the finish should give you an idea what the polyurethane resin looks like.http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m216/Allykz666/swamppitch001.jpghttp://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m216/Allykz666/swamppitch002.jpghttp://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m216/Allykz666/swamppitch003.jpg
Hope that's helpful :)