»In the beginning there was water ...«

Jonas: »Pit, this is funny: water that isn't wet!«

Pit: »You're right. No one gets wet with the lake material. However there are a number of possibilities. But let's start with the easiest.«

Creating water bodies the easy way

For the styling of water bodies the model-maker has various materials to choose from among the FALLER collection. The simplest way is probably to use the lake sheet, in particular whenever the shade required for the bottom will merely make use of the colour sheet light blue or olive-green supplied with the kit. However, the lake sheet also allows to design a river-bed in great detail so as to obtain a perfect water body. Proceed as follows To design the bottom of the lake we use two plates made of rigid polystyrene Styrodur. Out of the upper one we cut the contour the lake is expected to have. After that the edges and the bottom of the lake are modelled using brown dyed Hydrozell or knifing filler intended for terrain construction. While the material is still moist, it can cautiously be painted in a dark-green shade to represent places of the bottom that lay deeper or are covered with grass, if the knifing filler was not too wet when it was applied. At that time it is advantageous to embed not only tiny stones, crushed stones, pebbles, but also clumps or fleece pieces in the bottom. However, when colouring the bottom, take into consideration that the intensity of the colours will noticeably be reduced after the knifing fillers have dried. This applies particularly to the landscaping knifing fillers 170654 and 170655 that have been dyed already at the factory! After the lake sheet has been laid on the banks, the edges are accurately delineated on the sheet with a felt-tipped pen, then cut out. Now, it is necessary to be patient and wait for the bottom of the lake to dry completely. This may require several days depending on the material used and on the thickness applied (in particular when using Hydrozell)! If that advice is not followed, unsightly condensation stains may appear later under the lake sheet! Now, the lake sheet prepared previously may be applied and fixed to the banks. This can be done using knifing filler on the bank edge, which will result in a steep embankment, or as flat sand beach using FALLER Water Effect. That product may also be used whenever the cut-out pattern of the sheet does not exactly match the contour of the banks and rework is necessary. That material is still white in the bottle, but will become nearly transparent after a lengthy drying-on time and can no longer be distinguished from the lake sheet. The look down to the bottom of the lake makes it necessary for objects or figures to be incorporated into the sheet, and not merely be put onto it. The boathouse provides such an example with its stationary piles anchored deep in the lake ground. In the present case a hole must be made in the sheet for the object to be incorporated. For the boathouse the point of the piles was dabbed with paint and an imprint was taken at the intended place on the sheet. The holes were punched, then the boathouse was »plunged« into the water and anchored to the ground and the bank. This will result in an interesting look by the way if the water body extends up to the edge of the railway installation. In such a case the water depth at the edge can be made visible by using an acrylic or a rather thick transparent polystyrene strip to which the upper edge of the sheet will be glued. From that place everyone is able to have a look at the design of the water body as is possible at an aquarium.
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