Water is a unique element that occurs in diverse forms and shapes. The dynamic nature of water makes it rather challenging to create realistic water texture in dioramas. However, a variety of products available on market today simplifies this process. Here are some tips to help you get started.
In order to create still water for your diorama, you will need special products designed for producing a transparent flat coverage. We recommend using Vallejo Still Water or Solid Water from Deluxe Materials. With Vallejo Still Water, you will need to pour the product layer by layer onto a painted surface giving each layer time to dry. If your base has any cracks, use glue to fill them in before you start. Keep the layers thin; otherwise it will affect the drying time and the smoothness of the surface. To give your water colour and depth, you can mix the liquid with a few drops of paint, which will add more realism.
While your water hasn't dried completely, you can add some objects like rocks, fish, or figurines. Having done that, spread the product evenly to make sure the coverage is smooth.
If you use Solid Water from Deluxe Materials, take a syringe and measure 2 parts of resin into a mixing cup. Using another syringe, add 1 part of hardener. Mind that adding extra hardener will not accelerate the curing time. Mix thoroughly, add colour if necessary, and pour the mixture into your prepared base. It will take about 24 hours for the product to fully harden.
Ripples and flow
The same products can be used for creating ripples and realistic water flow. For ripples, squeeze a small amount of Vallejo Still Water onto the surface to make a puddle. Let it dry and then add an even smaller amount of Still Water into the middle of the puddle. Go on with it until you make as many ripples as you want to get. Once the work is done, simply put the finished puddle on your water to lend it the ripple effect.
In order to create an illusion of a realistic flow of water, use Solid Water from Deluxe Materials and take all the steps necessary to create still water. After 8 to 10 hours add texture to the surface with a toothbrush.
You can find a number of products suitable for creating waves, for example gels such as Vallejo Pacific Blue or Vallejo Atlantic blue. Gels have a thicker consistency and are perfect for giving water different shapes and forms. The application is simple: spread some gel over the coloured base and mold it into the desired form with a paintbrush, ice cream stick or any other tool that you have at hand. Wait until the first layer is dry and repeat the procedure if needed. The surface of the base itself can be irregular - it will intensify the effect of waves.
To finalise your water texture, cover the waves with some paint or recreate foam on the peaks with Vallejo Foam and Snow.
If you would like to replicate water splashes, some blister plastic might come in handy. Cut off small pieces of plastic, bend them using fire or a hairdryer and then fix them on the base with a bit of glue. Next, apply some gel onto the plastic and all over the surface, and let it dry as usual. Place the second layer if you like.
As you can see, a couple of specialised products and some common objects that can be found in every house can help you transform your ideas into reality. Good luck!