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Customizing DF pieces
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TOPIC: Customizing DF pieces
#4362
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with the remodelling of exsting DF pieces. I'm toying with a couple of simple conversion ideas, but have no idea of what tools to use, or how to make the projects happen. At the moment, I'm looking into:

1) Converting a Cavernous Dead End piece (CA-U) to have either a waterfall or a pipe sticking out of it, dripping with ooze. To do this, I'd have to drill slightly into the wall, and then either attack the pipe or sculpt the waterfall. Any ideas on how this could be done?

2) Converting a 6" wall section to have a small gutter-like stream running next to the wall. I'd simply have to cut at a 45 degree angle from the wall and then hollow out the cavity a little before filling it with superglue mixed with green ink. Unfortunately, I have no clue as to what tool could be used to cut into the floor.

Any help with either of these prijects would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Alkatchoff
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#4363
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
I haven't tried drilling in the resin these pieces are made of, but I would test on something I can spare before I start with one of the larger pieces. My concern is the possible brittleness of the material. Laying the piece on its opening end and drilling from behind for the pipe shouldn't be a problem. You will end up with a hole in the back, which needs to be covered with putty and painted over. I don't think I would attempt drilling from the inside. Any hobby drills, like Dremel or Minicraft, should be perfect for this.

The dripping with ooze bit can then be accomplished by squirting the ooze material through the pipe from the back to get a really natural drip... Diluted white glue could work for this, but again, I would test the effect on a spare piece of tube to find the right amount of oozy flowiness...

I don't know exactly how the cavernous end pieces look, but I would use Milliput for sculpting the base of the waterfall and use either diluted white glue or something like Woodland Scenics EZ Water for the water surface. The glue is simply painted or poured over the rock face wherever it would run naturally, and the EZ Water simply runs into any crevices like real water - although a lot more sluggish. For a waterfall using EZ Water I would first build up the water course from the top of the wall to the floor, and build a receiving well outside and over the wall, with an opening as wide as your intended waterfall. The opening should rest on top of the wall barely projecting over the inside edge. I would then pour the EZ Water into the receiving well and simply let it pour over the side, following its own course down the sculpted waterfall and over the edge of the floor. When the plastic water is fully hardedned you can carefully remove the overflow. Or you can build a small dam at the edge to contain any overflow. Once again - experiment on something else before you actually start to pour anything! Diluted white glue may be the easiest to work with, but try for yourself on a mock-up of the waterfall to find out how the stuff works.

The EZ Water is perfectly colourless, and gives a very shiny surface. White glue is of course white before it has set, but hardens to a colourless shiny surface, but isn't perfect if you have any depth to your water - takes forever to harden...

Continuing the waterfall would be a piece sculpted like the one I have already done, see my photos in "My first river section" (Cool Photos section).

The above is what I will try when I get around to actually building my own waterfall - I can't guarantee that it will work, but it's fairly common model railroading practice, if that's a consolation... :D
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#4364
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
A few more words of advice (for both of you -- man, am I looking forward to seeing these!)

If you REALLY care, you can great water effects by combining something like EZ water (or the high gloss pour-on envirotex finish, which is what I use) with fishing line, clear plastic, and 5-min epoxy.

Pour the resin water as you would normally do. Then, for streams of water, use fishing line, and for larger flows (like waterfalls) use a thin strip of clear plastic, like Plastrux that you can get at art supply stores (or, for that matter, you could use the bubble from a blister a miniature comes in) Glue that in place where you want the flow.

THEN - take a 5-min drying epoxy (usually it's a 2-part mix) and glop it on. Put some on the surface to create ripples and waves, the disturbed water surface. Put some on the fishing line/plastic to create flowing water. It looks GREAT!

Here is an "evil fountain" I made with this technique -- the streams were originally smooth fishing line, I got the texture on them with epoxy (and the ripples in the water)

Also, here's a regular fountain.

L
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#4365
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
I forgot -- I didn't really add that many surface ripples on the good fountain, since it's small and I liked how it came out this way. Still, without the epoxy, the finishing line would hit the water with much less "impact" -- that little bubbling up area is from the epoxy.

I have other fountains, but no pics at the moment. These should give you an idea, though.

L
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#4366
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
Plastic and fishing line - I've used it before - of course that should be mentioned too! Excellent for cascading water, as you've aptly shown with your pictures. Great colours!
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#4367
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
Thanks for the tips so far!

L:

For the 'pipe conversion', I was planning on using the fishing line method. For the waterfall, I was a bit worried as to how to support it, but you're right, a GW blister should be adequate support.

I really like the evil fountain! The blood itself is resin mixed with ink, right?

Willypold:

I noticed you mentionned Woodland Scenics products. Which ones would you recommend for water? I saw several of them at the local store, and would prefer using them instead of resin. I was definetely planning on having a little 'receiving pool' for whatever liquid will come out of the pipe!

Alkatchoff
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#4368
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
The Woodland Scenics product I have used is EZ Water. It looks good (really glistening surface), fills well, but you should practice using it on scrap pieces until you feel comfortable with it. It needs to hit the recommended temperature or it will be too sluggish. Make sure you are fully prepared when it is time to pour, as you only get one shot at it. The stuff can be removed fairly easily before it sets completely without too much damage if you feel you need to redo the flow. If you do, you can remelt the plastic at least once. If you have some sort of heatgun you can melt the plastic in place.

If the plastic is allowed to cool too much before it has filled the surface you want watered it will get the same shape as flowing lava.

EZ Water comes in the form av clear plastic granules, which you heat in a metal container, and then pour over the surface to be "watered". This means that you don't have that much conrol once you start pouring, so you need to plan the natural flow of the "water" very carefully - it will act like real water, although not quite as freeflowing...

If its a choice between white glue, resin or melted plastic I would definitely use the plastic for anything needing a little bit of depth.
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#4369
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
The blood in my fountain is just resin with red ink, though I layered it with various shades.

And also, one of the main points of my post was that you should use an epoxy to get the proper ripples and texture -- otherwise your waterfall will hit a completely smooth, glass surfaced pool, and that looks just wrong!

:)

L
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#4370
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
Why not combine a product like EZ Water for depth and epoxy for the surface ripples?
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#4371
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
Yeah, that's what I did. Well, I used the Envirotex, but basically that's it. I guess I wasn't clear about it.

After everything is dry -- the pool of water, the fishingline or plastic, all of it is dry -- then you layer on some epoxy to make it less smooth and more "flow-y" and "ripple-y"

Man, when these are done, you have to post pics!

L
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#4372
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
What about Woodland scenics water effects? Would these be useful as a substitute for epoxy? I haven't really tackled any terrain building involving water before, even if I have a strange fascination with water terrain.

Again, all your help is really appreciated. I might go pick up the cavern piece tomorrow, but this won't be done any time before the new year. Just too much going on right now.

Alkatchoff
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#4373
Customizing DF pieces 9 Years, 9 Months ago  
The same with me. I have a ton of ideas planned, but I will have to use a shoehorn to find the time for them! The next two river sections are cut out and waiting for my attention, though...
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