Friday, November 13, 2009

Small Curving Stream

So pushing along with the river making idea to test it for a smaller creek, fast water setting. This time I thought to lay out the waterway with lots of small pieces of masking tape to get lots of curves in the 6 foot length.
So moving along, here is a shot of the beginning layout of masking tape. Using lots of small pieces of 2 " tape. I tore many small pieces and hung them on the edge of the work board. I tried not to fall into a fixed back and forth pattern for a more natural look to the creeks bed layout.

Now the picture of the basic layout after much pulling up and relaying tape, I smoothed the tape down but did not press it hard to the board, as I will have to pull it up to turn it over later. So, overall a good start to the creek. I am fairly sure that the thin coats of KS will still tend to curl the first surface upwards, so that when dry it will make the edges cup downwards when I flip it over to do the Water side.  Thoughts are that I will use a putty knife to smooth the KS onto the piece after a fist brush application. Might try pressing the river gravel into the smoother coat as most creeks are loaded with smooth rock.

Hmmm edges of the creek sides are not smooth, they are jagged pieces of tape sticking out this way and that, so out comes the box knife. I also applied a bit more tape over the joints in a few places where I had not given much of an overlap in the first place to help insure that the tape will pull up in one continuous piece.
 Next shot is the process of smoothing the Inside curls of the creek. Which while slowly cutting excess tape off it struck me that I didn't have any widening spots in the creek. Most creeks widen and narrow along their course, so out came the roll of tape with some more trimming.
Sample shot of a widened piece of the creek tape bed along with a reinforcement of the section. I thought about and then decided not to put in a pond on this piece. I am also thinking that I will need some 4 foot and a 5 foot section of creek. I use a 4' x 6' play board matt and the 5 foot will be long enough to allow me to place the creek in an angled direction rather than straight across the board.
First coat of KS went on with a brush, but due to wanting to keep the KS On the tape, I used my finger to smooth it out.

On to the spreading of the thin coats of Kel Seal brushable caulking, same as I did on the roads and large river project.

So here is the flip side after the top side received its 3 layers of caulking and dried. Not much noticeable cupping of the topside when dried. This particular picture is before the last coat, which I tried to apply really smooth, so that it would not appear to be flowing fast but slower.
The smooth coat did not go on a smooth as I was hoping, I used a flat stick to pull over the entire length of the creek in one pass once I had the coating applied. A mix of blue and green paint in equal amounts, thinned with water was brushed on and left to dry. As an aide to keeping the creek "flat" to the board I added small pieces of tape here and there where ever it seemed it wanted to not cooperate.
On with a new experiment. Silicone caulking can be clear, so wanting to know what a "wet" look would do to the piece, on with the experiment. I used a caulking gun to squeeze a line of clear down the middle of the creek, then it was time to get sticky with the finger and spread it over the entire surface of the creek. I deepened the muddy color that I had applied as a was from the previous picture. The gloss coat of Silicone made the color become Darker, when I had tried to Lighten it this go.
To show the glossy finish I took this overhead shot to show the light reflection from the flash. Very shinny indeed. Overall, smaller is not better than the larger 4" wide river compared to the 2" creek pictured here. Is more finicky about lying flat and staying there.  The clear silicone is being slow to fully cure, still a few very slightly tacky places, though I might break out the verathane spray and give it a sealer coat to end that problem. Final thought is that the creek will still be a usable addition to the fast terrain box I take to games. Still have to find a way to apply a coat smoothly without the ripples or streakiness. Also Discovered that its best not to lay one road / river on top of another and then place a heavy object on them Unless both sides have been painted and fully dried, or else the un painted side can stick to the other piece where the weight was. Live and Learn, I painted And applied a new coat of TAPE over the back to make SURE they do not stick to one another :)

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