Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

"Painting Riverbed"

8507 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: west of Portland Oreg.( the city of Roses
  • 572 posts
"Painting Riverbed"
Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Monday, March 2, 2015 12:52 PM

Hi All,

I'm modeling a part of SW Oregon, the Syskiyou Mountains, and I want to have a rapid running river, now the question is this, I want parts of the river shallow, should I paint the bottom forest green??

Thanks guys.

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Monday, March 2, 2015 1:49 PM

This depends on how you intend to model the river bottom and water.  If you want to use resin like epoxy (e.g. Envirotex, Crystal Sheen), you can tint the resin with an appropriate color, allowing the rocks and such on the river bottom show through in shallow areas.  Sometimes it can be helpful to add color to the bottom even if it's fully modeled, just to help it look deeper when the resin is applied.

If you're using something like gloss medium or Mod Podge over a smooth base, then paint the river bottom, varying colors as needed to suggest depth.

Here's a view of the Rogue River showing typical coloration for the area http://c8.alamy.com/comp/AAJKAB/usa-oregon-siskiyou-mountains-rogue-wild-and-scenic-river-canada-geese-AAJKAB.jpg .  Various military and/or railroad colors could be used for this effect.  Pullman Green is one option.  Note that most of the water looks opaque from this angle, with some sand, rocks, and so on visible around the edges.

I modeled this creek using epoxy resin tinted with Testors olive drab enamel.  You can see some rocks and sand in the shallows, but the resin hides everything else.

With the scene above, I modeled the creek bed with smooth plaster.  I painted the center with a green to look deeper, while graduating to more of a dark mud color toward the banks.

After a coat of gloss Mod Podge was applied, the center looks like deeper water.  Some viewers are fooled by it and think it's done with the same resin as the other creek.

Whatever you choose, make sure to have a good collection of images handy from the Net or books so you have a clear goal to work toward.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,684 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 11:58 AM

Looks great Rob!  I'm planning on a river along one area of my small layout - in my case doing western Colorado near Grand Junction - I recall the rivers being slow, fairly wide and muddy.  What would you suggest for that light caramel color of those rivers?

I'm a noob at this, but plan on using some luan for the river base, and then assume I'll need to get rid of any wood pattern before putting down a color and then something to represent water such as your river crossing photo with the Mod Podge - it makes a convincing water surface pattern!

I do have quite a few color books for the D&RGW, so I'll need to consult them too as there should be quite a few river side shots there too.

BTW, I have a RR crossing another track and need to add bridge abuttmants.  Do you just fabricate yours from sheet plastic to fit and then fill in around?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 1:47 PM

riogrande5761
I'm planning on a river along one area of my small layout - in my case doing western Colorado near Grand Junction - I recall the rivers being slow, fairly wide and muddy.  What would you suggest for that light caramel color of those rivers?

Since I haven't modeled anything like that coloration in a very long time, I'd suggest taking some representative photos shopping with you, and choosing some craft paints that match.  Try a few and see which looks right.

...plan on using some luan for the river base, and then assume I'll need to get rid of any wood pattern before putting down a color and then something to represent water such as your river crossing photo with the Mod Podge...

I've used foam core board and plywood.  In both cases, I glued my usual fiberglass drywall tape and/or other mesh material to it and plastered a smooth surface over that.  I like finishing with drywall mud sanded smooth for the water areas.

I have a RR crossing another track and need to add bridge abuttmants.  Do you just fabricate yours from sheet plastic to fit and then fill in around?

Yup, that's it.

This is how one of the above scenes looked with plaster underway, and the abutments cut into the plaster shell.  I shove pieces of paper towels or other filler into the gaps and handle the rest with dirt.  All of the fill modeling around this bridge was done with dirt and rock.  The plaster only served to hold it up so I could shape the fill and glue it in place.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,684 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 2:07 PM

Sounds like I'll just do like I did with the sky blue wall - get the color match cards at Home Depot or Lowes and match by eye.  It worked pretty well with the walls.

I'll be needing some plaster soon after I get more track laid and already have some drywall mud from having to repair/replace a section of drywall in September.  I had to learn how to do that after a leak was repaired in the basment wall.  Did the drywall, taping, mud etc. and it came out pretty decent.  Even my wife was surprised!  Hah hah.  Thanks for the photo - looks like a good outline!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,684 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 11:52 AM

While it is one my mind Mr. Rob, what was the Krylon you used to paint your track and how do you clean the rails after painting track/ties with it?  Do you just paint it and scrape the surface of the rail after it trieds, wipe the rail head while it's wet?  Mask it?

Thanks!  Jim

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,304 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 5:07 PM

I don't know if this will help you but MB Klein just posted part 1 of making a river tutorial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJNljlZktXQ

Have Fun! Ed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJNljlZktXQ

 

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 5:26 PM

riogrande5761
...what was the Krylon you used to paint your track and how do you clean the rails after painting track/ties with it?  Do you just paint it and scrape the surface of the rail after it trieds, wipe the rail head while it's wet?  Mask it?

I used Rustoleum's dark brown camouflage spray paint.  I clean the rails with a dull utility knife blade dragged backwards, and finish up with a track eraser.  The blade does no damage to the rail as I'm not pushing the cutting edge.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,684 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, March 8, 2015 11:20 PM

So far the dark brown camouflage is eluding me - closested I've found is Rustoleum earth brown camouflage.  The search continues.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 2,455 posts
Posted by wp8thsub on Monday, March 9, 2015 9:37 AM

riogrande5761
So far the dark brown camouflage is eluding me - closested I've found is Rustoleum earth brown camouflage.  The search continues.

Locally I can find it at Home Depot and Walmart.  Lowe's carries a similar range of camouflage colors from Krylon.

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,684 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, March 9, 2015 10:11 AM

Thanks Rob.  My local Walmart carries the camouflage series, just missing the dark brown.  I'm sure if I widen my search it will show up!

I seem to have the homasote leveled (pretty sore from doing that last week) and ready to lay track up to and around through the yard.  Small layout but looking forward to having something to play with.  Your layout, is inspiring for sure, and it doesn't hurt that what your running is basically what was handed off to the D&RGW!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Tampa Bay, FL (from Pittsburgh)
  • 146 posts
Posted by Carnegie Falls on Monday, March 9, 2015 10:17 AM

riogrande5761

So far the dark brown camouflage is eluding me - closested I've found is Rustoleum earth brown camouflage. 

I think that may be the same thing.  The Rustoleum website lists "black," "earth brown," "deep forest green," "army green," and "khaki."  Maybe they've changed color offerings recently or just changed the names?  I just bought a can at Ace but I don't remember exactly what it's called.  It was the only brown they had.  A google search of (rustoleum camouflage "dark brown") didn't turn up any useful results; they all said earth brown.

Modeling the fictional western Pennsylvania town of Carnegie Falls in freelance HO.
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 4,489 posts
Posted by cowman on Monday, March 9, 2015 5:11 PM

I think of shallow rivers as being a lighter brown, the color of the dominant rocks and sand in the area.  To me darker colors indicate depth.  If your basic rocks in the area are dark (and we have some rivers that are called Black River for that reason), but most are a sandy color.

Have fun,

Richard

 

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,684 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 7:44 AM

Carnegie, I wonder if Rustolium has discontinued the dark camouflage brown?  That seems to be what I'm finding too, only earth brown.

Krylon also does camouflage paint, but it seems to be a good deal more expensive.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Tampa Bay, FL (from Pittsburgh)
  • 146 posts
Posted by Carnegie Falls on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 9:33 AM

riogrande5761

Krylon also does camouflage paint, but it seems to be a good deal more expensive.

I checked and I actually have the Krylon camo brown.

Modeling the fictional western Pennsylvania town of Carnegie Falls in freelance HO.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!