Tutorial: Step by step "Ponds" April 13, 2016 19:15

To assist modellers with putting together "Ponds 1 & 2" I have done a step by step tutorial. I hope this helps you to achieve an effect you can be proud of.

The "Ponds 1 & 2" can of course be done in a range of different styles to represent different geographical locations from Europe/ America to African Desert even to Mars! Scale would be dependent on the size of the grass tufts / sand or other scenic effects applied. Your choice of colour would naturally determine the finished look; so here are a few pointers to get you started.

In the kit you will recieve 2 pieces of MDF and one shaped clear acrylic insert. Put the acrylic aside and use PVA to glue the top "frame" to the base. Using an almost dry PVA brush, lightly coat the bottom of the pond to prime the bare MDF. When dry paint the base of the pond with your basecoat. This shade should be dark. I have used Vallejo Green Black.

Use a wide large drybrush and stipple in lighter shades where the pond will be shallower. Aim for a grainy mottled effect. here I used a mix of the basecoat and Vallejo Reflective green. Sussessive coats were stippled on adding more reflective green until I achieved a mid tone.

Peel the protective polystyrene sheet from the acrylic on one side, being careful not to touch the revealed surface, place in the pond apeture. Once in place, peel off the other sides protective polystyrene. I use this method to avoid sealing in fingerprints which your friends would no doubt take pleasure in pointing out. Use PVA / all purpose adhesive to fix rocks and gravel or sand to part of the surround. Run a bead of full strength PVA around the gap between the acrylic and MDF. There is a 0.5mm gap to accept this glue...do not water the glue down as it may seep under the acrylic.

I bundled together cut bristles from an old shaving brush and bedded them into a thick layer of glue. The smooth glued surface will be painted to look like a muddy area.

Taking care not to get paint on the "water" paint the rocks, gravel and mud areas. I applied a wash to the reeds to get a green tint. Colours used were Vallejo Charred Brown followed by Vallejo Earth Brown with Hubrol Sand and finally Americano Bleached sand.

Paint the remaining surround with an earth colour to act as a base for the final scenic effects.

Gloss varnish the muddy areas to give a wet look then apply static grass, flock or grass tufts to the surround and when dry, paint lilly pads and duckweed onto the top of the acrylic. Adding this detail gives more visual depth to the pond. I also trimmed the bristles down from their full length to a more "in scale" proportion.

The same techniques were used in the Charlie Foxtrot Models soon to be released range of oasis with the greens being substituted with sandy tones and browns.

 With no expensive messy, smelly resin with a short shelf life, the acrylic sheet can give a highly effective water effect.