Wednesday 10 January 2024

Hunter River Bridge - Finishing the Scene - 2

Well, I have finally got to the point when it was time to add 'water' to the Hunter River.  

In preparation, I painted extra trees on the backdrop to represent the foliage on the river banks and added trees and scrub on the terrain close to the backdrop. I also installed formwork to retain the 'water' while it is curing.

'Adding the water' was a task I approached with a degree of well founded trepidation. I used a product called Feast Watson Glass Finish available at Bunnings. It is a two part product and this was where my problems started. I don't think, I mixed it thoroughly. After it was poured onto the baseboard, it cured properly in most areas but, in a couple of spots, it remained in a viscous form. In addition, the surface crazed in some places. I wasn't too worried about the crazing as this is meant to represent a flowing river rather than a very still lake, so some turbulence can be anticipated. However, the soft spots remained a challenge.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and there probably are a few things I would have done differently. Obviously, I would have been more thorough in my mixing process. I would also have poured the product in two thinner layers rather than a 5mm single pour. However, it is what it is, and once the pour had been completed and the soft spot problem had emerged, I turned to gloss Modpodge. I dabbed it onto the soft spots and a few other locations to simulate turbulence around flood debris and the piers. A few twigs were used to simulate drift wood on the river flats and these also serve to mark where the soft spots are.

There is still few more things to complete. I need to install check rails on the bridge as well as a conduit which was slung just below the sleepers.

The short video below shows 4449 hauling  stock wagons north towards Muswellbrook and beyond. The video was taken as the Modpodge was curing hence the few white spots.  But at least now, when a train crosses the bridge, I can see its reflection in the 'water' below.




  1. Hi Phil, hope you are happy with the water results

    1. Yes, I am. As I mentioned in the post, the inadequate mixing was a bad mistake on my part but overall, the outcome has been good as I hope the photos manage to convey. Thanks for your help. One unforeseen consequence is that strip lighting and the underside of the the upper-level baseboard are visible in the reflection unless you are very careful about the camera angle. cheers Phil

    2. I like the effect of the foliage in the background Phil. The water in the pictures does look good, and the reflections enhance the bridge. Thanks for the tip on a two stage pour. Well done too on your short video.

    3. Rob, thanks. The vegetation and backdrop took a little while to complete particularly in the areas further away from the river crossing where access was a bit more challenging because of the second level above. Hopefully more videos to follow but I probably need to expand the range of sound equipped locomotives, a separate challenge. cheers Phil