I wanted to try my hand at modeling water and I wanted to get thoughts on whats the best thing to use.
I agree with Selector; the true test is the color preparation prior to the epoxy. I found that when modeling canals in the Fort Lauderdale, Lake Mable area, that satellite photography works well since they are in color. I used Google satellite mapping from Fort Lauderdale to zoom down on the lakes and canals. What you find is a light sand color along the shoreline going to a deep blue/black very quickly. I think the thing to remember is that we are not giants looking down. Our angle of vision will be from the side.Folks have used silvered Mylar, Mod Podge and other gloss medium products, Envirotex, real water, glass and glass mirrors, and urethane products. I used a two-part epoxy. Nu-Lustre 55 is what I found locally (in British Columbia), a product by Swing Paints, but you can use any epoxy product that comprises a hardener and a resin to be combined and mixed very thoroughly in equal measure.
It is generally not very hard to make a realistic water surface. What is difficult, if you want to make it look deep and natural in colour, is the preparation, modelling, and painting of the surface and other things that will be covered by the product you use to form the water. My first such experiment was not very good. The surface was spiffy, if very smooth and shiny. But the surface that I had to paint before I poured it did not turn out very convincingly.
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