Water Effects: The Second Board is Finished!

I was recently able to finish off my last remaining modular terrain board I rescued from my loft during the summer months.  If you're interested in seeing the backstory to this project, you can see how it all began here. The finished first board can be viewed here and the work on this board so far can be seen here and here.

What you can see in the pictures above and below this text are the painted boards ready to be flocked.  Now, because I'm doing all this on a small budget (basically zilch as always!), I'm going to apply the various flocks in individual stages.  This will allow me to remove the excess from each layer I put on and return it to the tub so it can be used on my next job.  It's also worth stating that I use the same flocks on my miniatures' bases.  This does a great job of blending them into the board.
In the next four photos, you can see where I've applied Woodland Scenics' Earth Blend to the rivers' edge.  You'll also notice it was quite a sunny day when I did this.  Not at all typical of our usual weather!

One all this had been left four hours to dry, I tipped the board on its edge and knocked off the excess. I rotate the board and repeat until all four sides have had the same treatment.

With that done, I start adding Woodland Scenics' Grass Blend to the board.  I choose to do this in sections. I always leave the edge of a section bare from flock so I can try and make the next one join seamlessly to it.  It doesn't always work of course.  This isn't normally a problem though as I will be adding static flock on top of this base layer.
Here's the glue spread out ready to be flocked.
And here's the board after the green blend turf has been added.

As you can see, the contrast between the layers is exaggerated in this method, but this is addressed in the final stage.
I was aware that I was running low on flock, and also that I had an unidentified mix of green blended turf, static flock and, I suspected, a little earth blend thrown in for good measure.  That's what it looked like at least.  I decided that I wanted to apply this to a few random patches in the hope this would blend in with the other boards a little more.  My tweezer application method for my static flock looks great and gives a more irregular texture to the board, but it makes the colour very intense and this is visible when these new boards go down next to the older ones.

So I turned to my trusted Noch applicator, which does a great job and costs only a fraction of the price of one of those electric applicator thingies.
So on go a few random squirts of glue.  These are then brushed out and the flock mix is applied.
Which created these patches of greenery. As always this was left to dry and then the excess is taken off and put away for another time.
I then began applying the glue and adding my Noch Spring Grass with my tweezers.

Don't ask me why, but I was clearly enjoying filling out random bits of the board...!

Unfortunately, when I reached this stage, I ran out of my static grass.  Sigh.
However, I'm blessed with an awesome and understanding wife.  She was actually happy enough for me to occupy the dining table until the flock I had ordered actually arrived!  How blessed am I?  And yes, I had to order it.  We've no model shop in Aberdeen.  You know, the oil capital of Europe? Double sigh.
Anyhoo, the flock arrived a few days later and I was able to get back to work!
I was having great fun adding the static flock and seeing the board come together.
Later that evening I was able to return to the board, upend it and knock off the excess flock.
There was quite a lot of it...
As always, this leaves the board looking a little patchy. But this is where the magic begins. I take each type of flock at a time and sprinkle it here and there. There's no glue on the board at this stage.  I'm trying to blend the colours together and mask over any eas where the contrast is too strong.
And after a while, and no small amount of patience, this is what happens to the board...
You can see the variations in the surface texture in these next photos.

With this all done I apply liberal sprays of Woodland scenics Scenic Cement. This is a special mix of wet water and PVA glue which dries to a matt finish. It fixes everything down. It stops the boards shedding.
And whilst it gives a great effect of dew on the static flock, it also seals the riverbed and banks ahead of the water effect.
So here it is late at night where it needs to spend about 12 hours drying out.
Of course, the next decision I had to make was how to finish off the water. Now, if I hadn't had the near disaster of the PVA in the last board, I would probably have had enough varnish to mak this final choicena very easy one. But I didn't. So it wasn't.

And having looked at relative costs and the lateness of last month when I was looking to get this finished, I decided to go rummaging in the loft.

And lo and behold I found my Vallejo Still Water.
I decided to pour some of this onto the river section. The banks had been sealed with the Scenic Cement so everything ahould be okay. If I spread it out thinly and used a clean brush to help me, I was confident I could use it like a high sheen gloss. And because I was doing this, I wouldn't have to worry about any of it dribbling over the edge.

How wrong I was!

 I know from experience that this stuff evaporates a litrle as it dries. So when it went on and decided to pool rather than cling to the textures surface, I was okay.
I began to worry when it seemed to dribble off one end a little. I dutifully mopped it up with spare kitchen towel. (Hint: never use a real cloth. It's bad. Very bad.)
So I left it half an hour. When I returned it had dribbled again. And, contrary to all my experience, it had soaked into the banks. So i sighed, cleaned it up and reskgned myself to having to redo the banks afterwards.
Of course, a couple of hours later and it was still dribbling. But it was beginning to reduce into the contours. Of course, at this stage it just looks like you've made a complete mess of things.
Which really ruins your Saturday, I can tell you!
However, given 24 hours to dry, the result was much more how I had envisioned it!

Of course, I then had to reapply the flock to the riverbanks. This time I wouldn't be avle to secure it with scenic cement. You know, because it dried matt. Which ruins the river I've just spent the last 24 hours mopping up!!!

However, I'm sure you'll agree that the finished product was well worth the sweat and tears!


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