In this video, Lance Mindheim, modeler of the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville model railroad builds up a realistic model creek bank. The essential foundation of making the creek is a two layer level of styrofoam, usually ¾ inches of thickness. There is a base and two sides that make up the creek banks. Most banks have an undercut on one side, which Lance creates by taking coarse sandpaper, 60 grit, and sanding out an undercut. The next step is to color the bank with some sort of soil color paint. The key is to have a mix ready that will simulate the muddy bank. Lance uses scenery soil, a 50/50 mix of white glue and water, a drop of alcohol as a spreading agent, and wet water which is a small sprayer of water with a cap of rubbing alcohol.
To make the whole process work, the muddy mixture must be the consistency of toothpaste. Too thin, and it will not apply. He adds a pile of soil to a bowl and begins to spray it with the wet water, pouring in some glue and beginning to mix it together, adding more water when needed, but not enough to make it runny. Once finished, Lance begins to dab the mud onto the sides of the bank. He goes on to show the finished product. Some details he has added include a sandbar, some twigs, roots, Envirotex epoxy for the water, and some ripples using gloss medium. Some of the crushed shale is sprinkled on the bottom of the creek for a nice detail. Learn how to make water move by watching other Model Railroad Academy videos.