The Florida East Coast Key West Extension model railroad of Cal Winter has over 100 square feet of water. Janet Keller discusses how Railserve’s Ross and Gail Allen modeled the water for the layout. The first thing they did was test different shades and colors. They had different test paints with different bottoms and then tested pores on the two part epoxy resin. They grind the water to simulate the proper wave pattern using a round ball cutter on a dremel tool. Gail determined that she had to use a sweeper attachment in order to catch all of the resin debris, otherwise it would be all over the place. Masking tape is used to hold it together.
Gail Allen goes on to demonstrate the technique she used to grind the resin and create a water effect. She tries to be consistent in the wavelengths by maintaining a straight line. After grinding, she uses a paint brush to clear out any other debris. The grinding creates a frost on the resin. To return it to its proper shine, she uses two part epoxy, one part resin and one part hardener. It’s very important to make sure they are a 50 – 50 ratio. Gail has found that the best tool to use for reapplying to the areas she ground down is a finger, rubbing it in and spreading it across.
When Ross started the Railserve business, he was determined to do as little physical work as possible. He generated a CAD process that put together a set of construction drawings that his 16 year old son was able to build. Janet Keller goes on to ask about the main design struggles of a double deck layout. For more on model railroad backdrops or to see more in the Allen Keller: Great Model Railroads series, visit our archives.