After the disaster I created in the previous installment of this project, it was time to pick up the pieces and try to recover. This, of course, meant trying to discover just how bad the damage really was. How deep had the resin eaten away and how far would I have to go in order to try and remove the sticky toxic mess that I had created? Well, the answer to that was depressing:
As it turned out, the resin had eaten its way all the way to the back of the project. The bottom MDF base was unsalvageable, but I was hoping that I would be able to not have to cut way too much of the foam. Luckily I was able to scrape away most of the resin, and cover up the rest with joint compound so that it no longer smelled quite so toxic.
The real question, though, was what to do with the facade? Could I save the front in any way? It didn’t promising…
After an ill conceived attempt at trying to hide the ugliness with stones (to try and make it look more like a sea wall than a canal wall), I gave up. While I probably could have made it look ok, it wasn’t the look I was going for and in the end the amount of effort would have been too much.
So I settled on cutting off the front canal facade and remaking the entire thing.
In the end, it was just easier and I knew that this fit the style and the concept that I had been working towards all along. Of course, repeating the same thing never looks as good as the original, but as that ship had sailed, there really wasn’t any point in thinking about it.
Soon I was back to where I had been before the disaster had occurred.
Anxious to avoid the same issues as last time, so this this time I decided be smart and build a small test piece to try the new compound I would be using for the water.
Having learned my lesson, I decided to go with a much safer product: Envirotex-Lite, a perennial favorite among model railroaders and model builders everywhere. Also, in order to avoid mishaps, I decided to pour the Envirotex in thinner layers, rather than all at once. This would allow me to observe the process, and avoid any of the chemical reactions that had doomed me in my first attempt. It worked.
I was very happy with the results, though there was a little creep up the back wall due to surface tension, which is a common problem with Envirotex. However, I hoped that even thinner pours on the final canal would minimize this problem. With these thoughts in mind, I began the final steps (again).
This time, I was met with success!
I was quite happy with the end result, even if I did forget to add the leaf debris in the final pour. However, I wasn’t completely sold on the look. While I loved the stillness of it, I didn’t think that it looked enough like water. After some thought, I went back to my test piece and added to gloss medium varnish to the surface in an attempt to create some motion and slight wave to the surface.
This little touch added some much needed realism to the surface and gave the water a better look. It also would allow me to add in some leaves onto the surface. And while I went with a slightly different product for the surface on the final product, I was quite happy with the results. Once that was applied, I could finally, after 3 1/2 years, call this one complete!
Next up: The final pictures!