Finishing off the Water

Addition Completed.  Images and a Short Video


Yesterday I finished off the addition of the waterboard for the layout.  Overall I am happy with how it turned out, I managed to blend in the new fake rusted metal riveted strip with original fake rusted metal riveted fascia.

I took lots of pictures of the progress, along with some video.


Carrying on from where I left off in the last post of this project, I gave the surface I had skimmed with Durobond 90 a good sanding to ensure a nice smooth base.


Of course, this created a massive amount of dust, but working slowly when sanding keeps it from getting everywhere.   A quick pass with a vacuum removed the dust.


Everything is sealed up with a coat of primer.  This eliminates the rest of the dust.


Vita insisted I include this picture.


The front corner of the new waterboard is a bit weak and could use some support.  I am a bit concerned that if it gets flexed the water (Envirotex) might crack, so I decided to add a reinforcing bracket.

I made this up from some 1/2″ MDF.


I will install it where the waterboard is the most weak.


Since this will be fastened to the original rust fascia, I will also have to apply the effect to it.  Here I have given it and the “rivets” a coat of a orange base coat.  This is the first step in creating fake rust.


While that dries, I can begin to install the pre-cut Masonite strips that will be used to represent a metal band wrapped around the water.


Like I did on the rest of the layout’s fascia, I will use wooden plugs to represent rivets.  A 2″ spacing looks about right.


The strips are glued and nailed in place with some 1″ finishing nails and construction adhesive.



Rivets added.  They were hammered into a 3/8″ hole, which created a press fit, no adhesive required.


I masked off the areas of the layout I did not want to repaint and sprayed the new edge with a coat of a reddish-orange flat paint, this will provide the base colour for the rust effect.


The first sponge coat of the brown rust colour has been applied to the support bracket.  Once the band along the front is dry, I will also apply this coat.


The rough surface of the Masonite will actually benefit the finished work.  It creates a very believable texture to the rust.


The rust effect takes two or three applications of top coat, brushed on then dabbed off with a sponge.  The sponge will create a mottled effect on the surface that looks surprisingly like old rust.  This is how all the rusting effects were applied to the layout.


The final finish took three applications of the top coat to create the same colour and look as the original fascia.  Here, I have installed the bracket in place, which went a long way to strengthening the waterboard.


Looks great from underneath.  Standing and looking at the layout it isn’t possible to see this bracket.  The finish work is for the benefit of the kids, short adults and modelers who have fallen over.




The surface of the waterboard was given a coat of a dark, muddy brown colour.  It took a few coats to get this to cover the light gray primer I used.


After the first coat was brushed on, I noticed that some of the holes left from screwing the board in place were still visible, so I re-filled them before adding the next coat of paint using some wood filler.


The final coats of paint (there are 4 in total) was applied with a roller as I wanted to create a bit of a texture instead of brush marks.  I don’t know how visible the surface will be once the Envirotex is poured.


Lite stipple texture to the painted surface.





Old and new fit together well.




Overall I am quite happy with the result.  I had debated on simply painting the edge the same colour as the water, but I think the thin riveted band of old metal adds more visual interest.  Sort of a cool rustbelt steampunk look.


Since I now have this nifty new high definition video camera, I created a short video documenting this project.

As if stopping to take pictures every five minutes isn’t time consuming enough….

If you have a good connection, watch it in HD. If it is stalling, simply pause the video and wait for a couple minutes for it to buffer in.



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About the Author:

I'm your host, Tim Warris, a product developer in Port Dover, Ontario. Since March of 2007 I have been documenting the construction of the former CNJ Bronx Terminal in HO scale. For my day job, I design track building tools for Fast Tracks, a small company I own and operate. Fast Tracks makes it fast and easy to hand lay your own trackwork. Stop by our website to learn more!

Posted by: Tim | 03-25-2009 | 01:03 PM
Posted in: Benchwork Construction | Latest Posts | Track Construction


  1. It’s looking good there Tim!
    I’d love to see it in the flesh someday, but I don’t think that you’ll be bringing it to Australia any time soon :p

    Comment by Iain Kennedy — March 25, 2009 @ 11:33 pm
  2. Tim,
    Since I mess about in boats when I’m messing with trains, I love the stream bending for th eone corner. Haven’t tryied it with Masonite, but you can bend some fairly think pine and poplar fairly tightly if you saturate it first with enough steaming water (tea kettles work really well if you don’t have a steam box).

    On the technical side, a question – where’d you get the cool little Forstner bit you used for hole drilling?

    Comment by Philip H. — March 26, 2009 @ 12:58 pm
  3. Another tool question. Where did you get that cool sanding block?

    Comment by Shane — March 26, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

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