“I get by with a little help from my friends”
I really do value the community of model railroading. The number of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that express interest in, and often support me in this hobby, is humbling.
Case in point, my friends and fellow IAIS modelers Joe Atkinson and Scott Thornton. Thanks to our shared interested in the Iowa Interstate, Joe, Scott, and I have been connected for nearly two decades. In that time, we developed tips, tricks, and techniques amongst each other that have ultimately improved our respective layouts.
As part of his work on his HO scale IAIS Milan Branch, Scott recently discovered issues when using Mod Podge to model waterways. Despite numerous attempts, he couldn’t get rid of the bubbles that formed on each layer. I had used Mod Podge for the Iowa River on The Hills Line, and planned to do the same for the future Ralston Creek scene.
When he mentioned this to us, my first response was “that’s just the way it is”. But the more I thought about it, and the more I realized that he was correct… and that I didn’t like the “tiny bubble effect” either for the Iowa River.
Fortunately Scott, being smarter than I am, discovered a solution. Golden Soft Gel Gloss. Tests on his Rock River scene showed that the thicker medium prevented bubbles from being formed while being applied or during drying.
So I ended up repainting and applying the Gel Gloss to an already completed scene, and the results were encouraging. In addition to no visible bubbles, it appears that a single layer will be more than enough to simulate water, as opposed to the multiple layers required with Mod Podge.
I’m grateful for my friends.