Rivers: Part 3 (aka don’t make these same Mistakes!) « Do-it-Yourself Terrain

Rivers: Part 3 (aka don’t make these same Mistakes!)


Post by Bill

So our rivers are complete and here’s some of the last steps that we took to get ourselves a pretty great set modular river pieces.


Now with static grass

One of the last steps we took before pouring the water effect into place was put a light layer of static grass over the greenish areas of the rivers.  This was achieved by watering down the glue first and lightly brushing it over the now dry green/brown combo flock underneath.

Painted stones

Painted stones

We then went and painted the three sections of rivers that had stones on them.  We just used two shades of grey, one dark and one light to achieve what you see in the picture above.  Also, to ad a bit more depth of color to the river base we drybrushed a light amount of brown across the bottom of each piece on top of the black flock mix.  Now for the “Fun” part….

Pouring Envirotex

Pouring Envirotex

So this, for us, was the first large scale envirotex usage for water effect to date.  Envirotex is mixed 50/50 in a cup and in our case we decided to tint it a light shade of blue.  This shade of blue did not show up at all really on camera, but in person, it does show.  We elected to hot glue a popsicle stick to each end of each piece, this was Mistake #1.  In theory, this worked, in reality, it added about 3 hours of work to the overall process.  You see, the problem with this was that envirotex is thin enough at first to leak, and it did, firmly affixing each piece onto the board we set them on to dry.

Unfortunately, my wife had the camera on the day we poured these so I was only able to get one ‘good’ photo on the day we poured the rivers.  After 24 hours of drying we went to remove them and the following was the result and part of Mistake #2.


The wood was solid black under neath here, that should give you some idea of how much wood was pulled off and stuck to each river piece

This was one of the better ones....

This was one of the better ones....


In theory the hot glue would have allowed for easy removal of the popsicle sticks...this couldn't be further from the truth

In each instance I had to use a knife and dremel tool to both cut each stick off and even up the bottoms of each piece…this is a time consuming process and I can’t recommend against doing it because it can end up badly.  In terms of risking wrecking the good parts of the terrain, this is a high risk.  If you intend to try this yourself, invest the money into wax paper and hot glue that to the edges instead, and while doing so, use it to create a large enough piece to go under each section of the river as to not let it stick to the board.  I cannot stress that part enough, it was a borderline crappy situation where we considered scrapping the whole project.

End results

End results

The above picture was roughly what each piece looked like after I finished clearing the popsicle stick, glue, and envirotex runoff.  After this was done I went and took out the brown paint and touched up the edges of each piece and we now have a complete river!

A small section of completed river.

A small section of completed river

Rivers: Part 2

Rivers: Part 1

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One Response to “Rivers: Part 3 (aka don’t make these same Mistakes!)”

  1. Yeti's Yell says:

    Hey man,

    The river looks great… well done. Just some 2cents from experience,,, if you go the envirotex route again, go with uncolored popsicle sticks and cover them in clear caulk, When they are dry you can then attach teh sticks as dams and use the same clear caulk to seal the seams against the resin. Worst case scenario, the caulk rips off and stays imbedded in the resin but it’s clear caulk so won’t look bad at all.