I am working on some Terrain for Warmachine, and I am interested in making some water effects. What is a good way to go about doing that?

I am planning on using Foam Core as the base of a lake, and some high-density insulation foam as the banks. What is a good thing to use for the water portion? I have heard that Woodland Scenics makes a product, but that is hardens as a Gel, and can be easily scarred from models. Are there other resins that are easy to work with?

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    I would have liked to have added a terrain, wargaming and modeling tag to this question, but I do not have enough rep yet. Can someone do that for me please? Thanks!
    – aperkins
    Dec 13, 2010 at 16:50
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    I just checked the FAQ, and did not see anything about this not being allowed, hence my confusion. Again, apologies in my posting of this. Please feel free to close if this violates the requirements of the site.
    – aperkins
    Dec 13, 2010 at 17:22
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    @aperkins - no worries, you didn't do anything wrong. We're in beta, not everything is defined and I feel we definitely need to stretch to find our boundaries. In that aspect, this is a very good question!
    – Pat Ludwig
    Dec 13, 2010 at 19:01
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    @aperkins: Thanks for asking the question; I think it does help us define the boundaries. And it's making me reconsider my views. This question seems useful and objective; it feels like it should be allowed... which opens the whole painting question again. (Also, @Kristo: While I feel you're right that 'wargaming' is too broad, this seems like exactly the question for a 'terrain' tag. I've added it. Does anyone else have a view on this?)
    – Tynam
    Dec 14, 2010 at 10:52
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    @Little, if this question is off-topic here, then where is it on-topic? AFAIK, there is no such place. Personally, I think this is a very good question.
    – Kristo
    Dec 14, 2010 at 19:48

5 Answers 5


Paint the base blue/green etc for the base, and then use a two part epoxy resin like what is used for bar tops. If you want waves, let it dry for a little bit, and then tease up waves w/ a paintbrush w/ a little thinned white paint on it..


what usually works for me is this recipe - 2 parts PVA glue 2 parts gloss varnish (I use the stuff you would varnish, say, a bench with, rather than the one that Games Workshop makes) 1 part distilled water (it is important to use distilled water because you don't get the minerals from the tap into the water effects). This is thin enough so it will apply nicely to a base, but thick enough so that it doesn't flood over the edge (not a problem if you are uiong a Warmachine base!) If you are using pre-thinned PVA glue, don't bother with the distilled water - it will be too runny!

If you want to make waves - 2 parts PVA glue 2 parts gloss Varnish 1 part white gloss house paint. This recipe is a bit thicker and you can tease it up to make waves. If you wanted to, you could add some fine sand to get that foamy texture. Never tried this, but hey, you could always experiment. For tinting, either paint the surface that you want to be tinted, then coat it with water effects, or use ENAMEL paint. Don't try to mix anything for the wave Water Effects, and don't mix acrylic paint with the Standard stuff.


The easiest way (and often the best looking) is to use Water Effects. Woodland Scenics makes it: link as does Games Workshop itself. You create the terrain piece, and paint the areas that will eventually be under the effect with an appropriate color (often, blue is not appropriate for small pools of water...try brown or dark green) and the you simply pour in the Water Effect and wait for it to dry.


Paint a surface blue, and then use Cling-Wrap, slightly crinkled in a regular pattern, glued over the top. Very fast/cheap, but there are more quality methods available.


At Bell of Lost Souls, this article about water bases looks really awesome. Might be what you are searching for?


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