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Water, water everywhere

John Whyte, at the recent Nine Mill Fiftieth Anniversary, provided a demonstration of his process of creating water. This process, John tells us is more for larger areas of water, particularly water around harbours and docks. There are many examples for representating water for ponds, lakes and rivers using various forms of resin. However, for larger areas of water that are greatly impacted by movement, be it shipping or wind, John says that there is a need for a more variable surface to represent such movement.

John developed this method after consulting various ideas from other groups including YouTube. He has developed the technique further with his work on Trevor Cheer's layout where the water effect under and around the Opua Wharf on theTrevor's layout amounted to almost seven square metres of water.

These photographs were taken at the Nine Mill event and illustrate some of the techniques John uses.

John had prepared well for the clinic with a couple of sample boards he had prepared earlier. The first board was a sheet of ply on which he had already applied several layers of toilet paper across part of the board. He then demonstrated how he applied more layers to the other half of the board.


Once the surface area has been covered to the appropriate thickness, everything has to be left to dry thoroughly – this can easily be several days to a week depending on humidity levels.

John then brought into play a board that he had previously prepared and dried and to which he had glued some small stones representing a beach front. He then proceeded to add paint from tubes of inexpensive acrylics, gradually mixing and blending colours from the almost white foam and shallow effect of waves coming along the shore to the much deeper greeny-blue as the water becomes deeper.


The effect of the finished product could be seen in John’s submission to the 400x400 diorama challenge - the Harbour Master's office on Opua Wharf - below

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