I have modelled Hexworthy on the bank of the river Dart, and so not only is there a little bit of river along the front to model, but I have added a stream across the scene too. Having modelled the river bed I need a method to model the water.
As can be seen the waters of the Dart are clear so the bottom can be seen where shallow, but stained brown (I presume because of peat).
I've not actually modelled this sort of water for many years (except the deeper river basin of Loctern Quay), and back then gloss varnish was the accepted medium. Now, there are a number of water products available from the trade, most either 2-part resin or the type that needs heating, both seem a bit of a faff though may be best for deeper water. I only need around 4mm of depth, and of course to get that deep brown tint. I decided that some experimentation was called for before attempting the water on the layout.
So of the four experiments with three products, which seemed best? Well the Aqua Magic would work well and looks the most "wet" but it seems tricky to get the colour tint right, and it would work out expensive as one bottle wouldn't be nearly enough. The varnish looks OK but I don't like the concave surface and creep up the banks, and it is a bit dark. The Modge Podge also looks challenging to get the colour tint the right strength, but the shade didn't change, it didn't creep up the sides, has a suitably uneven surface for a stream, the shrinkage wasn't as much as the Aqua Magic (unless diluted), and it's a lot cheaper. It can produce bubbles but I have found a solution to that.
So one final experiment was carried out with Modge Podge again. Rather than mix the paint directly into the Modge Podge (which is white when wet) I mixed it separately with water then used that to dilute the Modge Podge. Here the tint is a bit weak but much better than the earlier experiments. I also tried a deeper pour, but as you can see from the opaque areas this hasn't worked. Finally, a thin coat of Aqua Magic enhances the glossiness. With those lessons learned I think I have a way forward.