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Gaming terrain: Fountain with streaming water (tutorial)

It's time for another terrain -related article, this time it's one of my personal favourites. The fountain can be used in almost any genre as they are present everywhere, and modelling streaming water was an interesting project. This article shows you phase by phase how the model was made, allowing you to create fountains and other water-filled elements of your own.

Beginning of the project

I started the project with wire and a cover of a round conservation cup. Here's where my old arts studies are paying off, having a good sense of anatomy. If you have any artistic knack, go ahead and do your own statues - otherwise you might want to think of using miniatures or models sold in decoration shops. 

I used wire to create structure of the models to stand on the fountain. Unless you want to carve the piece, this is the best way to create statues. You can leave some extra length to the statue feet so you can hold the piece from these extended feet. I've used a small wooden sphere (from a hobby store) for the head. There's several ways to create bulk for the statues: Applying PVA-filler mixture layer after another, using modelling clay, wrapping glue/water soaked small pieces of paper (or painter's tape) around the model to mention a few examples.

Beginning phases - a plastic cap and wire

The beginning phases. I've wrapped a cardboard strip around the base to create better form.

Wooden and cardboard -pieces

Above you'll see smaller statues and the structure above the fountain forming up. I've used any round items of wanted size to create them - a bottle cap and piece of wood here. I've wrapped structured cardboard from a hobby store on them - this is excellent resource for making pillars or similar items if you can find such. I've added paint to the layers applied on the statues to see their form better. 

Statues of the fountain are ready

Several more layers of dyed filler has been applied here, and the structures have glued to the base (which has also been painted). Wings are made of paper and filler has been applied so that I have drawn shapes to the wings with a stick before the filler dries to form surface structure for it. Behind you can see a mini-fountain that can be attached to a building.

Aides to attach springs to the fountain

Work continues...

The whole piece is now painted, including the bottom of the fountain piece, using a lighter blueish shade of the grey the rest of the fountain is. This way the water looks realistic. Using pieces of wood as support, I glued pieces of clear fishing line to the base where the water should be pouring down, using superglue. After it I poured few layers of varnish to the bottom to ensure these lines will stick to the bottom. When these were dry, I removed the support structures.

When applying varnish, be sure it's really clear and not yellowish, use small amounts at a time, do it in a bathroom or other location with as little dust in air as possible. Try to find varnish that shrinks as little as possible when drying, or you can try to find other kind of substances. There may be clear resins for example, but I haven't been able to find one recently that doesn't stink horribly.

Gluing streams to the statues

Here the supports are removed and I've started to cut lines carefully shorter one or few at a time and glue them to the statues where the water is supposed to pour out.

Layers of varnish and quarz crystal

When the lines are fine, it's time to blow some life to the streaming water. You'll need fine quartz crystal and clear varnish. I've applied varnish to the surface of the water pool around the spots where water is pouring down and then along the fishing lines, and then poured quartz on the whole thing. After that it's time to let the varnish dry.

You'll need to repeat the above process possibly several times. Look at the model carefully to see when to stop with repeating the process. Once you're happy with the looks of the water you're finished! 

Fountain in front of a temple

Fountain in the front of a cathedral - below more photos.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and it is helpful to you! If you create water in your models using this technique, feel free to add links using comments!

Ancient temple and the fountain -models from bird's eye perspective

Closer view to the modelled fountain

Another close-up of the fountain -model

Close-up of the fountain -model



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