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Make water with Clear Silicone Caulk

Here is a wonderful tutorial submitted by a web visitor (Cristi). He shows us how to make water effects for boats.

It is an interesting thing and you can actually do some research like he did to understand how waves actually work around a boat.

Cristi also has a nice WWII diorama tutorial for us that uses BMW German military motorcycles as the centerpiece.


And want to see more of Cristi's amazing work? Check out his blog here.


Here is a look at the completed water effect diorama that we make in this tutorial. And this is only stage one. He also shows us how he improved on this.

The completed water effects diorama


Mark for the boat

Using plain old styrofoam we cut it to the size of the diorama then mark off where we want the boat to be by placing the boat and tracing around it. This is because it will sit part way into the water.


Cut and place the boat

Just like this. It looks great.


Paint and add some texture

Now we paint the blue and add a gloss gel for the back draft behind the ship. This gives the backdraft some rippling.

Closeup of texture

Here is a closeup to show the rippling.


Add silicon

Then we add layers of our crystal clear caulk to build up the wave system and the water.


Or add boat first

You can add the boat first like in this picture then start building up the layers of silicone.


alternate method

You can also experiment with a variety of techniques, materials and tools. This is for the tugboat diorama.



Here are some tools that can be used.





He also used a product called LAC Bronze to get a very distinct shape.


Different texture

Here it is all built up and ready for paint.

Painted and ready

Here it is, painted and ready for the boat.


More experiments with texture

Here is just one more look at a varied texture you can get by tinkering with materials and tools.

Some of the things that Cristi learned from these experiments is that you have to be careful with clear caulk. Not all of it actually dries clear. (Will uses Crystal clear caulk, that dries nice and clearL GE Silicone II Clear Caulk, 10.1-Ounce Cartridge #GE5000 )

Also, when applying the silicone caulk be sure to do it in lots of thin layers. That's the best way to get a good look from it. And.... research waves. It makes a big difference in how realistic your water effects will be.



Here are more water effects tutorials you might like:

Inexpensive way to make water in a diorama

These pictures and this tutorial was submitted by a web visitor (Ryan) He gives us some tips on how to inexpensively make water in a diorama. He uses caulk and paint. And in this naval scene diorama he even adds the water spouts for dropped bombs! Water in a naval diorama


Waterfall in a diorama

A Waterfall in a diorama

Actually pretty easy to make a great looking waterfall if you know the right tools and techniques. I have it right here: Make a waterfall in a diorama


Realistic Water

Realistic Water, 16 fl oz

This is the water product that I use to make the surface water of the pond and the river. It is pretty nice stuff and very easy to use. You just pour it in and let it dry. No mixing required. But, you can only pour it to about 1/4 inch thick. Then let it dry and pour another layer. You can speed up the drying process with a fan.



Water Effects Water Effects, 8 fl oz

  • A heavy-bodies, moldable product that will hold it's shape
  • Use to create pond ripples, waterfalls or rapidly moving water
  • Dries clear in about 24 hours
  • 8 fluid ounces