Taylor Lake

This wouldn't be the G&D without Taylor Lake.

John Allen used clear ripple glass for his lake. He also did a clever thing: he built the bottom half of his boat dock to fit under the glass, then lined up the top half over it.

To get my version of the lake oriented and shaped correctly, I traced an outline of it onto the base, using a full-size print of the original plan.

The lake itself was actually modeled twice. Always keen to try new things, I decided first to use Woodland Scenics E-Z Water, which comes in the form of pellets that are melted in a small pan and poured, or sprinkled in place and melted with a hair dryer. I chose the latter technique, with dismal results. First, the hair dryer melted some of the surrounding tree foliage. And the pellets formed a perfectly placid puddle that wasn't at all realistic.

I attempted to improve it by applying a layer of textured thick gloss medium; the results were only marginally better. But then things went downhill quickly: the lake developed a large crack down the middle, and the layer of gloss medium began to peel off.

After tearing out the gloss medium and recreating a new shoreline with dirt and talus, I sealed the E-Z Water with acrylic paint, then applied a deep purple, almost black finish that faded into colors matching the shoreline. Then I finished it off with two coats of thick gloss medium textured into waves. The results far exceeded my expectations; the images are not photo-shopped.

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