9.3 Scenery: River

New Hampshire rivers have all manner of water features, from placid pools to roaring rapids and everything in between, with the predominant theme being "rocky." I'd wanted to model as many different river moods as I could, although I knew in advance I'd have to scale back my expectations. Among other things, this meant picturesque waterfalls (save for the mill spillway) were out of the question.

Upper White River

The stretch of river from the mill spillway down to the three bridges area I'd envisioned as a series of rapids cascading along a slab of solid bedrock.

I had a relatively flat piece of Cripplebush Valley rubber rock that was perfect for a riverbed, and I installed it on 12 November 2020 (above), along with some rugged rock faces along the edge of the firefly meadow.

After blending the rock pieces together with colored sanded grout (above), I painted and stained the rock faces (below).

Next, I added some rip-rap around the base of the falls to blend the finished portion of the mechanism into the surrounding scenery (above), and then sprinkled unscreened river rock onto the rest of the riverbed (below). I bonded it all in place by applying alcohol followed by diluted white glue.

When the river rock was set, I repainted the riverbed, then liberally applied India ink and Rustall washes (below).

With the riverbed complete, I brushed on two coats of thinned acrylic gloss medium (below left).

When this was dry (above right), I smeared on a layer of clear silicone caulk, then dry-brushed it with white acrylic paint where the water would be turbulent (below).

At that point, the entire riverbed was "wet" when some areas should have been dry, so I repainted and stained the dry surfaces. Finally, I added tiny plants to the dry areas, then added more vegetation to the rock faces. I declared this stretch of the White River done on 15 November 2020.

The White River: Three Bridges Area

The first stretch to get riverbed material was the "three bridges" area (above) on 31 August 2020.

The trickiest part was working around the steel trestle in the middle of the layout; I cut paper templates to fit around the piers, and transferred these to -inch Foamcore (above).

Unfortunately, I had to tear all of the above materials back out because it placed the water level too high relative to the mill spillway. Also, I needed to clear out a sizeable area in order to install the fishermen (above) and the campfire (below). Then I began rebuilding the riverbed.

Lower White River

This stretch will be punctuated by a wooden trestle:

Reference Images

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