An informative masterclass on how to create different forms of water in your dolls house, taken from 'The World of Miniatures', edited by Sarah Walkley.
If you want to give the impression of water in your dolls’ house or miniature garden, you will need to use resin. The type varies depending on the effect that you are trying to create. The most important thing to decide is what effect you want and then select the right product for the job. Some resins set hard and crystal clear, making them ideal for creating ponds or puddles; others are softer and can easily be coloured and are better suited to making bubbles or suggesting a splashing fountain. It takes a little practice, but after a few goes, resin can be made to look like real water.
1 Mix the resin and hardener together according to the pack instructions. You will need to measure carefully.
2 Pour the mixture on to a clear plastic styrene sheet and put it in a warm, flat place to set for 24 hours. Try to shield it from dust to ensure it remains clear.
3 Once set, use a razor blade to prize the edge of the ‘puddle’ away from the sheet and lift it carefully. To create the impression of a spilled bucket, half fill the bucket with the resin and leave to begin to set and go quite viscous. Then tip the bucket over on to a flat polythene bag or sheet and gently prize the resin out to form a puddle. Once dry, the resin will set hard, but will not bond to the polythene sheet, so it can be gently peeled off the sheet and placed anywhere in the garden.
This project describes how to make a fountain and pond full of fish, but could also apply to a sink full of washing up. You can fill any vessel you want provided it does not leak! If it has a hole in it, it will need to be sealed first with a small amount of epoxy resin. This should be invisible under the water.
1 Mix a small amount of resin and hardener together. Colour with some white powder and leave to cool to the point of becoming very viscous and sticky. The mix should be shaken, not stirred. Most manufacturers of water-effect resin also make colouring powders that are suitable for use with their product. It may also be possible to find a pre-mixed product like Making Waves from Deluxe Materials that is pre-coloured.
2 Use a length of wire to tease out the resin mix and see how well it holds its shape. It should create a continuous stream (not drips) when dispensed slowly from the tip. You will need to experiment with how long it takes for the resin to get to this stage, but some makes might take a few hours to reach the right condition. A hot air gun is useful for speeding up the hardening process, but also for warming hardened resin to shape and mould it.
3 Attach the viscous resin to the spout of the fountain and drag it down to the bottom, at the same time extruding more. This is a bit fiddly, but ideally you want to stretch the flow out so that if it becomes any thinner, the strand of resin would break. Roughly, attach the end of the stream to the base of the pond, so that it appears to be splashing against the base.
4 Add additional threads alongside the first one to give the effect of flowing water. You may want some of the threads to peter out halfway down to make the stream appear wider at the top than the bottom.
5 Fix the fish in place in the basin of the fountain with tacky wax. This will avoid them moving when you add the water. Mix together some more resin and hardener as above. Fill the basin with the mixture using a syringe. Applying a clear mix over the turbulent base of the stream you have just created will give the impression of fast water breaking through stiller water. Fill the basin most of the way to the top and then leave to cool.
6 Colour the remaining resin with some white powder. After shaking, blow air into the mix using a syringe. This will make it aerated and bubbly. Spread this mixture on to the surface of the water in the pond. The resin in the pond should be still soft and ‘molten’. This will allow the two preparations to blend slightly and give the effect of bubbles on the surface.
You can add resin to taps dripping into an empty sink. After setting firm you can add a ‘puddle’ of resin (see above) to give the impression of the water running across the base of the sink.