HMS Astute - Hobbyboss 1/700

Ok, here's the first layer of resin being poured. I chose to build the resin block in 3 layers, adding less catalyst to slow the curing process and avoid shrinkage and overheating, which would probably damage the plastic.

Note the adhesive cork bits added to the clamp. The spring isn't very strong either. 

I calculated 250 ml of resin to be adequate for the first layer. I weighted  it - it was more or less the same in grams - and added about 2% of catalyst. After an hour or so, it presented the viscosity of a strong gel.

You can see the enormous amount of bubbles formed, even after careful mixing. The good thing is that these disappeared slowly by themselves.

Covered it with cellophane  and put it outside because polyester resin is quite nasty!

HMS Astute - Hobbyboss 1/700

My first thought was to use this kind of cardboard to make the container. On one hand I wanted to reuse some leftovers I had here, on the other hand I wanted to create a mould with a specific size, closer to what I imagined. This would not have been possible with a comercially available polypropylene mold nor with a tupperware but using carboard has it's disadvantages as well. It's difficult to make it watertight but I think I solved this by coating the interior with latex.

Superglue was used to glue the parts the best I could.

Another reinforcement: hot glue, which is one of those materials that comes handy every once in a while, just like white glue.

The box looks huge but it actually isn't. We'll see it in the end.

The thick coat of latex still drying - an hairdryer can be used but I chose it to dry naturally. 

HMS Astute - Hobbyboss 1/700

A couple more links to use as reference. These show experiments with clear resin, the products and techniques involved.

Some points to consider, study and plan:

- The container should be non-porous and should not leak.
- Polyethylene molds are recommended but if the size isn't suitable, we should choose another material and run some tests.
- The final piece needs to come off easily. Mold release should/can be used.
- The resin's curing process releases heat.To avoid damaging the parts, they should be coated with an acrylic varnish and the resin should be poured in layers.

HMS Astute - Hobbyboss 1/700

This is my first take on making ice in a naval setting – the chosen “victim” is Broncos 1:350 type IX c built out of the box with a crew of 4 figures from Fujimi. You could call this a “proof of concept” as it’s a test for a bigger diorama involving a 1:72 Special Navy II A. Being a test it turned out pretty well, and only time will tell, whether it can be scaled up and still work. 

The “groundwork”…
I will not go into much detail on the buildup of the base, it has already been described better than I will be able to by Dade W. Bell:
And GuidoHopp: Guido's Base
Here is another take on ice by Augusto Martinez: Agusto's Water
I applied local materials, but materials with the same properties is widely available at any “do it yourself” shop or already present in most households – like ours which is constantly undergoing rebuilds and repairs. The great pleasure of

HMS Astute - Hobbyboss 1/700

Kostas Katseas, inspiration..

The water is clear resin. A quick guide:
resin as it goes is not cheap but i have found it to be ideal in realism when i represent calm waters.
I paint the bottom of my base with a dark blue/green color (acrylic) and once it dries well enough i apply the resin on top.The resin comes separate with a very small bottle of what is called a catalyst.It basically controls the rate of reaction so if you pour too much the resin gets hard too quickly and vice versa.I think my type of clear resin is recommended a couple of drops on something like half a pint of resin (again different types of resins different guidelines)-mine is casting clear resin for those who want to know-,which i have found too slow(days!!).Besides when it takes so long to hardened the resin, you have a bigger chance of the resin reacting with the painted base and destroying it.It literally pulls apart whatever it is underneath it ,paint, glue, varnish.So i found that by pouring too much catalyst i accelerate the reaction so much that the resin gets hardened within 10-15 min so it doesn't get sufficient time to react with whatever is underneath it ,plus it saves me time on the model itself.Now resin will spread in a uniform manner and it will create an almost perfect glass-like surface.That is not a calm sea exactly, the sea should still have very subtle riddles so(and thats the trickiest part of all) depending how much catalyst and how fast your mix is getting hard ,take a hair drier and once is like a gel start blowing hot air on it.There are ,depending which way the waves go etc, different approaches to this but generally just to create few riddles keep the hair drier directly above for a few seconds at about 10 cm away and with slow motion move around the surface of the base and once you create the riddles take it off. Repeat every few minutes until you are happy with the effect.After that the resin will never go back to the glass like state, the riddles will subside once you take the hair drier off but they will not disappear ,and depending how much you repeat this process the riddles will be more and more frequent and defined.Word of caution:when you put the hair drier for the first time above the resin do it so by approaching slowly from a safe distance while blowing until the resin starts to shake.If you put the hair drier and start blowing from too close from the start you risking pushing/spilling the resin off the base since you don't know how solid or liquid it still is. When the base is hard apply a bit of resin underneath your model and glue it on the water.Do NOT touch the resin with your fingers as even after days it gets hardened it will still be soft enough and with the heat generated from your finger to leave a very clear fingertip mark.Good luck.

...and more techniques for making water:

FBMinis Road Block with Dragon Teeth diorama


Don't forget to check my other posts on this subject, so you can see the diorama I'm trying to create.

WCM U-boat Type VIIC turm I 1/400

I've been keeping this one in a Vodafone plastic box for a while, at least until the inspiration comes again. Yesterday, I realized the tower was broken as you can see on the photo. It's odd because it wasn't hit by anything and those aerials are actually nylon strands taken from women pantyhose, they're not causing a lot of tension. I believe the changes in temperature might have cause the cyanoacrilate glue to brake off from the photo-etched bridge. Some surgery is in order...