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Creating Water From Foil

Step 4…
Make sure your base has a little bit of texture for the glue to have something to grab. Most wood bases will be fine, even if they're varnished. However, something like plastic may have to be "roughed up" a little with sand paper at first. When your base is prepared, spread white glue over the surface.

Step 5…
Lay the foil down on the base and while the glue is still soft and malleable underneath, place your hull where you want it to go. Press down very hard on the hull so that it leaves an imprint in the foil. This is why you didn't want to have the model done before this as there's the risk of breaking something. The reason for pressing the hull into the foil for the imprint is because ships don't ride above the water at their waterline point. If there's any chop in the water, it will raise slightly above the waterline-- so you want your hull to be slightly lower than the surrounding foil waves (more if your water is very ferocious).

Step 6…
With the indentation from the hull as a guide, use the back of your fingernail (or any small burnishing tool), to press down the area of the foil that the hull covers. You don't want it to be perfectly smooth, as the foil texture gives something for the glue to grab to, but enough for the hull to "sink" into. Also, use this opportunity to study your research as to what kind of wake pattern your ship causes. Then, use the back of your fingernail to "sketch" this pattern into your water. Depending on your water conditions, the water ahead of the ship may be rougher or calmer than what the ship leaves behind.

At this point, you can still modify your overall chop a little, by pressing down on various areas of the foil to "calm" the waters... Also be sure the corners of your foil are glued down nice and solid-- if not, you can put some white glue on a toothpick and slide it under the edges of the foil to help make them secure.

About the Author

About Dade W. Bell (Karybdis)

I'm a third generation modeler who builds a little of everything (mostly Japanese)- all while being a 45 year old hermit who lives a happy, simple life, with my fiancée (author Jaclyn Dolamore) and three cats. My father was an MM3 aboard the USS Saratoga (CVA-60), my grandfather was in one of the...


FEB 22, 2009 - 03:13 AM
Looks a heck of a lot easier, safer, and cheaper than resin. I may have to try that with the pibber build I'm doing. Thanks for the heads up Jim!!
FEB 22, 2009 - 05:24 AM
Nice technique and nicely presented. I think I might just ahve to give this a try! (after about a bazallion models on the ways already)
FEB 27, 2009 - 11:59 AM
If anyone knows, does the foil keep its shape better after all the paint, glue, and clearcoats are applied or will you just have to be very gentle with the display from that point onward?
DEC 18, 2011 - 09:34 AM
What a great idea Jim, As Ed said,looks a lot easier than the resin and everything else I've tried. Thanks Tom
DEC 19, 2011 - 11:07 AM