Help need an animated waterfall

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Bill Pontin, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    I am working on several NTrak modules and I would like to have an animated waterfall. I know you have all seen the lighted pictures of Niagra Falls in shopping malls, the one where it looks like the water is flowing in the picture. Is something like that possible on a module? Tried several revolving drum ideas with a light inside it but it did not give the illusion of flowing water. Anyone have any ideas. Here is the area that I want to place it.

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  2. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    Should have included a second picture

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  3. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    When the kids were done with their pumkin carving I asked for their battery operated saw. Wow! real sweet for cutting and shaping foam.

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  4. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    In the pink foam it plunge cuts real well.
  5. stripes

    stripes Member

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    Wow, tough question! I hope someone has some ideas! I would like to learn that myself!
  6. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    I would have just suggested to build the water fall as you normally would, but maybe over a tinted plastic, with led's and a rotating light behind it, but it sounds like you already tried something like that
  7. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    Hi Steven,
    The light seems to be the key, has to be bright with no hot spots and since it will be confined in the foam there cannot be too much heat. A Club member suggested fibre optics, I have plenty of that laying around, so I guess I will make a mock-up and try that next.
  8. 160Pennsy

    160Pennsy New Member

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  9. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    Pennsy great web site! little pricey as you say, not too sure if I want to invest that much in a mock up. They have some other items that look real interesting for future projects and have bookmarked the site it in my favorites ~ thank you.
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Saw an MR article some years ago that tackled this very thing very well. Where you want it to cascade over, cut open the foam and paint it black. Place a piece of clear plastic/acrylic/lexan over the opening and run clear silicone caulking over it, sculpting it to appear to fall over the edge. Don't do it too thick, you still want the transparency of it. Behind the falls you place a "curtain" of Christmas foil icicles the same width as your falls and a bit longer than them. By shining a low wattage light onto the icicles and moving them gently with a small fan (like those that now come in Glade Air Fresheners) you get a rather interesting effect of falling water.
  11. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    I guess this might sound a little weird but why not animate it with real water? Maybe some water with a little blue in it. Water proofing and a fountain pump and bam you have "Real" water fall. Seems easier to me than try to duplicate it.

    Not my idea. I've see some video of an O scale guy that had a river flowing thru his layout. Looked really cool.

    I would think with it being a module you might need some way to drain the water.
  12. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

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    Shay, that sounds like the ticket, I will have to construct a mock up to see how it looks - THANKS!
  13. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    That does sound really cool shay! Bill, if you do try that, take some pics for us!
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    The problem with real water is that it doesn't scale down. Individual droplets will still be at the 12 inches to the foot scale. It may work for O scale or large scale, but in n-scale it won't look right, but you can watch it and have trouble trying to figure out why the water looks funny!
  15. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

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    At Dollywood, Dolly Parton's Theme Park that is near me. During the Christmas season. The park turns off the water for the water rides and fountains. They memic moving water by using chasing Christmas lights that are all blue. Somewhere I have a picture of a water wheel there. They outlined the wheel and the ducting with these lights. It memics moving water! They also do this in other areas of the park. I think an adjustable flip flop cuircit, you can do the same thing!

    Andy
  16. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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    Russ I respect your opinion but I have never heard of water having "scale." Honestly if it's just the droplets that need to be on a smaller scale run the water thru and faucet aerator.

    Anyway here's the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOnWCZ1G04s
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I looked at the video, the rapids are a little out of scale, but it looks good because large scale trains are so big. Put that same river or rapids on a n scale layout, and it will be way out of scale. In ho scale 1/8 of an inch is almost a foot. N scale is @ 1/2 the size of ho. If the ripples are 1/16 of an inch that is 1 foot waves in n scale. A 1/8 inch ripple is 2 feet, and 1/4 inch is approaching a tidal wave, and way too much for a small stream. If you are making a water fall, the water will splash when it hits bottom, and again the resulting waves will be huge compared to the surrounding scale details.

    If you do a search on the gauge there has been extensive discussion on the Gauge regarding the use of real water. It does have a scale size. It may work for O scale and LGB, but it won't look right with n scale. Also an additional problems with water is that it is close to the universal solvent. If you paint under running water to give it the color you want (it's color doesn't scale down either), it will remove the paint. You will need to fight algea growth in any standing water. It will corrode most containers unless you use plastic or glass. If you use plaster scenery materials, it will dissolve them if it gets on the plaster. There are a lot of issues that need to be solved to use real water.