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The O-Scale Gator Lines
of Frank Gillette
- - Tug Boat and Setting - -
The Lionel tug boat is installed in a small harbor area. The first step was to build a flat base and paint it. Next, some bridge supports, a dock and some rocks were glued in place. A layer of epoxy was poured. Note the plastic dam at the front edge. The liquid epoxy will find any hole and run out before it sets.
These first two pictures show the basin before texture was applied to the surface.
This view shows the right side of the basin before it was textured.
Overall site view.
The Lionel tug comes with a bright, blue plastic base for display purposes. Since, that base is a good fit for the hull of the tug, I used it as a master for making a mold. The mold was made from latex rubber with reinforcing fibers. Liquid epoxy was poured into the mold to make a 'hole in the water' into which the tug would fit. This view shows the overall basin filled with epoxy including the mounting spot for the tug.
Here is the basin with the tug installed. Texture has still not been applied.
Here is the same view from a higher angle. Some folks really like the glossy, flat finish we get from the epoxy. If you do that, you must make sure there are no flaws on the bottom. Note that the reflection of the bridge above is pretty sharp.
The overall basic with texture
Here you can see an overall shot of the finished installation. The surface of the epoxy has been carved with a motor tool to produce wave texture. After the waves are cut in, I applied a coat of high gloss varnish. The cutoff stones in the motor tool produce a lot of scratches and dust. Remove the dust with a vacuum cleaner and wet paper towel. Hide the scratches with the varnish. The result is remarkably like the surface of real water. It is glossy, but does not provide a mirror-flat reflection. Colors and shapes in the background make an impression.
Water level view of the tug
This view shows the way the scene looks to the denizens of the layout. Watch out for the wake!
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