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Seascapes using bathroom clear caulk


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Most of us have use caulk around the house, the following are tips I learned when making water or seascapes with clear bathroom caulk.

Clear silicone caulk has many advantages:

  1. Will adhere to most surfaces
  2. Can be painted over
  3. Can be mixed with cotton for making sea foam
  4. Able to cut and remove unwanted areas without sacrificing the whole project
  5. Little shrinkage issues if applied properly
  6. Quick fix with more material to fill voids
  7. Can be clear coated after drying for glossy finish
  8. VERY low cost

Caution when using:

  1. Apply a thin layer (less than 1/8 inch) for best drying time, thickness will determine dry time
  2. Allow 24 hours between layers for drying
  3. Too much too fast will cause cracks to open where heavy layers are applied

I have used this on 1/700, 1/350 and 1/72 scale projects. Smaller scale will have less working time but always plan a few days no matter what scale. The biggest advantage I found is cost. You can complete most projects with less than one tube. That should set you back about $4.00 from the local home improvement center. Liquitex gel medium will set you back considerably more, and clear resin even more.

If you get in a hurry and apply to much it can open up cracks as the material under the top will dry out at an uneven rate. If this happens don’t panic, just place a little on your finger and fill the void after it has dried completely. After the new application has dried overcoat with clear paint or Future to get a gloss and smooth finish.

If you get some on the model where you don’t want it, no problem, just use a wet Q-Tip or small sponge to remove the excess material from the model. What if it dries on the model where I don’t want it then what? Still no problem using your finger slide along the surface of the model and the caulk will peel off; you can use a little water to help it come lose too. BUT if you wait too long on a dull painted surface you may need to work it harder to free it from the model. I like to use clear gloss on my freeboard anyway which aids removal.

Sculpting is no problem, just like Liquitex gel, use a paint brush dipped in water to form waves or any other water motion you want. Plus you can add more to a wave to increase the height just dab a little more on top. If you want to reshape or change an area, remove the material with a razor knife and fill the void with new material. You can mix a little cotton with the caulk to form white foam in the water. If you don’t like it remove with your knife and try again.

I like the versatility and low cost of this medium. After you get the hang of it I think you find it easy and simple, but with drawback of longer setup time. Here are a couple of links to some models I used caulk for the water.




Happy modeling.

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Tell us more about painting the caulk. Do you lay it down and then paint only on the surface? Can you paint each layer to add depth and complexity?


And how do you mix it with cotton to create foam?


All of the above yes.

What is painted depends on depth of caulk. On the 1/700 build the layer was very thin so I painted the top and gloss coated after.


The process was simple. First I painted the dark blue and then moved to lighter shades with dry brushing. The top layer was dry brushed with white for the wave tops. After that I used a Tamiya clear green (thinned) to add the greenish tint. Dry brushed with white again to just the very top of the wake and then clear coated to finish.


For the larger boat I started out painting the base white. Then using dark blue I gently brushed strokes across the white. This left the base looking like I had only half painted the blue coat and never finished, if that makes any sense. It was streaked with blue but not fully covered.

Now I added the top layer of caulk and placed a thin layer of cotton (stretched a cotton ball so it was extremely thin), at the stern and along the edge of the bow for the bow wake.


Next step was building the layers of caulk to make waves and deepen the overall depth. I spread the caulk over the cotton to completely cover it at the rear but left some of the cotton exposed at the bow.

When I reached the desired depth of caulk, after many days and layers, I clear coated the caulk to give it the shine. I also covered the cotton with a few layers of clear at the bow as well and trimmed out any strands or fibers that stuck out.


The larger the area and depth will determine the how and when you paint. Hope that helps.


I think the key would be to find what type of water you want from a picture and use that as a source for color and wave action. A good picture will be your best guide.

Edited by sumterIII
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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Guest PetrolGator

Woah. This method looks excellent with the heavy seas. I'll give it a try. I'm -OK- with the results from the method I used on the Harusame, but the damn resin took forever to gel enough to hold a wave. I'm going to see if adding an accelerator will help without compromising realism.

Edited by PetrolGator
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Resin will get hot as you add more hardner/accelerator. Play around with you mix with scap plastic before you melt a model.

I like it for calm water but not that happy with large waves, had the same problem as you.

Some guys can do wonders with it, but it is expensive and not very forgiving.

Here is another model I did using resin.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great information, thanks for sharing. I also found this guy, do a search on YouTube for a channel called TerrainScapes - he did an incredible video, where he compares several different products and techniques for water effects. It's one of his older videos, but I think they are well produced.



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Guest PetrolGator

I've been messing with this + a gel medium but can't seem to get good, natural looking waves in 1/700. Any suggestion?


I think I may try using a smaller brush dipped in more water to smooth it?

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Sorry Chris I have never used that, but some of the guys in our club use durham's water putty. It's not clear but easy to use and makes great waves. Paul used it on a sub build a couple years ago.



Have you seen this from steel navy?



But on the gel question, have you used a spatula or your finger rather than a brush? Random dabbing your finger will make small waves outside the wake in caulk.

Edited by sumterIII
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Guest PetrolGator

Attempt #2 may have come out OK. Next time, though, I'm going to be less.. uniform with the swells of a heavy North Sea.


I'll post pictures tonight if I get the painting done or I'm not heavily intoxicated. Or both. It's been a bad week.

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