View Full Version : Acrylic gel question

09-05-2003, 06:10 PM
This is a question for making a diorama, but I figure the acrylic forum has better answers than the sculpture.

Can acrylic gel medium be used in a large quantity to simulate water?

For example, I have a grove in a wooden base (diameter no more than 10 cm, depth no more than 1 cm), can I use acrylic gel to fill it up? Will it dry hard and clear? Will it yellow with time (if kept out of direct sunlight)?

Any brands you might suggest (pasty would be better than liquid)?

Thanks all in advance, ja ne!

Keith Russell
09-05-2003, 07:41 PM
I don't know about acrylic gel medium, but there is a liquid substance forumated for simulating water in model train setups. It dries clear, and is probably non-tacky when dry. (Acrylic gel media--if memory serves--are quite tacky, even when dry, and will be very hard to clean once they get dusty/dirty.)

Check Hobby Lobby, or any local model train supplier...


09-05-2003, 07:52 PM
I agree with Keith - acrylic gel medium probably isn't your best choice. There's probably better things to use that aren't quite as pricey and are designed for the purpose you're looking for. Also, I'm not sure that the gel medium would hold its volume the way you want it do - acrylics have a tendency to flatten out as they dry, don't know if the gel would do that.

Good luck!

Sculpture and mixed media forums might give you a better answer on what to use - us acrylics folk can only tell you that the gel medium probably won't be the best. ;)

09-05-2003, 08:54 PM
I used to do miniatures and I know people have done that kind of thing with resin. I don't know the brand name but it comes in two parts that when mixed harden to a clear water appearence. I would think any hobby shop could help.

09-06-2003, 09:38 AM
ThANKS ALL! That's what I needed to know. That it stays tacky is the main problem I think.

I'll give the other solutions a try (what ever is available in Portugal that is). :)

09-06-2003, 04:33 PM
Keith is dead right, acrylic mediums are almost all tacky to some extent and become more so with high humidity. They will both attract and then hold on to dust!

What you want to look for is clear casting resin (polyester or polyurethane), there are suppliers in the UK I can give you contact information for if you like although the Euro/Pound exchange rate is a little punishing at the moment. :(


09-07-2003, 03:02 PM
Einion: please post the links/contact info. I have searched the internet for "Envirotex Lite" which is a high glossy finish. It does not seem to be easily available in the EU.

I have seen some Woodland scenics water effects though, and that looks really interesting - it's ready to use and water soluble.

I'm a bit concerned about two compound or resin things - are they toxic (environmentally safe would be great, but I can see why it is difficult to achieve)?


09-07-2003, 03:47 PM
I think the resin is toxic while wet (not after it set). They carry a warning about adequate ventilation while mixing.

09-07-2003, 06:19 PM
Kay is right, most resins are quite inert when cured, it's only the fumes during the wet phase you have to worry about and they're nothing to be concerned with if you're doing this on a limit basis.

Envirotex Lite is a very good material but as you say it could be very difficult to get in Europe. Still, if you want to order it from the US (many larger online art suppliers stock it) it might be affordable even with shipping because of the beneficial US$/Euro rate at the moment.

The UK suppliers I mentioned: Sylmasta (http://www.sylmasta.com) and 4D Modelshop (http://www.modelshop.co.uk).

I think Fred Aldous (http://www.fredaldous.co.uk) also stock some resins and a two-part clear coating called Crystal Sheen which could work also. Their email address is [email protected]

Hope it helps,

09-13-2003, 10:44 PM
Acrylic gel media--if memory serves--are quite tacky, even when dry, and will be very hard to clean once they get dusty/dirty.)

I have been working with gel and I think you could get the results you want with a combination of acrylic mediums.

Try gloss gel for the texture and body then when it's totally dry and clear put Tri-Art Top coat on it. It dries very clear , very glossy and not tacky at all.