Here is an easy, yet slightly more expensive way to add some really convincing waves to your diorama or scenery.
A lot of scenery builders use clear caulk to for waves in their dio's. For this diorama I am using automotive bondo. That's right, bondo. You are able to build it up A LOT quicker and easier that you would with caulk.
Things you will need:
Wood or cardboard for your base cut to your fancy
1 can of bondo and tube of hardner/activator. This can be found at your local auto store this will be the only pricey item.
1 paint mixing stick
1 bondo spreader or a nice firm piece of cardboard
A large piece of cardboard for mixing bondo and activator
1 sheet of sandpaper 400 or 220 grit.
I decided to make a tutorial about 1/4 of the way through. So I will get you up to speed. After cutting my base to shape I outlined where my ship would be sitting. I also used some scrap prices of wood to elevate the bow of the ship and taper at the stern. I then traced over my outline with a thick bead of glue as I didn't want to bondo the entire piece of wood. I used the paint mixing stick to dig some bondo out of the can and mixed some up. I have had years of experience with the stuff so there are a few tricks I can use when mixing for slower or faster dry time. You should just follow the directions
I loaded up the spreader with the mixed up bondo and used the very edge of it to start building up the edges where I layed the bead of glue and with a side to side and varying pressure spread the bondo out flat.
You have about a minute and a half for each batch of bondo to harden, so bare that in mind when building up at the bow and down the sides as you will also have to sculpt with the spreader by lightly pulling the bondo up and towards the back of the ship. It will give the water the look of being moved by your ship. Also you should drizzle some bondo diagonally away from the big ol bow wave and along the rest of the base to add a little more depth to the water.
Check your ships hull and repeat the above steps until you get your desired effect.
Since I've got the waves where I want them its time to do some sanding
A little cleanup of the bondo drips.
Here comes the fun! I mixed up a dark blue and began spraying. Bondo creates a lot of hard edges and and deep recesses, so you want to make sure that you spray EVERYWHERE!
Now with that in mind, the more coats of paint you lay over the bondo, the darker your blue will appear. Really hose down the recessed areas!
Adding the "white caps" if the base coats were done with varying coats of blue you should already have some pretty impressive looking water. Here is how to turn it up a notch. I had about 1/3 of my airbrush full of blue, simply fill the rest of the cup with white and begin spraying the high points of the waves.
Last step! Get your gloss on! Who cares if you run it, this is the only time it doesn't matter!