Inspired by a Youtube video I decided to try modelling a flexible, long river with caulk. It was cheap, fun and quiet easy to achieve a good result. The river is 2m long, which is enough to span over every standard 6″ x 4″ table.

Materials and special tools:

  • Acrylic caulk (not silicone) which can be painted (1x white, 1x grey, 1 transparent)
  • 1x old bedsheet
  • Paints, modelling grass, PVA
  • Pair of scissors

Modelling process
1. Draw river on the bedsheet and cut it out, put some cling film on the floor or table as a protection and fix it with painter´s tape, put the river-bedsheet on top and fix it also with painter´s tape.

2. Put on the caulk to the future water surface and make it thin and even with wet fingers. Now let this dry for 2-3 hours.

3. Now put on a first layer of caulk and form banks on each side of the river. Let it dry overnight.

4. Now put on a second layer of caulk and give the banks some height and immediately after put on some sand and gravel on the wet caulk. You don´t have to use PVA or glue, the caulk will keep enough of that material. Carefully press the stuff in the wet caulk and again let it dry overnight. It should somehow look like like below now.

5. Now cut out the river with a pair of scissors, clean the banks of excess sand (vacuum cleaner) paint the water and the banks and finish the banks as you like (e. g. Drybrushing, glueing on grass and decoration etc.). Just keep in mind that it will be flexible in the end for space-saving storage, so don´t glue trees on the banks etc… Unfortunately I just made a picture of the painted and drybrushed banks in the middle of this step.

6. Add transparent caulk to where the water should be. Spread it even with wet fingers and form the surface. Don´t worry that the transparent caulk is white, it will clear overnight once dry. It now should look like something below.

7. The final result

If you want to build one, too and have questions, please let me know in the comments. I will try to help 🙂