Howes Cave
Cripplebush Valley Models
264 Saddlemire Hill Road
Sloansville, NY 12160
(518) 868-2218

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Howes Cave


Stream Bed
(32" x 12" to 3)

Stream Bed
Stream Bed
Stream Bed Upstream
Stream Bed Upstream

Click on thumbnails for details

Making a convincing model of a stream bed, whether wet or dry, is one of the toughest challenges in building scenery.  Try as we may with stone chips, kitty litter, or other materials, most of us simply can not arrange the boulders and debris in a way that mimics what flowing water would do.

At Cripplebush valley Models, we recognized that we couldn’t outperform Mother Nature in making a streambed.  So we had her do the work for us! 

That’s right, we built a streambed the old fashioned way—with a stream!  We built a curved, flat-bottomed stream channel, broad at the front to show off the details of the stream bottom, then curving and narrowing farther away to help create a feeling of distance.  Then we filled the channel with sand and silt, took it outside, and turned on the water!  That’s right, for nearly two days, we ran water down our streambed and allowed it to segregate the fine grained pieces from the coarse.  When we were done, we had a gorgeous miniature stream bed on the bench, (and a watery mess underneath on the lawn).

Here’s what we ended up with.  Measuring 32 inches long, this is not a small, insignificant water body in any scale!  The streambed is 12 inches wide at the front, tapering to 3 inches at the back.  Rounded boulders protrude from the center channel, while wispy banks of sand line the edges where the current’s not as strong.  It makes  a perfect dry wash in the desert.  Or in more humid climates, cover it with one of the clear urethane resins such as Envirotex Lite or Magic Water.  The water products from Woodland Scenics also work well.

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