Over the holidays I've been experimenting with adding some water effects to my movement trays. I've not used much water effects in the past, and I was eager to pick a good product. All the more so as I wanted to tint the water as well. I looked into Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, Games Workshop's Water Effects (which I discovered is now unavailable), Vallejo's Still Water and finally EnviroTex Lite.
During my research I found a very good review on water effects from BrushThralls, you can read it here.
I already had some of Vallejo's Still Water, but I must say, this stuff was very disappointing. It shrinks like crazy, and no amount of layering seems to end up with a flat surface. It might be good for adding a layer of clear gloss to say, slime, but for transparent pools etc, no sir.
After looking at reviews of other products, I ended up with the EnviroTex Lite. It's a bit more convoluted to use as it's a two part resin. It doesn't smell, though I would highly recommend good ventilation when mixing it. Make sure you get the Lite version, and not regular EnviroTex as that apparently smells of pure evil.
I had wanted to tint the resin too, and with EnviroTex Lite you must use oil-based paint, such as enamels you get in most hobby shops, the kind used on model railways. I used only a small amount as I didn't want the resin to be opaque. This stuff needs serious mixing, and recommends you mix, pour it into another container and mix again. This I did, then added my paint. It becomes very bubbly, though the bubbles do mostly vanish. After pouring it helps to gently blow on the resin to encourage more bubbles to pop. I can 'sag' a little, but this is easily remedied by adding more resin until it's level. I wanted a slight sag effect as it looks makes the water more viscous and stagnant. The drying time can vary depending on conditions, but will be at least 48 hours.
I'm very happy with the result, the tint is perfect, muddy but still transparent. I wanted a few bubbles as it's simulating fetid bog water. I have big plans for more ambitious effects now I know it works. There's no shrinking or cracking, so I can say I would highly recommend EnviroTex Lite.