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In my attempts to make water I am always looking for something new. I found the large silver cardboard balloon at a party store. It looked like a good candidate for a pond.
Party balloons come in several sizes, the large one I got at a local store and the small one at a store on the internet. They both have different textures on each side. I am using the small one to make a pond.
This is my mudhole run-off pond I detailed in another web article. I could easily make a cardboard balloon pond in place of the mudhole.
Click here to make a mudhole
Using my original pond template I cut a piece out of the party balloon and placed it over the mudhole. The pond was big enough for this effect. I really wanted a larger area. This part of the railroad is my testbed for ideas.

I cut the piece of ballon to fit within the banks of the old pond.
The balloons I found have two sides. One side is a smooth placid texture and the other is more wavy. I didn't think the smooth had enough texture. I went with the more rippled. I would now go with the smoother texture for a pond this size.
Pond size and location determine the amount of  ripple. If the pond is enclosed and small it will be smoother.
I applied Quick Grip to the old pond surface. I like this glue, it is readily available and it seems to work well.
Run a bead of glue around the edge. The Mylar will lift off the cardboard and form a hump when the water based bank material is applied. The edge shown sucks in the moisture.
I mix Sculptamold with my base color latex paint . The mixture should be stiff and stand by itself.
Spatula the mixture around the edge of the pond with an artist's palette tool. Try to make a neat edge.
I finished the bank and added the mudslide that was in my embankment. I was trying to make the wall look like it collapsed and slide into the pond.
The area at the arrow is why a bead of glue is needed to seal the cardboard edge. The moisture in the Sculptamold mixture caused the Mylar to raise.
I redid the bank to cover the moisture bubble. The Sculptamold mixture was too liquid and I got latex paint on the pond surface.
A Q-tip was used to push the excess paint back into the pond bank. This is a Q-tip for applying make-up.
Stipple gloss medium around the edge of the pond. This breaks up the ripple pattern of the party balloon. It blends it into the bank.
The naked party balloon pond, I placed a few bushes to check the reflection.
I temporarily placed bushes to check the large bush look.
Here is Woodland Scenics Clump foliage placed around the pond.
A higher angle shot of the party balloon pond. I wish I had a larger area for a pond on the layout to see the full potential of this idea.
When I did this article in 2005 the cardboard balloons were available. They seem to have disappeared.
I have experimented with Mylar sheeting and have had good success just waiting to have a place on the layout for it. This is silver wrapping paper with a dusting of flat finish.