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Custom Made Hot Tub

This is a clever easy way to add a little something unique to your layout.  It's a quick, inexpensive way to create a scene in as little as 2 days and a total of 30 minutes of your time.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Balsa wood (a sheet of styrene will also work)

  • Plastic thimble (or tube of styrene)

  • Thin styrene strips or sheet

  • Paint for the hot tub

  • paint for the decking

  • Woodland Scenics Water Effects

  • Glue (Wood or white glue)

Step 1:  Cut the bottom of the thimble off to be used as the hot tub.  Be sure it's large enough to be realistic.  If you're using a tube of styrene, cut a piece and glue a bottom on it so it will hold the water Effects.

At this point you can add any steps or seats you want and hen paint it the color of your choice.

Once the paint dries you can add figures if you wish.  I painted a figure to make it look like he has a red bathing suit on.

Step 2:  Time to create the decking.  Cut pieces of balsa wood or styrene for the 4 sides and the top decking.  Next drill or cut a hole in the top piece just large enough to fit your thimble or tube.  First glue all of the sides to the top piece and let dry.  Once it's dry you can layer pieces of styrene or balsa wood to create steps.  Once it's all dry you can paint it.  **Use an X-Acto knife to score it to make it look like wood boards.

Step 3:  Use a toothpick or other tool to put Woodland Scenics Water Effects in the hot tub.  Use a TINY amount of white paint on the last little bit and use a toothpick to rough up the surface.  This will make it look like bubbles are going.  Let it dry overnight and then glue it into the decking you created earlier.  The overall appearance will look pretty realistic.


This was my first attempt at creating one.  As you can see, the man is still wearing his suit.  My explanation to this is that he had such a rough day at work he just came home and hopped in.  This is an example where I used a thimble for  the hot tub.


For my next hot tub I used a tube of styrene with a piece of styrene glued to the bottom to hold the water.  I also used thicker styrene for added durability, but I think the thinner styrene has a better appearance.  This time I painted the figure so he's in a bathing suit instead of leaving him in his regular clothes.


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