Thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated.
Three different methods for the water.
For the Liberty Ship, the water is tin foil, crumpled then flattened out, painted with a mix of blues - it's the method I'm least pleased with.
For the calm water in the Japanese destroyer and HMS Argyll dioramas, a base coat is painted first then Tamiya Gloss Acrylic paint is added, a drop at a time, from a syringe. It tends to dry before it has a chance to completely level out so you get a bit of a ripple effect.
For the Schnellboot, the base itself is tile grout, sanded smooth with the boat pressed in before it dries. It was then painted with sea blue Tamiya Acrylic as a base coat with a mix of blues and white with lots of water to keep it workable and to dilute it for the paler blue for the wake with the whole lot given about 5 coats of gloss acrylic. The foam on the port side of the boat is cotton wool.
How to add the atmosphere.
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