davyboy

Red Paint or Red Ochre

56 posts in this topic

Understood.  What I am trying to determine is, which (if any) of the colors/hues I posted would be reasonably good for use on a model of a late 18th century Continental warship?   ....or should I continue to experiment?

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I decided to "bite the bullet" so to speak,I purchased a tube of Windsor & Newton red ochre from their Galeria acrylic range. It is slightly redder (in my sight) than the bottom row 4th from left in post 13. I have duly painted the bulwarks of my Cheerful build covering the red I had started to use,I'm the Captain and I like it  :)

As has been said already paint was mixed on site so there would have been many variations in shade. Just one slight problem,I now have to repaint the outside of the recessed gunport liners (about .040" wide) to match the interior without making a mess on the outer planking :D :D

 

This has been an interesting thread to say the least.

 

Dave :dancetl6:

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. Just one slight problem,I now have to repaint the outside of the recessed gunport liners (about .040" wide) to match the interior without making a mess on the outer planking :D :D

Dave :dancetl6:

Carefully.  :D

 

One possible way would be to install some pre-painted 1/64" thick fillers.

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Hi Chuck,

 

1st pic lower right cadmium red light + burnt sienna. The lower colour is very close to the W&N red ochre which I bought,mine looks to me just a tiny shade darker. TBH, I imagine if you bought a specific colour from several different manufacturers there could be a slight difference between them anyway due to the ingredients therein.

 

Probably best if people use the shade of red they like,we don't have time travel so who can say they're wrong :D

 

Dave :dancetl6:

 

P.S. managed to paint the gunport recessed liners ok  with a #1 brush.

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Dave,

    I agree, in the end, go with the colour you as the builder like.  (within reason....I would question the metal flake hot pink and iridescent green...but who am I?)

 

    Joel has echoed your thoughts on manufacturer vs difference in color. I think Chuck even mentioned that he used to use one brand, but they changed and the color is slightly different.

 

    Anywho, while I will continue to experiment, I have the answers I was looking for.  For me, give that a shipyard of yore could mix a batch of paint one day that looks like one panel and then another batch a week later that looks like another panel leads me to a conclusion:  Pick the hue I like best for the bulkheads.  Pick another for the gun carriages and deck furniture.  See if anybody can tel the diff...or if anybody cares.

 

   Thanks all. :cheers:

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We have a good discussion of what red ochre is and where it comes from, not so clear the OP's original question was answered clearly. I have a similar issue in that I have two Admiralty Paints, crimson and red ochre. Allegedly the crimson is right for RN gunport sills and inner bulwarks, but it is an insanely bright and saturated red to my eye. I find it hard to believe they could make that red at the time, and if they could, whether it wouldn't have faded almost immediately. 

 

I mean a modern paint manufacturer would hem and haw if you wanted to paint your house this color and have it remain color stable.

 

So I am considering using the red ochre, this is going to be one of the few painted surfaces on the model, most of the rest is going to be stained/clear. In the end since I'm already violating correct color by not painting some of the surfaces, I'll use the color I want but like the OP I'm wondering what the color was that they really used and what it looked like 3 months after it was last painted.

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Another point I will mention here is scale. Not a surprise to see the word "scale" in a ship model forum right? Believe it or not there is also the concept of "scale color" that gets little attention in my opinion. It's the concept that color loses intensity with distance. The farther away you're eye is from a colored object, the more dull it will appear. This is due to the refraction of the light rays themselves as they pass through the atmosphere. The effect is stronger the greater the distance the light travels through the atmosphere as more and more of the light rays are scattered. If you're building a 1/48 scale model and you are looking at your model three feet away you are 144 SCALE feet away from your model. In order to view your models paint job "in scale" you would have to view it through "scale air", air that was made artificialy denser, full of fog or mist? OR you can duplicate the effect of "atmospheric perspective" (as the concept is known in the Art world) by toning down the colors you apply to the model. In other words you can adulterated your bright red color by adding tiny amounts of complimentary color and/or white paint, just enough to peel back some of the intensity of the Straight-From-the-Bottle Red paint. It's still red, it's just no longer AS red. We are talking about tiny tiny admixtures of color, just enough to get that red slightly less intense. You'r not going for pink. In the case of most colors the diluting color could be a bit of brown.

This also goes for the color black on models. I never use black right out of the container unless I'm painting inside a hatch cover trying to fool the eye that there are deep unseen spaces below. Otherwise I use very very dark grey.

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Not sure if this has already been brought up but I believe the most common mixture was red ochre mixed with turpentine and linseed oil.  This would have been the most commonly available material in a dockyard.  The actual color would have varied a great deal depending on ingredients, how fine the pigment was ground and how good a job of mixing was done.  A recipe I found is 1 part linseed oil, 3 parts turpentine, Drying agent, Pigment.  Not sure what was used as a drying agent or if a drying agent was even used.

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Also whoever said bulkheads were white, as far as I know that only started to become common in the late Georgian navy, they finally realized that extra light in the lower decks was more important than tradition. Prior to that the standard was red and I think red remained common on top deck bulkheads.

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White washing, i.e. a solution of lime (calcium oxide, CaO, that forms when you burn chalk in a kiln ) in water that turns into CaCO3 by taking up CO2 from the air was extensively used in a domestic, industrial and also naval context, not only because it made rooms lighter, but also because of its slightly antiseptic properties due to the high pH value of the lime solution.

 

The air perspective mentioned above would only apply, if you were to set the model into a scenic display or the like. Not sure one would use 'broken' or toned-down colours for display-style model, unless you want to simulate age. In fact, if you use the air perspective, strictly speaking, you fix also the viewing distance to some degree - the colour should become more vivid as you move closer to the model. However, one can argue a lot about this subject.

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Chuck, light red IS pink. :P  I have seen a demonstration proving that Hershey bars and oranges are the same color.

 

When mixing paint colors, you can get some interesting results as the product depends on how they got to the base color, which combination of pigments they used.

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Actually, I didn't quite understand Chuck's question. Thought it must be some joke I didn't get. Of course 'pink', which seems to have entered the English (and in equivalent ways other languages) in the 16th century when cultivated roses became popular, became the denomination for a pale red. How 'pinkish' the pale red becomes depends on what pigmente or dye is being diluted by white pigment. The 'cleaner' red the reflected spectrum of the original paint is, the more 'pinkish' the mixture will be. It also depends on the white pigment so some degree, as white and white are not quite the same. Titanium dioxide probably gives most comprehensive reflectance of the whole spectrum of the visible light and, hence. looks 'whitest'. 

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There is 'red' and there is 'red'. Both Orange-red and crimson red are 'red', but mixed with white or other colors will yield very different results.

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I was thinking of this topic today as I was mixing some acrylic paint, trying to match colors in flag fabric from an old model I'm restoring. The original flags were likely brighter colors and the fabric would have been white. Now it's brown. Anyway I knew I was NOT going to use pure cadmium red, I had to knock down the intensity of the color or it would jump out at the viewer like a sore thumb. In the photo you can see the cardboard pallet has a lot of browns and tans that I'm mixing into the very bright red. I will call your attention to the big blob of red in the center of the palette, you can see th the right hand side of the blob is muted and duller than the left side, which is more intense. THATS what I was talking about in my post above: mixing some muddy color into the pure color to modulate the intensity. It's still red but now it's less dramatic.

post-3035-0-06135800-1485997661_thumb.jpg

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Same thing exists in pretty much every modeling field, in WWI aviation there are death struggles over the "real" color of British PC10 and PC12 brown/khaki that was painted overall on all British aircraft. And it's basically impossible, first because different batches drifted some, and then it also rapidly faded due to exposure to sun and rain.

 

So really, the color it was painted with can't be determined with total exactness, and then it faded once applied such that literally every single day that aircraft was a slightly different color than it was yesterday.

 

I fully understand those issues and am not looking for a single color but a range- I know the hue range of PC10, and also its saturation range. And names of colors don't help at all here, you have to generate numbers - I'm talking I know the colors in a Hue/Saturation/Lightness (HSL) model typically used in Photoshop.

 

If I had to guess, the red gunport sill/bulkhead color, if they were using their "real" red vs red ochre, would probably be an HSL range (on a 0-255 scale with zero being pure red) of H:3-8, S: 90-120, L: 180-200. Does that sound correct to you Frankie?

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It's interesting you bring up how we name colors. In the art world manufacturers of art paints USUALLY name each color by the pigment it's made of and USUALY these paints are made with one predominant pigment. Pigment by the way is the base element emparting the actual color, it's usualy a powder and always selected for its color (naturally) but also for its compatibility with the Binder and it's lightfastness (resistance to UV radiation and fading) and cost. Pigment by itself is NOT paint, it won't stick to a surface unless its mixed with a Binder, it's the binder that makes a paint film stick and resist being scrubbed off.so you can buy Cadmium Red paint (cadmium pigment, a poisonous metallic compound mined from the earth) in Acrylic Oil or Watercolr and it's the Binder that determines what type of paint it is and how it can be thinned or dissolved. Some pigments are not compatible with some binders so you can't get every color in every medium. Alizeren Crimson for instance won't mix with water so you can't buy it in Watercolor or Acrylic (yet recently Windsor Newton figured out a way to make an acrylic version don't ask me how).

Hobby paints don't usualy use the names of the pigments in the names of their products and I suspect it's because they are blending many pigments together to achieve their colors.

Historical accuracy WILL effect which colors are correct for which period. The science of pigment discovery and use is well documented in the book The Artists Handbook by Ralph Mayer. In it he gives a history of each major pigment and it's clear that only after developments in industry and science have we gained access to most of the colors you see around you in all the coatings everywhere. For instance Prussian Blue was only discovered after chemists began investigating coal tar. So you can't use Prussian Blue on your HMS Victory.

Read Oxide has ALWAYS been available though, due to its ease of manufacture and the fact that iron was everywhere. Same with White Lead.

Fortunately if you have a copy of Ship Modelers Shop Notes edited by Merritt Edson (and everyone should) you already have a three or four page history of pigments as pertaining to ship models starting on page 140, written by Winthrop Pratt.

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Speaking of hobby paints, I recently went back to Testors model enamel paint for some uses. I last used it in the 1970's and to me it appears completely unchanged. I'm very happy with what it does but there are things it won't do. It does NOT intermix one color to another in the same way I have always been able to intermix colors in all other media I have used over the years -Acrylic Oil and Watercolor. For instance I can't easily mix a range of browns using Testors blue red and yellow, which is child's play in artists mediums. This suggests to me that the base pigment components of the Testors colors are more complex combinations of pigments and this prevents their paint from easily mixing derivative colors as one can with artist paints. So if any of you are vexed when trying to adjust your colors using hobby paint, it isn't YOU, it's the PAINT.

I think the hobby paint business is hampered by their need to provide a full range of colors so the user won't be tasked with learning the endlessly subtle art of color mixing. But on the other hand I now feel that that same user is going to be PREVENTED from learning how to mix color if they stick exclusively to hobby paint.

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To reduce chroma (color brightness) often a small amount of the complimentary color is added. A complimentary color is one found on the opposite side of the color wheel. For instance, to reduce an orange-red a greenish blue is used. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works!

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Actually, we learned this at school ... additive and subtractive colour and light mixing. I remember having to paint various types of colour wheels using the school-box of water colours.

 

BTW, ochre pigments are not usuall 'made', unlike lead-white, but are mined at certain locations, such as southern France, where the iron-oxhydroxide occurs in a relatively pure state, without an admixture of clays and other silicates such as quartz. The mined lumps are broken down and milled in large calanders (similar to the mediterranean olive presses of old) before being flotation-washed to remove impurities.

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I needed to make a decision so I was mixing last night using the Admiralty paints, I settled on a 10-3 ratio of their Eye-Blinding Super Red (Ensign Red) and their Red Ochre.

 

It's still more saturated than I would use on a realistic finish, but since the stern/inner bulkheads are about the only surfaces being painted on this model I'm already totally violating realistic color, and this color should provide a reasonably striking contrast with the cocobolo and boxwood and holly that I'm using.

 

post-9338-0-49198700-1486027181_thumb.jpg

 

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