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galvanized fittings and chain

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I am trying to build a 1894 schooner. In this Era I find from many photos the turnbuckles ,shackles and chains were galvanized. Moving forward the chain plates were too, but many were painted out with the hull.

I am using brass tube and stuff for the turnbuckles. I could use quick blackening to start if that is helpful. Is there anything better than silver paint to get to a likeness of galvanized?


Ditto for chain. Most is coated brass I think.


Thanks for any help

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Testor's Model Master line of enamels has two colors that might work: 1780 Steel - Flat, and 1781 Aluminum - Flat.





Edited by Mahuna
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You might check the model railroad paint racks for a shade called SP Lettering Gray. It's dull pale bluish gray. Looks like weathered galvanized iron.


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Thanks guys. What I get is paint is the way to replicate galvanized fittings or chain.

Thanks for quick response


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Hi Jon


I haven't used paint on chain, I was only suggesting where to find the appropriate color. If I were to paint chain I would definitely airbrush it instead of hand brushing it.



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If you are using brass throughout, a good base may be chemical tinning. I cannot recommend a reagent source for this in US though.


After thorough cleaning and degreasing (as you would do for blackening) you immerse the parts in the solution until a coating has formed. Initially the coating is of a dull silver, which looks quite like galvanised steel. You can touch up places also with paint as noted above. Rubbing a soft lead pencil over areas that would show wear makes it look more like bare steel.



panta rhei - Everything is in flux



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the added advice. I have painted brass chain black for static and found it is OK but not all covering. One needs to thin the paint and then be ready to touch up after installing. I would agree, now that I have tried it, blackening is better. I will look into tinning, but will likely stick to paint as this schooner will get moved around. I like the pencil idea and will try it on both silver and aluminum color.


Thanks again...I will comment in my build log after trial and error


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  • 3 weeks later...

Tinning: You should try it! Much more durable than paint or blackening, and if the parts should be galvanized, this is your best bet!


You are looking for "Tinnit", and easy to use solution, that normally is used to apply (electrolessly) a tin plate onto PCBs' copper traces. It works quite well on brass too.



Find an example here:


where I used it on large scale brass rigging fittings.



Pat M.

Matthews Model Marine

Model FUNCTION as well as FORM.

Get your boats wet!

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