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Weathering a copper hull

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Hi Folks,


I was thinking when I have painted the hull of my kit in copper and apply a matt finish I could weathering it with Humbrol Chrome oxide. This has a greenish color. I could even use a little yellow the sand weathering power to soften the green a little.


I would like to experiment a little with those weathering powders now I got them at home waiting for me.


Anybody has some thoughts about that?




Grtz Ray

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Ray,


I'm kinda new to the plastic sailing ship hobby. I just started my third, an old 1:96 scale model of the Cutty Sark, and painting the hulls with flat acrylics. But the thing is just looking too new!. I want to go for an aged, weathered look. There has to be a simple way, but I can't find whole lot of info about it.


Will you post the results you got with the weathering powders, and how you did it?


Thanks. Good luck with your build!


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Hi Pete yes i will post the results. I had to work for a while so im not at home (i travell a lot for work) so please be patience and I will show if this is working. Further i recommend you to check the the Log from dafi on the victory and do a search on Le Superbe from BE you will get some nice ideas.


Im new to to this hobby and this was just something I thought that might work.......who knows



grtz Ray

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Hi Folks


I've been trying some things regarding this weathering of a copper hull. I've done 3 tests.


1) Using the Humbrol Chrome Oxide with a gloss verniz. The result is vissible on th etop right of the test plate I used. As you can see this is a dissaster.


2) I used the Humbrol Chrome Oxide with Decal soft from Revell so you get a wash effect. The procedure works better but it is not the right color (Chrome has a different color while oxidized as Copper so makes sense). Result is vissible on the right bottom side.


3) I took a turquoise enamel paint and applied the dry brush technique. This result is visible on the left side.


I think I will go for option 3 even though I really would like to use these powders as I have seen nice results but for this purpose I think it doesnt work. The turquoise has a much more realistic color for copper oxide.




But if anybody has other opinions or ideas feel free to give them.


Grtz Ray

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  • 4 weeks later...

NRG member 45 years



HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner -  framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner -  timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835  ship - timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


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Try this it might work better and not smell as bad. My wife uses this all the time on her copper garden artwork.

Here is a link.




Current build: Maersk Detroit"
Future builds:  Mamoli HMS Victory 1:90
Completed builds: US Brig Niagara, Dirty Dozen, USS Constitution, 18th Century Armed Longboat


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  • 2 months later...

If you are going to accurately "weather" a ship model that has a copper sheathed bottom, there won't be any copper color to be seen.  Even a new coppered bottom will, within a few weeks, turn to a verdigris green color.  Once the vessel has been in the water for a few months, that will remain to some extent at the waterline, but below that it will be fouled with a lot of dark green and dark brown growth which will look almost black from a distance.  For modeling purposes, if one wants the "used" look, rather than a pristine "as built" presentation, one might as well use paper sheets rather than the fancy copper foil the kit makers sell and paint it accordingly.  Trying to achieve a "patina" on a copper bottom by treating the copper is a lot harder than just painting it.  Even left alone, new copper will turn a pleasant, and accurate, brown color after it's been in the case for a few years.  Take a look at the pennies in your pocket.

Edited by Bob Cleek
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  • 4 weeks later...

Another way...


Basecoat the copper plates black. Then airbrush the plates with copper (Vallejo Metal Color range is really good). Wash with emerald green and a wash mix of black and brown after that. Can highlight with the airbrush with copper again (very lightly..a thin layer).

WIP: No ships atm...sorry!🙄

Completed: Greek bireme - Dusek - scale 1:72

 Louie da fly: "I think it requires a special kind of insanity to choose a galley to build a model of."

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  • 2 months later...

I ran across a modeler who used Brandon Enterprises weathering powder on his painted copper hull. He used FF-162 kit which includes Old Yeller, Green Grunge, The Blues and Used Brick powders. Used sparingly! It looks pretty impressive! I plan on going this route with my Constitution build.

Robert O

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