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Painting to Look like wood


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It looks like the only ship’s boat I can get that is the right scale (1/48) and size for the model I’m building is resin. I can replace the boat’s thwarts , rudder and interior parts with wood, but I can’t reallly plank the hull (its clinker built). So, unless I paint the boat’s entire hull, which won’t  match the ship, is there a way to paint the hull to resemble wood? Any other options anyone can suggest?

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You can paint plastic and resin to look like wood, but it takes a while to get it just right. Use super thin transparent acrylic washes in multiple layers, with darker colors first. I have used streaks of raw umber, burnt umber, and green ocher as a base. Then added thin layers of yellow ocher as a finish. Golden makes a transparent flat acrylic you can put on top if you feel the paint is too shiny.

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I think we had this question here before. Below a 'resin' model on which the technique chj mentioned was applied: I begin with a sprayed on base-coat of acrylic paint, in this case 'Wood' from Vallejo; over this washes of burnt umber and black acrylic paint are applied; for a weathered look you may want to add a light wash of white too; depending on the kind of wood you want to simulate, you may use a more reddish or yellowish wash; you can also water-based wood stains as washes on flat acrylics - do not use alcohol- or solvent stains, as these may dissolve the acrylic paint.

 

http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/models/botter/BotterModel/BotterModel-080.jpg

Base-coat applied with an airbrush

 

http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/models/botter/BotterModel/BotterModel-088.jpg

With washes of burnt umber, black and white

 

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I am actually using paints pre-diluted for the airbrush. I put a drop into a glass mixing palett and water into an adjacent cup. The paint is diluted in the brush and applied. If needed, I take more water into the brush and distribute it. As long as the acrylic is wet it can be diluted or washed off again. Once dry, the paint is permanent and more washes can be applied without removing the previous ones. The trick is to build up the desired effect from several layers.

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On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 6:16 AM, Submarinerblue said:

... but I can’t reallly plank the hull (its clinker built). 

While it's not really "painting to look like wood", one builder sliced up cigarette papers to simulate clinker planking on his ship's boats. See Nenad M's build here.

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'Marbleing' and 'Wood-Graining' were actually specialisation in the painters' trade, but have largely died out after WWII with Resopal and Melamin taking over as false wood surfacing. It still seems to enjoy a certain popularity in the UK, judging by the fact that you can buy instruction books on it and some of the tools, such as special rubber combs, rollers and brushes to imitate wood grain. I have one of those books and others on faking materials.

 

If you have a chance to visit the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen (NL) to see their collection of traditional Dutch boats, you should also pay the old painter's shop a visit, where they demonstrate the techniques of marbleing and wood-graining.

 

BTW, your fake (I hesitate to use this word these days ... the French faux seems to be less loaded :) ) looks really good, Druxey.

 

 

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One thing to note. Most of the modern Diorama/Figure painting books assume you start with a model with heavy woodgrain patterns cast into the surface, not a smooth plastic one.

 

Buy some of those cheap plastic "For Sale" signs at the hardware store and practice on the white backside, of the sign. Pratcicing on cardboard or paper will give different results, as they absorb the paint differently.

 

These are great for practicing airbrushing also, as well as testing your paint color/mixes for final dried look.

 

I tried several techniques using a Revell DR-1 1/32nd model. While the model is a newer one, they cast it with distinct wing ribs rather than the gentle sagging fabric skin between the ribs. The distinct ribs allowed me to segragate the various tries, and then record the results, for future use.

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In Europe, we don't seem to have these 'For Sale' signs for sale - indeed, in some countries they are forbidden in order not to deface the looks of streets ;)  For a cheap alternative to a styrene sheet, you can also coat a piece of paper in sanding filler, which will give you a similar non-absorbing surface. In general, it is a good idea to test the appearance of a painting scheme on some material of similar surface roughness to were you want to apply it.

 

Surface structures can be a curse and a blessing - mostly a curse, I think, because they are usually grossly overscale. Figure painters, particularly the 'war-gaming' fraternity, seem to like them, because you get a lot of (pseudo-)detailing with a simple dry-brushing technique.

 

Personally, I like acrylics, because they dry fast, so that you can work fast without washing off previous layers of paint. Other people work in artists' oils with very good results, but this requires more patience, as you will have to wait for several days between washes and there is always the risk that the high solvent content (turpentine) of a wash dissolves a previously layer, when you insist too much with a brush.

 

Working with multiple layers of washes has the advantage that you can built up slowly the desired effect and that you can wash/rub off the layer you worked on while it is still wet, if you don't like what you did. The process gives a lot of control over the effect to be achieved. Adding washes at particular places allows you to control the hue or saturation of colours, depth of shadows and strength of highlights. You can mix this with other media, such as pastels or coloured pencils, e.g. for highlighting edges.

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  • 1 month later...
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There are several companies selling 'decal' sheets depicting wood finishes in a wide variety in the model aircraft field. If you google this stuff you may be surprised at the quality.

In the ship model world there are products in roughly A4 sheet form for planking. It's self adhesive vinyl, scored so you can peel individual 'planks' or in sections of your choice. Once applied I'd defy you to see the difference from wood. Plank widths are available down to less than 1.5mm!

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And I'm going to live forever?

Seriously though, I do understand and get your point. However, I have no pretensions that my Revel 'Cutty Sark' will ever be sitting in a museum any time soon.

I was a frequent visitor to the London Science Museum until they removed their excellent model ship collection. One of my favourite exhibits was Longridges famous HMS Victory. There couldn't have been a more dedicated modeller. I looked at it at different times over the years, but by the time it was removed it had developed various serious structural issues and was clearly pulling its self apart. Don't know what the environment was like in its case but you can bet your average UK house wouldn't be that stable.

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On 11/28/2019 at 1:48 PM, shipman said:

And I'm going to live forever?

Seriously though, I do understand and get your point. However, I have no pretensions that my Revel 'Cutty Sark' will ever be sitting in a museum any time soon.

I was a frequent visitor to the London Science Museum until they removed their excellent model ship collection. One of my favourite exhibits was Longridges famous HMS Victory. There couldn't have been a more dedicated modeler. I looked at it at different times over the years, but by the time it was removed it had developed various serious structural issues and was clearly pulling its self apart. Don't know what the environment was like in its case but you can bet your average UK house wouldn't be that stable.

You won't live forever, but your model could if the right materials were used to build it.

 

IIRC,, Longridge built that Victory in the late forties or early fifties. I'd sure like to see a conservator's report on the deterioration you describe. We could learn a lot about the permanence of the materials he used from such a study and/or the problems caused by the environment in which it was displayed. I expect Longridge was to some degree challenged in sourcing some materials in the post-war years when many shortages still existed in the UK.

Edited by Bob Cleek
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Longridge had to suspend work on his 'Victory' during WW2. In his book he tells how the only place of safety he had available was an unattended, damp cellar in Portsmouth or Plymouth.

When I was able to take my last look at his model, I felt that the overall tension of the rigging over time and the inevitable expansion and contraction of the entire structure combined to a point where something had to give. Observing cannon balls scattered around the case, it seemed to me that whatever was happening was a series sudden events that went ping. Result....balls everywhere.

I downloaded photo's to illustrate what I mean, so I'll try and find some to share. Unfortunately I won't be able to attribute them.

Watch this space.

Edited by shipman
Small error correction
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Here you go: a few photo's which show just some of the deterioration of the 'Longridge' model.

Notice the hull planking parting and splitting under and where the chain-plates anchor to the hull.

The distortion of rope coils on deck, indicating possible changes in humidity at some point?

Apologies to whoever put these fine images online for us to enjoy.

01_jpg_2a4d499612aded8136067db0f9144b20.jpg

05_jpg_c917030c0492ee949baf6e5048c2b4fb.jpg

59a81ca7340ed_Victoryquarterdeckamidships_jpg_80fe4076826d6c64e556ece16f7d74f8.jpg

post-6975-0-32147400-1416093469.jpg

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Hi,

 

My method of painting to look like wood is the total opposite to above. I paint the lightest colour I see in the wood then make a wash of thinned enamel paint of a darker brown and apply to individual planks, I will then add a little burnt red and pick out a few more planks and few already with a wash on them. Continue till you get the effect you want. Finally a dark wash applied with a small brush to capillary into the plank gaps.

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Yes. Its a national scandal that the NMM and the Science Museum have removed such fine collections from public view.

Don't know what excuses they have, but from the grape vine, the SM hit a point where the dedicated ship staff came up for retirement and weren't replaced.

Longridge must be turning in his grave.

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