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Hi, I'm currently working on my first kit (Pickle by Caldercraft) and have a question relating to the false deck which in this case will be partially visible on the finished model.

 

I'm at a stage where it should be glued into position (according to the instructions), but without any planking (which should be done at a later stage). This seemed weird, so I had a look at other people logs (of the same kit) and realized that basically no one followed the instructions on this matter. I've decided to do the planking before I glue the deck into position, but am a bit overwhelmed by different techniques that people use to make it look more realistic and basically don't know what to do. This relates to:

 

Caulking. I've seen people simply use a permanent marker along the edges of the planks, but am a bit worried about messing things up. Can I use a pencil instead? How will it react with the varnish? Won't I end up with graphite smeared all over the thing?

 

Plank meeting points pattern. I'm sure there's a term for this that I simply don't know. The plans suggest using the 'three butt shift system' for the deck, with max. plank length at 29' (140 [mm] in scale). Should I apply the same principle for the false deck?

 

Nails imitation. I like the look of the wooden nails and thought about using the toothpick technique, but I'm not sure if this is in any way accurate in relation to this particular ship. If it is: What should be the diameter (I was thinking about 0.4 [mm]). If it's not: Should I use actual metal nails instead?

 

Also - is there something that I didn't think about / missed?

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Edited by Peter Y.
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Feeling overwhelmed is normal; eventually you'll have to choose a technique and have a go at it -- maybe you'll like it, but maybe you won't. All part of the learning curve.

 

For deck caulking -- yes, you can use pencil. If you do a search on "caulking", you'll find many threads whose authors use a variety of methods. Testing your selected method on a piece of scrap and applying your varnish to check for possible smearing would be wise.

 

Plank shift patterns varied by nation and time period. Only the most learned viewers of your finished model will notice whether you used the correct pattern or not. The three butt shift was typical for English ships of that period.

 

The nails you refer to are actually wooden dowels, and the task is called treenailing; search that term and you'll find lots of suggestions. Modelers who use treenailing can either use actual treenails (or trunnels), like the toothpick method you mentioned, or simulate them. Done well, treenailing adds a lot to the look of a model; done poorly, then not so much. Personally, I do not do treenailing on my models, because on actual vessels they weather along with the planking and are virtually impossible to see at stand-off viewing distances.

 

Lots of decisions for you to make -- don't sweat it too much, and have fun!

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Thank you for your reply Chris - it was super helpful.

 

I agree that testing it out is the way to go, but I wanted to narrow down the number of options first. Knowing now what this technique is called (treenailing) I've managed to find a few very informative threads here on the forum. Looks like I was just about right with the 0.4 [mm] diameter.

 

I know what I want to do now (graphite caulking and birch toothpick treenails) and will give it a go on a piece of scrap. If it proves to challenging I'll settle for something easier.

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I'm in a bit of a pickle (pun not intended). I had a go at treenailing and I'm not entirely happy with how it looks.

 

The plank is Tanganyika. I used the Admiralty walnut wood stain on birch toothpicks and the end result seems way too dark. Using no stain results in them being lighter than the plank. I don't really have any other wood stains at hand and was thinking about dipping them in some strong tea (no milk ;-P).

DSCF3061.JPG

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As I always say trenailing is not always a good thing and can ruin a model. IMHO it depends on the scale of the model as when to use it. In reality the Trenails blend into the deck and are hardly noticed so a contrasting color would not be used. The slight variation of grain patterns and a circular hole in a otherwise straight board is  sutile and more pleasing to my eye. This is all just my opinion.

 

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If you look at pictures of HMS Victory's decks you will see that the trenails are lighter than the planks and hardly noticeable. Of course you would be better looking at her Orlop deck as the upper decks are not original and you would probably find that they are in fact plugs, inserted into counterbored holes and covering the fixing screws. With a plug used in the modern way for fitting boarding the grain would run the same way as the planking. A trenail would have its grain along its length. Consequently the end grain would be visible on its exposed end and result in a variation in colour. I am not sure if the same wood was used as the trenail would need to withstand being forced into place and so would have to have a close grain. I am not able, at present, to check any of my reference books to confirm this.

 

If you can hardly see them at full scale then they would be even less noticeable at your model's scale.

hms-victory-the-deck.jpg

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Thanks everyone for your great advice and good examples - much appreciated.

 

I had a couple of more goes using different stains on the toothpicks. The results can be seen below. I think that the most realistic attempt is the one on the right of the middle plank - subtle, but still visible.

DSCF3062.JPG

Edited by Peter Y.
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