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White drafting striping tape would work if you can find it in the right width and not so thick as to leave an out-of-scale edge. Otherwise, paint works fine, so long as you use 3M Fine Line tape to ensure a crisp neat separation line. I'd suggest you look at some similar boats and get a feel for the actual color of the stopping (it's "stopping," not "caulking." "Caulking" is what you do when oakum or cotton is hammered between carvel seams... or goop is squeezed out of a tube on your leaking bathtub enclosure.) Stopping is essentially putty or tar that is placed on top of oakum or cotton caulking material to protect it from the elements.


The white stopping was traditionally white lead putty, which sometimes has an off-white cast and will yellow with age, although modern stopping compounds are sometimes more pure white and stay that way. In any event, when the foredecks are covered in eight or twelve coats of varnish, the "white" is going to show the color of the varnish on top of it and be more of a rather light tan than a "white." You should experiment with your "varnish" gloss finish and see if you can replicate the "look." The stopping is varnished over on the full-sized boats. They don't try to cut in the varnish around the stopping. They go for a smooth gloss finish over both the wood and the stopping.


Here are a few examples. (Uncredited photos from Google images.)






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A quick search on "craft" (for Chris Craft) in the kit area might give you some ideas.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans - ON HOLD           Triton Cross-Section   

 NRG Hallf Hull Planking Kit                                                                            HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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White caulking/stopping was actually also used on larger yachts and some warships. Here the oakum was already soaked in lineseed-oil with white lead, rather than tar and the sealing was with the same compound instead of tar. It was not as effective and needed more maintenance than the usual method, but the ladies' and gentlemen's boat-shoes would not get these nasty stains ...


Bristol-board can also work as simulation for this kind of caulking. Narrow strips between the planks and then a good coat of sanding-filler prevents the cardboard from becoming fuzzy when sanding down the deck.



panta rhei - Everything is in flux



M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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I used the following method to simulate white caulking in a painted deck for a 1:32 US Navy motor Whaleboat model.  While it may not work for the bright finished deck in question, others may find it useful.


The deck was made from a piece of 1/32 in model aircraft plywood.


Thin grooves evenly spaced at the required plank width were cut using a miniature table saw.


The grooved deck piece was sprayed with white paint.


The piece was rubbed down with sandpaper leaving the white paint in the grooves untouched.


Thread was pressed into the grooves.  The diameter of the thread determines the width of the “caulking.”


The deck was then sprayed with navy deck blue.


The threads were removed from the grooves revealing the white caulking.


Results below.




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