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makalakalak

Hull weathering/texturing techniques: barnacles

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Hi all,

 

I'm brand new to this site, so apologies if I have missed this information elsewhere - I've done my best to search through this forum. 

 

I'm ultimately looking for a way in which to mark the waterline of a ship by having the hull below the 'waterline' significantly more weathered/barnacle encrusted. I've seen a handful of people implement this beautifully, most notably Frank 'riverboat', linked and attached below, but their techniques I haven't managed to lock down. 

 

If anyone can shed some light on the situation, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read through. 

 

Notes: the ship is 1:60 scale, and the hull will be made from unpainted, unvarnished mahogany planks. 

 

Cheers,

Jordan

 

 

post-73-0-84491100-1361071601.jpg

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Are you doing this on wood or plastic?  Painted or natural wood?   If painted, have a look in Kit area for plastic builds by RGL and some of the newer logs for WWII, WWI ships.  RGL and some of the others have definitely got the art of "grunch" mastered.   I'd think that some of those techniques would also apply to wood.

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 That looks more like really, really big shipworms than it does barnacles.

 

These are barnacles. Shelled sea creatures that are shaped like volcanoes.

 

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This is shipworm damage from the outside. (A type of clam, burrow into the wood beneath the surface, like termites.)

 

TeredoWood.jpg

 

This is a boat bottom in need of a cleaning and anti-fouling repainting with barnacles or mussels growing on it. The green seaweed and algae growth isn't too bad because it's been running at speed through the water regularly.

 

Hull-fouling-invasive-species-650x365.jpg

 

 And this is a boat bottom that has been sitting still in a berth for quite some time.

 

 

boats-marine-growth.jpg

 

You might consider looking at model railroading scenery catalogs like MicroMark to see what's available in terms of "greenery." Beyond that, it's just a matter of how creative you want to get. You might want to consider, though, that most bare mahogany is usually too coarse-grained to be suitable for modeling work (although some high-priced species are not so much so,) and no boat with a mahogany hull  would ever go without paint or varnish, and particularly so below the waterline. The mahoganies don't weather well if left bare.

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@Bob Cleek - thanks for such a detailed response! I apologise, I should have prefaced that I am not interested in making this model seaworthy; it is for a Dungeons and Dragons item I'm working on. 

 

Re: damage types, barnacles is definitely the way I want to go, with additional wear from heavy use and perhaps even combat, hence the goal of the look of the small gouges in the @riverboat model. Some general algae may be necessary, but I have techniques necessary for this already. 

 

My current thinking for barnacles is (semi)crushed kitty litter with tiny holes drilled into them followed by a very dark, dark green wash. May have to do some tests. 

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1 hour ago, makalakalak said:

My current thinking for barnacles is (semi)crushed kitty litter with tiny holes drilled into them followed by a very dark, dark green wash. May have to do some tests. 

Yes, the scale will determine the level of detail. Drilling tiny holes in thousands of bits of crushed kitty litter may land you in the loony bin, but there's no limit to how far a dedicated modeler will go to achieve realism! :D

 

Battle damage will be a function of the period of the model. In the Age of Sail, before the development of the torpedo and mines, and particularly, in the age of cannon balls, there wasn't much, if any, damage below the waterline. At most, it would just be at the waterline or a few feet below. Customarily, the object in those days would be to damage rigging and rudder sufficient to render the opposing ship incapable of maneuvering, at which point it would be so vulnerable that there was nothing else to do but strike its colors and surrender. The enemy ship would then be taken as a prize. Prize money was awarded to the ship that took the prize and divided among the officers and crew in proportion to their rank. If the enemy ship was sunk, it wasn't going to result in any prize money, so the object was rarely to sink the enemy, but only to disable and capture.

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Posted (edited)

@Bob Cleek - again, thanks for the detail. This is set in a world with cannons, so this information is valuable. 

 

The techniques on barnacles (without going barmey), I am still lacking, however! 

Edited by makalakalak

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4 hours ago, makalakalak said:

@mtaylor - I specified at the bottom of my original post that I was using unpainted, unvarnished mahogany. Regardless, I shall take a look at those sources, thank you :)

Sorry, missed that part.  BTW, try sending Frank a PM.  I see that he was last on this week. 

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Just a thought and was something I was going to try to use to make the barnacle look on some of my boats was from model landscaping or rail roading. Try the snow paste and using a stencil brush wet it down and dab it on like you want and then you can color it before hand with little watered down acrylic or water color. I've used this method on song bird carvings and it works well but that's the coloring part. Good luck

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You can get the snow paste from Hobby Lobby it's Scene-O-Rama brand or you can also get it from Woodland Scenics or anywhere that sells their brand. They are the maker of Scene-O-Rama. And Woodland Scenics is online also.

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In the kit area, builder RGL does a lot of heavy weathering (depending on what age he's looking for). You might look for his logs and check them out.

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That's a great idea - I'll give that a test as well. 

 

Gary was nice enough to offer a suggestion of trying to use modelling coal. Mix it with some watered down barnacle coloured paint and PVA, dab it where we want it, waiting for it to dry, then very lightly sanding the top layer of paint off the top of the coal. 

 

I'll report back once I have tested a method or two. Got to get the hull finished, first. Proving quite the mission. 

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Posted (edited)

Paint several or one long piece of wood with your base color of your boat and then divide in sections and try each method of barnacles and see what looks the best

Edited by Darkwolf

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