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Please, I need of updated-practices help.

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Hi, I re-joined on Dec. 11 after 35 years away. (A lifetime ago in more ways than one. But movin' right along ...)

I'm building the Benjamin W, Latham from a (35-year-old) Model Shipways kit,1/8-inch scale. It's for my great-niece, and will have her name on it - with your help.

My brain has been happily shifting back into ship-model mode. (My library never left.) But what's killing me is that I don't know anything about the paints, adhesives, glues, stains, sealers, finishes, etc. that are being used these days!

I come from the Floquil and Polly-S era, with a little Humbrol. I use both airbrush and sable. The only current sealer I've used is Testor's DullCote.

Thanks very much for whatever help you want to share!


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I suggest you search here in MSW for topics of interest.  Search GLUES and you will see many discussions about glues.  Do the same for PAINTS.  My suggestion would be to search Acrylic Paints rather than just Paints.  Check out each of the topics you want to gather the current information for - there is a lot of it available here.

Once you have a bit of current knowledge then if you have specific questions ask in the appropriate areas and you will get answers.



Kurt Van Dahm






Nautical Research & Model Ship Society of Chicago

Midwest Model Shipwrights

North Shore Deadeyes

The Society of Model Shipwrights

Butch O'Hare - IPMS

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I like tite bond wood glue and Vallejo paint, but there are ALOT of options.

Edited by Duanelaker
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I use Elmers for bonding wood and CA (Model Expo) for bonding everything else.


I also like Vallejo paint, but I predominantly use Delta Ceramcoat from Hobby Lobby.

Building: 1:64 HMS Revenge (Victory Models plans)

1:64 Cat Esther (17th Century Dutch Merchant Ships)


Favorite finished builds:  1:60 Sampang Good Fortune (Amati plans), 1:200 Orel Ironclad Solferino, 1:72 Schooner Hannah (Hahn plans), 1:72 Privateer Prince de Neufchatel (Chapelle plans), Model Shipways Sultana, Heller La Reale, Encore USS Olympia


Goal: Become better than I was yesterday


"The hardest part is deciding to try." - me

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Thanks for the help and suggestions. I know of Vallejo because they do paints/stains for model railroads. Elmer's and TiteBond are still up there, eh? What do you use now to seal wood for painting? I've used Testor's DullCote but don't know if it's as good for wood as plastics.

And I still need to try Kurt's suggestion of searching the forums for such things; will probably get a few opinions there, ya think?



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Rick, I have used artists Gesso to seal wood before painting with good results. It is also water clean up. Acrylic paints work well over it.   

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Valejo paint is great. I use the hand brush range and it is fantastic. Humbol enamel are great as well but water based paints are just too easy to use.

Try decoart (americana) sealer, cheap and very nice. Dries in 15 min.

Make wood dust as soon as possible, rest will come.


Welcome back!




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5 hours ago, Rick Menapace said:

Didn't know Valejo made a separate hand brush range

Rick, Valejo model colour range is for brush painting but make sure you use their own thinner (not the air brush thinner). Do not use homemade one. Also use a bit of their retarder. Combine with system 3 brushes and you can successfully repaint the Capela sixtina! 

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Thanks to you all, and Happy New Year!

Jack12477, gesso to seal wood? I only know gesso to prime a canvas. How much do you dilute it?

Vaddoc, is that a fact, Capela Sixtina? Shame the Buonarotti guy didn't know about Valejo.

And Bob Cleek, for shellac. Glad to know it still does the job, even in a modern world.

I'm ordering some Valejo paints, thinners, etc.

Grazie! I think I'm gonna like being back.


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