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I am building the Billings 50ft Steam Pinnace, which I am finishing as one from HMS Iron Duke, on which my grandfather served during the 1920’s. Does anyone know what colours it would be painted? Just a normal working boat, not the Admiral’s Barge. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of info on the famous internet...

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I do not know what the color scheme was for the Iron Duke specifically, but it seems that Royal Navy steam pinnaces in peace’s were painted with dark blue topsides and white bottoms as is Steam Pinnace 198 owned by the Royal Navy Museum.  Painting specifications published on the web for HMS Hood also confirm this color scheme.  During WW I these boats were painted grey, same as the parent ships.

 

Master modeler, the late Norman Ough has written that the decks of these boats as well as the aft cabin tops were covered with Corcetine, a red brown linoleum sequered with brass strips. If you look at the model of Sharnhorst currently being built on the scratch built part of the forum you will see Corcetine decking.  The Royal Navy Museum chose to leave the deck on their Pinnace with just the planked deck and I have found no other author that mentions Corcetine or photo that shows it.

 

I would be interested in hearing what you finally decide to do.

 

Roger

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Thank you Roger.

Looking at what few photos I have found, they seem to confirm the Corcetine covered deck. I missed that when deciding how to do the deck and scratched my head for a while as to how I was going to plank it. I decided to abandon the curved planks as used on the restored RN pinnace and went with using a margin plank and joggling the rest. As I lack experience building wooden boats, I found that I had sanded one side of the hull more than the other by a few mm, so the plank layout was asymmetric! At least converting it to Corcetine will eliminate that error...  The photos of the real thing I have found online also show the brass strips which I will fit. Colours will be dark blue and white for the hull; as for the funnel, it would appear that two of the photos show Admiral's barges and have light coloured, possibly brass ones and the standard pinnace has a dark, possibly black or dark blue, one. I suspect that the standard one is finished in grey; if the hull was dark blue it would be close in tone the the sailor's uniform, but appears very light. It depends on the type of film that was used (orthochromatic or panchromatic). I remember researching the squadron I was on in the RAF and finding it was difficult to determine the colour of the markings as the colours appear to be reversed depending on which type of film was used. As for the funnel, I think I will go with black.

Basically this model is acting as a learning exercise, so may not be 100% accurate, but the lessons I learn will be used in the next build. So far it has been enjoyable building it and solving problems, as well as understanding Billings instructions (not so much what they say, as what they don't say!). It has kept me sane in a house full of family during this lock-down... I hope everything is going well with you and your family in these difficult times.

Eric

 

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pinnace_fig22_miller.jpeg

Steam-Pinnace-1.jpeg

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Covered up the planking with some good quality white card and gave it a coat of Tamiya 'Hull Red'. Looks a bit dark, may just change it to Brick Red... Found some Humbrol Dark blue (No25) for the hull. The learning curve continues....

In the photo the bulwarks are just placed on the model to see the effect of the colours together; the deck does need another coat and the seating area to finish off.

newdeckfromabove.jpg

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Finished it ( I think...); not 100% accurate, but it has been a good learning experience. Changed the hull colour as it looked a little light, so went for Revell’s Lufthansa Blue. Added a few things, a believable steering system, secured the anchor (Billing’s version would lose it if you threw it overboard...), etc. Quite pleased, but the next build will be better - and I will do a build log as well.

1C80ECA5-1DCA-4902-8669-9CECD21211A9.jpeg

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