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If you search the Internet for images of POB II, you'll see that her decking is dark reddish-brown. I don't know what kind of wood is used on the real ship (you can probably find that online somewhere, too), but if you are gunning for authenticity, then a dark stain such as red mahogany would be in order. Personally, I don't care for dark-colored decks on models and would be tempted to replace basswood deck strips with something like holly, but again that's a personal preference.

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OK, this is replica, but I think dark decks, at least for ships built in non-tropical areas, are quite unusual and often a sign of poor maintenance. Most decks are made from some sort of pine or perhaps teak. If not 'holy-stoned' regularly, the wood will attain a sort of greyish colour the older it gets.

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43 minutes ago, wefalck said:

If not 'holy-stoned' regularly, the wood will attain a sort of greyish colour the older it gets.

And that is what one sees, for example, in pictures of Star of India before she recently got her decking replaced. Prior to that, her deck was a muted grayish-tan.

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8 hours ago, ccoyle said:

a dark stain such as red mahogany

If the deck is Basswood, a stain rather than a dye would be suitable.  But,  placing aside the inappropriate original red species on a working vessel -  (perhaps it is supposed to be a showboat luxury yacht. for which it would be OK)  -  as a model -  the red should be a hint in its intensity  -  that is -  dilute the stain - a lot - before applying it.  Make it sort of red, rather than bop your nose red.

 

 

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This may, or may not, be obvious, but in the off chance it isn't, do a bunch of tests to determine what effect you will get from any stain. Use decking scraps. You can always darken stains, but you can't lighten them. If you are going to get an effect you don't want, better to get it on a piece of scrap wood than on the deck of a model!

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