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Copper Plating to look like C Morgan by Modelshipways

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I haven't found exactly what I am looking for. I like the look of the copper plating on Model Shipways box cover on their Charles Morgan  ship kit. It has those multi colored aged plates. What type of product was used to get those "different" shades on the copper tape that was used???  Does anyone know how it was done??? Ron 


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Hi there;


This won't help much with your current build,  but in 'Shipwright' 2012 there is an article on the building of the 'Minerva' a 38 gun frigate of 1780.  In this the author describes how he found a self-adhesive copper sheet/foil,  the correct thickness and width for copper plating,  and how he made a roller to make nail impressions in the strips and then fixed them to the hull.


The copper strip is sold by stained-glass suppliers,  as it is glued around the edges of some pieces to enable them to be soldered to others.


He left a sample strip fixed to a piece of wood,  in the window of his workshop for 6 years,  and the glue was still tight after this time.


Mark P

Edited by Mark P
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The material described by Mark is the material from Tiffany. I used for my Vic. Here are some tests I did with Rosie the riveter ;-)




... the outer lines with 0,75 mm distance, inside with 1,5 mm.




I also found some nice hints in a swiss forum about the different shades of copper:

Fresh having a copper brownish color, dark brown in harbour, on air greenish, where there are is abrasive power of water while sailing, it turns pink.

Found all these colors on photographs.


So I tried some things out with casein paint:



Coppering not too old, no weed yet, just started sailing, means brown bottom, waterline pink and above green ...




... on cruise the brown turning more pinkish, also reduction of green ...




... and the brown almost disappeared.




Here both last versions side by side for better comparisson.




Cheers, Daniel
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Hulls of wooden sailing vessels in XVIII cent. for the protection of the underwater part from damage by worms was covered with copper plates (also lead or zinc plates).
Copper plates was 48X21ins to 86x64ins depending of period and country of ship origin.
The nail heads were from 3/8 to 1 1/4 ins diameter and recessed into the plating
in order to surface was smooth.
Manufacturers often offer modeling kits in sets of copper plates but in my opinion they are not properly made for models in scale 1:75 - 1:100. In particular too visible nails that secure the plates to the hull. Proper implementation of coppering is very important to the final look of the model.
For these models, a convenient solution is to use a self-adhesive copper tape, which is available in various widths. The edges of subsequent sheets of copper, we can easily do by pressing a chisel.
This allows for the most realistic appearance performance of our model.
Desirable was the application of the patina but far I did not have found efficient method for it.
Happy modeling.

Attached foto:

Fot.1 Rudder of Victory with only remaining copper plates.

Fot.2-7 Copper plating of Danish freegate Jylland


My models:
From kits

HMS Victory -coppered with copper plates ( flattened with a hammer )
Le Solei Royale,

From scratch
HMS Warrior 1860,

HMS Speedy -coppered with copper tape
Grosse Yacht
Norman’s ship,

La Royale
Peter von Danzig
Polacca XVII cent.
Current project:
SS Savannah 1818 -coppered with copper tape








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Thank you so much! Looks like Rosie the riveter does good work!!! MY next build will be either the Charles Morgan or the Victory. I plan on plating both of them. I'm getting close to finishing my current build on the Greyhound and already thinking ahead to next ship! I will try some of these steps. Thanks again! Does anyone know who actually built the demo model for ModelExpo? I know Ben Lankford designed it and they say it's an original by Mystic Seaport Series Model. I'll have to look into this further. Ron

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I just contacted Frank at Model Expo regarding the media used to plate their demo model of the Charles Morgan. He said the metal plates are actually painted paper? But suggests I experiment with copper. Of the pictures I can find of that demo model, it sure looks like they ran a riveter over the plates. I'm wondering if Frank did a typo and meant to say copper instead of Paper???? I'm going to follow up with him again. 


What I'd really like is to identify the shipwright that built their demo model for them???? Any ideas?? Ron

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