Back in the middle of September I started to write up the description of 1/6000th Ship Painting Part 3.1 – the Greeks which described the general preparation for painting these vessels as well as the specific detail for painting the Capital vessels up to the stage that the painting of them and their sea base is complete. We will now continue and describe the rest of the painting process for the TBDs as well as the finishing for all the Greek vessels.
The TBDs had been painted basic Grey Black from Vallejo whilst the sea bases had been given a coat of Vallejo’s Dark Prussian Blue after they had been undercoated in grey and then had a black wash applied to them. The lifeboats were painted brown (Citadel’s Bestial Brown) after the grey black had dried.
The next in the process was to wash the TDBs in Citadel’s Devian Mud wash – even though the vessels are basically black, I found the brown wash actually works a little better than the Citadel Badab Black Wash. The reason, I guess, is that the black was is so close to the black paint in shade that it just gets sucked in to the basic colour whilst the brown stands out just a little. The sea bases were also given a “wet-brush” or heavy dry brush on Vallejo’s Flat Blue 056.
The next step was white. White was used for the canvas colours of the lifeboats as well as being dry-brushed across the sea base to form both the vessel’s wake as well as the chop on the sea. The tops of the funnels were painted in flat black at this point as well (and yes, before you ask, whilst it is not apparent in the photographs accompanying this post, you can actually see the difference between the two blacks I have used on these vessels).
At this point the vessels are essentially painted. Now we will look at finishing this fleet off.
Finishing the Vessels
Before we can take our vessels into battle there are still a couple of things that need to be done to them. Firstly, those vessels that have a separate sea base are gently separated from the tongue depressors and glued to their sea bases. For gluing these I did not use a super glue or a metal glue but rather a PVA based white glue (used for wood normally). In Australia I would use Selley’s “Aquadhere” which is water-based. The reason for using this type of glue is to avoid using anything that would strip the paint or cause the paint to “frost”. The PVA glues are quite inert with respect to the paint and have the added advantage of drying clear so that any extra used is not seen on the final model. As it is a flat surface to flat surface join, the wood glue provides enough grip to hold the model together.
The next step necessary is to label the vessels. To do this I used two labels. One to go on the top of the sea base identifying the type of vessel and giving it an ID number, as shown in the picture above.
The second label is the navy and ship name which I affixed to the bottom of the sea base. So here, for example, I show the navy by using an image of the ensign flown by that navy’s vessels at the time along with the name of the vessel. This labels and the vessel ID numbers I made up as a Microsoft Word Document and printed on a colour laser printer (although I am sure that an inkjet printer would work just as well). The typeface for the ID numbers was Calibri, set in bold at 6pt with the font colour white and the background fill colour a dark blue. The vessel name for under the base was also Calibri font with the size varying on how much space there was for the vessel name (especially important when I did the Ottoman vessels later. The ID Number also contained the vessel type – e.g., BB, TBD, CA etc.
The last step in the process was the varnish the vessels, sea bases and labels. Here I had to decide between gloss varnish for the sea base whilst using a matt varnish for the vessels or compromise. Being basically lazy, I compromised and used Vallejo’s Satin Varnish for the vessels, the sea bases and the labels. This gives a nice, well, satin finish which highlights the ships and the water quite well. The picture of the Greek fleet here is about the same size as the vessels in the flesh – maybe just a shade smaller. Clicking on it will show them to you about three times their normal size.
As you can see, the final appearance is quite neat, the labels blend in well although perhaps I could have used a slightly darker blue. Any excess label can be carefully trimmed off with a sharp knife. You can also see on the enlarged picture of the TBDs that the black of the funnel tops is slightly darker than the black the vessel is painted with.
The next parts (Part 4.1 and 4.2) will cover the painting of the Ottoman fleet. The articles covering this painting progress are:
- 1/6000th Ship Painting
- 1/6000th Ship Painting – Part 1
- 1/6000th Ship Painting – Part 2
- 1/6000th Ship Painting – Part 3.1 – The Greeks
- 1/6000th Ship Painting – Part 3.2 – The Greeks
- 1/6000th Ship Painting – Part 4.1 – The Turks
- 1/6000th Ship Painting – Part 4.2 – The Turks
If anyone wants a copy of label sheet I made up for the Greeks (or the Ottomans for that matter), then drop me a line and I’ll email it on to you.
Lastly, if anyone wants the original documents I used for the labels for these vessels, then the links below should give them to you in either Word 2007 format (.docx) or as a PDF.