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Painting a ships propeller

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Painting a ships propeller
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 3:37 PM

I know this has been discussed in the past, so forgive for asking, but i just wanted to get some responses in one place rather than look through loads of threads.

I am building my first large scale ship, a 1/72nd WW2 German late war S-Boat. What would be the best way to paint the propellers. I believe brass is not correct from what i have read on other threads. The boat would not have been in service very long, so they would not be heavly weather

Thanks in advance.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: AMT STAP/ Youngs Miniatures 1/10th Templar Bust

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 3:49 PM

I have recently been using Old Bronze paint from the Reaper figures MSP Core Colors line for my older, water worn propellers

Reaper MSP paints are acrylic, very much like Vallejo Model Color or Game Color.    Does thin for airbrush

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 4:04 PM

Hi ;

 You can safely use New bronze, But in a loose stippled pattern. The stippled effect comes from the final buffing before launch.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 6:45 PM

Some small craft propellors were not bronze, but Monel, which is a funky color.

Say 1:4 or 1:5 of Interior Green and Gunmetal (or Steel).

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 6:55 PM


Alot will depend on what look you are going for.  A brand new propeller can be quite shiny with extensive polishing marks, but once a vessels been in service for a while a bronzish color can be very suitable (for many propellers).

Here is a picture of a Flower Class Corvette's (HMCS Sackville's) propeller that has been sitting outside for quite some time.


Meanwhile here is a modern destroyer, with highly polished props (prior to launching - I believe).





1st Group Build

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, May 14, 2020 9:14 AM

For bronze propellers I start with Copper.  Then a very thin, almost transparent coat of brown.  Finally, a green zinc chromate wash just to stain and enhance any sharp corners.

Prop should end up looking like the Sackville's prop.  This is for larger ships- never saw a sub out of water so I don't know.  BTW, in more recent years propeller metals have varied a lot- a lot more steel props these days with advances in metal working.  But for vintage large ships bronze was the common material.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Friday, May 15, 2020 2:39 AM

Thanks guys, some great info there. The ship has 3 props so i might try a couple of different things you have suggested and see which i like the look of.


''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: AMT STAP/ Youngs Miniatures 1/10th Templar Bust


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