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Deck Painting-I promised

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Deck Painting-I promised
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, November 3, 2022 6:26 AM

Hi Ya'll!

       Hey, here's where we learn a way to paint Plastic decks and make them look like wood. First off, I know, Why? Well, think of this. When You add the Aftermarket wood decks, there are problem. Either they don't stick right or they are thicker than you planned, Right? Well, don't use them. I've seen them and they look nice, but I want you to think for a minute.

       If you can, go someplace that has Wooden ships or boats. Now look at them as close up as Twenty feet, How many Individual Deck Planks do you see? I'll bet you don't see too many, if she(The Vessel in question) is more than one year old. Especially if she's a working vessel. The same applies to models. When You are looking at a 1/700 or 1/350 scale ship You are fooled into thinking you should see every plank. Wrong!

     Plastic models are deceptive. How? Well, look at the Plank lines on say the 1/350 New Jersey or Yamato. Or better yet the 1/200 versions of certain models of history. All those molded plank lines. Wonderful, ain't they? You do realize that for the raised plank lines to show in those scales the sealer between planks has got to be sticking up at least six inches above the wood. and they are also too wide. On the " Mo" for instance, as big as that ship is in life, the planks are only /16 of an inch apart! The lines between them would be barely visible!

     Let's paint First off. Lightly sand the decks if the lines are very pronounced. If they are fine and minimal don't sweat it! Now paint the decks a Medium Aircraft Grey-A very Thin Coat. let it dry real well. Now get a container of Light Tan or Radome Tan let it dry medium well(half the drying time of the grey will be used here. The Tan , by itself is too bright. Tinge it with a little Beret green Flat!( for a new deck) for an older deck use Flat Olive. Now thin to paint to a water like consistancy.

     When you apply this, it will soften that below it. Gently swipe a rag or "Q" tip front to back on the ship. Let dry after doing it in a steady and equal manner. Come back to the bench later and see how it looks. If, too grey, add more of the tan. If too tan then wipe a little more away.

    Doing it this way will give the illussion that some plank areas are slightly different in color. This is what you want. Many decks had Camo paint or deck Blue on them in camo patterns.This got into the wood grain and from the scale distance you're seeing it, the deck would have darker and lighter spots and NO plank lines   

     Don't give up. if you can use a ship that has become a training  mule, for painting. Do So! Remember, when you look at the little ship on the bench regardless of scale, in Plastic, you are viewing the ship in what real life be a couple of hundred feet, except the close-up views which at minimum would equate to say fifty to twenty to maybe that ubiquitus one hundred feet. Keep this in mind and you will have better ship models going forward.


  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, November 3, 2022 9:05 AM

What you may see too is that as ships age, the wood color shifts to gray.  I don't know what fresh holystoned decks look like, but if the wood has been exposed to sunlight for months or years the color tends to bleach out.  The variations in tone tend to become less too.  Regardless of the wood, all colors tend to go gray.  Yacht owners may keep the decks pristine, but civil ships with wood decks go gray.


  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Thursday, November 3, 2022 10:38 AM


I don't know what fresh holystoned decks look like ...

USS Missouri during shakedown cruise (1944).  Decks, while not freshly holystoned, are in bright wood.  They would be painted/stained blue later. 

I have a photo of Governor Thomas Dewey (R-NY) on the Missouri during the October 1945 NYC Fleet Week, the decks are even brighter.   The blue decks shown in the Japanese surrender photos were stripped back to bare wood by the time she made it through the Panama Canal via Pearl Harbor earlier in October.


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