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"WW2 British Painting Help Needed" Topic

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keithbarker22 Jun 2017 2:59 a.m. PST

I have some WW2 1:1200 Hallmark Ships from Magister Militum. British Destroyers and Merchantmen. How should I paint them for use in The Channel early war? Google gives me lots of great B-W photos which aren't much help!

I was thinking of just painting the destroyers grey with a dry-brush of a lighter grey. Is there any other colour I should use? Perhaps wooden decks or black top to funnel or red stripes round funnel? Photos with camouflage seem to be described as Mediterranean or later war?

The merchantmen I was planning on doing the same but adding some sort of rusty ink wash before the dry-brushing. Perhaps a white superstructure? And then adding colour to the funnels.

Is the ensign in this scale too small to be worth doing? From where was it flown, from a flagstaff at the stern?

So my question to the experts, does this sound reasonable, is there anything I will be doing obviously wrong, or are there any little tricks that will make the models look so much better that I am missing.

Thanx, Keith

PS just in case you are wondering, I have never painted any ships before, so this is my first go at it.

22ndFoot22 Jun 2017 5:01 a.m. PST

This link is to the Cranston British warships page. There are several paintings of British destroyers early in the war and particularly at Dunkirk. They are portrayed in plain grey finish which may or may not be entirely accurate but it looks good and is much easier to reproduce at 1/1,200.


In action, ships of the Royal Navy would fly two battle ensigns in prominent positions so as not to interfere with signalling.

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2017 6:14 p.m. PST

No wood decks on WWII British DDs, SFAIK.

A good default deck color for early-war British DDs would be a dark brown, representing the corticene anti-slip deck covering. Remember that colors on small-scale models should generally be lighter than close-up real-world full-scale (such as paint chips). This concept is known as "scale color", and represents the effect of distance, as well as the fact that indoor lighting is less strong than sunlight.

Mark H.

Pontius18 Feb 2019 2:13 a.m. PST

Very late to this. I can't much to the replies already given regarding colour, but I can add a little about ensigns.

RN ships wear ensigns at a gaff from the main mast when at sea and from the ensign staff at the stern when in port. As lowing the ensign when in battle is a sign of surrender, multiple ensigns are worn when in action. These are usually the largest available, which for a destroyer was probably 6ft x 8ft. A capital ship's could be twice that size.

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