Help support TMP


"Painting 1:600 USS Kearsarge, how black is black?" Topic


12 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Ironclads (1862-1889) Message Board


Areas of Interest

American Civil War
19th Century

767 hits since 4 Mar 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

cjcafiero04 Mar 2019 7:30 p.m. PST

Hi guys,

I am a miniature builder of reasonable, but not great skill. I am working on a 1:600 Thoroughbred U.S.S. Mohican mini as the Kearsarge.

I am comfortable with the scheme of painting for this vessel, but have a question about the areas painted black, like the hull. My experience is using a flat black is too black, or too dark, in scale and does not reflect the fading and wear of being at sea. Any advice on what color or paint to use? I'm supposing the same holds true for many civil war ironclads, so I'm eager for some advice.

Thanks all!

Btw, my experience thus far; Thoroughbred was quick service, and a fantastic looking ship!

Lucius04 Mar 2019 7:42 p.m. PST

My Thoroughbred Kearsarge got a flat black coat, and a significant amount of dark gray weathering. The hull is big enough in 1/600 to do a lot of subtle texturing. So my answer is, black, and about 3 different shades of gray!

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2019 9:19 p.m. PST

I have seen people adding a little green to the black to soften it.

William Warner04 Mar 2019 9:45 p.m. PST

Colors intensify on small objects, so I agree with Lucius, gray things down considerably.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2019 11:26 p.m. PST

I pretty much never use black. Panzer Gray, a vary dark gray, is the darkest I'll use. The smaller the scale the lighter I'll go. In 1/600 I'd start with Panzer Gray and follow Lucius.

alan L05 Mar 2019 4:27 a.m. PST

Vallejo does a rather useful Black-Grey which is nice and dark, but not a deep black which can be too intense.

HMS Exeter05 Mar 2019 6:44 a.m. PST

Walmart has a craft paint color "Pavement" that I rather like.

Aethelflaeda was framed05 Mar 2019 11:42 a.m. PST

Add a few drops of white to your black until your eye tells you it is right.

Rev Zoom06 Mar 2019 3:06 p.m. PST

For true scale effect, add a percentage of white or gray to the base color equal to the square root of the scale.

cjcafiero06 Mar 2019 4:07 p.m. PST

Lol, at 1:600, you'll have to do the math for me!

Rev Zoom25 Sep 2019 2:55 p.m. PST

Square root of 600 is about 24. So, add 1/4 white or light gray.

Master Caster Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2019 6:07 a.m. PST

Lucius has it down just about right. The same way I do it. But don't overdo it. A little weathering goes a long way. Also try spraying gloss clear when you think you are done. Touch up paint where needed and then dull Cote a final spray. The resulting light refraction helps immensely to match the scale in your mind's eye.
BTW Lucius, thanks for the vote in the ‘Sculptor' post. Your discount is safe,,,,,,,,whoever you are. Toby Barrett

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.