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

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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 Exeter Supporting Member of TMP05 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

Lucius21 Oct 2019 4:10 p.m. PST

Lol. I've got a ton of your ships, and have spent many happy hours super-detailing them. I'll claim my discount when you finally have time to produce Warrior, Huascar, Shaw, and Amethyst. We"ll both die happy. . .

Yellow Admiral24 Oct 2019 10:57 a.m. PST

Reviving an old thread here with an experiment I just tried: I used a basecoat of very dark gray (with names like "black grey", "scale black", etc.), then used a thinned-down black ink wash over that. Weathering (water drips, smoke streaks, etc.) was drybrushed on over the top of that.

This is a relatively easy way to bring out small cast-in details without a lot of cursing, and in small scales does a better job of "blending" than drybrushing dark-to-light.

- Ix

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