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"How do I paint navies of the AWI (1775-1782)" Topic

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drummer Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2022 3:56 a.m. PST

Hello TMP. I have become interested in the naval actions during the American War of Independence, but I'm having difficulty finding good information on how to paint the ship models. Any suggestions on books or websites or anything else that might be useful would be appreciated.

HMS Exeter22 Sep 2022 4:24 a.m. PST

Ospreys are usually a good starting point for inquiries like this.




I do not so much recommend Amazon as acknowledge it as a default option.

drummer Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2022 4:29 a.m. PST

Thank you! Those are all good suggestions.

I'm not looking at painting the US Navy. I'm going for the larger actions, especially the struggle in the Caribbean from 1778 to 1782.

I should have clarified better in my first post.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Sep 2022 9:43 a.m. PST

Some discussion of this here:

TMP link

DisasterWargamer22 Sep 2022 10:34 a.m. PST

Some nuggets in here – discussion on here about pirate and naval uniforms

TMP link

drummer Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2022 11:22 a.m. PST

Thank you War Artisan! That thread was exactly what I was looking for (but couldn't find earlier).

Before you posted I had spent a couple hours futilely searching for books before spending more hours gazing at paintings. The thread you linked me answered all my remaining questions and gave me confidence that my observations from my studies were correct.

Now I can press ahead with painting knowing I've done some due diligence.

Thank you again!

Blutarski23 Sep 2022 1:36 p.m. PST

Hi Drummer,
The paint scheme shown in Jean Boudriot's "The 74 Gun Ship", depicts "bright sides" (i.e. varnished wood) with horizontal strakes (bands) of blue paint separating the gun decks as well as the ship's sides from the waterline to a point below the lowest gun deck, plus the quarter window framework and stern cabin woodwork. Weather decks are shown as a very light "holystoned" white/grey, with railings, ship's wheel, etc, in a rich sort of reddish brown. Lower masts and bowsprit are shown in a white or very light grey, with upper masts, jib boom and yards in either a light brown (or possibly plain varnished wood).

The desired shade of blue is a matter of artistic license at the end of the day. A new or freshly re-fitted ship might well put to sea with the most eye-catching shade of rich blue, but time at sea (especially in tropical waters) would progressively alter it to an ever lighter share of bluish-grey.

Re "bright sides", shades of varnish finish could widely vary from the palest yellow through different shades of yellow-orange and occasionally into a slight reddish tint … depending upon time at sea and original of the varnish.

Three-deckers (particularly flagships) could display more ornate color schemes, particularly in connection with stern cabin and figurehead.



drummer Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2022 3:59 p.m. PST

Thank you Blutarski! I found a picture of his paint scheme and added it to my guide.

Blutarski26 Sep 2022 7:57 a.m. PST

Hi drummer,
AoS (mid-18thC to War of 1812 is a BIG period of interest to me. If you are ever looking for any ship stats (armament, in particular), lemme know. Odds are that I will be able to help.

BTW, if you are doing the Caribbean campaign of the AWI, I have a scenario on file for the Battle of Grenada (d'Estaing versus Byron, 1779). Happy to pass it along if you want it.


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