Home Forums Air and Sea Naval Making tin foil waves for ship bases…

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  • #71918

    After looking at my ACW ships I decided I wasn’t too happy with the look of the bases. They were made by painting the bases with blues and greens and then covering with PVC glue (white glue) to give some gloss and maybe a little texture. I did some painting of wakes and bow waves but they never looked right to me. Frankly, the bases are just too flat.

    So I’ve decided to experiment using crumpled tin foil to provide a more water-like texture. I think I’m headed in the right direction. Though not quite there yet. My first test is one of War Artisan’s Anglo-Dutch ships. I crumpled the foil, smoothed it slightly, glued to the base, then took a pen which I repeatedly pressed across the base diagonally to imitate the direction of the waves. The base was then painted blue with some greenish tones, allowed to dry and then dry brushed with white. Next, I added some wake and bow wave details in white. Finally, it was given a coating of floor wax to provide gloss.

    What do you think?

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #71935
    McKinstry
    Participant

    Looks great. Ever try using the liquitex gel or Woodland Scenics flex paste?

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #71952

    Ever try using the liquitex gel or Woodland Scenics flex paste?

    Years ago I did try to sculpt waves in spackling paste and then paint it to look like water. I wasn’t very successful. I found it labor intensive, too.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #71965
    Rory McCreadie
    Participant

    I think they look great. I buy mine from Langton’s!!!!!!!!!!

    Be safe

    Rory

    He who says he makes no mistakes, is making the biggest mistake of all. Or does bugger all. Rory

    #71983
    DM
    Participant

    I do something very similar but I use hard toilet paper (unused, obviously 🙂 ) or kitchen greaseproof paper.

    #72307
    Brian Weathersby
    Participant

    Those look great!

    I'm lucky to be here
    With someone I like
    Who maketh my spirit to shine
    --Warren Zevon

    #72451
    Volunteer
    Participant

    I agree, nice effect. I’m still using the vinyl spackle.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #72497

    Thanks for the comments, friends.

    Attached are photos of my second attempt. This is Thoroughbred’s USS Sassacus at 1:600 scale. I’ve got over 40 Thoroughbred models and this one was in need of some repair work. Since it was already free of its base I thought it would be my next water basing project. I still need to do some cleanup and I want to add boat davits to reattach the boats rather than just glue them to the gunwales like I had originally. Then, I’m going to rig it. (Yeah, we’ll see!)

    For the re-basing I attached crumpled aluminum foil with Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Before the glue dried I again used a pen to press a diagonal wave pattern into the surface. Then I used black artist’s gesso to prime it–let that dry for 24 hours. Next, dry brushed with white, then painted blue and dry brushed with white again. That left too many white caps–it’s easy to overemphasize the white water. So I dry brushed with a medium blue to tone it down and very sparingly again with white. I then added white for the bow wave and wake, a little green for variation and a little white to indicate the turbulence under the paddle wheels. Finally, it received two coats of floor wax to make it, oh so shiny.

    Lessons learned: The white dry brushing over the black primer gets lost. Totally unnecessary.  This base is a bit too blue for my tastes. I need to duplicate my blue-green-gray palette. Less is more when it comes to white water. I think the diagonal wave pattern is too regular and looks a bit too manufactured. I’ll have to work on making it look more natural.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #73669

    The third installment of my water basing exercise including the colors used (mostly so I can remember what I did!):

    1. Pry the ships off the current bases.
    2. Glue crumpled aluminum foil to base dull side down. Use plenty of glue and let dry for 24 hours. I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue.
    3. Coat entire base with Americana ‘Blue Haze’. Let the paint dry thoroughly, remember the shiny side of the foil has little tooth for the paint to grab so the paint needs to be dry to avoid washing it off during the next step.
    4. Using very wet washes, apply areas of Apple Barrel ‘English Ivy Green’ and Ceramcoat ‘Navy Blue’. Create the pattern of swells using these washes (e.g. leave in an irregular diagonal pattern). Let dry thoroughly.
    5. Very, very, very lightly dry brush with Craftsmart ‘Blue Jean’. Dry brush a bit more heavily for wakes and bow waves.
    6. Apply two coats of floor wax for gloss. Let dry between coats.
    7. Pick out wave crests for wake and bow waves using DecorArt ‘White Pearl’.
    8. Re-attach ships.

    It’s still not quite the look I want. The colors are what I want. But I didn’t impress the swells into the foil using a pen this time. Last time I thought it was too artificial looking. But without it, it looks like very still water. I want something in between. Oh, well, I’ve got another 36 ships to work on to get it right.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #73682
    Brian Weathersby
    Participant

    If you’re that ashamed of your work and can’t stand to look at it, I will be more than willing to get rid of them.  Just send them to me and I will dispose of them for you.  Promise….

    BWW

    I'm lucky to be here
    With someone I like
    Who maketh my spirit to shine
    --Warren Zevon

    #74854

    There are days when I might take you up on that, Brian!

    Fourth time’s a charm, though. I think I’ve got the techniques and colors down now. My latest batch is below and I’ve got another 10 ship bases in process. After that, only 22 more.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #74861
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Definitely nice effect. You have one impressive ACW fleet there Jeff!

    Regards,

    Vol

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #76772

    The re-basing is completed. I’m in a bit of shock as I can’t remember the last time I finished a project. They just go on and on and on…. Though now that I think about it my original idea when pulling out the ACW ships was to add rigging and other impedimenta. So I guess I haven’t really finished what I started!

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #76780
    Volunteer
    Participant

    WOW! That is truley impressive Jeff.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #76806

    Thanks, Vol!

    Took a few tries to get the technique down but then the mass production went quickly.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

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