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How to weather your boats (Pier 51)

how it all started...
Mark Smith (aka Gunny) asked me to do a short article on the techniques I used in weathering my boats for my harbour dio I’m working on. There are many articles on weathering techniques written by more experienced modellers that I. However, I hope you will find these ideas helpful and amusing.

Note from the Editor:
This feature is long overdue publishing, mainly my fault! I owe Alan McNeilly a big apologise. I hope that the feature I edited and published, is in accordance with and does justice too the helping and sharing spirit shown by Alan, helping other modelers around the world.
Rui Matos (aka skipper).
weathering a wooden deck

I wanted to create a wooden deck area that look worn and used.

I tend where possible to work from light towards dark. The deck was painted in Vallejo Yellow Ochre as a base coat and then washed several times with very watery Tamiya Dark Brown XF 64, just to give it the hint of brown wood.
Then it was given another one or two washes with a mix of Light Grey XF 66 and Matt Black XF 1.

It was still a bit lighter than I wanted so, I mixed some more grey/black and added a little metallic grey XF 56. However, that was a little too black so I polished the deck with a tissue before the last wash had dried, and that's left a really nice finish, with some boards very black and others worn looking. The metallic grey has given the wood an accumulated grime effect and darkened the wood where I though it would collect most dirt and grime.
Example – ‘The Wee Boat’
I used a similar technique on the ‘Wee Boat’ but without the grey/black/metallic mix.

Example – Pontoons and Barrels
Again a similar technique, this time varying the colour to achieve what I wanted.

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About the Author

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...


Very nice Alan. Outstanding job. Kenny
JAN 19, 2007 - 07:41 AM
Outstanding! I wish I had seen this article before I started weathering U-625... but at least I'll be able to use it for my NEXT project.
JAN 19, 2007 - 10:28 AM
EXxcellent, congratulations Al! Your boats are looking real good there is a real nice collection of tricks there
JAN 19, 2007 - 01:04 PM
Aye, Mr. McNeilly, there ye be! I really like Al's methods of weathering. . .all very practical, and with great results!! Thanks for your patience, mate, and kudo's to a job well done! Keep Modeling! ~Gunny
JAN 19, 2007 - 04:40 PM
Hi Guys, Glad you enjoyed the article and hope it is of some help. Mostly trial and error, but fun to experiment :-) :-) Skipper thanks for pulling it all together. Cheers Al
JAN 19, 2007 - 08:11 PM
Nice feature Alan. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
JAN 20, 2007 - 03:47 AM
Hi Dave, Thanks for taking the time to reply and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Al
JAN 20, 2007 - 07:02 PM
Hi Al, As you know things that float on water are not my real interest however through our discussions, I do appreciate the work that you have put in to get this project to this stage, particularly as you still work with the good old fashioned brush. The vessels are tremendous and each stage has tied the work together and brought them to life. I have to admit that the rather simple method that you use to create the different looks to the wooden products leads to impressive results. I look forward to seeing Pier 51 evolve into what I feel will be a very special diorama. John
JAN 27, 2007 - 07:43 PM
Hi John, Welcome to the watery side of life. Many thanks for your kind remarks that are much appreciated. Cheers AL
JAN 29, 2007 - 01:02 AM