1250 SCALE MESSAGE BOARD
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Re: sea for model ships
When I first completed my Pearl Harbor model, I placed the resin land panels on top of 2 flat-panel house doors painted blue on one side and blue/green on the other and brought to a high gloss finish with two coats of marine varnish. The commercially made doors (6ft 6in x 2ft 6in and 1&1/4in thick) are designed not to warp and will easily support the weight of the resin land panels and up to 40 ship models. The surface is reasonably waterproof and ship wakes can be added with chalk sticks and removed with a damp cloth.
For individual waterline ship photographs, I use a small piece of blue-painted fibre board overlaid by a clear plastic vacuum-formed ripple water sheet (Faller or Busch model railway accessories) with ship wakes screen printed on a clear acetate sheet slipped between the painted board and the ripple sheet and the ship model positioned on top of the sheet. You can see the effect on the Antics website 1/1250 ships photographs which have mostly been taken by me for my friend Alan Tyndall. The painted sea is always the same blue in the photographs and the changes in colour are entirely due to the natural light in my porch reflecting off the plastic sheet, the camera angle and the automatic white balance corrector on the camera.
I use a blue painted board. It's not ultra realistic, but nor are the harbours and vessels! I have tried painting a gentle swell and it didn't work. Harbours are usually more calm than open water and wave patterns can look out of place.
I would go for the cheap option of a plain blue borad before spending money on sea-scape prints.
Google images: rippled water plastic large sheets
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