I was having a quick trawl through my blog list this morning and read with interest the post by the prodigiously prolific painter of playthings - the legend that is Jim Jackaman - concerning the challenges of painting age of sail style chequer-board gun ports. I will not spoil the surprise of how he has tackled this - pop over to his blog to see how - but it did remind me of the same problem I had and how I came up with a useful little cheat.
At the present time there are four ships in the ACW collection that are essentially age of sail ships with steam engines. Their guns were mounted broadside style along a full length gun deck and the line of gun ports was painted white in contract with the black of the hull. The actual thickness of the stripe varied enormously - some had an additional thin line above the gunports and some featured this below as well. I have yet to do this but have already worked how. Essentially I will mask off the edges above and below the ‘white slice’ and then paint these in white. I have done this previously on my model of H.M.S. Superb to show the lower hull ‘bootstrapping’. It is fiddly but not too difficult as long as one is careful.
Whilst not a major issue for the ACW collection it will naturally need some more thought and practise when I eventually look to build for the age of sail. I would suggest that using the larger and simpler design of models that I do makes using this approach far more straightforward that on a smaller and far more detailed commercially available casting.
My thanks to Jim Jackaman for prompting this foray into my ship building past - and for helping me to think about the age of sail once again (although it will not be escalated to full on project status for a while!).