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General Ship Modeling
Discuss modeling techniques, experiences, and ship modeling in general.
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FEATURE
How To-A simple ocean effect...
Gunny
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Monday, October 13, 2008 - 11:30 PM UTC
MSW crew-mate Carl Musselman (carlomaha) send us a step-by-step feature of his method of creating his super realistic water bases!

Thanks for your efforts, Carl, and for a fantastic step-by-step feature!


Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Check it out!
~Gunny
goldenpony
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Zimbabwe
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 02:42 AM UTC
Carl,

Thanks for sharng your technique with us. It looks very nice.


calvin2000
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 02:51 AM UTC
Very nice. I enjoyed this and will pass it over to my husband I think he will love it.
later,
Kelly
skipper
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 05:17 AM UTC
Hi Carl

You're a man with a plan!
I like the overall finished look of all the works you have shown us so far - the work on the ships are always top notch and the sea bases are also convincing, even if it is a hydrofoil (Pegasus)... but pardon me the question, and since you have been aboard ships and have travelled a lot, why do you use always the same color for the sea?
Accept this as a positive challenge, not pure criticism

BZ


Rui
Harry_at_BFM
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 05:30 AM UTC
Very nice article, Carl!!
CarlOmaha
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Nebraska, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 07:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Carl

You're a man with a plan!
I like the overall finished look of all the works you have shown us so far - the work on the ships are always top notch and the sea bases are also convincing, even if it is a hydrofoil (Pegasus)... but pardon me the question, and since you have been aboard ships and have travelled a lot, why do you use always the same color for the sea?
Accept this as a positive challenge, not pure criticism

BZ


Rui



Thank you all for the nice comments.

Several people have remarked about my water bases and have asked how I do it and I had the idea of making a "How to..." but Mark R. Smith (Gunny) suggested it as well, and that is what convinced me to go through with it.

It is a simple and easy method and not the most realistic water effect when compared to so, many others' masterpiece dioramas, but it is serving my purpose. It is a little flat and two dimensional, but It looks nice in 1/700 scale, to me, and seems to be convincing in the photos that I take of my models.

Hangchang Kuo has a similar method using just the Liquitex medium gel, instead of the heavy gel that I have been using, and he deletes the Tamiya OEP all together. I may experiment with that, too.

Rui,

Thanks for your question about ocean color. I served on five submarines in the USN. I didn't know the ocean had different colors other than "dark and cold".

I know some modelers have spoken of the look of the seas in different parts of the world as well as in different seasons and times of day. I tend to ignore these specifics. I find them "too, specific" for my intentions.

I am wondering if you mean that my seas are just one solid color or that each model appears to have the same color of ocean?

To try and answer both aspects...

I have found that some blues were too, blue and light and a little unrealistic. The darker blues turned out to be too, dark sometimes and almost black. Gray doesn't work at all. The "Teal" color that I have been using on my latest ones seems to have that "sea green" appearance to it , and is not "too, green", and most of the time, from the right angles, you can't tell that there is any green in it, at all.

I have one sheet of OEP that is painted a dark blue underneath which I use to photograph works in progress.

As far as different colors to the same sea base........I tried spraying lighter blues and grays in light scattered coats and then darker shades on top of those (from the bottom of the plastic, mind you) but the lighter colors still mostly disappeared into the dark shade, unless seen from exactly the right angle and really up close.

I haven't attempted to experiment with painting ocean colors on top of the plastic surface, yet, except for the white. I may try that, soon, with layers of paint colors and acrylic gel on scrap pieces of the OEP that I have. But if I'm going to try Hangchang Kuo's method, I'll have to paint ontop of the surface.

I have in mind a harbor diorama and I have purchased Plastructs' large "Agitated Water" sheets which just arrived, today. I don't plan to start the dio anytime soon, but am merely in the planning stages. I may paint the base under the sheets the dark colors and then spray lighter colors on the under side of the sheets. I'll be looking for not only blues, but greens, and maybe some browns for the harbor water. There are plenty of fine examples of other modelers' works to give me ideas.
#027
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 07:44 AM UTC
Very nice Carl! I may have to try this.


Kenny
skipper
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 09:26 AM UTC
Hi Carl

Thanks for taking your time answering...
Well if you were on five subs, I have served aboard two tin cans (portuguese corvetes) and I must say that I can take advantage on being on surfarce. I had mission/exercises on Northern Atlantic (from Portuguese coastal waters, to the Madeira and Azores Islands, Boston and Hallifax, British Channel) and in the Med (from Gibraltar almost to Italy) and I can say that depending the hour of the day, weather conditions, and place colors can change a lot as hues do.

I am not criticizing you for making one color for all your dios. And although I am in no way, high-jacking this thread, I can say that one of the things that, in my recent change to 1/700 and making water bases, is to find adequate and convincing water colors for the environment I am trying to portray...

Let me explain with the help of finished projects images:
The Atlantic in all it's glory (on a Deep Blue color)


The River Tagus in Lisbon, Portugal (low tide)


A murky river in the China Coast (during the monsoon)


The Pacific (one)


The Pacific (two)


And to end the images... The Antarctic


I am finishing five projects and all have different sea colors, adapted to the place and in one case, time of day (I know I am being a pain in the ****).

Well, even if the subtitles, you can associate the image, and with a hint you can pinpoint the place where the model is portrayed/ described...
This is also a fun part of making the dio and I always put the same amount of effort in the sea base as with the model (I know that I can improve both, still...), and since you have a good way of representing the water, having it in different colors could even improve (more) your displays!
It's also fun to see all of them together and see all of those different sea colors....

With (a lot of) respect,
Rui
CarlOmaha
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 09:41 AM UTC
Constructive criticism and suggestions are always welcome. I'm sure that everyone keeps such advice in one's head while building their next models. I do, anyway. That is what has gotten me, this far. If its seams that show or glue globs or the wrong radars, I'd rather somebody say something than looking stupid.

I have ended up looking stupid while trying to point out what I think is wrong, but end up being wrong myself. Foot in Mouth!

I hope that, at least, my selection of sea color is believable for somewhere in the oceans. Your examples, Rui, are wonderful! I know that I would have to take these aspects into consideration while making rivers, harbors, tropic lagoons, etc.

I expect others can improve on my method. I'll end up learning even more, that way.

I would have to say that the IJN Submarine in the Pacific (two) is my favorite, here, and the Chinese river one, the most brave. The Lisbon one is remakable, as well.

The only base, of mine, that I'm dissatisfied with is the "Strait of Hormuz" diorama where I have way too, much white on the water. I could have left out some of the "in between waves". In the combined wakes of the ships, I was trying to hide the seam in the OEP plastic. The sheet wasn't long enough.
jimb
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 12:41 PM UTC
I'm always looking for a better way to display models, and since I hvae a Spruance-class in the works this article was great! Only one small problem: I can't find anyone that sells the Tamiya OEP, and the ones that do (did) list it as Out of Production. Does anyone know of a substitution for the Tamiya OEP?

Rui, your bases look very realistic, too. I like the "pea-soup" that the submarine is sitting in. How did you do the chop on your Pacific #1 base?

Jim
Grumpyoldman
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 03:11 PM UTC
Nice SBS, Carl, Thanks for sharing it.
Clanky44
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 03:33 PM UTC
Great job Carl, thanks for taking the time to share these techniques with us.

Frank
CarlOmaha
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Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 04:29 PM UTC
I get my OEP at the local Hobby Town USA store. They keep ordering more, for me. I'm not sure who their distributor is. Do you have a Hobby Town USA in your area?



Quoted Text

I'm always looking for a better way to display models, and since I hvae a Spruance-class in the works this article was great! Only one small problem: I can't find anyone that sells the Tamiya OEP, and the ones that do (did) list it as Out of Production. Does anyone know of a substitution for the Tamiya OEP?

Rui, your bases look very realistic, too. I like the "pea-soup" that the submarine is sitting in. How did you do the chop on your Pacific #1 base?

Jim

jimb
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 01:43 AM UTC
No HobbyTown USA near me. The closest one is in Albany,which is about 2 hours from me. I'll check with some of the LHS around here to see of they can get one.

Jim
mj
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 05:29 AM UTC
Carl, thank you so much for your hard work in producing this tutorial. I'm one of those guys you can tell something to 100 times, and I'll be asking again for 101. But, show me a picture of what your talking about, and I got it. Your pics were most instructive. I've been looking for a way to make the few naval subjects I work on look better with a water base, and have not been very happy with the results, but you've given me a method I believe I can not only be happy with, but can actually do myself. Thank you very much. Your article has joined the few I have printed out to keep and use regularly.

Cheers,
Mike
skipper
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 06:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I hope that, at least, my selection of sea color is believable for somewhere in the oceans.



Carl,

The blue on your bases IS REALISTIC! I have seen such blues on my cruises
I suggested the color change, only because it could even enhance more your skilled builds, that's all - but they are very good, very convincing and surely show stoppers (for those visitors/modelers with the eye for 700 models - which I must add, it's rare!)


Quoted Text


Rui, your bases look very realistic, too. I like the "pea-soup" that the submarine is sitting in. How did you do the chop on your Pacific #1 base?



James,
Thanks for the compliments, stay tuned for more examples soon to be released (if all goes well, three till the end of the year!)
My way of making chop sea bases is described here: Wet Your Ships! Feature

Hope this helps (too),
Rui
CarlOmaha
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 07:35 AM UTC
Rui,

Can you suggest any specific paint colors that you use for ocean effects? Or do you mix your own shades?

I thought that I'd take this photo to compare my various water base colors, but I find it on that helpful for this. I thought that I'd share it, anyway.

skipper
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 08:33 AM UTC
Hi Carl

Nice fleet there!
My finished models, with the exception of the Omsk dio, are in the Museu de Marinha (Navy Museum), Lisbon, Portugal on a temporary exhibition (together with other modelers works - a feature is in the making), or I would take an ensemble photo to "compare" with yours.
I can take it after November 24th

As to my color list, as I say in the Wet Your Ships Feature, I use the colors I have in hand, no specific color or type. I have made the bases in enamels and in acrylics, but one thing I always do it to blend them wet on wet. Meaning:
- So that the sea base don't get a solid color look, I always mixed them while the base color is still wet, making a blend, and mixing more than one or two colors!
This technique is different from yours, since you will have to use a glass painting technique (top color first, while for me it will be top color last)... I guess that this will need some practice to achieve.

Titanium white, cobalt blue, prussian blue, deep sky blue, dark green, olive green, golden olive, khaki, basalt grey are some of the colors used in the examples - not all at the same project (it would be an "interesting" color )

Please feel free to ask anything


Rui

EDIT: I also noticed on a closer and better look that you already master a very hard technique in these water bases: The Wake!
You have them clearly associated with the type of vessel and speed, not a "one wake fits all"

CarlOmaha
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 11:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

No HobbyTown USA near me. The closest one is in Albany,which is about 2 hours from me. I'll check with some of the LHS around here to see of they can get one.

Jim



Jim,

I asked my local Hobby Town USA about the Tamiya Ocean Effect Plate. They order theirs through Great Planes Hobbies / Tower Hobbies in Illinois (1-800-637-7660). He said that they were told that the last two sheets in the store may be all that they'll ever get. He confirms the "out of production" status that you mentioned.

The Tower Hobbies site lists it as "discontinued".

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0095p?VPROFIL=&FVSEARCH=plate+tamiya

It looks like my tutorial will go the same way as the dinosaurs when all of the Tamiya OEP is gone. I'll have to snatch up the two sheets that are left at my Hobby Town USA.

I'll have to master another technique like Hangchang Kuo's.

CarlOmaha
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 11:57 AM UTC
Rui,

Thanks for the color suggestions. I look forward to experimenting with my sea colors in the future.

I use many photos for reference while painting my wakes. Except for maybe the two ship diorama. Like I said, I'm not satisfied with that one.

Another thing about that dio is that one of my best models, the USS Sides FFG-14, is stuck on that poor base.
CarlOmaha
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Nebraska, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 12:01 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Carl, thank you so much for your hard work in producing this tutorial. I'm one of those guys you can tell something to 100 times, and I'll be asking again for 101. But, show me a picture of what your talking about, and I got it. Your pics were most instructive. I've been looking for a way to make the few naval subjects I work on look better with a water base, and have not been very happy with the results, but you've given me a method I believe I can not only be happy with, but can actually do myself. Thank you very much. Your article has joined the few I have printed out to keep and use regularly.

Cheers,
Mike



Mike,

Thanks for the kind words. I hope that you can find some of the Tamiya plastic sheets. As Jim has mentioned, and I have heard as well, the Tamiya Ocean Effect Plate A may be hard to find, soon.
skipper
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 01:40 PM UTC
Hi Carl

Thanks again
One thing that I should say, (although if you are as I am I'm stuck!! I built them for my joy, and then share them) your dual dio looks good, perhaps with a little gale too much...
If you want to rebuilt it, just gently sand paper the gale areas and apply a coat of future to restore the clear surface of the OEP.

Also, you mention that the OEP are going OOP... If you go to hardware / craft stores you will be able to find acrylic bases used in kitchen/bathrooms with similar effects. In the old days, for instance, my old building had "hammered glass" windows on both sides of the main door (still has!). Now there are plastic substitutes for this, with different "wave sizes" and colors.

If you can find this, it would be a good replacement for OEP, and perhaps, cheaper - give it a try and search it


Rui

Note: And I forgot to mention that I paint brush my sea colors
peterf
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 08:22 PM UTC
A great and professional presentaion, Carl and as always it;'s up to the artist to make what they can out of it and develop it to suit their own needs. However, your methodology is very clear and helpful if you're just starting, and a bonus to anyone wishes to portray a sea effect.

Thanks for your insight, and I will certainly look at the routines you suggest.

Colourwise? It's down to you, you must please yourself first!

Cheers,

Peter F
HONEYCUT
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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 09:53 PM UTC
Gday Carl
This is coming from a landlubber, but the effect you have portrayed looks super convincing, and appears very natural.A very clear and concise SBS you have put together mate
Thanks for the info.
Brad
CarlOmaha
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Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 03:02 AM UTC
Thanks Honeycut!

Its an honor to hear comments from you Peterf! I've studied your water effect lessons, as well.

My method is definately a good way for "The Beginner" as I still consider myself.

Another mindset that I have is that I'd like my growing collection of 1/700 postwar/modern USN surface ship models to match each other, as far as their bases go. So, I'll be trying to use this same method on those as long as I can still obtain the Tamiya OEP. Hangchang Kuo's method will be the closest thing to my method when the OEP runs out.

For any special projects outside the collection, I'll probably experiment with your method.