David Merriman’s 57″ Seaview part 8C – The Sail

back to part 8B


Though the four sail mounted deadlights should not have been represented on this version of the SEAVIEW, a brief discussion on the technique used to represent them (the simulation of clear parts through the use of black paint shot within masking tape) is, nonetheless, instructive. Each deadlight is represented on the resin sail piece as a deeply scribed quadrilateral with rounded corners.

Not an easy thing to mask off with straight pieces of masking tape. The solution is to cut tiny circles into the masking tape – in this case, low tack 3M painters’ masking tape – using the same type cutting punches described above. In this application the inner disc of masking tape is discarded, the outer piece of tape, with the circle in the center, is cut into four quadrants and each quarter piece is used to mask off one of the tight radius corner of each deadlight engraving. I then simply attached straight pieces of masking to each engraved edge of a quadrilateral. Well thinned black paint was lightly spray-painted. Just a misting, so some of the gray undercoat still shows through near two of each deadlights corners. This to give the illusion of ‘depth’ within each deadlight, the illusion heightened later – after all model painting, weathering, and flat clear coating was performed – by masking around the deadlights once more and then spraying in a thick coat of gloss clear, giving the deadlights a glassy look, like ‘glass’ or ‘clear plastic’ (on real submarines, we could only keep our Plexiglas deadlight/windows transparent for a relatively short time – UV, sloppy paint maintenance, and thermal stress soon made them opaque and all but useless as proper windows).


The three cast white metal hatches were prepared for painting by first being pickled in Ferric Chloride acid, rinsed in water, dried and then primed. One of these was used within the after starboard corner of the Bridge well. Details, details … details!


Masking around the well of the Bridge area presented a special problem as the demarcation line between hull/sail gray and the white within the Bridge did not occur at the edge of the well. No, for some reason we see in the movie and TV show that the gray/white demarcation line is some distance down into the sides of the well.

I installed thin strips of masking tape, equal in width to the distance between paint demarcation line and top edge of the well, where the well terminates at the top of the sail. It was then a relatively easy task to run horizontal pieces of this tape around the inside of the well, the top edge of the tape even with the top of the sail. Further larger pieces of masking tape finished the job of protecting the rest of the sail piece from white over-spray. ‘Hobby Shop’ paints; particularly white and yellow that require many, many coats to get adequate coverage, are unsuitable for fine model building. However, owing to the very dense nature of the automotive paint pigments, even the hard to lay down colors, white and yellow for example, require minimal application to achieve adequate coverage. Less paint means retention of small details on the surfaces being blasted. You still with me?


The bridge painted out in white. The four Electrician’s tape side mounted lamp ring flanges (they’re supposed to be a dark color, the natural black of the Electrician’s tape works here) have been stuck in place and a mix of catalyzed epoxy glue (very slightly doped with white paint) applied to represent not only the lamp lenses, but also the instrument faces and the glass cover over the gyro-compass repeater atop the compass stand.

I then used Artists oil, in this case Burnt Sienna, to ‘rust’ selected portions of the sail, hull and appendages. Remember, when ‘weathering’ a model: Less is more. Don’t overdue it. This is not a tank model!


After all the painting and weathering had been laid down on the many sub-assemblies that comprise the SEAVIEW model; everything was given a heavy coating of slightly flattened clear. To accelerate the cure of the clear coat I sat everything outside and erected aluminum foil near them to bounce additional sunlight onto the work. Things were dry and ready for assembly in two-hours. Love them automotive paints!

Coming soon:  onto the final section part 9

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