Thursday, May 20, 2010


River Nymph

At the recent Mobile Marine Models open day (more on this later in the week) I was admiring the finish on this little cabin cruiser. Despite being based on an Aero Kits model of some vintage, it looks fantastic. Especially appealing was the finish of the deck. As manufacturers, the kit provided for nothing more than a bit of plywood - practical but hardly beautiful.

Chatting to the owner and builder, Mike Allsop, he explained how it was done. And then sold me one of his beautiful scale flags for another project.

Anyway, the method is:
  • Plank the deck with individual planks made from veneer. Use spacers to keep the gaps even.
  • Varnish these with Jetplac clear. Several coats will be required to seal the wood.
  • Caulk with Wicks wood filler. Ideally use black or dark grey but if this isn't available, mixing some dark acrylic paint in it before use will do the job.
  • Let the filler dry for around 15 minutes and then wipe off as much as possible.
  • Carefully sand until the wood shows through as required.
  • Finish up with several thin coats of Jetplac clear. When he says several, that finish involved at least half a dozen coats.

The results are excellent. Mike seems very keen on Jetplac, a paint I'd always ignored in DIY shops but will now try out on a future project. The varnish is unusual in that it doesn't appear to turn light colour yellow, a problem I've encountered with the otherwise excellent Ronseal yacht varnish.

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