Trouble At the Waterline?

by Erik Fedde
(Smiths, Al)

The easiest and most accurate way to paint (or etch, if you use a scriber) a waterline is to take a small rectangular block, then glue it to a tall, rectangular, square block. Next, you take your blocks, tape your marker (strongly suggested for first attempts) and run it along the boat hull. Now you know which side (up or down) gets painted what.

SMH RESPONDS--I came up with another method which I wrote about in the July, 2010 newsletter. It's really neat and it works. I'm copying it here:

Ship Modeling Tips

Laser Level for Waterlines I've had the chance to use a laser level in a variety of modeling tasks. One of my favorites is charting a waterline on the hull of ship models. The setup is probably the most time consuming and will depend on the model you are working on. I like to cradle the model in spaghetti, err pool spaghetti tube pieces.
I use two pieces about 3 inches in diameter and a foot in length with notches about 4-5 inches in from each end. Cut a couple more tube pieces about a foot longer than your model and glue into the notches to cradle the hull.

stabilize the laser level at the right height to cast the line onto the hull. I have a jig which helps hold the pencil straight while the line is drawn.

Sun tan lotion of about spf 50 has been known to give copper hull plating an aged look without turning it green. You can deepen the color with multiple applications. Test it first on scrap copper.
I found that if you turn the model around and make sure the marks line up on the bow and stern on each side, you have it all set correctly, then I used a pencil held in a jig to follow the laser line around the hull to make the mark.

Try it, you'll like it.

Reg Hardy

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