|Painting the hull & fitting markings
First, before doing any outside painting, I sat down and gave the color
scheme a great deal of thought. It would be tempting just to paint it
pitch black, but when looking at pictures, other models and objects in
general, it became clear to me, that all flat black would 'make it go
away'. Another option was to paint just the nose black, but one color
stretching from end to end, would make it appear longer. It's all
about optical impression, or illusion, if you like. ;-)
I then made a computer image collection, with the different colors on it
to decide from.
After looking into the different possibilities, I went with option
A very dark grey for top part and rudders / dive planes, and
darkened 'anti-rust' red for bottom.
A few tests on left over materials proved perfect paint for the job.
The type of paint is car paint.. smelly, but strong and shiny.
With that all done, it was just to get started. The work is so far ahead
now, that painting as I go along was the easiest. All though the paint
might look as if it's dark on some pictures, an lighter on other, it is
the same color.
When spray painting an object, it almost impossible to avoid the
spray dust from making the adjacent, already painted, areas dull,
and not gloss. Some of the dust can be blown away when it’s all
dried up, but some will stick. Even if painting the whole object in
one move, this will be an issue.
Solution: Using ordinary household silver polish (= liquid
ultra high grade sanding paper) this can be ‘sanded’ away easily.
Use a dry cloth, and grind in small, round movements until the
surface is free of spray dust, making overlaps invisible. Wipe
afterwards with a wet cloth.
Placing the outer markings really lift the
realism of the model, but keep in mind that military vessels, and in
particular subs, are kept somewhat anonymous. For this reason, the
designator on real subs are normally painted on magnetic sheets,
allowing them to fitted only when docking etc.
Mine, however, are fitted permanently, as I always draw a crowd when
designator for USS Kentucky has been fitted on both sides of the
sail. (Port side shown here.)
In real life this is magnetic sheets so that the designator can be
removed when not in port etc.
The font on the real SSBN's is 45 degree USA Gothic.
I could not find that font though, so I found one that looked as
close as possible.