I am now finalizing the painting of my Vasa in red. I was wondering how to finalize the hull (below the waterline). I understood that this part was prepared with a tarr layer, what will be a good color to simulate that and being a bit realistic
Ah, the old bottom paint question! I think I am going to have to start an analysis project to get a definitive answer. Until then, here is what we know:
1. The only bottom coating which is still visible to the naked eye on the ship is tar, but that does not mean that there was not other stuff. We would need to do some pretty fancy chemical analysis to check for traces of other stuff, and it might survive on the caulking if not on the wood.
2. One of the few color images of Swedish warships of this period, a watercolor from about 1626 showing Swedish ships in the harbour oat Pillau (now Baltijsk, near Kaliningrad), shows all of the Swedish warships with white bottoms. If this is accurate, it suggests that the bottoms were payed with the typical bottom coating of the time, which used tallow and a number of other ingredients.
3. The shipyard did buy large amounts of tallow and the other ingredients often used in this type of bottom coating, according to its account books.
In the past I have always answered this question by saying that the only thing we have evidence of from the ship is tar, but I am beginning to wonder about a whitish bottom coating on the basis of the account books (which I only started cataloguing last year) and the Pillau watercolor. Stayed tuned to this channel!
In the meantime, you could paint the bottom of your model either a dirty white or dirty brown.
According to Björn Landström the hull below the waterline was painted with a mixture of tar and lead white, which should have given a grayish colour. But I suppose he was only guessing that. He also states that tallow was used to make the hull slip into the water, but perhaps more tallow was ordered than what was required for that, and could have been used in the bottom coating. But the tallow ought to have become rancid, wich sounds like a good substrate for things sticking to and growing on the hull.
You're right about Landström. A heads up: Landströms book is great for inspiration but some facts in his Vasa book is dated or guesses.
He knew she was blue and golden, or that Gustav Adolf drastically changed the Vasa design during her build.
i like to read Fred Hockers books for facts and Landström is more for inspiration and great detail drawings. His book is beautiful, but I think he often presents what's obviously guesses as facts and that's a problem with it. A few "I think/guess this is the case" would have helped.
I like the way, Vasamuseet deals nowadays with the knowledge about the design and the facts around Vasa. It's a stongly scientific approach. This is the only way to get deeper insight on history. I learned this notably in this forum thanks to Fred! But I also admire Björn Landström, Hans Soop and all the other experts that worked for Vasa. They made also a great job, very often real pioneer work.
Because of his much illustrations, he made for his book, Landström was in a smilar situation as a ship modeller: He had to show a solution for every part which was at and in the ship. When he wrote his book 'The Royal Warship Vasa' in the 1970s the knowledge about the ship still had very much black spots and many errors. So he may be apologized for some mistakes. As well as many modellers with wrong details at their Vasa. I'm shure: In ten years we also know about many errors on our modells, built with the best knowledge of today.
But I agree with you, Matti. It would be better, he had used conjunctives, if there was any doubt.
One thing that impress me, beside the excellent drawings and paintings, is the enormous knowledge he had about old ships. Just take a look at the terminology, he knows what every Little detail was called. Often peculiar (and sometimes almost funny) names. If I should try to learn this, at least I would have to read the book 10 times. But on the other hand I am a complete novice concerning boats and ships..
The suggestion that Landström made, tar mixed with white lead paint, is one option we can rule out, I think. The tar on the bottom looks to be just tar, no paint in it. Paint survives in plenty of other places on the ship, and the bottom was the best protected part of the whole wreck. A common bottom coating in this period was a tallow-based mixture, applied over top of the tar. This was not all that durable and had to be reapplied on a regular basis after careening and breaming (the navy yard in Stockholm had a careening dock for this purpose). Tallow was also the base ingredient in most of the lubricants and sealants used on the ship, and we have remains of it on the pump gaskets. It could also be used to make candles (we have a few of those, too). A pretty good all-purpose matieral to have around!
I like the visual appeal of Landström's books (the one he did on ancient Egyption watercraft is gorgeous) but they can be misleading. His reconstruction paintings look so convincing, and he had such a good eye for a logical solution, that it is tempting to trust him too much!
Hi all New to this forum, and to model building, so forgive me if questions are a bit amateurish. I've restarted my Billings model after a VERY long break (of some 20 years, I think!!). Still working on deck fittings, stern galleries, bowsprit, etc so very long way to go yet, but trying to do a bit of research on finishings and rigging. Just a quick one to start with. Billings show the main hull colour(s) to be blue, but I've seen lots of photos showing it as red. Is there a definitive answer to this one?
Yep red is the main color on the upperworks above the planksheer (the uppermost wale), the beakhead and the stern galleries. Railings and mouldings are either bright yellow or pale yellow (the fiferail).