Some coloring advise for the real thing!

December 9, 2014 · in Ships · 5 · 1.3K

Hello all,

I need some advise from all you color-experts at Imodeler. I have a lot of modelships and model flying things but I also have a real boat. It's called 'Lotus' after the Lotus flower and the reason I chose that name isn't really clear but has something to do with a comic from my youth (Parel in de Lotusbloem), where the Lotus flower represented all things good. And I thought it was a nice and powerful name in Dutch.

The Lotus weighs 8 tonnes, 6,6 m long, 2,3 m wide, 1,2 m in the water. She (ships are female in Dutch) has a 3 l diesel engine with 19 HP and lots and lots of torque. One big screw. She is an OPDUWER, an old Dutch type of ship. Opduwers were used in the 1900-1940 to push sailing ships through the Dutch canals and rivers when sailing was impossible due to wind direction. See the last picture. In fact, they were very small tugs. They also had the possibility to pull ships.

Nowadays every ship has it's own engine so opduwers are used as pleasure boats. The pleasure is a bit less than let's say on a Sunseeker speedboat: 90 DBA full throttle, max speed of 6 km/h, everything oily and smelling of paint but I love being the captain of my little tug.

I am not a color expert. I (hand)paint modelships kind of accordingly to box art but that's it. My helicopters and planes have the weirdest colours but do look cool (to me).

I recently got a gift: a model of the Lotus. It's not the Lotus itself, it's a model of a sister boat, the Iggr (...). The owner of the real Iggr told me that in the 1920 opduwers were painted the way the Iggr and the model-Iggr are painted: black, yellow, red, grey.
In my Avatar and in the pictures you can see the real Lotus: black, white, red, green.

My question to you: how should I paint the real Lotus? Keep the 'flashy' colors or give her a 1920's look?

It's winter here, time to paint your boat when she's out of the water so please help me make up my mind!

Happy modeling!


Reader reactions:

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

5 responses

  1. Not an expert certainly, but personal opinion is that small, tough working boats need bright colours, especially with this boat's history.

  2. I always heard that your only an expert on something if your fifty miles from home.
    I like things with eye catching colors so I will vote like Rob. Go with your imaginations color scheme.

  3. My vote's the same as Al and Rob...and why not the SAME color(s)..? Look at it this way, you'll only have to use one coat (no need trying to scrape off 'old' paint or try to cover up another color). Besides, I like it the way it is.

  4. First I'd paint the decks "buff" and the exhaust stack buff as well. Then I'd build a coxswain shelter as part of the cabin to keep me out of the elements. Then add an air horn to the roof, a radar antenna for those cruises in foggy weather and a gps/am/fm antenna array in keeping navigation and communications up-to-date. Of course a life raft would be mounted to the top of the cabin trunk, just in case...and a bow "pudding" (rope fender) hung on the bow proper to aid in pushing a larger vessel when called upon. I note there is no anchor visible on the forward deck, a boat isn't a boat without an anchor...a towing bitt aft would be a good idea too. To be different a white hull would add a certain flair, it would make the boat stand out in a crowded canel full of dark hulls...the words COAST GUARD painted on the hull sides would be quite the conversation piece among your fellow boaters, a real eye catcher..

    Of course you could leave the boats' appearence just as it is, perfect in every way!

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