The deck is supposed to be watertight on every real boat. After the planks are put down in position on the deck, the gaps between the planks are closed by a procedure known as caulking. The same is in the case of model boat kits. Caulking entails forcing a quantity of old untwisted ropes, or oakum (a rough fiber), into the spaces where the planks are connected.
Once the oakum is driven into the spaces, hot melted tar or pitch is poured into the groove with the aim of stopping the water decompose the oakum. After the tar has set firmly and any remains taken away, a thin black line is showing between the planks of the deck.
These days, there is a wide range of techniques that are being applied by different scale modelers across the globe with the intention of faking the caulking of the deck on a scale model. As with a lot of things associated with building boat models, there is absolutely no single correct or incorrect approach, simply diverse methods to attain a similar objective.
The following are some of the most common techniques that are being put into practice by the majority of scale modelers worldwide:
- Mark one edge of each plank of the deck with the help of a black marker pen. Run a check with a small number of planks with the purpose of making sure that the marker pen does not weep into the timber or that the clear polyurethane varnish that you will be making use of in order to finish the deck does not dissolve the black color when it is applied afterward.
- A dark soft lead pencil is then required to be applied by the side of the edge and end of bundled planks. You can become conversant with this technique in detail with the help of getting in touch with a professional scale modeler.
- The false deck can be painted black prior to the planks of the deck are applied and a small space is left between them.
- Make sure that there is a little space left between the planks of the deck that can be filled afterward with the help of black sewing thread, which is initially pulled by means of rigging wax.
Now, let us get acquainted with the technique that is usually recommended by the professional and experienced scale modelers across the globe.
The following technique is supposed to be generally applied in order to simulate the caulking. First of all, collect the deck planks available in the ship model kit in bundles of six to eight. With the help of using bull dog clips, hold them aligned together.
Then take a soft lead pencil and rub it across the edges of the bundled planks along their length. Repeat for another side of the planks as well. Repeat this for the entire bundles of deck planks you need to cover the false deck. This technique even has a benefit of not weeping into the deck plank of model boat kits and is not affected by clear polyurethane varnish.