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Wooden model

Winston Churchill

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Gerard Brooke-bennett16/04/2020 15:58:05
4 forum posts

Good afternoon,

Some years ago, my Wife purchased for me a wooden model of the Winston Churchill tall ship, as this is the first tall ship I crewed on, and which has now been decommissioned.

Having recently retired I would like to start building her, however would appreciate advice on the best paints I would need. At this stage I am not sure if it will be just for display, or to sail on the nearby Mere.

Any help would be appreciated.


Banjoman16/04/2020 16:32:03
1146 forum posts
2423 photos

Hello Gerard,

I would say that there's no such thing as "best" paints; as with so many other things in this world, well ... it depends!

Apart from the question that you bring up yourself (static or sailing model), there's also the size of the model; whether you would prefer to apply the paint with a brush, an airbrush or from a spray can; and to what extent your are prepared/able to put up with the odours associated with solvent-based paints. Add to that personal preference ("I've always used Brand X" ) and ease of sourcing, and the permutations become (almost) legion.

However, the most important issue to my mind would still be whether or not the model is supposed to go on the water, and I'd say that this is something about which you need to make up your mind before you go much further. Not only because it'll have an influence on what paints would be suitable but because if you decide to convert a static kit to sailing (unless it is already expressly intended for sailing), there are a number of other issues that you will need to address.

In other words, could you perhaps tell us a but more about the model in question? Scale? Maker? Sold as suitable for display or for sailing? And what would you really prefer to do: build a static model, or a sailing one?


Edited By Banjoman on 16/04/2020 16:32:46

Edited By Banjoman on 16/04/2020 16:33:07

Edited By Banjoman on 16/04/2020 16:47:51

Edited By Banjoman on 16/04/2020 16:48:08

Edited By Banjoman on 16/04/2020 16:48:15

Edited By Banjoman on 16/04/2020 16:49:16

Gerard Brooke-bennett16/04/2020 17:40:30
4 forum posts

Good evening Mattias,

Thank you for your response, and the vessel is from Billing Boats, model 706 Sir Winston Churchill.

I have not done any modeling since I was a wee lad (many years ago) with Airfix kits.

Scale is 1.76

The instruction booklet does mention that the vessel can be built in one way for display only, or in another way for sailing with the addition of extra kit, and motor and radio controller, so they seem to have covered both points.

Once lockdown is over we will be moving to Ellesmere in Shropshire, which is has a number of Meres, however making enquiries it appears that radio controlled boats cannot be used on the Mere due to the wildlife. However there is places near Telford where there are Clubs and water for doing so.

I would appreciate advice on either option.



Banjoman16/04/2020 18:16:59
1146 forum posts
2423 photos

Good evening Gerard,

Given the size of the hull, which is certainly not huge but nevertheless reasonably large at just over half a metre long without the bowsprit, and the simple black-and-red colour scheme, and if you want to keep your options open, I'd say that automotive spray can paint (Halfords is a brand that I know is used by many modelers in the UK) wouldn't be a bad choice.

For the superstructure and other fittings topsides, I'd be more inclined to choose a dedicated model paint of some sort, and to apply it by brush. One could certainly spray can paint at least the larger items, like the deck houses, but personally I'd fond it easier to use a brush for everything but the hull. Humbrol enamels would be the traditional choice, and perfectly adequate, although for my part I do most of that sort of painting with Vallejo Model Color acrylics. It doesn't really matter very much which exact brand yiou choose. Just be sure that you don't get dedicated airbrush paint (e.g. Vallejo Model Air or most of the Tamiya paint range), as those tend to be too thin to brush on very well. And stick with model paint for anything small: the pigments are much more finely ground than in regular house paints, and so willcover much better with a much thinner coat.

Best of luck and much fun with your build!


Banjoman17/04/2020 07:24:47
1146 forum posts
2423 photos

Good morning Gerard,

I just wanted to add that a similar question was asked on the forum a couple of years ago, and that a fairly extensive discussion of paints and painting techniques followed. Parts of those discussions were then continued in several other threads created by the member who had asked the initial question. You'll find them here ...





... and might perhaps glean some further useful information from them, not least as they also concerned the build of a Billing Boats kit (Bluenose II, as it happens).

Some of these threads are perhaps on the longish side, but I think looking through them might be worth your time.



Edited By Banjoman on 17/04/2020 07:27:16

Ray Wood 217/04/2020 09:40:25
2484 forum posts
862 photos

Hi Gerard,

This kit will make a great static model for display, but at the size and complication of the rig its not really a practical proposition for radio control, as the physical small size and long keel design of the original ship would need a ballasted fin keel to prevent the boat from blowing over, but please keep us posted on your build, you have a long way to go

If this is your first build? have a look in my Album "Ray's Boats" for some examples of plank on frame construction.

Regards Ray

Gerard Brooke-bennett17/04/2020 12:26:44
4 forum posts

Good afternoon Ray,

thanks for the response, and your images are very impressive. Yes this is my first build. My Wife purchased this kit for me some years ago, and it has been sitting in a cupboard waiting for a suitable time, which as I have recently retired and with lock down now seems perfect. One of my passions over the years when both time and lm money allowed, was sailing on the Tall Ships, Winston Churchill, Malcolm Miller, Stavros etc, but Churchill was my first, and it is a shame she is no more.

The instructions suggest using a white joiners glue, and looking on-line it appears Elmers or Franklin's are recommended. However trying to source these is problematic, as Amazon are out of stock, and I have found the web site for Models based in Norfolk which will deliver. Do you have any other suggestions?



Ray Wood 217/04/2020 14:40:32
2484 forum posts
862 photos

Hi Gerard,

Have you been looking at the SLEC website ? They are in Watton and are suppliers of everything glue included, give them a ring I know they are doing mailorder.

I hope that helps, it's awkward at the moment, I use Gorilla Wood Glue for most jobs or Poundland 5 minute epoxy & Super glue, but these are not normal times !!

Regards Ray

ashley needham17/04/2020 17:17:03
7318 forum posts
156 photos

Poundland is open, which is handy, but also Wilkinsons (at least round here) and that's a massive bonus as the Walton branch near me has a big diy section so glues of all sorts and paints are not a problem¬!

(if I dodge the policemen patrolling the non-essential aisles!)


Dave Cooper 625/04/2020 08:02:25
305 forum posts
32 photos

Hi Gerard

I would consider Ray's words very carefully - he's got a lot of practical experience to share.

A model that looks 'large' in a display cabinet at home can 'shrink' alarmingly when out on the water ! The forces of nature - wind and water - are the same for full-size boats and models....hence, working models have to cheat a little (especially sailing craft I would think) to make them work well.

I think I would treat this model as a learning exercise, and, if you want to stay with this class of ship (Clipper ?) go much bigger for a working model.

Just my thoughts but Ray, Ashley, Dave M etc will give much better advice than I

Most importantly enjoy your build !


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