The Last Surviving Dreadnought | Model Shipwrights

This is a model of Trumpeter's USS Texas. I think it is a good replica of the real ship, but 700 times smaller.

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Very nicely done! It’s good to see a USS Texas model well done and sweetly detailed to a high standard :clap:

Hopefully, the real USS Texas will get some love, attention and much needed repairs in the near future.

I like the display. How did you do the water?

For the water effect I always use yacht varnish and did apply several layers to create a little bit depth.
I did use it also for my U-boot diorama which can be found on this forum.
The best yacht varnish or lacquer is on turpentine base. It dries quickly (24 hours) and gives a nice clear shine.


Thanks…I have read that the repair costs are a lot higher that this ship once cost in 1912 :slight_smile:

Total construction cost was $ 10,971,524.93. BB-35 was commissioned March 12, 1914
Inflation since 1914 would put the new build cost at $290,610,437 in todays money.
US $ 35 million today would have been US $ 1,321,369 back in 1914.

Inflation …

Do you pour it or brush it on

I pour it (not too many varnish) and then brush it…

I’m going to try that method

The use of varnish is new to me. In your experience, does the varnish create any heat while drying? Also, does the varnish react with the model paints? If so, what methods do you use to avoid damaging your model? Thanks

No heat, no reaction with model paints (of course the paint has to be dry)…so ideal and a simple (cheap) way to create water effect. Of course you have to be carefull you do no get a drop of varnish :grimacing: on your model…it is hard to remove it properly.

Thanks Pete for the quick reply. One last question, is the varnish available in hardware stores or is it a specialty product. I want to give this a try but I am curious where to get the varnish. Thanks for the info. And again, great work on the USS Texas. I’ve walked her decks as a museum ship. I can only imagine what the real sailing experience must have been like.

Hi John,

In Holland (The Netherlands) you can get it at hardwarestores and paintshops (I mean not the "model"paint shops :wink: ).
The varnish I used is called “RUWA Jachtlak” but I do not think it is available in the States?! But just ask for Yacht varnish on turpentine bases and I’m sure your local store has it.

Good luck and have fun making water!
ps…another advantage of the yacht varnish…it is very durable! My oldest “water” diorama (11 years old) is still fresh and without cracks!

I think it is typically referred to as Spar Varnish in the US.


Thanks guys. I’ll start looking for the varnish.