Yes You Can Paint Almost Anything: The Checkerboard Comet

Two recently completed boats--The Squire Shop and the Bardahl.  About a a decade apart in racing years, a lifetime apart in hull design.

Two recently completed boats–The Squire Shop and the Bardahl. About a a decade apart in racing years, a lifetime apart in hull design.

Just a quick post because the paper is on deadline this week and time is at a premium.  But sometimes I just have to show off.  I’ve had the base yellow coat for the 1968 Miss Bardahl on this hydroplane for nearly three years, but been in a quandary over how to go about actually painting it. The answer is, of course, just do it.

Yep, it's pretty small.  Not a lot of room to work with in Smyth boatworks.  But it turned out well.

Yep, it’s pretty small. Not a lot of room to work with in Smyth boatworks. But it turned out well.

The miniature, cast by Shawn McEvoy of CraftWorks models, is not very big.  It took me some time to wrap my head around getting a straight and uniform checkerboard on a 4″ by 1-2″ hull.  I’m not sure I ever came up with a firm strategy, but I simply used modeling masking tape to help get the horizontal line straight and masked off the verticals by hand and eye. I also brought out my seldom used 000 brush.  The bow of the boat was fairly easy, but as it is divided by the engine and cockpit, things got a lot trickier and that’s done entirely by hand and eyeball.  They don’t match, but don’t look too closely.

The miniature is based on Ole Bardahl’s 1968 entry into the unlimited racing world. It was an Ed Karleson designed hull that was designed for the 1967 racing season.  The ’67 boat, known as the “Blonde Bombshell” was all yellow, replacing the traditional Bardahl green scheme, and was very nimble, winning the high points championship.  The Bombshell appeared with the new paint scheme in ’68.  Though not as completely dominant as the previous year, it was something to see.  “The Checkerboard Comet” won four races, driven by Billy Schumacher, including the Gold Cup and high points championship.  It was the last year Bardahl’s boat would dominate the sport, and Bardahl would retire after 1969.

Pretty cool  I’ll take it on the road this weekend to our annual game at the Museum of Flight.

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One comment on “Yes You Can Paint Almost Anything: The Checkerboard Comet

  1. Greg says:

    Very nice! I wish that I could see it in action on the 8th…

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