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Action Tiger

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I like it.....


That gives me an idea! Pull out my airbrush and do some camo with different stains I have on hand on my present build....I have a variety of minwax stain on hand....Keeping it a translucent style, working light to dark....

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For about 4 hours I was beside myself, wondering how many coats of brown to cover it all up?!


Aside from that, painting a boat camouflage is a great way of refusing to grow up, if you're not using it to hunt. I'm responsible, but I try to remain as immature as possible. :P


Old school jungle camo would be easy, too. Instead of stripe after stripe, just lay down blob after blob...


Oh yeah, drawing boats, even on a computer, counts as artistic skills, Kudzu. You got 'em, bud.

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Okay. I'll do maybe three more go rounds and call it good enough.


I think I want to make a bright orange spray skirt.


I was seriously tempted to photograph bare sawhorses... ;)


I will launch her officially on Sunday. I'll put up some paddling pictures, nestled in the grass pictures, and thoughts on the whole shebang. 


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I'm glad you like the paint, all. I wasn't planning on camo, but once the subject was broached...


The most important thing to remember is all painting looks terrible up close. If you don't believe me, get close to an artwork at a museum. So, while you're working, remember to step way back to evaluate.


The method I used was very simple.

1) paint the base color

2) use one color at a time, I swear. For this method, just start slashing. Straight, curves, arcs, thick, thin, whatever.

3) lighten or darken (tint or tone) the paint color a bit and repeat. 

4) change to another color. Go all Freddy Kreuger again. Repeat 2,3,4 until you are happy.

5) the layered look comes form using alternate layers of lighter and darker colors, and half painting over other stripes.


I use tablespoons to dip paint from the pots, which allows me to repeat colors by writing down the recipe. Two tbsp brown, one tbsp yellow, one tbsp white...


Honest. That's it. I confess I am an artist, but there is no art skill here. 

I used three different brush sizes (1", 1/2", 1/4") and four colors. This was the same brown as the base coat, a yellow I found, and black and white. I never even touched my green... Some of you not living in a drought may be able to use green  :).

By twisting the 1" brush in mid-stroke, you can make thick-to-thin lines. Okay, that MAY qualify as an art skill, but I don't think so.


Make sure you distribute each layer's stripes evenly. Try to get each new layer to intersect or interact with the previous layer; lots of "x"es, <es, and >es. I found that if I started at the bow and worked around, I could start another layer. I worked with latex in full sun so I was able to do a few layers a day. No wet edge to be concerned with, here.


Grip the very end of the paintbrush handle and paint loose. Think grassy, leafy thoughts. Practice on a piece of cardboard, or an old sweat shirt. Or an old jacket and pants (where'd you get those slick camo clothes?)


You you could also make one or several stencils. That's what I would recommend for Kudzu's jungle camo idea. Which, how neat would a kayak painted like a SAC bomber be? Black or sky colored belly with jungle camo deck?


Also, you cannot mess up. No lines to stay inside, no particular shapes. Hiralonde was closest when he suggested 2 year olds do the work: that's the mindset we're after. Well, maybe 5 years old. That is my reported maturity level. I hope I don't ever act THAT grown up!


This forum is the only internetting I've ever done. I think it is virtually awesome that that we can all come together here to learn from each other and share our art.


And, thanks again, Kudzu. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Okay. My summary.

I've paddled dozens of boats. This is one of the finest paddling 12 foot boats I've ever paddled. She's not so initially tender, or tippy, but she does still harden up noticeably when heeled. It's pretty hard to get the gunwale to dip. I'm not sure I would try to roll her...

She moves quickly and easily through the water, tracks well and turns well, especially if you heel her a bit.

My boat is so light, it blew away from it's stash spot on the beach during my inaugural trip.

I've paddled her quite a bit, and I am imminently satisfied in every way.

I'm 6'3", 190 lbs., and have size 14 feet. I have no problem fitting in her at all.

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  • 2 months later...

I pretty much agree with Action Tiger.  The only really weak point of the FreeB 12 is maintaining cruising speed.  Because of the beam and length it simply takes more work to stay up to speed.  It has a slower top speed as well, but that is of little concern to most.  And for those exploring winding streams, it makes the curves easier than a longer boat.  And at 24 lbs. my 4" 12"  wife can carry and load it easily by herself.  I think it has a niche in the grand scheme of kayaking. 

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