Dreadnought Waterline Model: Ocean Surface

After having completed the Tirpitz, I’m planing the construction of the HMS Dreadnought. This ship was the first modern battleship and sparked a naval arms race at the beginning of the 20th century.

At http://www.digitalnavy.com/dreadnought/ a card model of the Dreadnought can be downloaded. It’s a waterline model and thus needs a base plate to be displayed on. This should be an image of the ocean surface, showing the wake (bow and stern wave pattern) of the ship.

In this article I will show how to create an ocean surface with GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program).

First, start with a new image, filled with a dark blue colour (red=0, green=0, blue=64; #000064). The model needs a plate roughly 280 mm (11.024 inch) long and 100 (3.937 inch) mm wide. At a resolution of 300 pixels per inch, the picture’s dimensions should be set to 3307 by 1181 pixels. My four sample pictures in this article are of smaller size, of course.

GIMP Water Creation, Step 1 of 4

Second, create a new layer, paint it white and add a layer mask. Select the layer mask and apply the filter “Rendering/Clouds/Solid Noise” with the following parameters:

  • X size = 2, Y size = 2, Detail = 5
  • check “Randomize” and “Turbulent”

GIMP Water Creation, Step 2 of 4

Afterwards, with the new layer mask still selected, apply the filter “Edge-Detect/Neon” with the following parameters:

  • Radius = 5, Amount = 0

GIMP Water Creation, Step 3 of 4

Finally, add a third layer and repeat the procedure of step two, with one exception: X and Y size both should be set to 4.

If vertical lines appear in the image, the random patterns of the top two layers might interfere. In this case just mirror one layer horizontally. The final image should look like this:

GIMP Water Creation, Step 4 of 4