The production of the flags for the model proved challenging as to replicate the originals on the model they needed to be of painted cloth.
Most flags are either screen printed on silk or painted on silver foil.
An Egyptian cotton cloth was selected. The first job was to ‘size’ the cloth and to do this it was soaked in a very dilute solution of PVA glue.
When dry, the cloth was marked up with the outline of the flags using a 6H pencil.
The flags were then painted with the Acrylic paints on the basis that these would not rot the cloth. at least, this was the advice from the local Art shop. In the left hand picture you can see the first attempt at painting a cross freehand. This proved impossible due to the ‘grain’ of the cloth / glue causing the brush to wobble. For the next attempt masking tape was used and this proved much more effective. Any slight colour bleed was touched up using a series 7 brush number 000. Magnifying glasses were essential!
The cloth was stretched and then pinned onto a suitably sized piece of MDF with baking paper between the board and the cloth. The latter served two purposes; it prevented any discolouration of the painted surface when the flags were turned over and it prevented any paint bleed sticking to the MDF.
The board served as an easel for handling the cloth when painting on the designs.
The two flags in the top right and the one bottom left are based on flags most likely carried by Columbus, as my research seems to show that no one is exactly sure. The remaining flags are free-lance based on remains found on the model.
Painting on the detail required the use of the Series 7 number 000 brush. I make no claims to being a professional artist.
Finally the end of the flags were turned over a length of 0.5mm natural hemp and then machine stitched. The flags were tied to the flagpoles.
Certainly I would use the medium again as I think using the cloth gives them a certain authenticity missing from silk flags.
Paint was Winsor & Newton Galeria range of Acrylic paints. I found this to be economically priced, vibrant colours and quick drying.
Brush for the detail was a Winsor & Newton Series 7 number 000.