Duplicating post here because it is a good explanation:
Walnut stocks tend to be a medium to dark brown colour. (Yes, I know there are variations, highlights, figure, etc.) Birch tends to be fairly light colour like coffee with cream and not have much in the way of grain or figure that is visible from a distance. The Rifle No.4 that you are painting came with both kinds of stocks, though the ones I have seen that were WW2 manufacture tended to be Walnut or darker looking. The actual finish on the metal parts of a WW2 era No.4 is most likely black drippy looking semi-gloss paint over dark gray matte phosphate. Australian No.1 Mk.III* rifles tend to have a lot of Birch looking light coloured stocks (very much like the 1:1 gun in your picture). BTW, that 1:1 gun is interesting in that the front action screw looks like it belongs on a No.4T Sniper gun. Looking at the other side of the body (receiver) would show if it really is a sniper (T for Target) gun.
The US military tended to stain their Birch stocks dark brown. Birch has a very dense grain and doesn't take stain very well, so when folks sand the military stock to clean up dings and take off the finish, they generally have trouble re-staining to match the original colour.
A bit off topic, but hope that helps to explain my comment.
Thanks. Excellent tutorial !!!
...I took a $2. 21st Century MG34 I had from years ago (WalMart) and gave this a shot...WOW! What a change...
Its amazing what a little silver on a barrel and this "wood" trick will do to a hunk of plastic!
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