I think milk chocolate will melt into the background (pun intended) on smaller scale models and not be noticed.
In the past I have bought deadeyes from The Model Dockyard, they do them in walnut, and I think beech (not sure of the wood, but a lighter colour).
On real ships I have seen various shades from grey (old dry wood) to black (wet old wood) and light to dark brown (newer wood). Now that the walnut deadeyes I bought are weathered, they are a very pale wood colour.
Not much info, but I hope it helps.