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What is the right colour?Does it realy matter?


Stuck
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Hi, I have just started an Italerie Short Suderland which i want to paint extra dark sea grey and slate grey, I use mainly Tamiya paints because I am confident with them, so I went on the net and tapped in to google the name of the colour to see what images came up. Well i found at leatst 4 from reliable sources but each one contradicted each other. So now I am left wondering and totaly confused as to which is right and which is wrong. i know that many of you will have your own interpretation, Just like interior green, the xtracrylix and humbrol are 2 completly different shades i personaly think the Humbrol looks better. So i am asking is it just better at the end of the day to go with what you think is right whether it is or not?.

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Hi there.

You'll find you'll get as many different opinions as you do responses. Probably comes down to your own preference, do you prefer Acrylics or Enamels?

If you're looking at Enamels, my personal choice would be Humbrol, or White Ensign are very good.

Good luck whatever you go with, love a Sunderland.

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its YOUR MODEL if you think a brand of paint looks better then other its your chioce to use it. dont let some body put you off . i use revell panzer grey my mate use other brand i dont agree but his model his choice

its only a hobby dont start getting stressed over colours its not worth it

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So i am asking is it just better at the end of the day to go with what you think is right whether it is or not?.

It's your model. You build it how you want to!

But bear in mind that Sunderlands were kept outside, usually in bad weather, so their paintwork would fade and chip. As with many aircraft there could be differences between the colours shades of any two aircraft.

So basically, what you say goes! :D

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Oooh, a can of worms is opened.

:worms:

You'll get some folks telling you it must be X colour, some saying it doesn't matter, and others mentioning scale effect (the lightening of colours as they get further away), and others telling you that it's immaterial because of the action of the sun, the sea and general wear and tear. Go with what you feel looks right... I do :)

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if you want to know what the required colours looked like, get hold of a copy of Arms&Armour's book on British Colours of WW2. This contains a good representation of the colours. There is also at least one good quality colour photo of an early Sunderland available on the net, from Edgar Brooks. Bear in mind that viewing a small chip against a white background will make the colour appear darker and more intense than it does spread out over a large area - and a Sunderland is a large area indeed. You can get a better representation of the colour by cutting a hole the size of the chip in a piece of neutral grey paper and viewing the chip through this. This is not the same effect as scale colour.

You then have the problem of which paint best matches these originals. I don't think that Humbrol do an Extra Dark Sea Grey or a Dark Slate Grey, so just what numbers are you using? I would generally not trust Japanese paints, having heard several stories of mis-matches. I gather Tamiya have produced a new set of British colours, in itself a fair condemnation of their earlier set, but I don't know whether this includes Coastal Command colours. I would look at Extracolour, WEM or Phoenix (Precision) paints, as these generally do show a high degree of matching to the British standards and are also, as you might expect, generally close to each other. Some small variation might well have happened with the originals, of course. I'm not familiar with all the paint ranges available - who is? - but if you have the Colours book you can do your own checking.

Then you have to ask how these colours might have appeared on the aircraft, either with some scale colour effect or weathering. EDSG fades to a bluer shade - not to Dark Sea Grey or Humbrol 27 - whereas Dark Slate Grey appears to go greener, a yellowish shade rather than an olive (unlike WW2 Dark Green, which generally but not always fades towards chocolate). You will also get chalking from the salt, although this was washed off whenever possible. Plus exhaust stains, muck and wear from walking, abrasions from tools etc... Then consider that the roundel colours will fade with the main colours, but much more so on the upper wing than on the fuselage sides..

In the end there is indeed considerable variation, although the colours will depend upon whether you are doing a new machine or a well-worn one, and you won't get the faded colours on an otherwise immaculate machine. This doesn't mean you can do anything you like, IF you are attempting to recreate a small piece of history. Chase the available references and photos of other aircraft in the same scheme. There are enough available to get a good comparison with the specified colours, and to recognise the ones that look, well, odd.

Otherwise, you are of course free to do whatever you like, I'm sure Sunderlands would look lovely in colours of plum and tangerine, if that happened to be what someone desired.

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Well thanks for that, I have a habit of worrying about little things that dont realy matter. over the last few years I have built up quite a stock of different paints, and with cash being a bit hard to find these days I dont want to buy anymore unless i have to, In the future I want to make a few more models in this colour sceme so I want to get it right now.

Maybe I take what i read too seriously, and it is if sometimes it is a matter of life and death!!. On reflection I doubt whether in our hour of need in the battle of Britain they worried too much about what colour the planes were as long as they hit the skys!!

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"I'm sure Sunderlands would look lovely in colours of plum and tangerine,"

So do I !!

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Well, painting a production (or even a reworked) aircraft is not a simple "slap it on" procedure but a careful process of several layers (depending upon type, of course) carried out under controlled conditions. Among the controls were paints of a specific type to a specific colour. Only paints of that specific type were available, and they didn't come in a range of 100 shades from your local Woolies, as some seem to imagine. The correct kind of paint was considered as important as the correct grade of material, or the correct size of bullet for the guns. You could only use what was in the supply line, and approved for the purpose.

A hasty re-vamp on the squadron lines might be different, but was pretty rare. Much more interesting from a modelling point of view, of course! Re the Battle of Britain, there does not seem to have been any significant variation in the Dark Green or Dark Earth, though there likely will have been some from different producers, but the undersides are a very different matter. In June or July at least, with survivors into the late autumn. Then there's the changeover from Temperate Land to Day Fighter... Coastal Command doesn't seem to offer the same variation, but surely there must have been some less-than-competent attempts when the white sides were first added.

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Two short observations for perspective

When I was a boy at school about the time Mafeking was relieved my mate had a rusty brown jacket he thought was green as he turned out colour blind but I realised then the colour you see is not the colour I see

Secondly I saw a Danish F104 drying after a shower and I swear it had every shade of green colour except fluorescent lime

Trust your eye and has been said its your model

Enjoy it

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look at this way

99% wont know if its right or wrong !!!!

As long as you think its looks right its ok

dont get stuck in the rut of looking at 1000,s of pics and colour swabs you dont get any modelling done

you will get fed up and might end up packing in the hobby

I model for fun modelling

make sure you do

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Many years ago, I had a brief spell in the Royal Navy, and served on HMS Eagle before it was decommisioned, I was a Stoker and my first job was way down in the bowels of the ship pumping Avcat up to the flight deck, there was not much to do on many watches, so to break up the monotamy ,there was a pile of pussers paint, all colours, and we used to paint all the pipes and machinery whatever colour we wanted realy, being right ai the middle of the Hippie era, can you imagine what it looked like !!.

Perhaps one day Revell might make a cutaway model of the Eagle, that will give the guy who does the colour callouts a run for his money!!.

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look at this way

99% wont know if its right or wrong !!!!

As long as you think its looks right its ok

dont get stuck in the rut of looking at 1000,s of pics and colour swabs you dont get any modelling done

you will get fed up and might end up packing in the hobby

I model for fun modelling

make sure you do

That is exactly as i am begining to feel,thanks for that!!

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I remember that Danish olive green paint, and it did weather to just about every shade even when it was dry. I don't know where they got it from but it wasn't the same stuff other NATO nations were using.

The question isn't whether you or I see the same colour "inside", but whether we consistently identify it as the same original, as distinct from any other. I'm not sure that using the colour blind is particularly helpful in this respect, given that it is this "distinguishing" between differences that gives them problems.

There's a big difference between aircraft paint and whatever gets stuck onto pipes in the bowels of a ship. There'd have been rather more response had you painted the outside of the ship in the same way, as I'm sure you'll recognise! Perhaps not realising this is why some modellers appear perplexed at these discussions.

But searching for references and finding out what actually happened in history doesn't take any fun out of the hobby - it adds to the fun. Nil illegitimi carborundum.

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its pointless any way modern production methods used to make paint will vary the colour from that used in the war. You cant say that this grey is correct from a 60 yr photo as time will degrade the print colour colour swabs from the time will again degrade producing a darker /lighter colour.

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My mum told me about people like you ...

He he he

seriously though that F104 was wet in places, dry in others and went from almost a black green where wet to a much lighter shade in the drier bits

then add changes for weathering

then add more for the effect of the heat at the tail end where the green faded into a sort of rusty dark muddy brown

I thought right there well modelling that will take about every tin of green and brown I have plus a few. One day it came out the paint shop all the one colour but then.......

At that time I recall there was a big argument in the letters page of Scale Modelling (I think) at that time about the effects of "scale colour" and I thought you guys should come and have a look at this.

I would also suspect the way we see colour is affected by the lighting conditions. For example if we wheel an airframe out on a sunny day, then in overcast, then in twilight and lastly back in the hangar under lights the same paint will look different each time to our own eyes far less another persons.

So I'd say as long as the colour looks to you as if it approximates as close as you think it should then it is right - probably - with any luck -! The important thing is to get pleasure out of what you are doing - now where did I leave that Danish bird's number?

Edited by JohnT
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I don't think that Humbrol do an Extra Dark Sea Grey or a Dark Slate Grey

http://humbrol.com/search/?searchguid=2013129174615

http://humbrol.com/search/?searchguid=2013129174644

OK Stuck, you're off to a good start by knowing what paints you need - Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey - so you can pretty much confidently choose any version of those paints from the major paint ranges and be in the ball park. You want Tamiya? OK, they don't do those actual shades per se, but how about this:

BCF4A111-09CD-4598-827E-EDFF0E092C1B-665

Rough and ready I know but I grabbed a bottle of Tamiya XF-22 RLM Grey and XF-18 Medium Blue and brushed them out. The right colours? Nope. Do they give the impression of the right colours? Let's put it this way, I'd be happy to use them, possibly a touch of XF-24 Dark Grey into the XF-18 to tone the blue down a bit, but not much. And on my next FAA model, the colours may be different again just to vary things out depending on the theatre and age of the aircraft I have in mind. In fact I tend to tone down most Extra Dark Sea Grey's as they can overpower a model, even if they are exact matches to a 1:1 paint swatch.

Does it matter? For me knowing what the actual colour is matters, but from there I adapt it to the effect I'm looking to achieve. In this thread I mentioned how I'd toyed with the colours by lightening them with white, which Nick Millman subsequently commented on. I also tend to mix a drop of light grey into the final varnish mix which creates a soft "filter" than blends everything together - so by now, any resemblance to the 1:1 colour is getting further away. But, as is being discussed in another thread, its the difference between accuracy and effect. Wrong can be right, and right can be wrong.

Experiment, see what works for you and go for it!

Edited by Jonathan Mock
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Well thanks to all of you for all your help and advise., and after digesting it all I have drawn my own conclusions.

There seems no doubt that from what i have read the best interpretation of dark slate grey in the Tamiya range is XF22 RLM grey, I dont think there can be much argument about that. After reading a thread on this site it was suggested that a good extra dark sea grey was a lot of XF 24 dark grey a tiny bit of white and an even tinier bit of flat blue, ( I dont take too much notice of precise % values !! ) I have mixed a batch of this and it matches perfectly the color of the model on the back of the kit box that i want to make, but after trying it out on an old model the XF22 just does not look right against it, as one of you said too washed out, and when put against the colour on the box it a million miles away;


Well by now I expect a lot of you who have seen this kit will be screaming that Italerie have got it all wrong, yes I know !!, unless i am colour blind the green on the 6 versions depicted is exactly the same !! , and this is where my confusion first started; But I just love the way it looks , so im going to find the green to match it which looks suspiciously like olive green;


Through my own profession I know only too well the effects of fading and how quick it can happen, and no doubt for most of its time in service the Sunderland was a very dirty aircraft; Any of you that has seen the film " The Yangtse incident " will have seen the sequence of the sunderland coming in to land how the exhaust stains nearly covered the wings ; On this particular model if you are going to start weathering it, then to do it right you are going to be in for hell of a job!!; So mine is going to be finished in pristine museum condition ( I hope !!) . But in the future when i have gained more confidence i will try some fading effects on a less demanding model

Thankyou M


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