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erewhon1872

USN colours for Grumman F3F-2

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Hi all,

I have the Accurate Miniatures Grumman F3F-2 kit to start but could do with some help on the finish/paint call outs.

The instructions say the fuselage was aluminium and gives call outs for G.S. Aqueous 8/Humbrol 56/Xtra Color X142 amongst others.

The instructions say the wings (and I assume the tailplanes although that is not mentioned) were "doped taunt and painted with silver lacquer" which the instructions call "Silver doped fabric" but aside from saying this resulted in a "highly reflective finish, noticeably brighter than the fuselage" it does not give a paint reference call out for it.

So two part question, can I use anything from the Alclad 2 range for the aluminium finish, I know there are various types (Aluminium//Polished Aluminium/Airframe Aluminium/White Aluminium/Dark Aluminium) but I tend to associate these with modern fighter jets and don't know if appropriate for an inter-war biplane or should I stick with the callouts on the instruction sheet?

And is there a paint I can use for the 'silver doped fabric' finish on the wings and I assume tailplanes? The one stipulation for this colour I suppose is that it must be brighter than the aluminium fuselage?

Thanks in advance,

Pete

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As Naval aircraft all the surfaces were painted to protect them. Essentially both "colors" we're aluminum, certainly not a natural metal. The difference being the type of paint so each would adhere to the underlying material...primed aluminum metal for the fuselage and primed fabric for the wings.

For my builds of USN aircraft of that period I simply use two different shades of aluminum or silver model paint. Just different enough to look different. Once I used an enamel for the fuselage and an acrylic for the wings; another was satin versus gloss.

Tim

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As Naval aircraft all the surfaces were painted to protect them. Essentially both "colors" we're aluminum, certainly not a natural metal. The difference being the type of paint so each would adhere to the underlying material...primed aluminum metal for the fuselage and primed fabric for the wings.

For my builds of USN aircraft of that period I simply use two different shades of aluminum or silver model paint. Just different enough to look different. Once I used an enamel for the fuselage and an acrylic for the wings; another was satin versus gloss.

Tim

thanks for the advice Tim, so basically two shade of aluminium the brighter on the wings.

Can you remember which paints you used, just trying to get some ideas.

Do you also varnish the fuselage and wings different tones, like satin for the wings and matt for the fuselage?

Cheers,

Pete

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Hi Pete,

I built the F3F-1 and used shades from the Vallejo Metallic Model Air range. I can't for the life of me remember which ones and I think it's really a case of using the colours you like best and are most comfortable working with. You might want to experiment with a satin finish on the fuselage but certainly no matt anywhere. I gave the wings an extra coat or two of Klear to make them more shiny than the fuselage. Remember that these aircraft were maintained to a very high standard so there's no weathering to be done other than maybe a dab of wash to some areas like the undercarriage to make the detail pop a little.

This is how mine came out. I seem to remember that with careful Googling I found a site with some extra hints and tips that AM put together for this kit. It's well worth searching out as although most of the model builds pretty easily, the undercarriage is a proper sod!

DSC_7284.jpg

Cheers,

Roger

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Hi Pete,

I built the F3F-1 and used shades from the Vallejo Metallic Model Air range. I can't for the life of me remember which ones and I think it's really a case of using the colours you like best and are most comfortable working with. You might want to experiment with a satin finish on the fuselage but certainly no matt anywhere. I gave the wings an extra coat or two of Klear to make them more shiny than the fuselage. Remember that these aircraft were maintained to a very high standard so there's no weathering to be done other than maybe a dab of wash to some areas like the undercarriage to make the detail pop a little.

This is how mine came out. I seem to remember that with careful Googling I found a site with some extra hints and tips that AM put together for this kit. It's well worth searching out as although most of the model builds pretty easily, the undercarriage is a proper sod!

DSC_7284.jpg

Cheers,

Roger

thanks Roger and that looks superb, hope whatever I produce is half as good.

Noted your comment on the undercarriage. Did you have any problems with the photo-etched rigging? Will try to track down the site you mentioned.

Looks to me like I will have to get together whatever aluminium paints I have and do a little test spraying and then add various finishes to see what looks best?

One question though, did you do the non moving sections of the tail and the tailplanes the duller aluminium and the moving sections the brighter? That's what it looks like in the picture and I am thinking the moving parts on the tail would be fabric covered and the non-moving the same colour as the fuselage.

Again thanks for the picture, given me something to aim for :)

Cheers,

Pete

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Been awhile, but believe I've used Floquil Old Silver, MM Aluminum, Tamiya Aluminum and Humbrol Aluminum acrylic. I've sealed with a mixture of MM acrylic clear flat and Future (Klear) to achieve either a flat, satin or gloss look, with the fabric always being less shiny than the metal areas. These are the paints in my paint drawer and they've been there for decades.

Tim

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Hi Pete,

Yes the PE rigging needs a very deft touch as it's very easy to get a kink in it when it's being applied and it won't go back 100% straight so you have some nervous moments ahead of you! Once it's in it really does look the part though.

It's probably a function of the lighting but the tailplane surfaces on mine are painted white - only the fuselage and lower wing are aluminium.

IIRC I wasn't totally happy with the fit of the canopy and that's why I have it posed open.

Enjoy yourself with this kit - it really is a gem that rewards careful work. I thought it was a bit like an Eduard kit in that respect - fine detail and most things fit well with good tolerances but everything needs to be dryfitted to make sure of the final effect.

Cheers,

Roger

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Been awhile, but believe I've used Floquil Old Silver, MM Aluminum, Tamiya Aluminum and Humbrol Aluminum acrylic. I've sealed with a mixture of MM acrylic clear flat and Future (Klear) to achieve either a flat, satin or gloss look, with the fabric always being less shiny than the metal areas. These are the paints in my paint drawer and they've been there for decades.

Tim

thanks for the information Tim, think I need to get out the various aluminium paints and clear coats I have and experiment a bit on some spare plastic, remembering to make the fabric covered surfaces less shiny.

Are the moveable surfaces on the tail and tailplanes fabric covered do you know?

Cheers,

Pete

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Hi Pete,

Yes the PE rigging needs a very deft touch as it's very easy to get a kink in it when it's being applied and it won't go back 100% straight so you have some nervous moments ahead of you! Once it's in it really does look the part though.

It's probably a function of the lighting but the tailplane surfaces on mine are painted white - only the fuselage and lower wing are aluminium.

IIRC I wasn't totally happy with the fit of the canopy and that's why I have it posed open.

Enjoy yourself with this kit - it really is a gem that rewards careful work. I thought it was a bit like an Eduard kit in that respect - fine detail and most things fit well with good tolerances but everything needs to be dryfitted to make sure of the final effect.

Cheers,

Roger

the kit I bought came without the canopy so had to get one of the Falcon clear vax ones which hopefully will fit.

Can't see because of the angle of the picture but I know in the instructions, which are really a work of art and I like the written sidebars, it says there's some sort of construct where the wing bracing wires cross, it says to scratchbuild it but it may be beyond me!

Thanks for all the info, and when I get to it I'll be sure to take it slowly and hope for a result as good as you got.

Cheers,

Pete

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Are the moveable surfaces on the tail and tailplanes fabric covered do you know?

They are fabric, however the finish was well maintained and my impression is that only rarely did the carrier color on the tails begin to show a difference between fixed and movable areas. You're safe to paint the tail a consistent color.

Tim

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They are fabric, however the finish was well maintained and my impression is that only rarely did the carrier color on the tails begin to show a difference between fixed and movable areas. You're safe to paint the tail a consistent color.

Tim

Tim has this right. For top coats, the US Navy was hooked on enamels for most of the 1920s and '30s, not moving to dopes and lacquers until 1935. On "composite wing" aircraft (which in those days meant metal leading edges and fabric trailing edges) you can often see the difference between the Orange Yellow dope and lacquer in late-1930s images.

Tail colors were usually applied with enamels either at the factory or when the aircraft was accepted. On a few occasions, the tails were repainted with lacquers when aircraft switched units; the lacquers ate through the enamel topcoats, even raising the dope undercoating on the fabric surfaces and causing fabric failure. (You'll have the same problem if you ever apply lacquers over other modeling paints!)

Cheers,

Dana

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On 17 October 2015 at 2:18 PM, rmcclure said:

Hi Pete,

I built the F3F-1 and used shades from the Vallejo Metallic Model Air range. I can't for the life of me remember which ones and I think it's really a case of using the colours you like best and are most comfortable working with. You might want to experiment with a satin finish on the fuselage but certainly no matt anywhere. I gave the wings an extra coat or two of Klear to make them more shiny than the fuselage. Remember that these aircraft were maintained to a very high standard so there's no weathering to be done other than maybe a dab of wash to some areas like the undercarriage to make the detail pop a little.

This is how mine came out. I seem to remember that with careful Googling I found a site with some extra hints and tips that AM put together for this kit. It's well worth searching out as although most of the model builds pretty easily, the undercarriage is a proper sod!

DSC_7284.jpg

Cheers,

Roger

That's very nice indeed. I am about to start one of these and am looking for answers to the same questions as the original poster so this is perfect. I don't think I'll use the P/E rigging though, am planning on using either guitar string or EZline which isn't 100% accurate but it's my first biplane so would prefer easier material to work with over accuracy.

 

Duncan B

 

 

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I am well into my build of one of these now and just want to clarify that the painted aluminium on the metal fuselage should be a duller finish than the aluminium painted/doped wings? Also were the struts on the tailplane painted aluminium or the same colour as the fin and tailplane (Vessel colour)

i have lots of other questions but will start a new thread as they are not specifically about the paint.

 

Duncan B

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Did the Yellow colour change at any point in the interwar years or was it the same colour on the F3F as applied to the early F4F?

 

Duncan B

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On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 3:11 AM, Duncan B said:

Did the Yellow colour change at any point in the interwar years or was it the same colour on the F3F as applied to the early F4F?

 

Duncan B

I think I recall a Dana Bell article or reply to a discussion topic that the USAAC and USN/USMC yellow used on  upper wings prewar were not the same shade- the FS equivalents escape me at the moment, but seem to remember vaguely chrome or orange-yellow was mentioned for USN aircraft, with FS13538 being given in the post; at some point, IIRC, there was an ANA bulletin (1943?) that gave notice of one yellow to be used from that point on, which I think was FS13538. Not sure if this color was the same as the lemon yellow specified for identification on cowls, chevrons, fuselages and fins. which I think was FS13655. I would think the chrome yellow would be OK on the F3F and F4F. You could search the forum topics for the discussion, as I bet poor old @Dana Bell is getting tired of replying to this oft-asked question. The Monogram USN/USMC Aircraft Color Guide shows FS13538, orange-yellow for pre-1939 aircraft upper wings, if that helps at all.

As Butterfly McQueen said in Gone With the Wind, "Lawsy Miss Scarlett- I don' know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies!"

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
corrected spelling

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9 hours ago, Duncan B said:

Did the Yellow colour change at any point in the interwar years or was it the same colour on the F3F as applied to the early F4F?

 

Duncan B

There was no change in the Navy yellow (which was however, a different shade from the Army yellow, which did change down the years).  There is no readily discernable difference in the aluminium on the metal and fabric areas in most cases.

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2 hours ago, 72modeler said:

I think I recall a Dana Bell article or reply to a discussion topic that the USAAC and USN/USMC yellow used on  upper wings prewar were not the same shade- the FS equivalents escape me at the moment, but seem to remember vaguely chrome or orange-yellow was mentioned for USN aircraft, with FS13538 being given in the post; at some point, IIRC, there was an ANA bulletin (1943?) that gave notice of one yellow to be used from that point on, which I think was FS13538. Not sure if this color was the same as the lemon yellow specified for identification on cowls, chevrons, fuselages and fins. which I think was FS13655. I would think the chrome yellow would be OK on the F3F and F4F. You could search the forum topics for the discussion, as I bet poor old @Dana Bell is getting tired of replying to this oft-asked question. The Monogram USN/USMC Aircraft Color Guide shows FS13538, orange-yellow for pre-1939 aircraft upper wings, if that helps at all.

As Butterfly McQueen said in Gone With the Wind, "Lawsy Miss Scarlett- I don' know nuthin' 'bout berthin' no babies!"

Mike

I remember that discussion so remembered that the USAAC colour was different from the USN/USMC colour, just wasn’t sure if that changed. 

I’ll go with Roger’s suggestion above and use the same paint as I previously did on the F2A and F4F-3, Colourcoats ‘pre war Chrome Yellow’.

The colour that AM recommend in their instructions is FS13538 (H329 in the Gunze Aqueous Range) which looks too Yellow to my eye. 

 

Duncan B

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1 hour ago, Duncan B said:

The colour that AM recommend in their instructions is FS13538 (H329 in the Gunze Aqueous Range) which looks too Yellow to my eye. 

 

 

That is actually the correct FS reference and the 'weak' yellow shade is correct (check out the enamel chip in the Monogram US Navy painting guide....).  Although it was actually named 'Orange Yellow' that is something of a misnomer which people have taken too literally as it has NO visible orange in it at all.  Models with too orange-looking yellow are very common, but sadly not correct (it was actually the US Army colour which was slightly 'orange').

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