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  #1  
Old 09-09-2010, 06:04 PM
stantonjtroy stantonjtroy is offline
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Default Aerobee 150 color

Does anyone know the Federal Spec no.s for the grey on the airframe of the Aerobee 150 Standard unpainted round. I think this is the same round that is on display at the Air and Space Museum in DC. if not the Fedstd no., then a common nomenclature (ex. Ghost Grey, Gunship Grey, Ect.). If I have to I'll go there with a set of color chips for an eyes on check but I was hoping some knowledgeable saint here might have the info to share and save me the trip. Any info would be of great help. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2010, 10:59 AM
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There's an Aerobee at the New Mexico Space Museum up the road. The grey body is a dead match for Duplicolor Hot Rod Primer Grey and the fins for Testors Jet Exhaust.

Please post picture of your rocket.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2010, 02:16 PM
stantonjtroy stantonjtroy is offline
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Thanks for the info. I think I remember going there a lifetime ago when I was stationed at FT. Bliss. I'll post some pics this weekend. Airframe build is basically complete (minus paint). I still need to turn the nosecone.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:23 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
There's an Aerobee at the New Mexico Space Museum up the road. The grey body is a dead match for Duplicolor Hot Rod Primer Grey and the fins for Testors Jet Exhaust. -SNIP-
I wonder, though, if those are the actual paint colors that the museum used on the Aerobee display round during restoration/preservation work on it, but not the same paint colors that Aerojet applied to flight rounds? (The all-white and white-with-black-fins paint schemes on the display rockets in the outdoor museum at the nearby White Sands Missle Range are in no way representative of the paint schemes on the flight rounds. The Astrobee-F and Iris display rounds at Wallops Island also have overall white paint schemes that are nothing like those on the flight rounds.)
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Last edited by blackshire : 09-11-2010 at 01:26 AM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2010, 08:30 AM
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Blackshire,

That's a great point and one which we probably will never know. There are actually 3 Aerobees at NMSM. The one we have all seen in the US Explosive Storage ads in Sport Rocketry, a boat-tail Aerobee hanging over the entrance and a 150 inside in the sounding rocket gallery. The outside Aerobee's paint is consistent with (badly) faded paint the same color as the unfaded paint on the Aerobee inside. The NMSM is badly underfunded and I wonder if they painted either rocket before putting them on display.

Also at the museum is a 150A fin can which is natural (unpainted) metal. That's where I got the match to Jet Exhaust. I don't know what the alloy is but it's Jet Exhaust colored with aluminum leading edges. The Alway drawings show that the can itself is a different color from the fins. This is not true. I suspect that a different appearance in pictures is due to the fins being handled a different amount from the can itself and oxidizing.

I have also seen the NASM Aerobee recently (last May) and I would opine that the colors are consistant.

Finally, with the exception of the V-2 and the Pershing II, none of the rockets in the Rocket Garden at the Missile Range have what I would call an authentic paint job.

Attached is my BT-50 Aerobee 300A.
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2010, 10:28 AM
stantonjtroy stantonjtroy is offline
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Valid points all. I think I'll contact the NASM archive and see if they have anything. Maenwhile a friend dug through his files and came up with FSD36375. Being a DOD painter I can say, based on visuals, this could be accurate. My source wasn't sure.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2010, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
Blackshire,

That's a great point and one which we probably will never know. There are actually 3 Aerobees at NMSM. The one we have all seen in the US Explosive Storage ads in Sport Rocketry, a boat-tail Aerobee hanging over the entrance and a 150 inside in the sounding rocket gallery. The outside Aerobee's paint is consistent with (badly) faded paint the same color as the unfaded paint on the Aerobee inside. The NMSM is badly underfunded and I wonder if they painted either rocket before putting them on display.
If Jim Eckles is still in the area (either still at the White Sands History Office or retired and living in the vicinity), he might have information on the paints that were applied to Aerobee flight rounds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
Also at the museum is a 150A fin can which is natural (unpainted) metal. That's where I got the match to Jet Exhaust. I don't know what the alloy is but it's Jet Exhaust colored with aluminum leading edges. The Alway drawings show that the can itself is a different color from the fins. This is not true. I suspect that a different appearance in pictures is due to the fins being handled a different amount from the can itself and oxidizing.
I'm just speculating here, but as the Canadian Black Brant fins were coated with a very thin (just 1/60,000" thick, if memory serves) clear heat-resistant material called Avcoat (to protect the fins from aerodynamic heating during ascent), it is possible that the Aerobee fins were painted with the same paint as on the fin can, but that they looked slightly different because of a clear heat-resistant coating (similar to Avcoat) on top of the fins' paint finish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
I have also seen the NASM Aerobee recently (last May) and I would opine that the colors are consistant.
With the NASM's more generous funding and large, professional artifact restoration staff, I'd wager that the paint colors on their Aerobee rounds (they also have an Aerobee 350, at least the liquid-propellant sustainer portion) are authentic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
Finally, with the exception of the V-2 and the Pershing II, none of the rockets in the Rocket Garden at the Missile Range have what I would call an authentic paint job.
That's a shame. In addition to their more famous artifacts, they also have interesting (nearly) one-off "concept missiles" (called Missle A, Missile B, etc.) that are so obscure that, absent color photographs or decor scheme documents, we will never know what their flight rounds looked like! :-(
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
Attached is my BT-50 Aerobee 300A.
She's purty! If Estes brings back their classic BT-50 size Aerobee 300 (it could even come with an A10-0T powered, "open-air" gap-staged scale booster, as Peter Alway proved would work on larger Aerobee models), they should include a few extra parts to enable the builder to build it to depict either the 3-finned Aerobee 300 or the 4-finned Aerobee 300A.
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http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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Last edited by blackshire : 09-12-2010 at 01:28 AM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2010, 09:11 AM
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Blackshire,

I think Jim Eckles is retired and living in NE El Paso. I think he can still be reached through the range museum. I'll see if I can find him and ask him about some of this stuff.

I couldn't agree with you more about a BT-50 based Aerobee and a gap-staged booster. But why wait for Estes? Semroc has both the laser-cut fins and a regular Aerobee nose cone. If you're looking for something a little bigger, Carl has a Deci-Scale (1/10th) nose cone for a BT-58 based Aerobee. Now if we could get him to offer laser-cut 150A fins . . . .
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Awaiting First Launch: micro V-2; Blossom V-2; Aero-Dart
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V
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Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7
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