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Old 12-11-2018, 10:33 AM
Newbomb Turk's Avatar
Newbomb Turk Newbomb Turk is offline
Consigliere to Bill E.'s BP Mafia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 561

Welcome to the forums, Meister!

What a great opportunity! Not necessarily this particular person, but assuming people are willing and it is done in as non-intrusive a way as possible, I think we should gather as much information as possible from sources like this.
Just completed: Estes #3228 V2, #3219 Air Commander.

Current project: Estes #7227 Apollo Little Joe II. Rescuing my Mini-Comanche III.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:17 PM
Dasbeermeister Dasbeermeister is offline
Junior Rocketeer
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 2

My info guy finally called me this afternoon. I dated his daughter in high school and we're still close friends, so there's never any intrusion when talking NASA. But you can't kick back and have a few beers with him while trying to watch The Right Stuff or Apollo 13 because he gets bent out of shape at the inaccuracies.
On to paint. According to him the whites were semigloss, blacks were matte but not flat and any reds were high gloss. As far as he can remember any bare metals were coated in a semigloss clear but he can't remember if it was a paint or a finishing oil.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:31 PM
John Brohm's Avatar
John Brohm John Brohm is offline
NAR #78048
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Mars, PA
Posts: 622

A lot of good info there as it pertains to the prototype. But as Wolf said earlier in the thread, as it relates to judging a scale model, the judge goes by what the submitted data pack presents, especially so when it comes to colors, as the model is expected to match the declared reference photo. Doesn't help much if the real color, as documented on a blueprint, say, is something different than what the photo actually shows.

A good example is a situation I encountered with the Super Chief II. The Super Chief has an interstage adapter that mates the Sustainer to the Booster - the photo below is a cut out from the actual photo I used in my data set. One can see that the color of that interstage is something like a yellowish tan, and in fact in Peter Alway's ROTW 1999 Supplement he declares that color as tan. But I have an actual blueprint from Aerojet for that part, and the declared finish on the print is Zinc Chromate, a color much different than tan.

I searched my local hobby shop for a color that matched what I had in the photo, and used that on the model.

The problem here is that photos age over time and with that comes fading and other color distortions, which in time no longer represent the actual color of the prototype. If I had wanted to build an historically accurate model, I probably would have used Zinc Chromate as the color; but since I was building a model for judging, the photos ruled.
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SAM #004
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:34 PM
John Brohm's Avatar
John Brohm John Brohm is offline
NAR #78048
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Mars, PA
Posts: 622

And I should have added that the same rule applies to sheen - if the photo shows matte, then it's matte; glossy, then it's glossy.
SAM #004
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:31 AM
LeeR's Avatar
LeeR LeeR is offline
Retired with Way Too Many Kits
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,375

Hmmm, sounds like painting a model to match the NASA guys recollection of finishes would be very tough. Maybe easier to paint the model, and then Photoshop the data packet images.

JUST KIDDING! The last thing I want is a ton of hate mail. I know true competitors take this stuff seriously. For my Saturn V build, Im using gloss paints, and model will get a gloss clear coatafter decals, then a final matte clear coat.
Lee Reep

Projects: Super Sky Hook, Super X-Ray, Estes Phoenix, Big Daddy, QCC Explorer
Awaiting Paint: Estes Saturn 1B
Last Completed: Semroc Spaceman
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:28 PM
luke strawwalker's Avatar
luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Needville and Shiner, TX
Posts: 5,910

The problem with going with photos, as John said, photos fade over time. Plus, the color representation GREATLY depends on the lighting type or source (sunlight or artificial light, and the SOURCE of the artificial light, such a fluorescent, halogen, arc spotlight, flash, etc) as well as angle, size of the subject, distance, color saturation, the film type and exposure time, formulation, exposure, and of course more factors added in like developing (pushing or pulling the film to account for over/under exposure, etc) and then of course if it's from prints, the quality of the paper, how it was stored, etc. etc. etc. IOW, *NO* film image, even taken and compared *at the time* will be 100% "accurate" as to its color rendering compared to the original. Might be impossible to differentiate with the naked eye, BUT I guarantee that a computer could tell the difference. And that's IF one were trying to match it *absolute correct* at the time the photo was taken with the prototype. Add in the vagaries of time and storage issues and it's virtually guaranteed that the color "in the photo" will be MARKEDLY different than it would have appeared on the prototype when it was photographed.

If you add in "modern" steps like scanning, computer storage, transmission, reprinting, etc. it only adds more and more layers of "error" or change to the differences already inherent in the original photograph of the prototype.

Then there's the way the human eye perceives images, which is MARKEDLY different from how photographs record images on film, or how electronic devices record images on tape or as digital information, and of course how they are then reproduced to be perceived by the eye. Light source, angle, size, distance, haze and other atmospheric effects, type of coating or finish, etc. all play huge roles in how we perceive a given color or texture of a prototype object.

Just some of the factors involved. SO, basically it boils down to "accurate according to WHOM?" You have to define SOME sort of standard, and for scale model judging, going by the submitted packet is about as close as you're gonna get.

Reminds me of something I just saw on "The Great War" YouTube channel, about Russian military uniforms in WWI... Basically the Russians had literally THOUSANDS of different types of uniforms, as there was great differentiation not only between different jobs, positions, echelons, etc but even between different units, different regions or areas that a particular soldier came from even within a unit, etc. Basically every kind of differentiation you can think of had its own uniform or some changes to make it unique for that particular difference. Then you throw in the differences between factories; all were making uniforms to be a particular color, but depending on the dye process the colors came out everywhere from a muddy brownish-green to a light greenish tan... some were dyed too long others not long enough, too strong a dye or too weak a dye was used, differences in hue of the dye provided by the producer of the dye, etc. So even though a given factory might be producing "X" uniform, in a particular "Y" color, it might turn out different shades in different batches...

Later! OL J R
The X-87B Cruise Basselope-- THE Ultimate Weapon in the arsenal of Homeland Security and only $52 million per round!
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