In regular light, red turns nearly black at a distance against the sky. The
highest visibility covering I ever saw was zebra stripes about 2.5" wide on
the bottom of a plane. Even when you couldn't actually see the stripes,
there was something about it that gave you almost perfect orientation. It
was really strange looking when the plane was just a little dot in the sky
yet you knew which it was turned.
For closer in work, the darker fluorescents in Ultracote can't be beat. Big
patches of them against light backgrounds are visible forever. Be warned,
though, that the colors will fade a lot more than the others.
I like white, with trims. White still looks dark against a bright sky, when
you are looking at the bottom of the wing. In a dark sky, the white is
good, because it stands out brightly.
I put nothing on the bottom of the wing, so it will have good contrast,
compared to the decorated top of the wing. It helps for attitude
recognition. On the top, I use a dark blue (any dark would work) starburst
On the leading edge, I put a red stripe. It should be no taller or lower
than covering the part you would see, looking at it from straight on and
level. When you tilt it up, you see white below the red. When you tilt it
down, you see white above the red. This helps to get the plane on a good
glide slope while landing.
A few stripes on the fuselage and rudder, but don't over do it. The main
thing you want to see is that starburst, so you know which way, and how much
it is banking.
Give it a try. It works for me.
I like orange, red, yellow, and white. Black makes good accents, and
you can use shades of blue to make a snappy looking pattern with the
hotter colors. One of my favorites is yellow and purple monokote, with
purple on the nose and yellow on the tail, with some kind of interesting
transition in the middle, and purple on the bottom and yellow on the top
of the wing, with a nice purple pattern on the leading edge.
Using such a pattern, you will see dark colors when it is flying toward
you and light when it is flying away. Also, the dark is on the bottom,
so when the wing gets bright you know the plane rolled over.
The best axiom to follow is light on the top, dark on the bottom with lots
of contrast between the two. Personally, I like yellow or white on the top,
and red or dark blue on the bottom. Trim graphics, such as sunbursts or
checkerboards, should be big and contrast strongly with the background
color. Fluorescent colors work well, but as a previous poster noted, they
do fade. I have a Tower Uproar with the top in yellow, bottom in blue, and
fluorescent orange wingtips that is very easy to see.
If you are using trim to help in orientation. I have read as well as
experienced the fact that they must be at least 2" wide to be seen by the eye
at long range. Smaller stripes and trim look cool up close but not much help at
max range. I love a overal yellow airplane with one wing with the outboard 1/3
of one wing pannel red top and bottom. Thats how all my quicky planes are
Three words... Location, Location.... No, wait, that's real estate! :-)
Contrast, Contraast, Contrast. You need to set up the color scheme such that
you can identify its orientation. The wife tells me that i shouldn't wear
blue with green and I don't get that, so I won't offer much in the way of
Is it rightside up or upside down? is it coming toward or away from you?
is it climbing or descending?
I basically use white or bright yellow and accent it with darker colors
in different patterns on the top and bottom of the wing. the wife desn't
like the schemes I pick either, but I can SEE them in the air.
One thing I tried early on that did NOT work was putting different width
stripes on the underside of the wing in an effort to be able to see coming
and going. the net effect on my vision was that it "looked" like it was in a
strange attitude and I wanted to make the stripes look the same size. I
don't do this anymore. :-)
Hope this helps!
refer to the section "Colours & Visibility for models + Paint Charts "
preferably after first reading section "Vision - a) Colour Blindness & b) Sonic vision for the blind.
Colour Vision Test
Vischeck - Colour Blind (even partially?) auto adjust web page colours. "
many men are Red - Green with fewer being Blue - Green blind and simply
cannot see many colours at a distance, especially against variegated
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