Color of Space Shuttle fuel tank

Is there a spray paint that's roughly the color
of the space shuttle fuel tank? (I don't own an airbrush).
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Testor MM Rust is very close if not right on for the fuel tank color.
Rusty White Flagship Models Inc.
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Rusty White
An oxide red primer suitable for plastics would be really close. There used to be some in model railroad paints, too.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
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Red oxide primer is, in various shades depending upon manufacturer many times. Weren't some tanks painted white? You coud also look for automobile touch-up paints. There's more than likely a number of rusty brown shades available.
foo wrote:
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The VERY earliest space shuttle missions had white painted fuel tanks until the engineers realized it took several thousand pounds of paint to cover the fuel tank. From then on the tank was left the primer color it had from the manufacturer.
Rusty White Flagship Models Inc.
frank wrote:
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Rusty White
Well that was the main reason. The *other* reason was that a certain species of woodpecker was also poking holes through the insulating paint. Cant hurt birds ya know.... (what a guy from nasa told me a while back)
Notice also that the ice problem didnt really manifest itself until they stopped painting (insulating) the external tank...
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The shuttle external tank is covered in an insular foam which is sprayed on. I've been up close to the tank to see it and photograph it. Its texture is rough so a flat color would be more appropriate. Ironically, the foam when sprayed on is a cream color. When exposed to air and humidity, it quickly oxidizes into the familiar rust/orange color we see. I've built the kit a couple of times. I gave a finished kit to my brother in law who works on the shuttle project in Huntsville, AL and worked the Cape. It sits in his office and, I am proud to say, has gotten favorable comments from a few NASA astronauts. (Okay bragging over).
The color is really best captured in various shades as the foam oxidizes unevenly. The best mix is MM rust (or equivalent) mixed into random lighter shades by adding various percentages of yellow (MM Yellow is a good start). I began with a ratio of 4:1 of rust to yellow and lighted by adding more yellow from there as needed. Best bet is to get a good quality photograph and compare your kit to it as you go. No tank is identical to any other, so if you are modeling a specific STS mission, get accurate photos. You can find them for each mission on the NASA manned space flight website. The yellow trim around the middle top third of the tank and covering the outside piping is the reverse ratio of 4:1 yellow to rust. Don't forget to use the same color on the piping on the lower portions of the raised O-ring coverings at the thrust end of the SRB's.
Here's a good source to start:
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Of course, there are thousands more to be found with a simple google search.
Hope this helps.
Kaliste Saloom IPMS/Acadiana Plastic Modelers Lafayette, LA USA
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