Correct colours - jet age USN aircraft

I'm new to modeling and have some questions about some colours. I starting with the Tamiya 1:48 F4D-1 Skyray kit.

The instructions say to use Tamiya AS16 (USAF light grey) for the upper surfaces and AS20 (USN insignia white) for the lower surfaces.

I have read that the upper surfaces should actually be FS16440 Gloss grey, which seems correct to me.

The lower white colour, however, seems wrong. Using AS20 spray pack, the colour seems far too grey. Trying to ascertain the correct colour I see that there appear to be two insignia whites: FS17875 and FS37875.

I'm planning to use Mr Hobby paints with an airbrush and am confused as to what colour is correct. FS37875 seems correct and Mr Hobby describes it as gloss white (316). FS17875 appears to be too grey but equates to insignia white and I think the equivalent Mr Hobby paint would be flat white (11).

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Not having reference on the grey to hand, but -

with the white, the first digit of the FS colours/colors - 1 = Gloss 2 = semigloss, 3 = matt. So FS17875 and FS 37875 would both be the same tone of white, but the first is gloss and the latter matt.

heh, I've just finished a Trumpeter F4U4 underside in FS37875 and tomorrow will turn it into FS*1*7857 ready for decalling ;-)

Also got a Ford in the stash, nice Meteor decals for it :-)


Reply to
Mark Bivens

The Skyray was built before the military and industry had really fadeproof paints. So they changed color and faded a lot when exposed to sunlight and elements. Any Skyrays you see now would have years of exposure. Do NOT believe colors you see on printed (by printing press) photos in books or magazines. These photo colors were not accurate to start with, and varied from run to run.

Grays and colors generally lost saturation with exposure, chalking up. Most whites didn't change color too much- they just went from gloss to flat. Color chips are supposed to represent finish as freshly painted. If you represent it with a little weathering, you don't have to worry as much about the exact color.

Reply to
Don Stauffer

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