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F-16 "Have Glass" Paint Scheme


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Several F-16 aircraft have been painted with a similar type technological paint (radar dispersion & absorption) that are on the F-22 and F-35 jets. The issue is, it is nearly impossible to tell what base colors were used to make the paint. We have read that FS 36170 could be one of the base paints used - can anyone confirm that ? And if it is 2 tone, what is the other base color ?

We know that the original F-16 colors (other than that used in aggressor squadrons) were painted in 2 or 3 tone schemes. Does anyone have knowledge that the same base colors were used for the "Have Glass" scheme ? If NOT the same base colors, anyone venture a guess as to the base colors used on the new paint jobs ?

Once we get the information, we can develop the Radar Disp. paint for the F-16 using the same technology we have for the F-22 and F-35 paints.

Any help would be appreciated in this project.

Martin Cohen
Tru-Color Paint
P.O. Box 74524
Phoenix, AZ 85087-4524

email: tru.colorpaint1@yahoo.com

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The pictures we have seen appear to be of planes based in Tulsa, OK. Is there any other base where these aircraft are stationed ? The pictures show a 2-tone paint scheme, but a person cannot tell if the nose (a very light shade of gray ?) also has the special properties like the main portion of the jet. It seems the main color is darker than FS 36170, but again pictures are unreliable to give a definitive answer.


Anyone seen one of these up close and personal ?



Tru-Color Paint

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Hi Martin,


Have Glass 5 Vipers are also stationed with the 148th FW in Minnesota, 169th FW in South Carolina, and 85th TES at Eglin AFB, Florida They're the overall FS36170 color as far as I know. The radome is FS36118, which is the usual radome paint. They can't use the same radar absorbing paint on the radome, or most other conventional paints, due to the metallic components in most paints...it'll make the radar very unhappy.


Haven't seen one up close and personal yet, but I'm told the new paint doesn't hold up very well and is constantly flaking off and needing attention. A lot of them look pretty beat up already. Not sure if that's the paint itself, or the new "environmentally friendly" primers being used on aircraft.



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Thanks for the info. We feel more confident to proceed with making the FS 36170 paint we already have into the Have Glass scheme. We will announce the stock number and release date after the first of the New Year for modelers wanting to paint replicas of the new paint jobs of those F-16 aircraft having this scheme. Sounds like the maintenance crews have their hands full with keeping the surface intact.



Tru-Color Paint

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I have to smile (sardonically) at the irony of the USAF having the same problem we modelers are having.....the more "environmentally friendly" the paint, the more it sucks at adhering to a surface! :smiley13:


GIL :smiley16:

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I work Transient Alert at Shaw AFB, SC and have had a couple of jets with the new paint come through. As stated eariler, they are one shade overall with the radome painted in "normal" F-16 paint & color.


The paint didn't look that bad, we've seen a lot worse of the normal F-16 schemes, but one reason why the paint doesn't hild up is due to the type of soap used for the 90-day washes, it just doesn't work that well. I had that problem when I crewed A-10s during my 20 years in the USAF; the soap we had to use barely took off the grime.


Hope this info helps,



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Looks like simple Gunmetal to me.


Either the Vallejo Gunmetal-



Or the Magnesium-




And you're good.


The problem is that the F-16 cannot have the same type of RAM 'Top Coat' as the F-35 because it's RAM is not baked into the skins.


The difference in appearance is pretty obvious-




The way we approach the F-22 and F-35 is what is wrong because it is basically applying a candy coat metal flake atop a solid color which is the exact opposite what it intuitive to the above photo. The mirror finish is the underlying color and something is applied onto it which makes it look dim and/or flat.


Indeed, I would go with the idea that what happens on a stealth fighter is actually something like this-



Whereby you have a 'unification coat' that takes material differences in electrical impedance values and puts them under a metallic base that acts to make the entire airframe behave like a single resistance circuit pathway. And then overtop this is put a _tinted_ topcoat which may have RAM (though it's not metallic because it doesn't oxidize) but whose purpose is actually akin to car wax in preserving the underlying metallic coat.


Stealth does not work the way people think it does. The Mission Data Files are programming keys for specific chassis-numbered radar system performance variables (Doppler, Phase Coherence, Scan/Antenna emission lobe structures) that an active, onboard, cancellation system then generates an opposed load to nullify on the jet. See: Teal Parrot and 'Fuzzy Balls'.


This is what is important about having the 'Stealth Baked Right In'. Because it's not a coating or a passive absorber, it's a radiofrequency grid that responds to the waveform as it impinges on the airframe, foot by inch, to cancel it. You bake in passive RAM, especially metallics based, and you have no way to update or change it and a good chance that it will form a Galvanic cell which corrodes the underlying aluminum in the composite stack besides. It would be a step _backwards_.


Within a more advanced schema, the ONLY thing that the surface treatments need to do is minimize the 'fuzz' of residual current values what can backscatter from surface discontinuities as creaping/surface waves.


From a modeling standpoint, we should be doing what the LM and Northrop people do: Base Coat with a Bronzed or German silver like this-






And then teach modelers to use a three phase system:


1. Prime And Mask.

With Aggressor or Sea Grey RAM color.


2. Base Coat.

With metallics.


3. Top Coat.

With Dark Gull Grey in a Clear Dope, similar to a filtering tint or ink on figures and armor.


You want the metal color to be flattened and dimmed but not overcoated or turned into a candy or opalescent color because that is not what it looks like, on the jet.


All the Color Systems that I have seen make the mistake of treating the colors as a high reflectance opaque solid in which the pigments are somehow supposed to be metal flakes.


Anyone who has seen Have Glass in person knows that this is bogus. It is very rough. Almost like an antislip coating run amok.


You don't get mirror reflectance from that. Mirrors are smooth.


One last thing: Having built the Kittyhawk F-35 in the dim and distant past and seen the Meng, I can tell you that the rough surface finish of the plastic is likely derived from spark removal of metal from the tool and an unpolished final state that the tool is left in, to preserve the grossly inaccurate RAM detail. This means injected plastic comes out of the tool with a pebbly/orangepeel, surface texture which is NOT what you want to be applying metallic colors to. And it is hard to sand smooth, so long as you have to preserve the RAM tape.


We need a model manufacturer to take the CAD base for either of these two kits and re-tweak it, without the 4" scale thickness RAM strips, to release a followon with recessed lines, like the Hasegawa 1/72nd model has. Then we could rub down the fuselage to properly prep the model for a metallic finish without losing the mask lines needed to tape off the RAM.


Paint the RAM first, then mask with precut tape segments around the recessed lines, then paint the base and top coats before removing the tape and satin coating the lot is the key to getting a really accurate finish on these new stealth jets.

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