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Tomcat camo question


burner12
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I am building a 1/72 usn tomcat, and would like to know for a 80s style camo with light ghost grey and white with the waves on the sides are the waves the same on either side or random since you can't see it at the same time?and was that the correct grey color?and also after airbrushing it i have a lot of dust on some areas can you get that off by sanding?

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I think you have the schemes confused. The USN gray/white scheme that was used from the 50's-80's is 36440 gull gray over insignia white. You can use gloss or flat colors, but they ended up "flat" pretty quickly once they went to sea! If the camo demacation lines on the sides of the aircraft are wavy, generally it was rather random and no attempt was made to make each side perfectly match the other. Those wavy lines could also be soft or hard edge, depending on the time frame and airplane; use your references to help you decide which is right for your build.

 

The overall grey schemes (no white on the bottom) used from the 80's onward use different grays other than the gull gray. There are several different schemes; so once more, check your references for the proper FS numbers. Kit and decal instructions are pretty good at getting the FS numbers correct, but do NOT rely on their color drawings to accurately depict those gray colors! They're mainly there to show you where the different colors go and not to duplicate the actual finish (though they're reasonablyy close usually).

 

Airliners.net is a very good place to see a lot of color pics of whatever subject you need to research. It's a good place to see how the real colors look on the real planes. Hope this helps!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Richard,

 

I was a catapult crew chief serving on board USN aircraft carriers during the 80's. I do not recall any WAVE patterens on the aircraft during that period. Basically the grey was faded into the white where they meet. I served both on the west coast and east coast ships. All the paint on these aircraft was flat. dull as hell, no gloss or semi-gloss. As a side not, some aircraft still were painted in the all white paint patteren with very colorful numbers and squarden markings. Check your references to be sure.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Chris

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Richard,

 

I was a catapult crew chief serving on board USN aircraft carriers during the 80's. I do not recall any WAVE patterens on the aircraft during that period. Basically the grey was faded into the white where they meet. I served both on the west coast and east coast ships. All the paint on these aircraft was flat. dull as hell, no gloss or semi-gloss. As a side not, some aircraft still were painted in the all white paint patteren with very colorful numbers and squarden markings. Check your references to be sure.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Chris

 

The wavy lower boundary seemed to disappear in about 1978 or so. The early tomcats sometimes had a shape wavy line as if they were painted the old fashioned way with a rubber mat to cover the white/gray.

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Hello Richard,

- FWIW, over on the "Moving Targets" website forum, user "Clave" has posted a series of profile artworks of numerous Tomcats ranging from the mid 70's up to 1990. They show the variations of the Tomcat's schemes from era to era of the Gull Gray & White to overall Gull Gray to a Ghost Gray looking scheme. It does not look like he has included on this page a representation of the "blue-gray" scheme they went to in the later half of the 1980's. It is possible that Clave has these schemes/artwork posted elsewhere though.

 

Tomcat Artwork from Clave

 

- The one piece of advice that I thoroughly agree with is "check your references." While I cannot speak from an in-person experience (I only spent one full day cruising on the Kittyhawk from San Fransisco to San Diego in 1986, Tomcats and all during flight ops), I can say that I just plowed through 7 references and nowhere was I able to find photos of active duty Tomcats in an overall white paint scheme. I did find repeated shots of the "B" prototype/Super Tomcat in overall white with red graphics. These references might help you out better:

 

Squadron/Signals's F-14 Tomcat in Action, No. 1032

Squadron/Signals's F-14 Tomcat in Action re-print, No. 1105

Detail & Scale, F-14A & B, Vol. 9

Detail & Scale Colors & Markings of the F-14 Tomcat, Vol. 2

World Airpower Journal, Vol. 7/Winter 1991

World Airpower Journal, Vol. 19 & 20/Winter 1994 & Spring 1995

 

Best of luck nailing down exactly what you want and hope this helps.

 

 

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That looks like they used a "retro" scheme (60-70's) of 36440 gull gray over insignia white with a hard edged wavy demarcation line as an homage for the retirement. This was probably it's first scheme "in service" in the early 70's. Note how the rudders are masked off and painted white. You'll also find all of the flap, spoiler, and aileron surfaces on the wing tops are painted that way too. I love those early schemes. They're much more colorful than the later ones!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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That looks like they used a "retro" scheme (60-70's) of 36440 gull gray over insignia white with a hard edged wavy demarcation line as an homage for the retirement. This was probably it's first scheme "in service" in the early 70's. Note how the rudders are masked off and painted white. You'll also find all of the flap, spoiler, and aileron surfaces on the wing tops are painted that way too. I love those early schemes. They're much more colorful than the later ones!

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

Actually surprisingly I have about 5 pics of this aircraft and the top control surfaces aren't white, I know it surprised me too.

 

Kinda hard to see from this angle but look at the port flaps

 

345090920_9d05ea34f5.jpg

Edited by burner12
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IMHO, Gull Gray out of the bottle often seems to need some "scale effect" white added, lest it look too dark gray/greenish and contrasty with the white, especially in the smaller scales.

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...you think the grey is too dark? I used FS36440...

 

I dunno...here's a brand new one, c.1973:

 

http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA---Navy/...9c27d2f7a80b591

 

The hard edge of that demarcation line may also increase the apparent contrast. Eyeball your model in different light levels and see what you think. Very subtle issue, which is what makes this stuff more art than science. My comment on this color was generic. Personally, I think your model looks great & wouldn't change it. Your call.

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I dunno...here's a brand new one, c.1973:

 

http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA---Navy/...9c27d2f7a80b591

 

The hard edge of that demarcation line may also increase the apparent contrast. Eyeball your model in different light levels and see what you think. Very subtle issue, which is what makes this stuff more art than science. My comment on this color was generic. Personally, I think your model looks great & wouldn't change it. Your call.

 

I agree I have been mainly viewing it inside, and not in natural sunlight , which is where most planes stay. So when I take it out into the sun the color changes dramatically. So I wouldn't touch it either, plus I used what the directions said FS36440.

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