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Old 04-05-2016, 04:13 AM   #1
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Default Federal Standard Colors

Greetings.....Some posts I've read are to do with the correct colors painted on diecast planes to match the exact colors used on the real aircraft.

Having some experience with color usage in Photoshop there is a general standard disclaimer in the graphics arts world...and that is....well below is one way that explains it:



IMO if you don't have a way to physically match the color you perceive to see online to the actual article...by perhaps using a color chip or swatch in person, then the chances are you will be off.

In the case, for example, of a post about the correct colors of the F-22 Raptor.....from being no where near a Raptor in person....and the lack of the true Federal Standard color code......I would put some trust in the realm of plastic model companies for a best guess if not the exact color codes used. Perhaps since these companies go to great efforts to be as detailed as possible....I would suspect they have a relationship with the correct government sources for reliable information. To that end, Revell produces the F-22 Raptor Model Kit. They state that the colors used are: FS36375, FS36251, FS36176.

Below a links to sources related to the Federal Standard colors:

Federal Standard Color Chart | www.FederalStandardColor.com

http://www.ramlin.com/public_ftp/FED-STD-595C.pdf


Also for a historic perspective into the development of the F-22:

http://www.f22fighter.com/AffordableStealth.pdf

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Old 04-05-2016, 07:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

To all camouflage schemes of the USAF and USN the FS numbers are known so for brands like HM it isn't hard to check these and have it replicated by reputable paint manufacturers.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard from Rotterdam View Post
To all camouflage schemes of the USAF and USN the FS numbers are known so for brands like HM it isn't hard to check these and have it replicated by reputable paint manufacturers.
However, you can't just use FS color numbers as is on model aircraft. You have to account in the scale effect. And it's unknown how much of an scale effect model paint manufacturers are putting into their paints. I suspect this is why some diecast manufacturers have trouble with the colors. Instead of testing out paints to see what color on the scale model best compares to the real aircraft, they just go with the FS number of the bottle.

Last edited by AIRWOLF; 04-05-2016 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Colors and it's various intricacies in formulating, usage, and presentation has many tentacles....Here is information on Scale Effect:

Color Scale Effects in Modeling

With color...it's subjectivism from many considerations could go on and on. Where does it end? I suppose in the end, you either like or dislike what ends up being shipped to you.

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Old 04-05-2016, 03:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard from Rotterdam View Post
To all camouflage schemes of the USAF and USN the FS numbers are known so for brands like HM it isn't hard to check these and have it replicated by reputable paint manufacturers.
Where to find those FS numbers for all US schemes?
I'm looking the numbers of an USMC AH1-W Cobra in grey, green and black as I do not trust the model makes choices.
I was not able to find a reliable source for that.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Here you go.....look at pages 139 and 140 of the PDFs document itself...don't go by the page count of your document viewer:

http://www.daveplattmodels.com/Links...-STD-2161B.pdf

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Old 04-05-2016, 06:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blues Boy View Post
With color...it's subjectivism from many considerations could go on and on. Where does it end? I suppose in the end, you either like or dislike what ends up being shipped to you.

Blues Boy
Undoubtedly there will be some variation depending on how the color is "interpreted" and sometimes there is no definitive answer. I suppose for the collector it's a concern when the shade of color deviates too far. For instance if it's generally acknowledged a particular scheme should appear dark green and then the diecast manufacturer paints it a very light green.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

This is the MIL-STD-2161C of 2014. It includes the F-35 paint schemes....surprisingly I'm not see the F-22:

http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD...61C.049692.pdf

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Old 04-05-2016, 06:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Eagle Flyer...IMO opinion, your example points to Quality Control at the factory. Sometimes, it's an overlooked case of changes in the color dye lot for a particular batch run. Maybe too much tint...or...not enough tint added to the paint mix..etc and no time to do redo's for fear of the dreaded shipping schedule slip.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blues Boy View Post
Colors and it's various intricacies in formulating, usage, and presentation has many tentacles....Here is information on Scale Effect:

Color Scale Effects in Modeling

With color...it's subjectivism from many considerations could go on and on. Where does it end? I suppose in the end, you either like or dislike what ends up being shipped to you.

Blues Boy
Sure, scale effect is something to consider but as you say this is subjective to the person viewing the models. To rule out any discussion I would say: stick to the FS numbers. That way you get what was painted onto the 1/1 scale aircraft (provided the paint made for the model was correct).

It will look like the jet came straight from the paint shop and I personally am fine with that.

When I built plastic kits I always used either Revell or Humbrol paint and stuck to the FS numbers. Sure, dark gun metal grey on an F-16 looked darker in 1/48 than on the jets I saw flying from Dutch airfields, but that was before I learned about weathering and applying washes.

All in all I still think they looked very realistic. Even if according to the scale effect they were a tad too dark.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Collector#1 View Post
Where to find those FS numbers for all US schemes?
I'm looking the numbers of an USMC AH1-W Cobra in grey, green and black as I do not trust the model makes choices.
I was not able to find a reliable source for that.
Search online for MIL-STD. I don't have the documents or links here in the office but you should find plenty of info on different schemes. I know both the USAF and US Navy have documents online with detailed info on various camouflage paint schemes and their respective FS numbers.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRWOLF View Post
However, you can't just use FS color numbers as is on model aircraft. You have to account in the scale effect. And it's unknown how much of an scale effect model paint manufacturers are putting into their paints. I suspect this is why some diecast manufacturers have trouble with the colors. Instead of testing out paints to see what color on the scale model best compares to the real aircraft, they just go with the FS number of the bottle.
Yes I fully agree, the scale effect is something often forgotten about.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blues Boy View Post
Here you go.....look at pages 139 and 140 of the PDFs document itself...don't go by the page count of your document viewer:

http://www.daveplattmodels.com/Links...-STD-2161B.pdf

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard from Rotterdam View Post
Search online for MIL-STD. I don't have the documents or links here in the office but you should find plenty of info on different schemes. I know both the USAF and US Navy have documents online with detailed info on various camouflage paint schemes and their respective FS numbers.
Thanks to the tips to search for MIL-STD 2161.
However, I got only revisions A through C and could'nt find the scheme, I was looking for: Marines AH-1W with grey, green and black as of 1990s, similar to OV-10D schemes.
Plastic kit manufacturers unfortunately contradictory color definitions.
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Federal Standard Colors-0306075.jpg   Federal Standard Colors-1856922.jpg  
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRWOLF View Post
However, you can't just use FS color numbers as is on model aircraft. You have to account in the scale effect. And it's unknown how much of an scale effect model paint manufacturers are putting into their paints. I suspect this is why some diecast manufacturers have trouble with the colors. Instead of testing out paints to see what color on the scale model best compares to the real aircraft, they just go with the FS number of the bottle.

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Old 04-06-2016, 03:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blues Boy View Post
This is the MIL-STD-2161C of 2014. It includes the F-35 paint schemes....surprisingly I'm not see the F-22:

http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD...61C.049692.pdf

Blues Boy
Found this for USAF aircraft:
Tech Order TO 1-1-4
Maybe a higher revision has the F-22 included?
MIL-STD-2161 seems to be for USN and USMC.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Not a direct answer, but you might want to browse on this site:

Resources

I came across a 1970s document discussing camo patterns on USArmy choppers so possibly they aso provide info on USMC schemes.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Collector#1....it would be best to contact the Public Affairs Officer (PAO), of the particular Squadron of interest. Perhaps...if they do not know the FS numbers themselves, then they may point you to a contact in the airframes department. The Navy / USMC MIL-STD-2161 can be deviated from by request from any individual Squadron. The colors for the aircraft mentioned in the Standard are considered to be a set baseline and guidelines. I site the following from the Standard:











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Old 09-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Updating with new link found for docs pertaining to color codes used for U.S. Navy & Marines aircraft.....(some info previously discussed in this thread)

(all PDF links work....best to tap on the "PDF" icon next to the document name)

It is my understanding that HM has the associated paint chip swatches of these color codes, yet some colors don't come out completely right as the paint chip samples after applied and dried on the model.

https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsDocDet...t_number=37297

Btw, there is a mil-std-2161(AS) Rev with year 1985....however this copy remains elusive and can not be found. Good luck if anyone cares to try and find it.

Federal Standard Colors-image.jpg

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Old 10-05-2019, 02:32 AM   #19
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

This turns out to be an interesting article done years ago....

https://theaviationist.com/2012/08/30/have-glass/

It always amazed me that HM and AF1 stick to gray FS36170 versus the brownish radar-absorbing paint used for F-35's and apparently F-16's.

The color scheme is called "Have Glass 5"...what FS color code(s) would that be?


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Old 10-11-2019, 01:05 PM   #20
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

FYI to color codes ....... in case you didn't know, there was an industry wide major change to color code standards. An example of new color codes designations using F-35 colors......(used to be FS36375 and FS36170)


Federal Standard Colors-image.jpg


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Old 10-11-2019, 05:00 PM   #21
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Default Re: Federal Standard Colors

Maybe I can get my gray SUV to look like fifth generation fighter yet!
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