F-86 Sabre Colour question...

SpitfireAce

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Tom
I am building a 1/48 F86 and not sure of the colour to paint the fuselage (very old kit without instructions). I used Tamiya’s acrylic ‘Chrome Silver’ but it seems not quite right (I could be wrong here). Does anyone know what colour it should be painted? I usually use Tamiya paints but open to others.

Cheers,

Tom
 

Jakko

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In US Air Force service? Those were usually bare aluminium, as far as I know, which means that using a single colour will look unrealistic. What you want to do is paint different panels in different shades of metallic, to give minor differences in colour between the panels. I found this fairly easy (if somewhat laborious) to do by mixing a small amount of a different colour into the metallic paint — for example, a touch of medium grey to make it a little duller. Apply this to different panels at random, then add maybe a just bit of blue to alter the tone again and also paint random panels in that, and repeat as necessary. After a while, start with some fresh metallic paint. The trick is not to make the difference in colour very great, but just enough that you can see it.

Also, I’ve observed that in the real world, panels on aircraft tend to display the same colours symmetrically. That is to say, if a certain panel on the left wing is darker than those around it, then that same panel on the right wing is likely to also be darker. I suppose this may be because those kinds of panels are made in the same factory at about the same time, but I could be wrong :smiling3:
 

SpitfireAce

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Jakko, thanks very much for the information. (BTW it will be in Canadian AF colours). This is exactly what I was looking for - the (slightly) different colouring is what I see when looking up pictures of the Sabre but did not realize what/why it was. I did see one YouTube build video which showed the different panel painting steps but there was no voice description (only music) so I couldn't tell what the person was doing, or why. Your description makes perfect sense. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise. BTW, I am building the model for an elderly friend and neighbour who flew the F86 (V) with the RCAF in the 50's. He then worked for the airlines and has model airplanes of all the modern (at the time) jet liners. But, he has no Sabre model! (until now). I hope I can make him proud. I have a signed photo of him flying in formation when he was a Squadron Leader during his time with the RCAF.

Thanks again Jakko,

Tom
 

Jakko

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Good luck :smiling3: Like I said, it’s not difficult but it’s laborious, especially if you’re going to spray the model because you'll need to mask off the panels. Hand-painting is easily doable if you’ve got a steady enough hand to follow the model’s panel lines.

Thinking about spraying now, I suspect that if you want to do the whole model, you’re probably best off spraying individual random panels with one colour mix, then mask those, spray other random panels with another colour and mask them too, etc. until you feel you’ve done enough and then apply a final mix to the rest of the model.
 
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