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Diecast Forums Forum 43 Diecast Zone

Posted By: Graeme Ogg
Posted On: Thursday April 11, 2019 at 8:14 AM
Ah yes, the well-known "scale effect"
This has been discussed on the forum before, and I've probably said all this already (I'm just hoping your long-term memory is measured in days or weeks. Or maybe milliseconds.)

Colours look less saturated when viewed from a distance, and when you are looking at a scale model it is like looking at a real car from much further away, so if the model is painted in the authentic colour of the real vehicle it can look too bright - or curiously enough, with a darker colour it can look too dark - because it should look weaker and less intense with distance).

Apparently people who build and/or paint models professionally take the genuine factory colour and lighten it by as much as 10-15% to allow for this scale weakening of the perceived colour.

That may be easy to do if you are mixing paint for use with a spray gun, and not so easy if you are using auto spray cans. One possible answer is to find the authentic colour in a shop with lots of paints for different car brands on display, then go along the shelves looking for something with a very similar tone but a shade or two lighter. Another trick is to apply the genuine colour over white primer rather than the recommended grey primer. Provided you don't apply too many heavy colour coats, the white undercoat can quite noticeably "lift" the overall shade.

Metallic grain is another problerm, of course. I've often had a problem buying metallics because although the can lids displayed showed the correct colour, they were all finished in a standardised fine grain, while the actual paint in the can had the metallic grain specified by the car manufacturer, which may be much coarser-looking and can really look crude and over-scale on a 1:43 model. Like tinsel on a Xmas tree. (In really specialised paint mixing shops you can actually select the size and shape of metallic grain that goes into the tin, as well as the exact shade, but that kind of profesional mixing can be pricey).

So reproducing a convincing shade and texture can get a bit complicated, and I can't really blame people if they throw up their hands and say "listen, I have a model of an XYZ Mark III and I've sprayed it in an authentic XYZ Mark III factory colour, so what's your problem? Just leave me alone, I'm happy with it!"

Anyway, unless you are really, REALLY committed to factory- authentic colours, getting a pleasing paint job on a model is a pretty subjective affair.

And if you don't believe me, just ask these guys ...

Go back to Diecast Forums Forum 43 Diecast Zone

Message thread:

1:43-scale color translations... by Joop Gisbers #25679
I 'd just be happy if fewer models were launched in black by John Quilter #25679.1
I think we have a wide variety of motivations in collecting. by John Kuvakas #25679.2
I think it is amazing that we have to become adult before we learn by Don Anderson #25679.2.1
Accurate colors on model cars. by Raymond Paszkiewicz #25679.3
Changing colors over time? (pic) Here are two toy cars from by David Holcombe #25679.3.1
I'm a yes and I'm a no. by Jani Bodmann #25679.3.2
I'm for color accuracy as much as possible, the chips are not always accurate but the best by Curtis Parisi #25679.4
Ah yes, the well-known "scale effect" by Graeme Ogg #25679.4.1
At least they're using the right colors! (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25679.4.1.1
Ah, you noticed. What a wide-awake chap you are. by Graeme Ogg #25679.
Someone...somewhere...understands! (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25679.
If you have the actual chips in hand that is one thing but if you by John Quilter #25679.4.2
Not all monitors are calibrated the same. This has a significant effect on how they portray colors. (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25679.4.2.1
And then there is the effect of indoor vs outdoor lighting. by Mark Lampariello #25679.5
I think that's a very wise decision. (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25679.5.1
Yes! Pink and green, that's the answer! (EOM) by Curtis Parisi #25679.5.2
Agree Mark and photograph a real car in full sun and then in shade ... by Chris Sweetman #25679.5.3
There are so many variables that it is not really possible to by Mike DeTorrice #25679.6
Well said, Mike. (EOM) by John Kuvakas #25679.6.1
I need you to make that speech to the rivet counters at the local NMRA club. (EOM) by Robert Bolin #25679.6.2

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