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For my first shuttle build, an airfix model to be Discovery, I want to know what users use as the color of the ET and the intertank details and LO2 lines. I want the colors to mach as closely as phisaccaly possible to the real thing. This thread had a really excellent ET color, the type I'm looking for:Airfix vs. Minicraft 1/144

Thank you

Edited by apollo11
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In a word, there is no exact color. Reason being is the ET tank shade is a moving target as the foam used on the tanks darkens from exposure to UV light. The longer the tank has been foamed, the darker it tends to get. Lighter patches appear from areas where foam was applied later, where patches were done or where the rind (surface) of the foam was sanded down, exposing the under layer of foam with brighter coloring. Plus, the foam recipie has changed a little over the years. Older tanks got a lot darker in brown shades then the current ones, which tend to stick more to a burnt orange coloring. So, to do a tank, best thing to do is pick one picture of a shuttle stack and match as close as possible to that picture. You will get about as close as anyone else to a proper looking ET shade.

That being said, for my last shuttle model (STS-117) I tried to come up with a simplified ET color recipie using pre-mixed colors as much as possible or mixes of just two colors compared to my previous effort where I did more color mixing using three Model Master colors. Reason for that is I had to paint a 1/72 scale tank and I knew I was going to run out if I custom mixed. The colors I used came from the Floquil Model Railroad color line.

Main ET tank color was Floquil SP Daylight Orange mixed with Freightcar brown. Floquil UP Orange was also utilized for the intertank region (UP and SP orange shades are close to one another and might work for some tanks without mixing). Altering how much brown and how much orange is used can result in different shadings and I will more then likely use this formula on future tanks for models I build. The yellow patches were done with UP Armor Yellow, although there can be even brighter foam shades on a tank as sanded foam or recently applied foam can almost look almost a butter yellow shade (or the shade of uncooked pancake batter).

Now if you plan to do an old tank, Testors Model Master Sloth brown in their fantasy color line is a very good match to the older brown shades seen on those tanks. Again mixing it with an orange or yellow shade can result in some different shadings for different tanks, depending on what your research comes up with.

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