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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Color variations with distance
vicmeister
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: October 03, 2013
KitMaker: 22 posts
AeroScale: 19 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 08:16 PM UTC
Hello - I have quite a few 1/144 military aircraft model kits which I am starting to assemble. My question is regarding the differences in colors if a person is viewing an aircraft up close vs one from a distance. I know there is a difference. How can I paint a 1/144 scale aircraft to realistically portray it as though from a distance? Thanks all
Jessie_C
_VISITCOMMUNITY
British Columbia, Canada
Joined: September 03, 2009
KitMaker: 6,965 posts
AeroScale: 6,247 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 08:23 PM UTC
The general rule of thumb is to add in some white to lighten the colours up a bit.

Google for "Scale Effect" but be aware that you're opening up a can of worms because it's very subjective. Let's say you have a model airliner with a 1 ft long fuselage. Looking at it from the nose, the tail is 144 scale feet away from you, so you'd expect it to look lighter, but what happens when you turn your model around?

In the end, paint your model the way it looks good to you. You're the one who's going to be looking at it the most
vicmeister
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: October 03, 2013
KitMaker: 22 posts
AeroScale: 19 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 08:57 PM UTC
I like the point you have made as well as your advice. Thanks
astursimmer
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Joined: July 22, 2015
KitMaker: 36 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 06, 2015 - 09:31 PM UTC
Hi Vic,
As jessica says, paint your model as you find it good.
I am of the opinión, "scale effect" does not exist. As an amateur photographer I am more sure the problema we have is that our models look darker because we look at them usually in normal INTERIOR lightning, which is, compared to daylight intensity...a dark room. The less ambient light available, the darker the color perception. You can check the same happening when playing with the exposure settings in a camera. The "historic" problem of good model lightning for taking pictures must come out of some reason.

Also as an engineer, I looked for but did not find any technical or scientifical evidence for the repeated mantra "smaller object reflects less light than bigger ones", and how this should affect color perception.

More esotheric is the theory that in the far distance the atmospheric influence lightens the color due to light difussion ...yes that's true but it is valid at distances where real objects are not visible any more because they bacome tiny!. Imagine an object 1 meter wide at 1 meter distance from you. This is the "model". Now put the original object for the model, 35 times bigger, 35m away. Your size perception from you POV is the "same" for both model and original. Can you believe the air inbetween you and the original, only on 35m, will change the color? At least anything you can perceive?.

Kind Regards
Nacho