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Color of Aircraft Drop Tanks.

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  • Member since
    December, 2012
Color of Aircraft Drop Tanks.
Posted by rmontesb on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:05 PM

Hello fellow modellers!

It is very frequent that the instructions of a model aircraft kit indicate to paint the fuel drop tanks in the same color of the underside (belly and underwings) of the model.

Some of the fuel drop tanks parts come with a solid molded segment of whatever holds or attaches them to the aircraft representing the pylons/hard points.

My question is if the colors "must" match, or if the colors "should" vary (tone/shade). It seems to me that using exactly the same color (white, gray, blue, etc.) for the underside of the aircraft, as well as for the pylons and drop tanks tends to be a little unrealistic, unless the model is painted to represent a brand new/out of the factory aircraft.

As always, your comments will be highly appreciated.

Regards and happy modelling!

rmontesbAlien


 

On the bench (2015-11-06): Lindberg 1/48 JU87 Stuka, Hasegawa 1/72 A-6E Intruder and Starfix 1/48 (??) Messerschmitt BF-109 G.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:44 PM

You can do some variation in tone, especially on veteran combat aircraft. A well weathered aircraft could have newer tanks due to older ones being jettisoned in combat. Or vice versa, older painted or bare metal tanks could be seen on aircraft wearing a new paint scheme recently introduced. The sway braces should match the color of the pylon carrying the ordnance item. But they often have the tensioning pads that are a natural metal of one type or another. 

Have a look at photos of the aircraft that you are interested in modeling, and you can often find examples.  

 

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  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:46 PM

One important question would be the era, another the country.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 5:11 PM

Hello!

Researching my 1/72 A-4B Skyhawk, that was to be painted in the VFA-15 Valions scheme, I have noted that they have lovefully painted the squadron colours on the otherwise white tanks. That would suggest that the squadron didn't see those large drop tanks as a pure "throw-away" stuff. So as it usually is, a question like that shouldn't be solved theoretically, but you should rather try to find photos of a specific aircraft you're modelling, and those photos usually surprise you and can give you a lot of really cool modelling ideas. Good luck with your build and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 9:29 PM

Some examples of different drop tank schemes from the carrying aircraft. The F6F and F-18 have tanks from the older schemes. The F-4s look to have crossover solid gray tanks from the later scheme

 

 

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Friday, July 12, 2019 9:59 AM

RCAF Sabres in the three colour camo in Europe had drop tanks in either natural aluminum or they were painted PRU Blue.  Either way, the pylons were painted PRU Blue.

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