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"question painting canopies colors" Topic

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wardog09 Sep 2011 2:25 p.m. PST

just started painting 1/300 aircraft recently and i painted the canopies silver =transparant i thought
looking at pictures on web, aircraft canopies are painted blue or dark grey ,why these colours?
using the following paints what numbers to use for blue or grey
or what else you use

Windward09 Sep 2011 2:39 p.m. PST

Vallejo light blue as base.

Vallejo prussian blue as a wash along the bottoms of the frames, or canopy.

Vallejo pale blue as a highlight on tops of frames or canopies.

At 300th you might even do dashes of white as a second high light.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2011 3:32 p.m. PST

I've always liked a light blue, but to be honest if you look at in-flight photos, they most often appear black from all bar a dead-level side-on camera angle.

Mako1109 Sep 2011 4:41 p.m. PST

Yep, dark gray from most angles in color pics I've seen.

Sundance09 Sep 2011 5:35 p.m. PST

The blue sky doesn't necessarily reflect from the canopy as blue for a number of reasons. If you're looking dead from the side, you see the sky on the other side of the plane, not reflections from the canopy. If you go outside and look at the windshields of cars as they drive by you'll see what I mean. Same concept except car windows are tinted. Typically, I paint mine a light grey. Others use black or dark gray or dark blue. Some like the look of the light blue. Go with what you like.

Allen5709 Sep 2011 8:11 p.m. PST

I cant add anything to what other folks have said except that I tried the black look from photos and it just did not look right even though I know it is. There was a fellow on one of the aircombat wargame groups on Yahoo who was suggesting replacing the metal canopies with clear resin or super glue. I dont have that kind of talent but it is an interesting idea.


Dances with Clydesdales09 Sep 2011 8:29 p.m. PST

Gunmetal is what I use. Valejo makes a couple shades. Val 863(gunmetal grey), or Val 800(gunmetal blue).

Striker09 Sep 2011 10:12 p.m. PST

Someone on the GHQ forum did canopies in shades of white/gray. While probably not accurate it looked pretty nice.

Toaster10 Sep 2011 7:36 p.m. PST

I use silver with a transparent blue wash over it.


CAG 1911 Sep 2011 1:41 p.m. PST

GW Shadow Grey as a base
Black Wash to pick out the panel lines
Second coat of Shadow Grey
Vallejo Pale Blue highlight streaks



Jemima Fawr12 Sep 2011 6:34 a.m. PST

Black with a gunmetal highlight for me. As Dom says, canopies generally just look black from the one aircraft to another – so much so that the Canadians painted a fake 'canopy' in black on the underside of their CF-18s as a sneaky way of disorienting opponents during close-in dogfights. I actually saw this for myself from the cockpit of a Jet Provost (more than a match for a CF-18, I'm sure you'll agree) and thought it was very effective.

flicking wargamer13 Sep 2011 8:01 a.m. PST

F-16s have gold colored canopies, as do F-22s.

gweirda15 Sep 2011 6:59 a.m. PST

"…a fellow was suggesting replacing the metal canopies with super glue."

That would be me. I'll admit it's a tad fiddly, but does produce an interesting result (imo). I think the thing I like best about the look is the occassional glint that comes off of the polished surface. Here are a couple examples (1/600)…





The last (of the Hurricane) shows the wire-stub 'pilot' to eliminate the empty-cockpit, see-through look evident in the side-shot of the 109.

As far as tints for the real things go, I think the same could be done to the stupid-glue? dunno for sure…

Windward15 Sep 2011 11:25 a.m. PST

Gweirda, I suggest you seek medical help! :P

Wow I'm impressed, no way in Hell I would try to do it, but I must admit, the look is really quite good.

Here is a sample with my three blues cockpit method:


These are little hinky-dinky 1/600ths.

BTW I spray matt the aircraft,then hit the canopies with a dab of Future to make them glossy, so they glint as with Gweirda.

CAG 1916 Sep 2011 3:33 a.m. PST

Similar conversations that we had with Paul at Tumbling Dice last weekend. We have just been trying the same with the water effect gel withover a stub pilot figure for the F-4J canopies. and then painted in panel lines. A lot easier on the bigger models


wardog29 Nov 2015 4:22 p.m. PST

guys what do you use to paint the canopy frames with? .paint brushes are too big ?

Lion in the Stars29 Nov 2015 6:25 p.m. PST

Paint the whole area with the camo first, go back in after to paint the canopies.

I use Vallejo Luftwaffe Blue for my canopies, thinned with some Glaze Medium to help keep the paint where I put it.

Cutwater13 Jan 2017 10:35 a.m. PST

Very effective.will try the light grey with wash.

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