The Aliens Legacy
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Humbrol 170
http://forum.alienslegacy.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16190
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Author:  Harry Harris [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:22 am ]
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So I managed to get together a whole bunch of paint this week and make up some sample swatches. I photographed them together and next to two items from my collection that are from 'Aliens', and painted in 'Brown Bess'. Now of course every camera is different in terms of how it shows colours, as is every computer monitor or other display so the important thing indicated here is how these different paints look in comparison to one another, and to something from the film. To the naked eye the samples look VERY different to how they look in the photos.

As shown in the images the paints are:
1. Humbrol 170 Brown Bess - Original issue.
2. Humbrol 170 Brown Bess - Super Enamel.
3. Railmatch 402 'Frame Dirt' - the subject of the above posts.
4. A Brown Bess version that was purportedly made up by the same company that made the original paint for 'Aliens'. This was created and given to me about 10 years ago.
5. A colour match to Humbrol Brown Bess that was sold by AL Board member LDR a few years back.

The last two are just for fun as it were as they're not generally available, but I wanted to include them here anyway.

First off is a photo of everything:
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Next is each paint sample next to the Cargo Crate:
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And these are with a Ripley Data Disc:
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Now there are a few things to note here - mainly that it looks unlikely the paint used in the film was actual Humbrol 170, but rather a colour-matched version of it made by the Art Department, most likely cellulose. I think we all know that now of course.

That said I do remember many (many) years ago going through some Humbrol tins to compare them with the camera body on my original Drake headset. 170 looked spot on and I remember cautiously painting a very tiny bit of it onto a part-hidden area of the camera and it was a perfect match. Why the original (i.e. not Super Enamel) 170 that I have very slightly differs from the disc and crate in the above photographs is unknown. The headset is in storage so I can't access it easily at the moment but next time I do I'll carefully try this again!

One theory is that there could have been more than one 'batch' of the colour-matched version made during production (likely because some would have been in spray-cans for the smaller stuff and some in larger quantities for painting the bigger things like the APC and Dropship), and as the pigments would probably have been hand-mixed there could have been very slight discrepancies. Does the colour of the Humbrol enamel change very slightly in the tins over many years perhaps? Who knows really; I don't think we'll ever find out.

The differences are quite subtle between the originally released 170 (1) and the Super Enamel (2) versions. Unfortunately the Railmatch (3) has a little too much red(?) in it to be accurate, although when seen on it's own does look good.

I look forward to hearing what you all think!

Harry

Author:  gunny63 [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

Thanks for that Harry, it's very interesting with the slight variations, its a very weird colour with how it reacts to lighting, I have tins of genuine early 170 and when I use them on small parts it looks to be quite 'red' but then I see this and it doesn't! in comparison to your 170 trial pieces the railmatch stuff is indeed on the red side, but is it a viable option?

Author:  Harry Harris [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

gunny63 wrote:
Thanks for that Harry, it's very interesting with the slight variations, its a very weird colour with how it reacts to lighting, I have tins of genuine early 170 and when I use them on small parts it looks to be quite 'red' but then I see this and it doesn't! in comparison to your 170 trial pieces the railmatch stuff is indeed on the red side, but is it a viable option?

No worries. I think the Railmatch is okay, and really it being slightly more red just makes it look more brown so it would be an okay colour to use as long as it's not compared to anything closer - if that makes sense!

Perhaps the quest for something close continues?

Harry

Author:  gunny63 [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

yup I will keep looking lol, same as humbrol HM6 'field grey' yet another good one humbrol dropped................but that's a different story!

Author:  scoffman [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

Just out of curiosity, as I've been following a number of the paint threads on here for a while, how much do the chemicals and pigments that make up a paint change over time, even when stored under ideal conditions? (I know that most things degrade over time, which is why we have expiration dates.) I know that some of the Testors enamel bottle paints that I purchased years ago when I was into model building and never even opened are basically a rock now.

And on a similar note, how much change is there potentially to various paints once exposed (especially long term) to oxygen? I know I've seen some paints fade, and they weren't subjected to UV.

I'm just trying to get a consensus of your experiences with various types of paint and mediums.

Thanks

-scoff

Author:  punkmarine [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:33 am ]
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As Scoff has said I really doubt that paint that was used on objects 30 years ago is going to look the same now as paint fresh from the tin, even if it was of exactly the same make up.
So that will confuse things even more.

Author:  577_ops [ Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

Fantastic color comparison with interesting results.
I would love to see APC parts in BB compared to other props that are BB.
Considering that time and environments change the color and not to forget which coating has been used etc. I think this new color is in interesting alternative until something close is found.

Thanks Graham and thanks Harry!

Author:  tacblue [ Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:39 am ]
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Would love to see the armor colors done that way too!

Author:  Burner [ Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

Harry, is there any chance that you would be so kind to compare your sample swatches with the HCG Brown Bess Pulse Rifle :)?

Author:  88reaper88 [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:38 am ]
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And perhaps put a Coke can or something common next to them to get a good idea of tone on different displays??

I hope this gets stickied or whatever it's called!

Author:  ObiHahn [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:45 am ]
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Thanks so much Harry, this is invaluable information. Best thing that has happened in a while! :)

Now of course my interest is peaked how my BB substitute RAL 7013 compares...

Author:  Harry Harris [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Humbrol 170

tacblue wrote:
Would love to see the armor colors done that way too!

That's harder as my Hudson armour is is storage most of the time whereas the crate and disc were easier to access. I can certainly start making up the swatches to photograph next time I get to access it.

Bear in mind though that because Terry used grate polish on the armour to dirty it down there will be an immediate difference in colours. I do have some of the original polish used (it's now discontinued) so maybe I could make up two swatches per colour, one 'pure' and one with the grate polish.

Burner wrote:
Harry, is there any chance that you would be so kind to compare your sample swatches with the HCG Brown Bess Pulse Rifle :)?

Of course. I was thinking the same thing myself recently so I'll post those soon too.

88reaper88 wrote:
And perhaps put a Coke can or something common next to them to get a good idea of tone on different displays??

I would if I drank it! I'll go out and buy a can. Of course Coke is manufactured locally in the UK but presumably they use the same ink on their cans, otherwise that's a whole new problem LOL!

Harry

Author:  88reaper88 [ Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:03 pm ]
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Haha! Very true Harry! Maybe you need one of those test cards like the old BBC one ;)

Author:  Harry Harris [ Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:16 am ]
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Here are the same samples with a HCG Pulse Rifle (the Brown Bess version).

The first shot is with indoor lighting and the camera set on auto. The second is with flash. It's amazing how different the colours are - although of course the point of the exercise is to compare the paints to a subject (crate/disc/PR) colour. As others have said even the finish of the paint (matt, satin or gloss) seems to change what we see.
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Harry

Author:  Burner [ Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Harry Harris wrote:
Here are the same samples with a HCG Pulse Rifle (the Brown Bess version).

The first shot is with indoor lighting and the camera set on auto. The second is with flash. It's amazing how different the colours are - although of course the point of the exercise is to compare the paints to a subject (crate/disc/PR) colour. As others have said even the finish of the paint (matt, satin or gloss) seems to change what we see.
Attachment:
All compared HCG.jpg

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All compared HCG 1.jpg

Harry


I am positively surprised how accurate and good the Brown Bess of the HCG Pulse Rifle seems to be!
THX for sharing. By the way - I like colour NUMBER 5 :D

Author:  Harry Harris [ Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:02 am ]
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I know HCG used an original Pulse Rifle for reference, I'm pretty sure the paint colour was matched from that.

Harry

Author:  Harry Harris [ Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

Following discussions in this thread I bought a few of the Mig brand paints for further comparison to my original data disc. Once again this is just to compare each paint to the original paint on the disc.

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It should be noted that I've included everything in the photo but numbers 4, 5 and 6 aren't commercially available, but I hope they go some way to indicating just how hard it is to get this shade right - particularly in terms of numbers 5 and 6 which were made by the company who made the paint for 'Aliens', and even their two versions aren't the same!

To my eye the one made by Aliens Legacy member LDR looks the closest, but he only made up a few cans and I was lucky enough to get hold of one. Of the commercially available paints number 7; 'Alclad II ALCE062 British Brown Bess' looks very close indeed, as pointed out by AL member SimonT.

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Harry

Author:  Harry Harris [ Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

As mentioned in this thread I finally managed to have some paint colour-matched to my original Ripley Data Disc. The paint in question is number 10.

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I had to do a bit of Photoshop work to the image as I only have one disc so I just copied the disk a few times. The important thing is that the paints and the disc were photographed at the same time (meaning they're from the same photo).

As you can see number 10 is a very close match, but it does look slightly lighter. In reality it doesn't look as different as it does in the photo, which may have something to do with either how my camera sees it, or indeed how light reflects and refracts off the surface of the paint. My colour matched version is very slightly shinier than the surface of the disc so this could have something to do with why they're different.

This photo here is the new colour match paint and number 7; Alclad II ALCE062 British Brown Bess which still looks the closest as far as I'm concerned.

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10 and 7.jpg
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I think this shows just what a tricky paint this is to copy (remember numbers 4, 5 and 6 are colour matches as well). The company that I used took just under two weeks and they had a sample of the original paint to reference from!

Lastly in terms of providing RAL numbers and other reference codes I'm afraid that isn't possible as No 10 was matched by hand.

Harry

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