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Best way to paint modern tank optics
oyoy23
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Posted: Wednesday, September 09, 2020 - 12:33 PM UTC
I am painting my M1A1 optics red. I donít want to use red confetti but actually paint it. Should I paint the optic silver white or black first before using a clear red coat like Tamiya. Iím open to ideas to make it look as real as possible.
brentwal
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Posted: Wednesday, September 09, 2020 - 01:18 PM UTC
https://www.migjimenez.com/en/acrylic-colors/240-crystal-red-.html They also have green
davcon5
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Posted: Wednesday, September 09, 2020 - 03:41 PM UTC
So what's wrong with Tamiya ? Besides being cheaper, they also make blue, yellow, orange and smoke. Works great for me.
dmiles
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Posted: Wednesday, September 09, 2020 - 09:02 PM UTC
colour shifting paint
http://www.greenstuffworld.com/en/153-chameleon-acrylic-paints
grunt136mike
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Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 09:44 AM UTC
Hi;

Painting Optic's are always difficult ! Tamiya Clear Blue, Green, Red are best used when thinned with acril; thinner. Its always best to practice on A Clear Sprue and find the Best example; Now its going to be A Trial & Error method, so Be Patient. The Red Optic on many U.S. Vehicles is the Hardest to Depict and optics like Periscopes are Best Painted on the Back Side of the Clear Sprue ! If the Part is large enough then you can Glue A Red Clear Florist Celaphane on the inside ! So What Ever Works Best for You is the Way to Go !!!

GOOD LUCK; MIKE.
Trisaw
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Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 10:03 AM UTC
Short answer: Paint the viewing prism Silver and wait for it to dry completely. Then paint using Clear Red. The Red mimics the Anti-Laser Reflective coating.

Honestly, the reflection depends on the amount of sunlight you want your tank in. The viewing block prisms shift colors depending on the brightness of the outdoors and bright red means that it is very sunny outside. Clear Blue or Clear Green optics could mean cloudy skies or fog, so in reality, there isn't an incorrect way to paint the tank's optics.
GulfWarrior
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 01:42 AM UTC
Another option besides painting is to use small pieces of Mylar confetti cut to fit and glued in place. Here's what I did for my M1117 Guardian ASV.



I found a bag of Mylar strips in the party supply section of Hobby Lobby. It has all kinds of colors in it and only cost a couple of bucks. The bag is big enough where I'll probably never have to buy another one!



Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 02:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Short answer: Paint the viewing prism Silver and wait for it to dry completely. Then paint using Clear Red. The Red mimics the Anti-Laser Reflective coating.


Do you mean to paint the inside of the clear prism (if it is clear plastic - some kits come in the same colored styrene as the rest of the parts!) silver, and then paint clear red? Wouldn't painting clear red first and then silver after work better? Or painting clear red followed by glueing a piece of silver mylar?
Trisaw
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 04:40 AM UTC
The best approach would be to paint the viewing prisms Chrome Silver and then wait for them to dry and then apply Clear Red.

Always prime the tank first.

I learned this from "Gundam Candy Red," but you don't have to airbrush on the paint or use airbrush paints. You can see it here:

http://gunplacore.blogspot.com/2013/04/tutorial-candy-coats.html

Again, this all depends on the amount of sunlight you want the tank to be in...and not all AFVs have the same Anti-Laser Reflective prism coatings. Some prisms are indeed Clear Green.

If in nighttime, paint the prism black if no one is inside the tank.

You want that "Gundam Candy Red" glossy translucent sheen.

(So, yes, Sci-Fi modeling does have uses for AFV modeling ;-))
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 04:55 AM UTC
In my opinion, the sliver undercoat looks too bright and fake.

I underpaint with black, then a couple coats of clear red, then a couple coats of clear gloss. This gives it depth and changes color as you look from different angles, just like the real thing.

I only use clear green over the black to represnt older optics that were used prior to the red anti-laser coating. The clear green gives depth and looks like thick, armored glass, which has a green color to it.
Trisaw
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 05:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

In my opinion, the sliver undercoat looks too bright and fake.

I underpaint with black, then a couple coats of clear red, then a couple coats of clear gloss.This gives it depth and changes color as you look from different abgles, just like the real thing.

I only use clear green over the black to represnt older optics that were used prior to the red anti-laser coating. The clear green gives depth and looks like thick, armored glass, which has a green color to it.



True, again, it depends on the amount of light that you want the viewing prisms to reflect.

In the desert, the prisms could be bright Candy Red. In the European or foggy environments, then Clear Red over black might work.

Anyway, the painting process is called "Gundam Candy Red."
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 05:21 AM UTC
On a real tank, even in bright sunlight, the optics appear dark, not bright like they do with silver undercoot. But to each their own.

Trisaw
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 02:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

On a real tank, even in bright sunlight, the optics appear dark, not bright like they do with silver undercoot. But to each their own.




True enough, but it also depends on the angle of view. Again, as I said, there is no really wrong way to paint optics, and like you said, to each his or her own.

Here are photos of the optics really bright red and also Clear Blue over Black.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/inside-the-us-armys-lethal-new-m1a2-sep-v3-abrams-main-16445

This one shows Clear Blue (Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS)), Clear Green (driver), and Clear Red (TC's hatch).

https://www.strategic-planning-us.com/2019/12/abrams-sepv3-tank-MBT.html

Bright red again...

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/abrams-tank-pentagon-defense-lobby/

So perhaps we're both right. Gino said to paint black and then Clear Red and then perhaps one or two viewing prisms paint Chrome Silver and Clear Red. The GPS seems to be Clear Blue.
Ringleheim
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Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 08:01 PM UTC
In the past I went with the confetti approach, but once all that work was done and I had various colors on the model, I though it looked "wrong."

You are trying to emulate a quirk of lighting, a visual special effect of sorts, and I don't think it works in 1/35 scale.

I paint them black now, which is how they look most of the time from most angles anyway.

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