Darker base coloured liveries tend to fade in the sun over time and look quite different in different lighting conditions. Therefore there can be quite a lot of disagreements with, for example, livery renditions of the Southwest Canyon Blue and Northwest Bowling Shoe schemes. Greys are a major challenge as can be seen with the varied colours used on the British Airways landor model upper fuselages. The United Battleship Grey scheme has been even more troublesome and the range of colours used for it, even by the same manufacturer, is unusual.
Below: The most recent Battleship Grey model, from NG Models
I have to say I am not a big fan of this business-like livery, that was adopted by United in 1993 and lasted until 2004. It isn't the colours themselves that especially annoyed me, although the raindbow pinstripes are so thin, but the small size of the Tulip on the tail. Anyway regardless of whether I like it much or not I collect US airlines up to 2000 so the Battleship is in.
Below are 7 effectively random shots of the scheme, on a variety of aircraft types, taken from Wikipedia so you can acquaint yourself with how different it can look in different photos:
I have eleven Battleship liveried airliners in my fleet and they show a dazzling array of different greys. They are as follows:
In the below photos I'll compare the new NG to the rest. The NG model itself has a medium grey with what I feel is a brownish tinge to it. It matches ok against the A320 above, but not most of the rest.
NOTE: I freely admit colour isn't necessarily my strongpoint so this is my opinion not a fact! However all photos were taken at the same time and under the same lighting so you decide for yourself!
The darkest of the models is the SMA 747-100, followed by the Gemini 757 and 727. They both look quite a bit darker than the real thing to me. Note that the Gemini 757, 727 and 747SP all seem to use different shades of grey! The United 747SP is by far and away the lightest of the five models below.
Both the Aeroclassics DC-10 and the Dragon Wings 767s have quite similar colours that are darker than the NG SP and seem a quite good fit. They are also browner than the Geminis and SMA above.
The smaller models have an even wider range of greys with the Gemini CRJ being far and away the lightest of all the models:
The A320 matches the NG SP quite well, whereas the Jet-X BAE 146 is closer to the Aeroclassics and Dragon colours.
Which is the correct shade? I'm not sure. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it was somewhere around the Aeroclassics DC-10 / Dragon 767 / Jet-X 146 and maybe the United 727? Certainly the Gemini 757 and SMA 747 are way too dark and the Gemini CRJ way too light. Both the SPs look too light to me even though they are very different shades. I don't think NG have got this one right and certainly when you look at my United Battleship fleet together it is a collection of wildly different greys.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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