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back to article The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Our Vulture 2 spaceplane has risen majestically from the powdered nylon, but there's one matter yet to be resolved before we get it in the air: what colour scheme best suits this magnificent aircraft? Here's our vehicle fully assembled, with Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator team members (from L-R) Dave Akerman, Rob Eastwood, …

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Holmes

Register Red of course!

Everybody knows that painting something red makes it go faster ... especially if you add some stripes down the side!

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Re: Register Red of course!

British Racing Green, forgive me for saying, is dull, dull, dull. Looks nice on a Jaguar in that understated British way, but this is a Goddamn Rocket Spaceplane. Energy! Excitement! Passion! El Reg red is the natural colour for me, plus the red-with-white-tips mockup also looks great.

SPB orange and silver is also a good one.

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Re: Register Red of course!

And Thunderbird 3 was red.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Register Red of course!

But the BRG & grey would be a nice hommage to XH558.

http://www.vulcantothesky.org/

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Re: Register Red of course!

Evrywun knows red wuns go faster! Wurr hurr hurr

"Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out." - Kog da Flymek, pioneer of da Dethkopta and honorary Mekboy of da Reg Speshul Projeks Bureau

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Re: Register Red of course!

Silver fuselage and orange wings/tail.

You'll want the wings to stand out as you try to maneouver it...silver will be harder to see than orange.

Safe flight, good luck!

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Re: Register Red of course!

Luminous yellow and green stripes, so you can easily find the thing again when it lands (to cover all attractants like trees, rocks, pylons etc - at least one colour should stand out). Plus you can send the minion for a tin of striped paint and enjoy the attempt).

Or failing that just a nice silver with flaming red decals to make it look like a real re-entry?

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Re: Register Red of course!

Ah but the Vulcan wasn't originally camo-coloured. Nuclear flash white, please!

I'd go for the all-over metallic silver look, though does the weight of the paint need to be taken into account?

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Only 3 colours

It can only be red, white and blue. No question. Debate over.

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Re: Register Red of course!

The BRG one is the only scheme shown that doesn't look like something cheap and Chinese-made that you'd find in a clear plastic clamshell on a rack in a crappy toy store.

Except for the orange-and-blue one. That one looks like it should have "Rabobank" written across it.

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Re: Register Red of course!

If you want it to be clearly seen you need to use distinctive colours with great contrast.

Using a color that is blended from red, green and blue (actually CMYK, but all you see is anyway RGB) will make it harder to see. Orange and Gray is such a combination, where the contrasts is suffering. It's possible to make gray and orange look very good, but then you use a light orange and dark gray or vice versa to maintain a good contrast.

If using a blended colour the contrasting colors is pretty much limited to White and Black. Red and Green is a bad combination due to possible colourblindness, (all humans are in less or greater extent).

Yellow and black works very well, also among animals and insects. If you want a more estetik colour white and red works well too.

I would use though yellow and black. Two black stripes and three Yellow, from front to rear making the fuselage yellow. Then add a black nose cone.

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Re: Only 3 colours

It can only be red, white and blue. No question. Debate over.

Absolutely! Like this.

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Vulture, you say?

How about painting it like one? Red/pink head, black/brown body, off-white wingtips and edges - nothing fancy, no feather patterns or anything like that.

I'll fire up the GIMP and colour in the template in a little bit, just as soon as the boss isn't looking....

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TRT
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Re: Vulture, you say?

Klingon Bird Of Prey?

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Orange - it's the same as Ms Lohan's natural colour

and will be easier to find when it finally comes back down to earth, especially if the GPS fails.

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Has to be

Plain MATT Black

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Re: Has to be

It is very important that all the controls are also painted matt black.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Has to be

Well, the thing about a black hole - its main distinguishing feature - is it's black. And the thing about space, the colour of space, your basic space colour, is black. So how are you supposed to see them?

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Re: Has to be

and any LEDs should light up black - just so you know that the switches have worked...

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Emotionally...

it should be British Racing Green, all over. But on a practical level it needs to stand out against the sky and the ground (and the trees) so one of the naff dayglo combinations sadly makes sense - but give the heroic playmonaut some cool peril-sensitive shades so he doesn't have to look at it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Emotionally...

British Racing Green is so cliche.

It should be Brooklands Green...

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Coat

A big magenta cock would look great soaring through the skies.

Remember, 3 pubes per ball.

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Re: A big magenta cock would look great soaring through the skies.

I think we have a winner.

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Re: A big magenta cock would look great soaring through the skies.

Playmonaught's last words?

"Oh, well.

Indego."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A big magenta cock would look great soaring through the skies.

That was my first thought (obviously) but the shape is somewhat reminiscent of an open invitation from a lady, albeit one with her arms folded alluringly coyly and her head tipped right back (or removed entirely which is obviously less wonderful).

So I imagine pink circles and a black (/yellow /orange) triangle will feature in at least some of the suggested designs.

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Register livery

Merge the black and red schemes, and then put vulture roundels on the wings.

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KISS principle

Surely black and white a'la early V2's will make testing and recovery easier?

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Re: KISS principle

Not to mention being able to see what's happening should (heaven forfend!) something go wrong with the autopilot, and you'd like to know something about rotational rates, or even which way up it was.

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Black and white checkerboard

Maybe red wingtips.

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Anonymous Coward

MS FTW!

(Microsoft For The Win)

...anonymous for good reason.

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Re: MS FTW!

Is that you, alter-Eadon??

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Boffin

The fun and games notwithstanding,

there are reasons why most suborbital and orbital vessels are painted glossy white. Has to do with reflection of infrared wavelengths so as to prevent excessive heating through solar irradiation.

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The obvious thing to do is find a sponsor. But I guess that's not happening.

Why not post a CAD model so that people can do a colour scheme in Maya or 3DS?

Simon

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Not British Racing Green

Not green, you'll never find it after it lands, even in Spain.

Nothing very complicated either - I've had a nice realistic Zebra scheme on a much bigger glider than this and it totally disappeared into the background, both in the sky and on the floor.

Dayglo orange (or Register Red at a pinch) with black tips would do nicely for me.

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Re: Not British Racing Green

Oh... and test fly it BEFORE you paint it. Otherwise it'll just have all the corners showing white and any replacement parts or repairs (although hopefully not) won't match.

DAMHIKT

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Re: Not British Racing Green

"- I've had a nice realistic Zebra scheme on a much bigger glider than this and it totally disappeared into the background, both in the sky and on the floor."

Well, yes. Zebra pattern is for camouflage after all...

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Break out the tartan paint!

I fancy a Dress Gordon would look rather fetching.

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Re: Break out the tartan paint!

I'm told tartan is "in" this season. "In" as in "we want to sell more clothes so let's change the fashion". Also, so is pink. And cobalt blue.

So you could make LOHAN a fashion victim in a pink and cobalt blue tartan. Functional in that you'll be able to spot it easily

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High altitude PRU blue?

http://www.jpsmodell.de/dc/schemes/raf_pru44hf_e.htm

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If you would like to be able to find it, then

you might want to think about using colours and patterns that don't normally occur in nature. DayGlo magenta/yellow jagged stripes would probably do the trick.

Remember, Real Engineers® prefer function over form.

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I stand by my previous comment that it be painted bright silver to further enhance the 50s rocket look. If you really want to go two-tone, the SPB colors are a good choice instead.

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I second bright silver as being in the best traditions of 1950s and 1960s British experimental aircraft.

With bright yellow on leading edges etc as was also used at the time.

Think RAF Museum Cosford research aircraft collection.

The Hunting H126 had a rather fetching all over yellow http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/collections/hunting-h126/

You ought to duplicate the in front of the windshield black panel if you've got time

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There is only one possible choice

Checkerboard red and white on the body, solid red on the wings.

http://www.torpedo-emscher.de/wr/union/rakete/img/tintin_rocket10_.jpg

You know it makes sense. (And it's nice high visibility when the inevitable treetop search happens, too.)

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Re: There is only one possible choice

Seconded. Didn't spot your post when I wrote mine :-)

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Maximise visibility

Use your yellow-black scheme, but replace the yellow with dayglo orange - the Halfords red-orange hazard warning paint's colour would be perfect. Reversing the colours should also be fine.

Reasoning: I've used that red-orange / black scheme on the underside of free flight model aircraft, a situation where visibility is very important if you want the timekeeper to see and time the whole flight and you want to be able to find the model easily after each flight: in UK weather flights of 2-3 miles are common. This scheme shows up very well against the sky and, because that red-orange dayglo is very bright and not found in nature, it also shows up well on the ground. The black stripes also help on the ground: straight parallel lines are not common in nature, so they really stand out.

Go easy with the paint, though: its heavy and will really impact Vulture 2's performance, so if possible use fine grit sandpaper to smooth the V2's surface before painting. V2 will weigh a tonne if you try to use paint to fill that rough surface. Also note that dayglo paints tend to give a matt surface, so while gloss black lacquer should be fine, you may want to use a light coat of clear lacquer over the dayglo.

Can you get any gash parts to experiment on before ripping into Vulture 2 with the sandpaper?

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Re: Maximise visibility

Go easy with the paint, though: its heavy and will really impact Vulture 2's performance

Seconded. Paint is heavy. And a light sanding would probably be a good idea, although given that it's printed in nylonish stuff I'm not sure how well it would work?.

For good solid colours and added strength, rc combat gliders use coloured parcel tape - it doesn't weigh much (especially if it's only a partial covering, e.g a red checkerboard) and as a bonus could be removed and redone differently for the next flight - reusable near-space vehicles wahey!

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Re: Maximise visibility

I have to agree with this. Though retroreflective patches and a laser tracker...

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Re: Maximise visibility

Additional thought: you could try using a filler to get a smooth surface. Some of the squeeze-tube spackles are fairly light once they've dried, are very easy to sand and result in a nice painted surface.

Try it on a V2 test piece first, of course. and check the weight that using it adds.

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Anonymous Coward

Think ahead

Thin short black lines at various angles on a white or single coloured background will help match up the parts when trying to put it back together for display in the Vulture Central Foyer.

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