The Prop Den

Vader paint found!
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Author:  No Humor Man [ Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

The various Rolls Royce paints they used from various companies can in some color matching books only be found under the part number and not the color code number.

At my auto paint shop they carry a brand called Motip and they found equivalents for some of the Rolls Royce colors.

The Black with the color code LB31819 (Mason) can be found through this number: 9500701

The Black Pearl with the color code 178-10034 (Valentine) can be found through this number: 9500930 and is a standard gunmetal and doesn't look right.

Then they have 3 different grey/silver metallic colors of which I think the Pewter color might be the one we are after, but it is discontinued, so I will have to have a special blend made to test it out and those are rather expensive compared to the Motip spraycans I have tested so far.

The Georgian Silver with the color code M151-6220 (ICI) has this part number: 9510411 - discontinued

The Pewter with the color code L68-ZV001 (Inmont) has this part number: 9519371 - discontinued

The Silver Chalice with the color code M151-2300 (ICI) can be found through this number: 9510037

I found the numbers and examples of the colors on this site:
and still feel the Pewter is the grey color we are looking for. I'll have to check what a special blend costs next time I'm out there to see if it is worth getting one of those to test out. Got the Motip equivalent of the Silver Chalice color, but haven't tested it yet: it just looks too bright to me.

The Motip equivalent of the Mason's Black looks just right to me. Right black color, right sheen, right everything. The other gloss blacks I've painted with have either been "too black" or over into blue or grey, but never getting that effect I was seeing in the movie and in pictures. Would be interesting to see someone paint a piece and bring it along to match against an original helmet.

Author:  No Humor Man [ Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

You can strike Black Pearl and Silver Chalice from the list. One was too dark and grainy, the other was too bright. Of course, these were the found Motip equivalents, so a proper blend of the color may turn out a different result. My money is still on Pewter.

Author:  SithLord [ Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Great research, Carsten. :thumbsup I know of a couple of helmets that might be in the works for painting in the future so this is great information. I might even have another of my own helmets (copy) finished up......just because it would be so tantalizing to see these paints on a helmet. Hoping also to compare the black with the black on my TD ANH mask. So the Pewter and black code LB31819 (Mason) are your best estimates at this point?

Author:  No Humor Man [ Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

The Mason's Black equivalent in the Motip range certainly looks great. The Plastikote gloss black I tried previously was strangely too black and shiny, looking like plastic. The Motip paint at first looked only semi-gloss, but it seemed I'd gotten a bad can, as the second sprayed gloss. There's something about the sheen of it that just seems right. Would be interesting to see a proper mix of the Mason's Black color, though, hopefully made without that nasty cracking I've heard happen to the paintwork on stuff painted with that color.


Uncertain with the Pewter, but when you look at the car color in the example on that Rolls Royce page listing the colors, it certainly seems to look pretty close to at least the ESB colors. ANH is different because it wasn't applied in a covering layer, so will look darker. And all the tests I've made show only Pewter (this time Rub'n'Buff wax paint) giving the best results - all other greys I've tried never came close.

Had a thought about sending my test helmet over so you could see how it compared to the TD... but I'm not sure you'd be interested in that... and at the moment, I sadly can't spare the shipping charges back and forth - saving all for a possible once in a lifetime opportunity. But if you can check out the paints, perhaps with a brand equivalent where you live or a proper blend that could be cool. Though, remember... paints change over time, so be mindful of that when comparing.

Author:  gonk27 [ Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Hi all - I'm afraid I've got bit behind with this thread! :pale

I've done a fair bit of research in all this now and I'm drawing closer, but I still have a few colours I really need to try in person. I should say that my focus with the grey up to now has been ESB and ROTJ rather than ANH.

The black paint used on all the helmets for all I know is probably the same stuff, and yep donnief there is a good chance that it was Mason's Black! I haven't got around to hunting some down yet though, although Carsten, the black paint #9500701 will give a beautiful finish once carefully rubbed down and polished up. The quality of shine is very very similar whether or not a clear lacquer is added on top, in my experience at least.

As to the grey, I have a can of Pewter and it looks nice, although in my opinion it's maybe a shade light? I've trawled the net and am continuing to do so when I have time and have contacted a couple of Rolls Royce garages here in London. One of these places was very helpful in ruling out a couple of paints, but their database had no information at all on a lot of the older 70's-80's colours.

I know of one or two places I might be able to dig in for some more info, so rest assured I'm picking up my shovel and getting to work on that! Another option is to simply buy a can of each potential grey. With the reference I have, I should at least be able to eliminate the shades that are clearly too light or clearly too dark. That hopefully will thin down the possible candidates. This project's been on the back-burner for a time, partly while I wait for the weather here to warm up..

Author:  No Humor Man [ Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

If you have the pewter, could you do a few tests where you alter the amount of application. A lighter, one-layer application will appear darker than a heavier and multiple layer application. That is the issue with metallic paints. They are very difficult to work with.

Can you get the pewter color in spray cans or only as brushable paint that you can then thin for airbrushing?

Also, be careful to compare with how the colors look now, 'cause if they weren't covered in a clear coat layer to protect it from wind and weather it will fade and most metallic colors I've seen or heard of go darker with age and lose the metallic luster - especially older type colors.

We also have to consider they may have mixed in black with the gunmetal color to make it darker to make the contrast between the black and grey pop less than if simply straight out of the can. Of all the colors I've tested... the rub'n'buff pewter color had the most interesting characteristics - looking dark when the light didn't hit it but being very bright when the light hit it just right - just as we see on the Vader helmet. And the Rolls Royce car painted in pewter color in those illustrations on that webpage looks remarkably like the color seen on the ESB chest armor.

And two drops of black into the grey will darken it. So just find the grey that looks the closest and then mix with black until looking just right.

Author:  gonk27 [ Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Hey Carsten

All the RR paints I have are aerosol cans, which makes it very difficult to brush-paint with them but I would think think most garages that do bodywork should be able to get it in tins. I may look into that if I get time.

Pewter seems just a little bit too light to me with the reference I have for ESB although I can't rule it out for sure yet, but it might be better for ANH perhaps? To be honest I'm haven't looked into the ANH side of it so much yet.

Some of these grey paints in photos can go from very dark to almost silver depending upon lighting conditions so it can be very tricky!

Author:  No Humor Man [ Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

So, you are getting actual RR paints and not other brand equivalents? Would you be able to mail some to me? I would particularly like to see how the black compares with the Motip equivalent, but especially interested in checking out the Pewter myself. If that would be possible? What do each spray can usually cost?

Author:  gonk27 [ Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Yep they should be the geuine Rolls Royce paints, they're arriving with the RR paint codes.

I need some more black so I'll drop you an email tomorrow Carsten.

Author:  No Humor Man [ Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

That's awesome. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more.

Author:  belloq [ Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Vader paint found!

I tested a few auto paint match equivalents with RR codes in spray cans for my ANH armor. I also tested a couple of Testors spray can colors. In the photo from left to right, all on top of RR Mason's Black: RR Pewter, RR Tudor Grey, Testors Silver metallic enamel, Testors Graphite Grey metallic enamel. Next I plan on ordering and testing RR in liquid form and testing liquid Testors/Model Masters colors, as well as Tamiya and Humbrol. Ultimately I may need to mix colors myself to achieve the correct ANH gunmetal shade to brush over the black. The tips and tests from the TIE pilot helmet forum threads have been helpful too.

Author:  Turrican [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Nice work :thumbsup
Would prefer the first one from left.

Author:  belloq [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Vader paint found!

Thanks. Yes, the first one on left, RR Pewter, has the correct "brightness" especially if it would be brushed on and allow some black to show through or perhaps mixed with a bit of black, but, though it is difficult to see in the photo, it has a strange greenish tint. My favorite is the second from left, RR Tudor Grey, but may be too dark if brushed thinly over black. I hope to test it in liquid form at some point.

Author:  dcarty [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Yes, I like the Tudor Grey best from these options as well.

Author:  gonk27 [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Vader paint found!

Well my plan to try and get as many of the Rolls Royce grey paints stumbled a little bit. A lot of the old colours have just fallen off the radar it seems, I haven't been able to get hold of many so I assume most have been long since discontinued.

However I managed to meet Ron Punter again very very briefly not long ago (if I'd been expecting it I'd have planned a question or two to ask!) but I asked about the ANH grey and he told me he didn't add that himself.

That's fairly important as it means that although the black paint he used on ANH is a Rolls Royce paint the grey might not be..

He also told me that the Rolls Royce grey he used on the later films was a custom mix rather than straight out of the tin - and no, he no longer has the details of that mix :pale

I still want to work out a good ESB colour though, and although there might be one suitable for ANH that paint could be anything sadly.

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