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 Post subject: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:41 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
This is a comparison of the different paints that fans have been recommending within the community for highlights on Vader's mask.

In a previous thread, we discussed the use of Valspar paints for ESB and ROTJ. Most recently, Valspar launched "Kustom Kolors" which is available at WalMart. Allegedly, the highlight used back then was "Black Pearl". We do not know if the formulation of Black Pearl today is the same as that used all those years ago, and we have not verified if in fact Black Pearl was truly used in ESB/ROTJ for Vader's highlights.

The best we can for now is compare a shot of Black Pearl against the paint job of an original Don Post Deluxe made in the late 1990s. This is not to say we know for certain that Don Post Studios used the exact paints as the LFL prop makers.

Image

However, the appearance is quite compatable.

The following is a comparison between Kustom Colors "Black Pearl", Dupli-Color T-177 Gun Metal, and Tamiya TS-38 Gun Metal.

Notes

1. Camera is a Canon Powershot G2 with a small integrated flash

2. Photographic distance is 4 feet

3. Different paints have different reflectivities depending on flash distance, flash power, and number of metallic particles within the paint. Results using flash will therefore vary from camera to camera.

4. I'm using an original condition Don Post Deluxe #188/1000. This may or may not be a correct baseline, as the Don Post Deluxe Vader was a 1990 product (though marketed as ESB) whereas its style is a bit more ROTJ (1983).

5. Some claim "The paint wasn't that dark/bright". Metallic paint contains metallic particles that reflect light. The density of the metallic particles in paint (depending on layers of paint) as well as the nature of the light source (professional light sources of the time vs. modern halogen vs. incandescent bulb vs. home camera flash vs. etc. etc.) lighting upon the painted surface. When examining each screen shot, take into account the ambient and studio lighting as well as camera aperture (that allows more light onto the film. Darker scenes might call for wider aperture to make everything brighter. Different films have different degrees of light sensitivity.) I've not tested the paint appearance under a halogen lamp - exhibit Vaders under halogen light appear to be brighter as a result of the lighting.

Top row: without flash. Bottom row: with flash.
Image

At this rate, my favorite... until something better or more verifiably authentic comes along! :toothy


Last edited by CSMacLaren on Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:25 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:42 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
Kustom Kolors: Black Pearl

No flash:
Image

With flash:
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:43 pm 
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Tamiya Color: TS-38 Gun Metal

No flash:
Image

With flash:
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:44 pm 
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Dupli-Color T177 Gun Metal

No flash:
Image

With flash:
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:14 am 
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Location: San Jose, CA
Conclusion

We should bear in mind that the paint scheme given to Vader was for the purpose of movie camera photography and not still flash camera photography.

All paint samples were achieved by spraying a brown plastic bowl. There was no primer or base coat.

The Kustom Kolor Black Pearl is the darkest under natural lighting but it has enough of a slight native glossiness and reflectiveness (due to the fineness of the metallic particles). I get a feeling the Don Post Deluxe's paint is a teensy bit slightly brighter than the Black Pearl, but this could mean anything. This is a 1997 collectible, and it might lose some of its tone if it had been exposed to harsh light while owned by its previous owner. It "orange peeled" very slightly, but polishing can remove this effect.

The Dupli-Color T-177, under natural lighting, it is the brightest of the lot. It seems more matte than the Black Pearl, due to metallic particle density, so it comes across a bit more coarse.

The Tamiya is darker than the Dupli-Color but lighter than the Black Pearl. While the Black Pearl seems to have the smallest metallic particle size, Tamiya comes in second, and makes the Dupli-Color look coarse in comparison. The Tamiya metallic particles not only look fine, there is a slight glossiness but no discernable orange peeling on the test sample. Use of this for Vader's highlights will be more observable in natural low-light conditions. There will be less subtlety. In that regard, the Black Pearl's glossiness and metallic particle reflectiveness allows it to come ahead.

It's not just about painting contrasting facets. The deep glossiness contributes deeply to the character in ESB and ROTJ.

If it is true that ESB or ROTJ used Valspar's "Black Pearl" then the modern formulation by Kustom Colors is an extremely close match to what is used on the Don Post Deluxe. This does not necessarily mean that this was *the* paint used in ESB or ROTJ. There is always the possibility of coincidence where KK's Black Pearl is darker and that Don Post used a darker automotive paint than what was used in ESB. However, the sheen and the response of the Black Pearl sample and the Don Post Deluxe's paint to light in dim conditions and under camera flash photography seems extremely close to nearly identical. If you also consider how the ROTJ exhibit suits (not screen used) are photographed by SW fans (camera flash) note the way the mask paint responds to the camera flash at their particular distances, there are some similarities. Exhibit Vaders seem to be brighter when photographed not a flash but relying on how it's lit. My observation is that the exhibits use halogen lighting. This comparative analysis did not involve halogen lighting tests. Perhaps some time in the future! :thumbsup

In the end, chose what makes you happy and what you believe is right for your props. Good luck! :thumbsup


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:59 pm 
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A quick update. I found out today that Valspar's no longer selling the Kustom Kolor line, effective immediately. This is sad because I really love their base coat, and love the Black Pearl, and was going to try to lighten it up with some Galaxy Gray to see if I can approximate the ESB/ROTJ look better. What I liked about the Black Pearl was the fineness of the metallic particles and how they responded to light.

The Black Pearl may not be "the" paint for ESB as the Galaxy Gray seems to be a bit on the bright side (who knows... haven't tested it) but at least it's safe to say that it's a good touchup paint if you're restoring an original condition Don Post Deluxe.

There are still Kustom Kolor paints out in retail stores and chains while supplies last.

Valspar's other subsidiaries continue to be in business.

House of Kolor is more for automotive paint. I'm not 100% certain if this is an equivalent or not, but they have a "Black Pearl (PBC Series)" on Page 8 of their PDF catalog:

http://www.houseofkolor.com/products/pd ... atalog.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 4:55 am 
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I know Rust-Oleum may be considered substandard by some but I'm thinking of using their metallic charcoal for the gray areas of an ROTJ Vader helmet. I like the tone of the gray. I have seen the paint in the store and it seems to contrast well with the gloss black. Would you consider trying a photo analysis and see what you think of the quality of the color?


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 5:12 am 
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This is Rust-Oleum's metallic charcoal. The two cans are the same paint, just different packaging. The color is absolutely gorgeous in my opinion. Just want to know if you think it would look nice on an ROTJ Vader helmet.


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:42 am 
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Wow, that's a great thread, Mac! I wonder why it did not get more publicity.

We should really be doing something similar for the ANH Vader paints. As it happens I've just ordered a bunch of different black and grey tones and will test them soon.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 4:04 am 
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I got the Rust-Oleum metallic charcoal. Here it is over a glass globe. The first pic is without flash. The second with. Another member here said in another thread that he's using it as well to restore his DP Deluxe. He said he tried it on the helmet and the only way he can tell the difference is that the Rust-Oleum seems more glossy. Figured I'd share.


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:05 am 
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Here is the DP Deluxe that another member is restoring. He says that the right side of the pics is where he used the Rust-Oleum metallic charcoal and the left is the original color. It looks pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: "Black Pearl" vs Dupli-Color vs Tamiya Gun Metals
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:11 am 
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Location: Southern California
I for one love Dupli Color Auto Paints, finished with thier Clear Coat. There
Are tricks to make it super shiny, but I think it's fine the way it is.


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