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Color Question on Hotel Class / K-19

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Postby Tracy White » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:57 am

I've got my Zvezda 1/350th K-19 almost assembled (watch those upper deck pieces; mine needed some sanding to get them to fit.... seemed a bit long) and the mind wanders to paint. The instructions call out for Insignia red below the nominal waterline, gunship gray for the vertical surfaces, and medium gray (model master #1721) for the deck. Is this right? I can't find any pictures of a hotel in drydock that's not computer generated or not obscured and the two grays seem a bit light in tone to me.
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Postby Tom Dougherty » Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:38 pm

The only photo I have of a Hotel in drydock is in black & white. It's certain that later Russian boats had color schemes similar to some US submarines; black 1/2 way up the hull and red halfway down, but earlier color schemes (60's-70's) are problematic in terms of finding solid information.

I have photos of models of the Hotel (done in Russia) that show the model as a black upper and a very, very, dark brownish red below the waterline. The Hotel was not exactly one of the greatest successes of the Soviet system, so photos and information can be hard to come by. I plan to do mine as light grey over dark grey.
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Postby Tracy White » Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:14 pm

OK, thanks. I will probably just do black and brown/red as that's sort of the paradigm for a sub.
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Postby Gerwalk » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:53 pm

The Polar Bear Model of a Hotel shows the paint scheme Tom described. Another interesting color alternative could be a green hull. Green was used as antifouling paint (containing chromates?) in several soviet subs. Nevertheless I don't have color references on the Hotel (aside from the PB model ones)
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Postby Gerwalk » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:27 am

Another option could be the one suggested by Tom: a grey lower hull. As far as I can tell by photos and actual submarines in dry dock I've seen fouling turns the lower hull color beneath the waterline into a brownish-light or medium grey if the sub was in the water long enough. This can save you from guessing the color of the actual paint used in the shipyard.
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Postby Tracy White » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:20 pm

While the fouling is true, when I've seen it there's still a reddish/brownish tone to the area.

I did some more digging and it really looks to me like K-19 had both schemes during her time. Looking over http://www.submarine.id.ru/thumbs/658/index.shtml, I think this picture looks too dark in tone (especially compared to the silvery sonar fairings) to be gray, even allowing for how a wet surface darkens. But this photo shows a scheme that is clearly gray with a darker deck.
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