Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thoughts on painting windows

A friend asked me why I always paint windows in vehicles (and often on buildings) a uniform very dark gray, so this seemed a good topic for this weekend's blog entry. 

I've seen lots of wargamers paint vehicle windows all varieties of blue, green, silver, and even white, and many use mixtures of several or all of those. But as you pass cars during your day, have you ever really looked at their windows and thought about it?  Probably not, but here's what you would see:
See how dark the windows appear?

"But wait!", I hear you cry. "Military vehicles are different!" Au contrair!

As you can see, vehicle windows very often look quite dark. Only as you approach the vehicle does the reflection of the sky make it appear lighter. 

Buildings are a somewhat different matter. Large office buildings, especially at a distance, often appear to have dark windows. Here's the AIG building, more than a mile distant:

Needless to say, buildings that have a mirrored surface look different, as they almost always reflect the sky and landscape and so always look light-colored: 

Smaller buildings can go either way, light windows:
Or dark ones:

Residential buildings can also go either way, lighter appearing due to shades or blinds inside the windows:
Or a darker appearance:
Or often, both:
As you can see, the above houses are a mixture of light and dark. So I paint my houses/apartment buildings as a mix. Some light, some dark, and some a mixture of both in the same building. I try to get my models to reflect reality. I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

More next time. 

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