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McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

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McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby ringleheim » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:10 pm

I have the Tamiya 1/12 McLaren MP4/6 ready to go, complete with cigarette markings and the Model Factory Hiro Vol. 2 "IN DETAIL" photo booklet.

Can someone tell me what is going on with the carbon fiber in the main monocoque tub area?

It seems to have a very fine pattern to it, and in certain photographs/light it absolutely has a yellow-green tint to the black or dark gray base color. It is almost a military "olive drab" sort of filter over the black/gray.

I'm wondering how others have tried to replicate this on other models. Would you use paint for this area? Decals? If so, which decal?

The pattern/grain of the CF is so fine, it almost disappears in some photographs.

I am actually thinking of custom mixing my own "black" color or very dark gray with that "olive green" component added. Or maybe trying to get that color added by applying it as an oil filter over the base paint. And not using CF decals.

This car comes from an interesting era when CF in F1 was still somewhat new and the materials/techniques they were using are not like how they are doing it now.

Any comments on this topic would be very welcome.

Thanks!
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby daveyman » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:23 pm

I spray my Mclaren chassis by mixing matt black with a splash of gold and olive green. Gives a nice look. C/F decals wouldn't be appropriate for Mclaren chassis until the MP4/7 of 1992.
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby robdebie » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:32 pm

daveyman wrote:I spray my Mclaren chassis by mixing matt black with a splash of gold and olive green. Gives a nice look. C/F decals wouldn't be appropriate for Mclaren chassis until the MP4/7 of 1992.

.. because until the MP4/7, McLaren used 'male moulding' for the monocoques. And I think they were the only ones doing that. So what you see on the exterior is basically a 'peel ply' surface, that is rough like sandpaper, with very little or no 'fabric' showing. Or maybe they removed most of the resin 'grit', since it scratches very easily, which looks ugly and dirty. The monocoque is also slightly bumpy, since all thickness changes show, like ply taper, inserts in the honeycomb, etc. I've seen models that replicated these effects, and for the knowing eye it's beautiful.

Rob
Last edited by robdebie on Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby Hein » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:34 am

The carbon used for the mp4/6 is a UD (uni directional) fibre, so you see no weave pattern, just fibres next to each other in one line. And indeed the 'male molding'/peel ply method that Rob mentioned was used.
I did my tamiya model by spaying the monocoque semi gloss black and then several mist coats of custom mixed gold/green/silver/brown, (heavely thinned down and high pressuse air so you get a very fine mist) until the desired carbon collor tint was reached. After this i sealed it with semi gloss clear.

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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby robdebie » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:44 am

ringleheim wrote:It seems to have a very fine pattern to it, and in certain photographs/light it absolutely has a yellow-green tint to the black or dark gray base color. It is almost a military "olive drab" sort of filter over the black/gray.

Something important about the tints: generally CF looks vastly different with the naked eye, versus flash photography. I notice that effect every year when I photograph Group-C cars at the Spa Classic. The 'bronze' CF in flash photos looks completely different with the naked eye, there's no bronze color at all. Since most modelers work from photos, they go for the tinted CF, but I have my doubts whether that's realistic.

Rob
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby toki71 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:19 am

This is what Bill Attridge did on his MP4/6, 2003 Tamiya Con winner:
"The McLaren’s monocoque has always been the subject of debate about the correct exterior texture and colour. I comprehensively researched this subject with the photo references I had in addition to many discussions with model builders on F1M and GPMA internet groups. I left the molded-in carbon texture, as this is definitely correct, the trick was getting the colour accurate. Prior to any paint being applied, I used Tamiya masking tape cut into 2 mm wide strips and burnished these “bonding strips” to all of the appropriate edges and seams of the monocoque, as per the real car. The following is a description of the multiple step paint technique that I used to perfect the monocoques finish:
First coat – Custom mix of Model Master Black Chrome Trim/Testors Metallic Lime
Gold/Testors Metallic Copper
Second coat – Testors Dullcoat mixed with Model Master Turn Signal Amber Metallic
Third coat – Model Master Metalizer Sealer
Fourth coat – Model Master Metalizer Sealer mixed with a custom Black/Gray mix
Fifth coat – Another coat of Testors Dullcoat mixed with Model Master Turn Signal
Amber Metallic
Final coat – Model Master Metalizer Sealer"

copy and paste from his web page when it was available
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby plastiksurgeon » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:09 am

robdebie wrote:
ringleheim wrote:It seems to have a very fine pattern to it, and in certain photographs/light it absolutely has a yellow-green tint to the black or dark gray base color. It is almost a military "olive drab" sort of filter over the black/gray.

Something important about the tints: generally CF looks vastly different with the naked eye, versus flash photography. I notice that effect every year when I photograph Group-C cars at the Spa Classic. The 'bronze' CF in flash photos looks completely different with the naked eye, there's no bronze color at all. Since most modelers work from photos, they go for the tinted CF, but I have my doubts whether that's realistic.

Rob


I couldn't agree more with Rob. As a Motorsports photographer. I know that photography influences colors in photographs.

I not only photographed the MP4 6 in action and in the pits, but I stood there and as an F1 modeler, looked at it for long periods of time. I can guarantee you the color of that tub was "flat black". There is no color tint to it whatsoever. The lights in the garage, warm sunlight and photographic flash with the camera set to another color balance will give you all kinds of color temps that are not really there. Another problem is some of the photographs were underexposed when they were shot and then overexposed in post to correct the exposure error, which causes color shifts in the image. The tub on the mp46 was flat black, period.

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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby Corpsegrinder » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:34 pm

plastiksurgeon wrote:
robdebie wrote:
ringleheim wrote: The tub on the mp46 was flat black, period.

Steve Mohlenkamp


Thanks for confirming what I thought Steve, I saw one MP4/6 in the McLaren factory many years ago and I remember the tub being black, but rarely in the photos we see it appears simply flat black!
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby ringleheim » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:39 pm

Thanks to everyone for their replies.

If the real car when viewed with the naked eye looks flat black, I think I would try to emulate flack black. Which is a real shame, as the unusual green color tints that appear in some photography are so much more visually interesting!

The official McLaren channel has a little engine start up video of the MP4/6. The video is pretty high quality. The monocoque does not look like a standard flat black--it's a more complex color than that. Note how the roll hoop at the top of the monocoque behind the driver's head is dead flat black but the monocoque is a much softer gray/brown/green sort of color.

I am wondering if those in the "Flat black" group think this video shows the monocoque as it really appears in real life, or if something deceptive is going on with the video camera image.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk9e0WgPAr0
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Re: McLaren MP4/6 Monocoque Color/Texture

Postby Andrey » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:04 pm

Here there are photos of MP4-5 and MP4-4 I Think they are similar to MP4-6 http://www.gurneyflap.com/formule180's2.html
http://www.gurneyflap.com/mclarenmp44.html
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