Monday, June 23, 2014

Counterblast Teaser #1: The 1950’s Color Palette

   Well, the goodies from the Counterblast Kickstarter are not due out until at least August, but we’re chomping at the bit over here, so we decided to get ahead by painting up a few Bombshell Miniatures we have.

   But what colors to use? Why, a 1950’s palette, of course! The 1950’s are widely regarded as a Golden Age of Sci-fi, so what better color palette to use for our alien cats, jet bikes and space squids?

Hot Rod Red is always in style-
from the 57 Chevy to jet bikes!
   So what was going on in the fifties? The 57 Chevy! Poodle Skirts! The Pink Cadillac! Mr. Potato Head! The dawn of the VCR, Fiber Optic cables, and even the first solar cell! And at the end of the decade, we gained the hula hoop, Barbie, and the laser! What greater contribution has there been to modern science fiction than the LASER?
   Right. Now that we know when we are, we need to know what colors were popular at the time. As the resident art major and research specialist, it was my job to go hunt down that information. And… wow. They had some fun ones. The array of neutrals and muted colors that had been popular for the last couple decades still had some sway, but people were about ready for some color and contrast, as well. So, in walked bold black and white contrasts, turquoise, Spanish reds and yellows, and hot pink (I mentioned Barbie, right?)

A punk girl from the Bombshell Babes series
shares some black, white and hot pink with this
original 1959 Barbie- yes, she came in blonde
and brunette.
  Sound like fun? We thought so. So we took a trip out to AAA Hobbies in Magnolia, NJ, armed with some printouts of the color swatches I found, and got to work constructing our palette from their huge wall of Vallejo paints. Sure, some of them are going to be colors you already have, but some of them were so specific and iconic that we didn’t want to substitute or mix them.
   And, of course, we are going to share. So here it is for you, fellow gamers, a pre-constructed color palette for your 1950’s pulp sci-fi. The colors listed here are mostly Vallejo paints, because that’s what they sell at AAA, but you can find brand conversions online if you use someone else.

Vallejo Model Color 70808 Blue Green- serves as your turquoise, either straight or lightened with a little white. This color was popular on cars and appliances (read: jet bikes and robots)
Bombshell's Doom Bunny sporting
a lovely lavender found in this
period poodle skirt.
Vallejo Model Color 70916 Sand Yellow- 
a somewhat pale, impure yellow
Army Painter Pure Red- a bright, pure
Spanish red
Vallejo Model Color 70952 Lemon Yellow- 
a bright, pure Spanish yellow
Army Painter Lava Orange- a fairly strong, slightly reddish orange
Vallejo Model Color 70891 Intermediate 
Green- a medium-dark green with a hint of yellow
Vallejo Game Color 72035 Dead Flesh- a medium light green with a hint of yellow
Vallejo Model Color 70806 Lazur Yellow-  chartreuse. Can’t believe someone invented that color, but it was popular then, so I feel artistically obligated to find somewhere I want to use it.
Vallejo Model Color 70802 Sunset Red-  this is basically your hot pink. Yup, Barbie pink. They hadn’t really discovered artificial pigment yet, so it doesn’t have that overloaded color we think of as hot pink now, but it’s still bold.
Vallejo Game Color 72013 Squid Pink-  I swear I didn’t just buy this to paint my Edo, but now it has to happen.   This is the color of the “Pink Cadillac”. It has a touch of blue in it you might not expect, but I swear it's right.
Vallejo Model Color 70811 Blue Violet-  basically, lavender (not too light)
Vallejo Game Color 72039 Plague Brown-  goldenrod

Another classic car-jet bike combo
  We didn’t buy every single unique color I found referenced in 50’s color schemes. There are a few close variations that we didn’t buy separately. And, of course, you still have the more basic, common colors that we don’t need to pick out for you. Black and white were highly popular. You can also use navy blue, your regular deep hunter/forest green, and your other basic neutrals (browns and grays). I have included a couple links below in case you want to look at them yourself to hunt for a few more colors you might like, and to give you a few more ideas for period color combinations. Desktop Publishing:

This woman's turquoise oven matches her "toasters"- no one's stealing that roast!

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