Re: Matching Tek Blue Paint

Jim Ford

As far as I can remember, test gear was colored orange and "shop aids" (stuff not meant to go on aircraft) were colored red. We had to put orange tape every foot or so (I don't remember the exact spacing as it's been several decades now) on some cables we were using for tests back in the 1990's when I worked at Lockheed. Makes sense to color code stuff for one more layer of idiot-proofing, as long as the techs aren't color blind, though!

Jim Ford

------ Original Message ------
From: "stevenhorii" <>
Sent: 5/26/2021 1:27:04 PM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Matching Tek Blue Paint

I bought a Tek 454 from DoD surplus years ago. The case had been painted
"international orange" which I believe was used to indicate flight line
maintenance equipment (those with military troubleshooting likely know for
sure - also aircraft and some shipboard maintenance stuff was housed in, or
transported in, yellow aluminum transit cases). The paint was scratched. I
ordered a can of Tek blue paint from Tektronix and repainted the case.

I have a photometer for reflective color analysis. I will run it on some of
my pieces of Tek gear and post the results here. It outputs various paint
coloring pigments and the proportion needed to match the color. It will
also give matching commercial paints and will tell you how close a match
you can get with the closest match off the shelf color. This was a
crowdfunded thing called "Spot" and it seems to work quite well. It has a
built-in white reflective calibration target (the cap over the sensor). The
report is generated to a cell phone or tablet app via BlueTooth. There is
an extra-cost option to add Pantone matches but I am not sure I will buy

Steve Horii

On Wed, May 26, 2021 at 3:56 PM <> wrote:

I'm one of these guys that remembers, when I was young
and couldn't afford most
or any of the test gear that I now own. A good share of it I
have fixed/repaired/restored.
My WIFE (she who must be obeyed) won't ever ask about
something that looks nice.
If it looks like I brought it home after being dragged here
by the car/truck, I'll never here
the end of it. Added to that is the way in which I get most
of my test gear, or radios for that matter. They need
fixed. I BUY test gear and radios that need fixed to resell.
There are people that want this stuff and they WILL buy it,
if it looks like it's been restored/repaired/fixed. NOBODY
will believe that you've changed the filter caps and done
the cal on the scope, if the case looks like it's been
dragged behind the truck. Hence THE PAINT.

As for the CAR paint job, now we're talking about a
WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL. My family is in the car
repair business (95 years worth) and if you want a REAL
bugger to match, you want to have your car painted
"Chameleon". It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to repair, spot in
or touch up. Oh, that paint is also $500 a quart. A car
collectors dream and a body shop painters nightmare.

On 26 May 2021 at 18:52, Dave Seiter wrote:

> As the owner of a poorly painted Herald and an incorrect Bugeye, I
> find it amusing when people do "better than new" restorations. If
> they were doing "proper" restorations, there would be loose washers
> in the fender wells, chipped paint in inconspicuous places,
> mis-aligned panels, etc. Lots of imperfections. Similarly,
> what's the point of having a perfect scope? Is it going to sit in
> a museum and never get used again? I'd rather have less than
> perfect looking scope that worked flawlessly (OTOH, touch up paint
> of even a slightly wrong color would be really annoying!) To me, if
> it's all the same color, I'm ok with it. Long ago, a buddy of mine
> had a Mercury Cyclone in metallic blue. One of the front fender
> caps (I think that's the correct term) was badly scratched, and he
> spent ages trying to get it resprayed to match the rest of the
> car. Besides the usual paint issues, he had to deal with the
> metallic flakes- size, color, and especially difficult, the way they
> came to rest when the paint cured. He told me afterwards that it
> would have been easier to respray the entire car.
> -Dave
> On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 06:27:19 AM PDT, Michael W. Lynch
> via <> wrote:
> On Wed, May 26, 2021 at 07:53 AM, Keith wrote:
> >
> > Everyone comes up with a solution that agrees with their personal
> philosophy.
> >
> > Then the world walks by, most of whom having never even driven
> (much less
> > actually restored with their own hands) a classic. These people
> judge in 30
> > seconds glance what might be 10 years´ work for the restorer.
> >
> > Makes me glad I´m doing scopes nowadays,
> >
> Remember that only a very few of those who walk by have actually
> seen or know about those details. If one has actually worked on
> such a car, then they might recall such details. Otherwise, they
> are depending on a period photo or an assembly manual for that
> information. This is why so many things are "over-restored" in an
> attempt to make them "perfect". Perfection is w state in which
> none of these items ever existed. It comes down to the fact that
> anything, from scopes, to guitars, to motorcycles to Classic cars;
> they are only "original" once. .
> --
> Michael Lynch
> Dardanelle, AR

Kim Herron W8ZV

Kim Herron
kim dot herron at sbcglobal dot net

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