Luminous Paints

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Siddley, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Siddley

    Siddley Active Member

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    I didn't really know where to post this, although it's sort of about modelling - so into 'off topic' it goes I guess...

    As part of my FW190 cockpit project ( thanks to all the other deranged cockpit builders here who finally tipped me over the edge into starting this time and wallet crippling exercise in futility :) ) I'm thinking about making a replica Luftwaffe clock after I have done with the flight controls.
    I'm not going to go crazy about authenticity but I would like it to have luminous paint on the dial. Radium being in short supply here I suppose I'll have to use luminous paint but I don't have a clue what is any good and what isn't.
    I remember luminous paints from the 70's when I was building those ( Aurora ? ) horror model kits and they didn't work very well.

    Any suggestions ?
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Revell also made the haunted pirate ships that included a bottle of luminous green paint. (Which I put on all sorts of other models) :lol:

    It seemed decent enough, especially since I had a black-light fixture that really lit the ghost ship up.

    Anyway, I know of one place in the UK that manufactures and distributes luminous paints and they come in various colors besides that haunted green color.

    GLOWTEC UK - Glow-in-the-Dark Luminous UV SMART Paint Range.
     
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  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Now that's a relief.....I thought at first, it said! 'Luminous Pants'! :lol:
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Those are great pants, helps you find the Facilities and corrects your aim
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    You know that those old instruments (including my timex watch I had as a child) were illuminated with Radium?
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Sounds rather like 70's disco! :lol:
     
  7. Siddley

    Siddley Active Member

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    Luminous pants :D
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Those "Glow in the Dark" watch dials used the same paints as today. They contain mineral pigments that FLUORESS when some type of energy kicks an orbital electron into a higher quantum state. The excited electron returns to its ground state by emitting lower energy photons. This was first observed in the mineral Fluorspar hence fluoressence. In the original watch dials radioactive radium a Beta emitter supplied the high energy electrons. The dangers posed by the radioactive element (especially workers who pointed their brushes with their tongues) led to its removal. The fluoressing pigments can be excited by strong white light and will store some energy to continue fluoressing after the light is removed for a time. To continue fluoressing energy must be supplied. Thus we have minerals that fluoress under UV (Black) light.
    These "Black-light" dyes are used in almost all laundry detergents making whites actually "whiter than white" as the white fabric reflects all visable light and the dye absorbs UV (invisable) light and emitts visable light photons
    Newer "Glow in the Dark" devices use Tritium which is radioactive hydrogen. Tritium has a half-life of a bit over 12years and being lighter than air will diffuse into the air very quickly so it is considered to be much safer than the original radium
     
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  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    They phased out Radium on watch faces/hands during the late 1950's and early to mid 1960's.

    Mine was Radium. Mom and Dad got into an argument about it being radioactive (Mom had heard about Radium being dangerous) so Dad's friend brought over a Geiger counter (that he used to hunt Uranium with...big thing to prospect for Uranium back in the 50's) and they checked my watch. Sure enough, it registered (quite loudly, as I recall) and that was the end of my cool watch that used to cast a green glow on my bedside table at night :(

    And lo and behold, the Geiger counter was picking something else up, too...yep, Dad not only lost the argument with Mom, he also lost his wrist watch... :lol:
     
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  10. Siddley

    Siddley Active Member

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    I used to do a fair amount of work on military weaponsights at one time so me and Tritium are very good friends. It's a wonder I haven't got luminous pants actually :D
     
  11. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #11 mikewint, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
    Dave, I had one too and even a clock with "Glow in the Dark" hands. Dad received a CD (Civil Defense) bright yellow Geiger Counter for when the Russians dropped the Big One and I thought it was really cool when the watch made it click. Then again I loved to play with the shoe store X-ray machine. Thought it was really cool to watch my toes wiggle.
    Radium's half-life is 1600 years so it remains a strong beta emitter. Back in the early 1900s the girls who painted the dials were told the paint was harmless and besides licking the brushes they painted it on their teeth, faces, fingernails, belt buckles, etc.
    From 1921
     

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  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I heard that they exhumed some of the "radium girls" to conduct more tests (as they were still learning about the effects of radiation at the time) and their bones glowed in the dark (dimly) and by glowing, they meant actually glowing without benefit of any light source that may cause a natural "glowing" that bones are known to do because of their composition.
     
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