Ok, so I was able to take a better picture that really shows the color in my Lippmann plate.
The only color is in the gas tank, and as you can see it is definitely a good representation. And actually, the digi-snap looks much less life-like than the Lippmann.
I took this by angling a piece of glass at 45° over the plate and diffused the light from a tungsten bulb with tracing paper. In layman's terms, the key is to reflect a wide swatch of featureless light into your eyes from the plate. For instance, if you take it outside on a cloudless day, you see a reflection of a blue sky, but if you take it outside on an overcast day you will reflect back the featureless cloudy sky and this makes for the best viewing.