Model Airplane paint mixes/formulae – Tamiya & others

I’ve turned up a number of formulae for US WWII era “Interior green” and the British “interior green” fuel-and-oil-proof paint which was a different color and served a slightly different purpose. I’m going to post the formulae now, explanation later.

US green zinc chromate (Interior Green?) from Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A cockpit, etc instructions:

2 parts XF-3 (Flat Yellow)  + 1 part XF-5 (Flat green). I’ll have to make some of this and report what color it is. US “Interior Green” A/N 611 wasn’t a paint available in  cans, it was a standard color that zinc chromate was supposed to be tinted to using black pigment.

Bell Aircraft used a bronze-green finish on interior surfacesr of  of P-39s and P-63s. I don’t have an FS number that approximates it but here are a number of formulae offered by Eduard for their 1/48 P-39/P-400 kit.

Bell interior bronze green:

Tamiya: 1 part XF-4 + 1 part XF-5.
Humbroil #158
Revell AG 2 parts #60 + 1 part #362
Testors  #1734
Gunze Sangyo H405.

I’ll post the British Interior Green mix from Tamiya and Revell AG paints tomorrow.

6 responses to “Model Airplane paint mixes/formulae – Tamiya & others

  1. Hi,
    I’d really love to know about any paint mixes that are suitable for Mosquitos especially PR versions and also that weird greeny blue primer the japanese used in WW2.
    Regards Keith

    • Hi Keith,
      In reverse order- contemporary scholarship suggests that the translucent blue green we were all told was used on Japanese fighters may have been an artifact of preservation and age, and far more prosaic grey-green tones may have graced the real airplane of the IJN and IJA. I’ll try to remember to put a link in here to some of the discussion I’ve seen.. Tamiya’s 1/32 Zero’s colors and markings are pretty much state-of-the-world as far as understanding this stuff. As would Sweet’s 1/144 effort’s be… Its clear that Nakajima and Mitsubishi each had their own interior colors (as different Japanese naval bases had their own light grays…) Tamiya has recently issued some greyish greens and greenish grays which are intended to represent the real interior colors and exterior grays of WWII Japanese airplanes.

      Regarding Mosquitos, the stock answer is
      PRU blue for PR/B Mk IVs, later marks. Red tails or red/white stripes in 1944-45
      and:
      Ocean Gray/Dark Green top, Medium Sea Gray undersides, for Fighter Bomber versions (FB VI, etc) over land,
      Extra dark sea gray over Sky (?) for Costal Command birds (FB VI, etc.)
      Ocean Gray/Dark Green with a black underside for night intruders and night bombers/pathfinders (B Mk IV, etc)
      Medium Sea Gray overall with Dark Green daytime pattern on the upper surface for later night fighters (NF Mk blahblahblah)
      (Smooth) Night (ie black) overall for early night fighters (NF Mk II)
      Overall Yellow for trainers (T Mk III)
      Overall Aluminum (paint) for all, at various times post-war
      Dark Green (RAF or RAAF?) and Dark Earth (RAF or RAAF?) over Azure Blue for Pacific/Asian operations
      Dark Green and Dark Earth (RAF standard) over Sky for delivery (but not operational use) of B Mk IV to 105 Squadron and PR Mk IVs to their first users…

      There are a couple of large format, softbound books from Scale Aircraft Modeling covering the fighter/fighter bomber versions and the photoreconniscane/bomber versions, including both the typical and well documented schemes and some provisional schemes based on models made at the time, recollections, forensic examination of black and white photos., etc. Some of their provisional schemes are interesting- dark green and dark earth over azure blue, various turns and twists on the way to PRU blue schemes.

      And of course, the BOAC Mosquitos which flew to Stockholm… The original B Mk IV series II went in light gray, no markings, then green and brown in the *large airplane* pattern, with aluminum underside. The FB Mk VIs were painted in a Temperate Sea Scheme (Extra Dark Sea Gray & Slate Gray) over… hmm, don’t remember.

      The Dulcimus press Camouflage and Markings pamphlet on Mosquito Fighters in northern Europe is useful, and nice color illustrations of typical schemes are supplied in both the SAMI Modeller’s Datafile and the Aero Detail books. The two Profile publications and the Richard Ward Aero book from the 1960s are reasonable starting places but tend to spend the most time on the most typical schemes- a symphony of dark green and grays.

      The various better decal makers will supply finishing info, which adds to what can be found between covers, and in magazines. At this 65 year remove from the actual events, a consensus exists, but if you are building a specific airplane, you’ll want photos of it during the day to compare to.

      I buy pre-mixed Polly Scale
      British Dark Green,
      Dark Earth,
      Sky,
      Extra Dark Sea Gray,
      Ocean Gray,
      Medium Sea Gray (aka Sea Gray, Medium) and
      PRU Blue.
      I’ve also mixed my own “ocean gray” using 7 parts Medium Sea Gray and 1 part Black- not reallly the offical “Ocean Gray” color, but this was the given alternative when the color was originally standardized and required in 1942.

      Hope this helps!
      Bill

  2. Very good list of color mix!!! Keep on good work :)

  3. that is good information for me, thanks

  4. i need to know the color of the underside of fb mk. IV painted dark sea gray on top.

    • I’d guess “Sky” but Sea Gray Medium would be my second guess. I’ll have a look at references….

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