Painting a model kit is a fundamental aspect of model building, and the type of paint used is a personal preference. So, what paint do you use? For me, Model kit builds are not just putting the model together. I primarily use a selection of airbrushes, but use hand brushing techniques for fine detail and weathering.
There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a paint type. I use Acrylic, Lacquer, Oil Based and occasionally Enamel paints.
The most common manufacturers of paints I use are:
Vallejo - acrylicosvallejo.com/en/
AK Interactive - ak-interactive.com
MIG AMMO - www.migjimenez.com/en/
MSP (Master Series Paint) - www.reapermini.com/paints
Games Workshop - games-workshop.com/en-EU/Home
Golden – goldenpaints.com
Warcolours – warcolours.com
Mission Models – missionmodelsus.com
MRP (MrPaint) (Lacquer paint) – mrpaint.sk
Lifecolor - military-modelling.com/c-3358365/lifecolor-paint-sets/
Abteilung (Acrylic and Oil paint) - abteilung502.com
Colour Standards provide a reference point industry can trust when measuring colour in military colouring and camouflage, national and company transport, paint manufacturers, and hobby enthusiasts, particularly those who build models of a certain period, armies, transport, or wars. Colour standards can be applied to numerous purposes, and range from ultraviolet, visible, to infrared, wavelength ranges of 300 - 800nm.
Besides colour, the next obvious feature of a colour standard is its surface property, these range from high gloss, mid-gloss to matte. One can often see if the light is reflected or diffused on a matte surface.
The reflected light is specular light, this leaves the surface at an equal and opposite angle to that of the incident light.
However, the colour of many materials is not specular light, so to measure the colour of a standard, one needs to ignore the specular light and concentrate on the diffuse light measurement to fathom the colour of the standard.
Even today, not all paint is equal, paint is produced by a multitude of manufacturers in numerous countries colour, quality and various paint colour standards are used.
Many manufacturers provide colour conversion charts and in most cases these are fine. But if like me, you may use many paint manufacturers finding the right paint colour conversion can be time-consuming. So, I started to design a database to store the colours I mostly use. When a new colour materialises, I add it to the database.
I also add the standard codes used by some areas to define paint colours into the database:
This manufacturer paint conversion document is not yet complete, but it is constantly being updated:.
Click on the button to download the database:
The standard codes used by some areas to define paint colours into the database:
RAL – European colour matching standard that defines paint colours, plastics, and coatings colours. RAL is administrated by the RAL Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung, it is the abbreviation of ‘Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung’. Which means, ‘National Commission for Quality Assurance and Labelling’.
FS - Federal Standard is the colour description and communication system developed by the United States government in 1956. Its roots began in World War II when a problem was highlighted, that of providing exact colour specifications to military equipment subcontractors in different parts of the world became a matter of importance. But in 1991, Urban Fredriksson’s Colour Reference Charts were first published, which soon became the 'de facto standard*’ for communicating colour data between historical camouflage colour researchers and modelling enthusiasts to determine the correct colours for model paints throughout the world. Known as 595a/595B, often abbreviated as ‘FED-STD-595B’ as they have no official names.
RLM - The State Ministry of Aviation ‘ReichsLuftfahrt Ministerium’, defined the colours used by the Luftwaffe. They established a standard for colour shades, their production, and applications. There were directives, but other regulations, some of which had been established before the formation of the RLM itself in 1933, limited the number of colours available and fortified production from pigments obtainable within Germany. The paint was supplied by several companies and even though aircraft manufacturers could choose what commercial products to purchase, they had to adhere to specific uniform standards, characterised by the Farbtontafel and later by individual paint imperfections. Following is a list of RLM (Reichsluftfahrt Ministerium) paint designations used by the German Ministry of Aviation from 1933 through 1945.
ANA - Army-Navy Aeronautical Paint Colours were used by the US Federal Government from 1943 through to 1970 to standardize colours for aircraft manufactured by the American aircraft industry. But the ANA standard was abandoned in 1970 when the colour standards were transferred to the Federal Standard 595A.
BS - British Standards for colours are the United Kingdom standard for colours, it is amalgamated under the Royal Charter ‘National Standards Body’. British Standards exist to guarantee the level of quality and consistency. BS 4800 is the standard range of colours for paints, created by the British Colour Council. and is used mainly in construction and interior decoration. A colour’s name may change, but its number is constant. In 1930 the ‘British Colour Council’ came into being, its core objective was organising a standard code for colours to maintain clarity.
*The term de facto standard is used in contrast with obligatory standards known as ‘de jure standards’, or to express a dominant voluntary standard when there are many standards accessible for the same use.