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  1. I've decided to do something fun. Namely, do a small build that is focused on discovering and making colors. For the build itself I've chosen a relatively simple model - 1/72 Airfix Mitsubishi A6M2b 'Zero'. I've opened a box and noticed a small issue. The wheel covers were broken off (marked red). I may need to either get creative or make the model wheels up. We'll see where I end up. I've also used my Shilouette cutter to cut Tamiya mask with cockpit mask (green square above). Now my main focus was how to get the proper colors. I've got my sources from a Camouflage and Markings of the Imperial Navy Fighters in WW II, which has 16 samples of colors (not printouts) and looked decently for me. Sadly, my japaneese is a bit rusty to say the least... I am not 100% sure if those colors are exact or not but they look good to me. It was interesting to see the differences between Dark Greens to be so profound even if the RGB values of them are very close. The difference in gloss level was also very visible, I've added readouts from the gloss meter too - it is the GU number after the color name. Translations are mine and may be way off But I've got the colors sourced. Here is the spectrophotometer readout of them all: The original sources provided mixes for Tamiya paints, but I *had* to be different, of course Instead of an easy way I did some spectral matches of the colors using Golden Fluid acrylics and decided to make my work with them. Here are the calculated recipes for the colors above: (parts by mass) But more I've looked at the Airfix interpretation, more it was off. I did some some small research about this aircraft and I've found an actual photo. It was black & white, blurry and made out of printout scan but after small cleanup, and colorizing I've received this one: The colors are obviously false, it is just an AI interpretation and was there to give me more of an overview than a reference. But something was still bit off. The white border around the red circle was bit too bright and too contrasting with the light grey that supposed to be used on Mitsubishi airplanes. Then I also found out the references that this aircraft was actually a trainer. That means, it was not supposed to have the grey bottom as called by Airfix, but a trainer yellow instead. That would also explain the lack of the clear visibility of wing yellow band on front of the wing - it simply was too similar to the bottom of the aircraft color. Thus, I've decided to paint it Mitsubishi Green on top and Trainer Yellow on bottom. Similar to the one on in this book - https://rarebooksjapan.com/?p=22761 Meanwhile I worked on the "awesome" pilot figurine: First, a quick spray with two primers to do some basic zenithal priming. And a layer of contrast paint made from golden acrylics: To make a contrast paint, I've used flow enhancer, gloss medium and airbrush medium to dilute the pigments and turn them into a contrast paint. I did not go into much details with the pilot - I planned to make the cockpit closed so he will be barely visible anyway. The colors used were: Black for shoes, sienna for outfit with tiny bit of pyrrole red mixed to paint face and titan buff for highlights. Contrast paint did the rest of shading work for me. Then I've made Mitsubishi Interior paint with the recipe I've provided above. After airbrushing and assembling the cockpit, I've added some decals, and weathered it all with bone black and raw umber to simulate dirt and oil grime, diluted and mixed with flow improver to make it go to the recesses first. I've also mixed small amount of Aotake for which I've used the recipe above and susbsituted part of titan green and bone black it with silver metallic medium. Then I've used same 'grime' trick as above to make the undercarriage. I have not yet decided if I will not cover them due to broken parts. I've now got the plane primed with white and awaiting trainer yellow bottom.
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