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In the mid 1990s, Colourcoats was established as the first model paint brand offering shades specifically for modellers of Royal Navy subjects, based upon the most comprehensive information available at the time.


In recent years, the delving of some individual enthusiasts into primary source documents in various National Archives made it clear that there were conflicts, anomalies and some straight contradictions between the widely held wisdom on the matter and what was actually written down in black and white and communicated to the fleet through the official channels at the time. For the past two years we have been working with these individuals by bringing us all together to pool our resources; each having discovered separate, isolated pieces of the larger jigsaw puzzle. Combining this with industry expertise sought and willingly given by several recognised experts on paint chemistry, we have been able to determine which anomalies are the result of incorrect assumptions and which were in fact correct identification of the correct paint, but that the old oil paint samples have significantly colour-shifted in the many decades since they were first made.


Regular customers of Colourcoats' Royal Navy products may have already noted the migration in our webstore now started. The entire RNxx range is now discontinued and will not be remanufactured, however they will remain available until existing inventories are depleted. An entirely new range coded NARNxx is to replace our Royal Navy offering. Initially this will accommodate the 1936-1950ish era, but spacing has been left in the numbering to migrate the earlier shades in due course.


Colours which are simply being renumbered without a shade change are:


RN28 becomes NARN20

RN01 becomes NARN23

RN02 becomes NARN24

RN18 becomes NARN25

RN04 becomes NARN28

RN07 becomes NARN33

RN09 becomes NARN39

RN19 becomes NARN42

RN24 becomes NARN44

RN27 becomes NARN45

RN26 becomes NARN46


All other NARNxx colours are new products, whether altered slightly or significantly from the similarly labelled product from the out-going RNxx range.


Our new range is as follows, organised vertically by appropriate time period and horizontally by camouflage tone. This organisation should assist the consumer (along with our research papers) to quickly spot and exercise caution over colour scheme references which demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding by "cross breeding" paint ranges.




Products NARN20 and NARN21 are offered in parallel as alternatives to each other, NARN20 being a 13%RF version of Home Fleet Grey with NARN21 offering a 10%RF version. Similarly, as the greens used in the 1943 "B" series were specified in quantity but not in type, we offer NARN33 as B.5 or B15, and an alternative NARN35 as B15 with a greener caste. It can be seen from the above that G10 replaced bother M.S.2 and 507A, whilst B30 replaced both M.S.4 and B.6 and B55 replaced both Western Approaches Blue and Western Approaches Green. Lastly, B20 replaced G20 from mid 1944 (with a brief overlap).

These are in manufacture at time of writing, and will be on sale within 4 to 6 weeks. The Flotta Green and Brown will be a little later, but not too much, and we may add PB.10 also now that more kits of Royal Navy submarines are beginning to appear on the market.

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Thanks indeed for your role in pulling all this together and your perseverance is much appreciated. 


Your RN02 item has been showing "Coming soon" for some time and I had been delaying making an order to meet my future projects which I would wish to match the other models I have already done.  Can you confirm that there will be a final batch of RN02 forthcoming?

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55 minutes ago, Francis Macnaughton said:



Thanks indeed for your role in pulling all this together and your perseverance is much appreciated. 


Your RN02 item has been showing "Coming soon" for some time and I had been delaying making an order to meet my future projects which I would wish to match the other models I have already done.  Can you confirm that there will be a final batch of RN02 forthcoming?


Hi Francis, RN02 has been the "problem child" in the range for a while. We held off producing any more because I knew it was wrong for 507B (very annoying because I have completed models painted in it myself). Since we found CAFO 1112/42 however we have confirmed that a medium grey, approximately to the tone of M.S.3 and/ or Mountbatten Pink was allowable for emergency camouflage without pattern designs, comprised of equal parts 507A and 507C, that would make RN02 with its 20% Light Reflectance Value in the right ballpark for emergency mix grey. Hence, we will make smaller quantities of the same colour as NARN24, for a while at least.


In short, RN02 will never be back per se but we will offer NARN24 of the same shade in its place but with its new reason for existing clearly explained - but I expect (and hope!) that sales of that decline compared to RN02 as modellers come to terms with the error that was whatever logic drove people to think 507A, 507B and 507C were 3 distinct tones of grey when the facts have been written down in black and white, free to view in the public domain for decades. Even though that error was not mine, I feel a degree of personal responsibility and embarrassment for having sold RN02 in particular for the past 3+ years only to then have to announce that the basis of that shade is unsound.


All of the above except NARN26, NARN27 and NARN35 are in manufacture now. Those three will follow when more urgent priorities are dealt with. We have 26 shades in manufacture presently with a further 30odd queued behind. What is now NARN24 (ex RN02) is in the first lot.


Part of the reason for the total-renumber is to completely sever all past references for model paint schemes that call for, for example, RN02 when they really mean Home Fleet Grey.


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  • 2 weeks later...

When we introduce new colours, it is a somewhat iterative and experienced-based process to match the colour exactly despite the computerised injection of pigment!


The computer scans a sample, measures its colourspace values and then calculates pigment injection quantities to make that colour. It's seldom spot-on however.




What happens next is that a small sample of the paint is applied to a card using a special stick with small rings to give a 100 micron clearance from the card and thus apply a 100 micron film thickness of paint. This is allowed to dry (which almost always results in a colour shift) and the dried sample is measured and human experience and expertise makes small adjustments to the pigmentation. This is repeated until the dried sample measures within the tolerances we expect. In the photograph you can see some of the paints we have in production as of today, and most of these are the new Royal Navy shades. Shown in the image are two layers of test cards; these paints have had their first correction today.


Once the samples measure out properly, the adjustments made to the pigmentation formulae are saved, and the machines are accurate enough to replicate that formula over and over again thereafter.


N.B. usual caveats of photographs apply. This was taken on a camera phone indoors under artificial light so several of these do look somewhat weird! The actual matching process is done using measurements by spectrophotometer with calibrated light source! ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

The first of the new paints are here (6 new colours plus some others needed for general restocking) and I am very pleased with them. I am about to start spraying lids and hope to have these on sale during this week.

The new ones include:

507A / G10 at 10% LRV
507C / G45

plus some more Corticene and what used to be RN02 Medium Grey which is now Equal Parts 507A/507C Emergency Mix

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Amongst yesterday's arrivals were 2.5 litre batches of NARN21 - Home Fleet Grey 507A / G10 at 10% RF and NARN22 - Light Grey / 507C / G45



I got through a personal best of 8 colours of tin lids in a single evening after day-job last night.



Tonight I will start tinning. I hope this will prove to have been worth all the effort!

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Royal Navy WW2 paint colours MS1, MS2, MS3, MS4, MS4A and B5 now revised and updated in line with latest primary source research and available now




1944 to 1945 B20 is also now available.


507A / G10, 507C / G45, Equal Parts 507A / 507C Medium Grey Emergency Mix to follow tonight.


B6, B30, B55 and Western Approaches Blue to follow shortly, and Flotta shades will come in after those.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think we're about there now with the main colours. There are a few stragglers that possibly nobody will miss for a while at least!

Available individually here:


And we're starting on the boxed sets here:
























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  • 1 year later...

Since I now know this, I thought I'd repeat the post here incase it helps anyone with an older stash:


This isn't perfect, but having CIELAB coordinates helps a LOT, so without much time or effort I've made a mix of paints you probably already have:


To make a passable B6 based on the older, discontinued Colourcoats RN11 paint:


8 drops of RN11 B6

2 drops of corrected (i.e. blue, not grey) RN07 B5 - which I've seen in your photos (use NARN33 if you don't have RN07(revised))

1 drop of RN19 anti-fouling red but any red should do the trick of cancelling out RN11's rogue green hue (use NARN42 if you don't have RN19)


There's a little dab of the resultant colour on the lid of our new NARN34 B6 pointed at using the paint stirring stick:




It could benefit from just the smallest dot of extra red, but the above was too small a batch size. One extra drop of red would (and indeed did) go way too far towards mauve. If you made maybe 5 times as much as I did then an extra drop of red would get it almost perfect I think. Hopefully this helps people get more accurate models whilst using up RN11 which was a lovely paint, just not the right colour!

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