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A6M2 Zero Color question


Doom3r
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Hi guys,

 

It's me again with the color question. Yesterday decided to do a quick build of the latest Zero from Airfix (https://www.scalemates.com/kits/1025402-airfix-a01005a-mitsubishi-a6m2b-zero) and a bit puzzled by the color instructions suggest: Humbrol 168 - Satin Hemp (it says that it is approximately IJN J3 SP). Since I here in US it is impossible to get Humbrol could somebody suggest alternative in Tamiya or Model Master acrylic colors? Also since this is a 1st time I come across this paint scheme can somebody let me know what are the reasons for this color? I always though Zeroes were either Grey-Green or top Dark Green and light green/grey-green bottom. Is this the color Nakajima used for Zeroes?

 

Thanks!

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No. it is now known to be the correct overall colour for early war Zeros.  Later they gained dark green tops.  In service the colour faded with time to a light grey, hence the long confusion over the colour.  So you could try something a little less intense than Hemp provided it was in the direction of a light grey.

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49 minutes ago, Doom3r said:

ol could somebody suggest alternative in Tamiya or Model Master acrylic colors? Also since this is a 1st time I come across this paint scheme can somebody let me know what are the reasons for this color? I always though Zeroes were either Grey-Green or top Dark Green and light green/grey-green bottom. Is this the color Nakajima used for Zeroes?

 

Tamiya XF-76 is Tamiya's Zero colour, it's rated as being ok for a slightly faced colour.

 

For a far more detailed explanation, read the posts on Aviation of Japan

http://www.aviationofjapan.com/search?q=Zero+grey

The link is for Zero+grey, the 2nd posting has information on XF-76

 

Note the background colour on the blog pages is the unfaded amber grey.  The Aviation of Japan site is the best place currently for information on this kind  of information.

If you really want to learn all the details, buy the pdf listed in the right side bar, 

 

HTH

T

 

 

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Following on from Troy's posts, i know people have used Modelmaster concrete, which is an ok but not that accurate colour for the A6M2. I ended up going down the custom mixed colour using either Nick or Greg Spencer colour recipes (can't remember which).

Also note that the fabric Ailerons, tailerons and rudder are all a different more grey colour. 

Just to make it more complex depending on who made the airframe (Mitsubishi or Nakajima) will affect wheelbay colour and the colour of the decking under the canopy.

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Oh, so this is standard early Zero color, isn't it? The reason I was confused is b/c for their Pearl Harbor Anniversary kit they mention Humbrol 90 (Matt Beige Green) which I substituted with XF-76 (per Tamiya instructions).   I thought that if Airfix changed the color and printed in a bit more tan color then this is completely different color.

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5 hours ago, Doom3r said:

Oh, so this is standard early Zero color, isn't it? The reason I was confused is b/c for their Pearl Harbor Anniversary kit they mention Humbrol 90 (Matt Beige Green) which I substituted with XF-76 (per Tamiya instructions).   I thought that if Airfix changed the color and printed in a bit more tan color then this is completely different color.

Airfix will always quote whtat they think is the nearest Humbrol colour, and their thinking in this respect was probably biased by the school of thought that referred to a pistachio green, as opposed to those who had described mustard.  This was before original IJN colour chips were found.  I can only echo those who have referred to Nick  Millman's discussions on the matter.  He has published a Guideline booklet on the early Zero where this is described in full.

 

It is probably true to say that Hemp - which in real life is a colour that can vary considerably in different lighting conditions - is an acceptable approximation to the original rather than an exact match.  Accurate Japanese colours are available in the Colour coats range of enamels obtainable from Sovereign Hobbies, who were advised by Nick to alter this and some other colours in the original White Ensign Colourcoats range.

 

I feel that Airfix were just behind the cutting edge of research at the time of the initial kit release, but have since caught up, to their credit.

 

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Yeah, just checked out instructions for B5N2 and on of the options has the same pistachio green color as in Zero their Pearl Harbor kit but instead of 90 it mentions 168. I suspect the release of the Kate kit was around the time when chips were found and color code was changed but drawings weren't. Well... I guess it was good that I used colors suggested by Tamiya instead of Airfix for the older kit :) 

Also thanks for pointing out for the interesting articles on the subject. 

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Since you mentioned Model Master, I use their (sadly now discontinued except for spray cans) no 1792 SAC Bomber Tan FS 34201 mixed with some RLM 02 and a bit of white as desired. 34201 is one of the oft-quoted FS approximations for the color. The other, more commonly quoted, is 16350, which is pretty similar to 34201.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi,

Has anyone got any suggestions for an other Green i could use for the A6M2 ZERO. I have 168 hemp but not the 75 recommended.

The Green Colours I have are   66 olive,116 us dark,117 us light,(226The cockpit green enamel and 159 ,80,101 enamel) Does  anyone have some suggestions on mixing any colours with one or more of theses  to make a suitable green for this model? Cheers John

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Colourcoats do the perfect match for this colour, ACJ16, plus they also do the correct blue/black for the cowling and fuselage deck underneath the canopy, and the prop brown as well so job done.

 

Sovereign involved/consulted Nick Millman when producing these colours so you can't get any better than that.

 

egards

Colin.

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46 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

Colourcoats do the perfect match for this colour, ACJ16, plus they also do the correct blue/black for the cowling and fuselage deck underneath the canopy, and the prop brown as well so job done.

 

Sovereign involved/consulted Nick Millman when producing these colours so you can't get any better than that.

 

egards

Colin.

Cheers, I had the correct green for the cockpit (suggested colour on box anyway) and i mixed 104 blue with 33 for the cowling but its a little too dark. I will try 60/40 blue to black for another coat.  I just need to mix a green close enough, not too bothered about being spot on. Its 2nd model we have built and its not without its newbie mistakes.  Thanks for your help.  John.

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I believe RAL 7034 is the closest color from a current recognized standard. You can view that in an online viewer, or, as already suggested, check out Nick Millman's blog (www.aviationofjapan.com). Its background color is another example of what you should be going for.

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10 hours ago, johnteddy said:

Hi,

Has anyone got any suggestions for an other Green i could use for the A6M2 ZERO. I have 168 hemp but not the 75 recommended.

The Green Colours I have are   66 olive,116 us dark,117 us light,(226The cockpit green enamel and 159 ,80,101 enamel) Does  anyone have some suggestions on mixing any colours with one or more of theses  to make a suitable green for this model? Cheers John

I have just used a couple of the recently introduced AK Real Colors Japanese shades, which were reportedly developed with consultation from Nick Millman. RC303, labeled "IJN J3 SP (Amber Grey) was recommended on another forum as the one to use for Mitsubishi-produced planes, and to me it looks really good. I used their RC302 "IJN J3 Hai-Iro (Grey)" for the fabric ailerons and elevators. It's lighter and grayer and was also recommended for Nakajima-built planes.

 

I'm using their RC304 "IJN D1 Deep Green Black" for the upper surfaces of a J2M3. I think it would be a good choice for a dark green camouflaged, Mitsubishi-built Zero as well. They also have RC305 D2 Green Black, which I think would be good for N1K2-J's and maybe Nakajima-built A6m5s.

 

Gunze's Mr. Color makes what I think is a very good cowling black, C125, definitely black, but with a discernible blue cast. They've got propeller tea-brown, C131, which is my go-to. I've also just used for the first time their Orange-Yellow C58, which IMHO is a really good choice for leading edge stripes and other markings.

 

Both Real Colors and Mr. Color are acrylic lacquers.

Edited by Seawinder
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For Nakajima built 'grey' Zeros Colourcoats also have this covered with their ACJ17/Ameiro (although currently out of stock) and their green ACJ05/Midori iro would seem to be a good match for the mid-war green upper surfaces as well.

 

As an enamel user I confess I'm firmly wedded to Colourcoats  now as they are the best out there IMHO, based upon my recent experiences, but appreciate this isn't much help if you prefer acrylics, but it might be worth giving them a go as the odour is not that great.

 

Will be spraying my Eduard F6F-3 Hellcat soon-ish using Colourcoats again, just a pity I'm not on commission!

 

Regards

Colin.

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28 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

For Nakajima built 'grey' Zeros Colourcoats also have this covered with their ACJ17/Ameiro (although currently out of stock) and their green ACJ05/Midori iro would seem to be a good match for the mid-war green upper surfaces as well.

 

Please take into account that ACJ05 #21 Midori Iro is a Japanese Army Air Force colour; for an A6M2 you need an Navy Air Force colour, like ACJ01 D1 or ACJ03 D2.

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49 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

For Nakajima built 'grey' Zeros Colourcoats also have this covered with their ACJ17/Ameiro (although currently out of stock) and their green ACJ05/Midori iro would seem to be a good match for the mid-war green upper surfaces as well.

 

As an enamel user I confess I'm firmly wedded to Colourcoats  now as they are the best out there IMHO, based upon my recent experiences, but appreciate this isn't much help if you prefer acrylics, but it might be worth giving them a go as the odour is not that great.

 

Will be spraying my Eduard F6F-3 Hellcat soon-ish using Colourcoats again, just a pity I'm not on commission!

 

Regards

Colin.

I dislike aqueous acrylics, but I am getting more and more attached to the various acrylic lacquers.

 

At the risk of hijacking the thread, I bought tins of all three Sea Blues from Colourcoats and thought I was going to use them on my recent F6F-3 build. FWIW, taking the chips in Elliott's Monogram USN and Marine Color Guide vol. 2 as standards, Colourcoats Non-Spec Sea Blue is darker and greener, Semigloss Sea Blue is lighter and greener, and Gloss Sea Blue is lighter and grayer. I ended up using some Model Master enamel Non Spec Sea Blue, which was very close but a bit dark, and adding just a bit of their Intermediate Blue. I've been meaning to post some comparison photos of the Colourcoats shades with the Elliott chips and will do so at some point soon.

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My adherence to Colourcoats is due in part to the fact that they are the best enamels I've come across when it comes to thinning and spraying (I only use enamels) and generally they are pretty accurate so I'll be using them on my current F6F-3 project even if perhaps they don't align exactly with the chips mentioned. I could perhaps adjust them slightly but I prefer to use paints straight out of the tin as my mixing skills are not that great and I often end up forgetting what ratios I've used to obtain a particular colour!

 

I'm assuming these chips are widely accepted as being 100% accurate in terms of what the colours should have been although to what degree the colour actually varied during production , as it's unlikely to have been exactly the same throughout, is open to question and debate perhaps?

 

Regards

Colin.

Edited by fishplanebeer
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17 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

My adherence to Colourcoats is due in part to the fact that they are the best enamels I've come across when it comes to thinning and spraying (I only use enamels) and generally they are pretty accurate so I'll be using them on my current F6F-3 project even if perhaps they don't align exactly with the chips mentioned. I could perhaps adjust them slightly but I prefer to use paints straight out of the tin as my mixing skills are not that great and I often end up forgetting what ratios I've used to obtain a particular colour!

 

I'm assuming these chips are widely accepted as being 100% accurate in terms of what the colours should have been although to what degree the colour actually varied during production , as it's unlikely to have been exactly the same throughout, is open to question and debate perhaps?

 

Regards

Colin.

True, Colin. IIRC, Jamie has said that he expected that production variance for WWII colours was on the order of 5.0 dE, which is fairly large. While I don't know what his standard is for the batches of paint he accepts, I feel that I was pretty lucky to get a bottle of MMP-110 (their early Mitsubishi Zero airframe color) that measured out so close (dE 1.31) to Nick Millman's proposed color. Someone else might not get one as close. Or might get the same or closer. It's the luck of the draw.

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18 minutes ago, Rolls-Royce said:

True, Colin. IIRC, Jamie has said that he expected that production variance for WWII colours was on the order of 5.0 dE, which is fairly large. While I don't know what his standard is for the batches of paint he accepts, I feel that I was pretty lucky to get a bottle of MMP-110 (their early Mitsubishi Zero airframe color) that measured out so close (dE 1.31) to Nick Millman's proposed color. Someone else might not get one as close. Or might get the same or closer. It's the luck of the draw.

 

@Rolls-Royce, MMP-110 is a water-based acrylic from Mission Models Paints; where you perhaps referring to AJC16, Sovereign's version of Mitsubishi's warm J3?

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1 hour ago, Fukuryu said:

 

@Rolls-Royce, MMP-110 is a water-based acrylic from Mission Models Paints; where you perhaps referring to AJC16, Sovereign's version of Mitsubishi's warm J3?

I'm aware of the difference, Daniel. My meaning was that given the variance that can be expected between batches of paint, I was probably very lucky to get a bottle that was so close - less than 2 dE - to an accepted reference. I only mentioned Jamie's statement in relation to the likely tolerances in the original paints.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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