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Smithy

RAF Colours - Vallejo Equivalents

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

 

I've been a long time Humbrol enamel user ever since returning to the hobby and have been very happy with them but recently I've been curious about having a go with acrylics due to the much quicker drying times (the 6 hours between coats for enamels can drive me round the twist) and not having to use stinky thinners (which isn't too good when you're cooped up inside over the winter months with the windows hermetically sealed). I'm thinking of trying out the Vallejo range with my next build as I can get hold of them easily.

 

So the next thing is finding out which Vallejo colours match which RAF colour and was hoping that other Vallejo users here might be able to help me with these best matches for RAF colours. I am a brush painter and so if I'm not mistaken the Vallejo Model Color is the first choice for brush painting, although a bit of poking around on BM seems to show that the Vallejo Model Air range can also be used with brushes (I actually have the UK Azure Blue Model Air paint and have played around with it a little bit and it seems to work OK with brushing).

 

I found as a complete novice to Vallejo paints that finding colour matches was a bit daunting and confusing so perhaps this thread might be a useful to other Vallejo "newbies" looking for RAF colour suggestions.

 

Here's what I've found so far. If they're wrong or there's better matches please post corrections or better suggestions. I've used the abbreviations: VMC for Vallejo Model Color; and VMA for Vallejo Model Air. The real thing though is matches as close to the museum chips as possible.

 

Dark Green - (a little searching seems to reveal that VMC 893 is a match to the colour chip)

 

Dark Earth - this one is a tad tricky as I've seen both VMC 873 and VMC 921, can anyone clarify?

 

Sky - Troy has mentioned VMC 885 Pastel Green as being a good one for this and judging from his recent Hurricane it certainly looks the goods

 

Ocean Grey - VMC 836?

 

Medium Sea Grey VMC 870?

 

Night - VMC 950

 

White - VMC 951

 

Middle Stone - ????

 

Azure Blue - VMA 108

 

Cockpit Grey Green - ????

 

I should add, don't feel constrained with either range, VMC or VMA, please give the colour which you think is the best match for its respective RAF colour regardless of which range it is from.

 

 

I know there's other RAF colours from the War but those are the ones that I'm interested in initially but please add matches for these other RAF colours if you feel it would make the thread more complete and helpful.

 

Thanks,

 

Tim

Edited by Smithy

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In my personal experience, VMC 888 is a good Dark Green but 893 is probably even better.

VMC 870 sure is a decent Medium Sea Grey, maybe lacks a bit of blue but really works well.

Not in the list of colours you're interested in, but VMC 867 is a nice Extra Dark Sea Grey. Again not in your list, but IMHO VMC 904 is a good PRU blue

I've tried a few from the model air and IMHO 71.302 is a decent Sky while 71.273 is ok for Ocean Grey, maybe a tiny bit dark for my taste.

 

All the above come from experience, and the paints I mention are the ones I actually use for models of British aircraft.. atlhough I prefer Xtracrylics versions of both Sky and Ocean Grey. For other colours I use acrylics from Lifecolor, who also have a good range of British colours, some good and some not so good.

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43 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Dark Earth - this one is a tad tricky as I've seen both VMC 873 and VMC 921, can anyone clarify?

I have seen VMC 921 recommended for Dark Earth on several occasions, not quite as dark looking as 873 from on line swatches, though I haven't tried it yet, I do have it.

Steve.

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Hi Smithy - for Model Air I use the following...

 

71.009EAU DE NIL or 71.302 SKY TYPE S for undersides.

 

71.126 IDF/IAF GREEN for cockpit green

 

71.323 BS DARK EARTH and 71.324 BS DARK GREEN for top sides

 

I airbrush - but 'touch up' with a brush and they all seem to brush well.

 

Cheers - Steve

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10 minutes ago, BIG X said:

Hi Smithy - for Model Air I use the following...

 

71.009EAU DE NIL or 71.302 SKY TYPE S for undersides.

 

71.126 IDF/IAF GREEN for cockpit green

 

71.323 BS DARK EARTH and 71.324 BS DARK GREEN for top sides

 

I airbrush - but 'touch up' with a brush and they all seem to brush well.

 

Cheers - Steve

 

Great stuff Big X, thanks!

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Another question, how do the Vallejo metal colours brush paint? And if so what are some good matches for aluminium, steel and gunmetal?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Tim

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15 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Another question, how do the Vallejo metal colours brush paint? And if so what are some good matches for aluminium, steel and gunmetal?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Tim

I don't use the regular metallic (17mm eye dropper bottles) they do a 'METAL COLOUR RANGE'...

 

vallejo-metal-banner.jpg

 

They also have their own dedicated black primer and do all the colours you mention.  TBH I have 'only' brush painted with these and the results are OK by my standards.

 

There is a good review here...

 

https://www.modelkitsreview.com/vallejo-metal-colors-product-review/

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The results that chap got in the review painting the spoons is very impressive Steve. I think I might have to put a couple of these down on the list to order and try.

 

I don't know about anybody else but this whole trying something new paint-wise is quite dramatic for me. You get used to using something (I've been using Humbrol enamels since returning to the hobby in 2001) so to change is a bit of a big deal, well by my standards in terms of modelling.

 

Big thank yous to Giorgio and the two Steves for helping me out with this, it's greatly appreciated guys.

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Posted (edited)

As far as brush painting, I would say that Model Air is the perfect consistency. You need about three coats for good coverage and alternate brush stroke directions with each coat. It gives a smooth, thin layer of paint with minimal visible brush strokes and doesn't obscure detail. 

Model Color is too thick to be brushed on directly out of the dropper bottle IMHO; I would dilute it at least 50/50 with thinner.

 

Prior to giving Model Air a go, my preferred paint was Gunze Mr. Color, which is wonderful paint to airbrush but it's nice to be able to paint with no smell and using water for clean-up.

Edited by VMA131Marine

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Posted (edited)

I've used some Vallejo metallics from the Model Color range and I was not impressed. I love the range in general but not the metallics.

The Model Air metallics on the other hand are very nice ! They can be brushpainted with care, letting them cure properly between coats. Personally I much prefer using these with a brush than the Model Color metallics.

Then there are the Metal Colors as posted by Steve and these are a totally different product, very thin and realistic. I've not used them yet with a brush except for a couple of touch-ups that worked very well. I've seen them used to great effect with brushes but as I prefer airbrushing I've not tried them. As I have several of these, I should test them with the brush too

 

Edit: VMA131MARINE's reply appeared while I posted, fully agree with his view and his explanation is better than mine. Model Air metallics are IMHO  a very good compromise and in my experience they also look very good when airbrushed... not as good as the Metal Colors but still much better than a lot of stuff I used in the past

Edited by Giorgio N

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3 minutes ago, VMA131Marine said:

As far as brush painting, I would say that Model Air is the perfect consistency. You need about three coats for good coverage and alternate brush stroke directions with each coat. It gives a smooth, thin layer of paint with minimal visible brush strokes and doesn't obscure detail. 

Model Color is too thick to be brushed on directly out of the dropper bottle IMHO; I would dilute it at least 50/50 with thinner.

 

Thanks Marine. I thin my Humbrol enamels currently so thinning paint isn't a big deal for me - I'd probably feel like I was doing something wrong if I didn't thin paint!. So I'm fine with doing that if I have to with the Model Color range. Main thing for me is accuracy to the RAF colour chips.

 

Happy Birthday by the way ;)

 

2 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

I've used some Vallejo metallics from the Model Color range and I was not impressed. I love the range in general but not the metallics.

The Model Air metallics on the other hand are very nice ! They can be brushpainted with care, letting them cure properly between coats. Personally I much prefer using these with a brush than the Model Color metallics.

Then there are the Metal Colors as posted by Steve and these are a totally different product, very thin and realistic. I've not used them yet with a brush except for a couple of touch-ups that worked very well. I've seen them used to great effect with brushes but as I prefer airbrushing I've not tried them. As I have several of these, I should test them with the brush too

 

Thanks Giorgio, from your and Steve's recommendations I've decided to order a few shades from the Metal Colors range as they sound and look great.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

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You'll not regret it Tim ! Another feature of the Metal Colours is that they seem to be very strong. I first used them on a natural metal F-104 and I had to mask a lot of different panels, with the exception of a couple of tiny spots the finish survived both the masking and the continuous handling. Now I used an airbrush, so I don't know how the final effect would be if brush painting, but I was personally very happy with the result:

 

4dde04e8-2808-4f2b-a499-5544cbf8f897.JPG

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9 hours ago, Smithy said:

Dark Green - (a little searching seems to reveal that VMC 893 is a match to the colour chip)

 

Dark Earth - this one is a tad tricky as I've seen both VMC 873 and VMC 921, can anyone clarify?

Hi Tim

good idea for a topic

this came up in another thread,  a member said that 873 US Field Drab was a better match than 921 English Uniform

(and a suggestion,l edit in the Vallejo names, much easier than their numbering system..)

 

921 English uniform is left,  872 US Field Drab right, over RAF chips , taken outside

 

33716726818_7fc0961a12_b.jpg50620620 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

 

 

  32651236687_4d47199273_b.jpg50620618 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

outside in non direct light.    

 

I find 921 English uniform is closer, not quite green enough, but  872 US Field Drab is more 'biscuity'   though maybe of use for one of the US made Dark Earth's,  and Dark Earth was noted for chalking, so maybe good for a more weathered version

 

32651237597_7563454346_b.jpg50620617 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

this adds 893 US Dark Green,  921 English uniform ,   872 US Field Drab , over RAF chips , taken outside in brighter light,  the RAF chip is greener. 921 English uniform is oranger,  872 US Field Drab red-browner in this brightly lit shot, but 921 is a still a better match of the two.

 

the difference under different light levels is of note.

 

when I used 893 US Dark Green one the Hurricane, I found when applied looked too pale and blue,  so I then used Xtracrylix Dark Green

 

Again, perhaps good for a slightly faded version.  

 

Photos above are not the best, and I never got around to redoing them.

 

Hurricane

this is 921 English Uniform and 893 US DArk Green

40377117653_8bedda50c8_b.jpg50620587 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

this is 921 and Xtracylix Dark Green with Kleer

46624059994_7be90eea8c_b.jpg50620588 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

7 hours ago, BIG X said:

71.009EAU DE NIL

maybe good for Eau de Nil, too dark and too green for Sky.

I have some of the Model Air, I'll check them at some point.

 

PS 

47324893582_d4345b4452_b.jpg50620611 by losethekibble, on Flickr

 

Panzer Aces 301 Light Rust is good for RAF wartime Red 

I repainted the Hurricane roundels as the Airfix red was too pillar box red  for me..

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Dear Smithy, for Middlestone I haved just been using the  Vallejo Model Air Middlestone 71.031.  It appeared close to an old tin of Xtracrylic MS and sprayed on well.  

for Azure Blue I have again just used the Vallejo UK Azure Blue 71.108.  This looked good to me, but I know that there are a lot of Azure Blue experts who may disagree with this  after the hundreds of posts on Azure Blue sometime ago is anything to go by.  I did lighten it with white quite a bit as it seemed too bright for me, but I am not knowledgeable on DAF colours and I wouldn't like to comment on the purpleyness!

 

The new Vallejo Dark Earth looks good and is an improvement on the earlier 'almost matches'.  The new one is 71.323 BS Dark earth and I prefer it to the old 71.0.29 which was dark.  (Although you could use .029 as a base coat and then use .323 ontop as a lightener coat, if that makes sense.)

 

Further, the new Vallejo Ocean Grey 71.273 looks good and I think is better than the Tamiya RAF Ocean Grey which I used before.   But I haven't yet used it in anger.

I have used their 71.307 MSG and again I liked it as it seemed lighter than the Tamiya RAF MSG equivalent.

 

For RAF Dark Green and Sky I am still using the Tamiya colours .

 

Although I usually airbrush, I also have to do quite a bit of brush  painting to fix errors and model air goes on well, its smooth and usually blends in seamlesly to the airbrushed colour.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Smithy said:

I don't know about anybody else but this whole trying something new paint-wise is quite dramatic for me.

 

Oh, absolutely.  I'd say it is the biggest mental block I have about actual (are we all sitting down?) model building.  And for the chap that said, "It's about right for brush painting- three coats..." I say bring back the good old days when I could paint something once and be done with it!

 

I do like being able to clean up with water, and I intend to give Vallejo a try soon.

 

bob

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1 hour ago, gingerbob said:

 

Oh, absolutely.  I'd say it is the biggest mental block I have about actual (are we all sitting down?) model building.  And for the chap that said, "It's about right for brush painting- three coats..." I say bring back the good old days when I could paint something once and be done with it!

 

I do like being able to clean up with water, and I intend to give Vallejo a try soon.

 

bob

Vallejo Model Colour are thicker, and really easy to use,  thin with a little water,  flow improver to taste,  use a flat brush. 

Didn't need more than 2 coats, and brushing is soothing.  Clean up is easy.

I suggest putting a small amount on some kind of palette, use a wet brush and add enough water to make it flow smootly.   Clean up is warm water and a bit of soap...  maybe a squirt of IPA (I have a little puffer bottle of it) 

 

Sure, there are schemes that don't really work with brushes unless you have a lot of practice (mottling and soft demarcations)  but it will do for a lot of , ooh, say Spitfires....

Having just actually finished a model by brush alone,  and we have a fair few members who brush with occasional rattle can I highly recommend it.

The worst thing about Vallejo is the numbering system,  and that things have funny or misleading names, and the paint matches they quote, FS595 and RAL,  and RLM,  I don't trust to be good matches...

So, it requires some poor sod to do some test swatches and eyeball to some paint charts....  and then get the right time of day and light to have decent look.

cheers

T

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Very useful topic this. Lots of helpful information. Thanks all!

 

I have used acrylics since I came back to kit building last summer. I’ve been mainly using Tamiya acrylics through my airbrush but have also experimented with Vallejo Model Air and I’m just finishing my Arma Hurricane in Mr Hobby Acqueous. 

 

For brush painting small details, blacks, reds etc, I tend to use Vallejo Model Colour let down a bit with their thinner medium. There doesn’t seem to be any problem in painting this on top of Tamiya paints or vice versa. 

 

I can offer a small contribution. I picked up one of the small 17 ml Vallejo bottles Model Air 71.062 Aluminium. It brushes nicely straight out of the bottle. Just the thing for interiors, wheel wells etc. I’ve not done an aircraft in bare metal (yet - an Airfix Mustang is coming along) so I can’t say how it sprays. 

 

Cheers, John

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Posted (edited)

Some interesting comments that chime with my experience of Vallejo. The ModelAir Aluminium brushes very well and is now my usual for undercarriages and wheels etc. The Metallic range does brush, needs more coats, but is very fast drying. The White Aluminum through an airbrush is what I use for post war RAF Aluminum finishes (what is called 'High Speed Silver', although I understand this is not it's official name). 

Edited by Mr T
Typos

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Sorry for the late reply but I only just got back from a weekend up in the mountains where there's not even a hint of mobile/internet coverage.

 

A very big thank you to all who have given advice, suggestions and opinions in this thread. When I started thinking about having a go with Vallejo I was completely bamboozled with what I should get but you all have helped enormously.

 

And thanks Troy for the photos with the colour chips, 921 is on the list!

 

I'm putting an order in this week with my hobby shop and I must say I'm really excited about trying these out. At the least I won't have to suffer the complaints from the family about stinking the house out with enamels and thinner!

 

Thanks once again for the help chaps it's hugely appreciated.

 

Tim

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