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RLM colours - which manufacturer gives the best representation?


torqueofthedevil
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For the Luftwaffe experten, I would be grateful for thoughts on which paint manufacturers offer the best representation of the following:

 

RLM 81

RLM 74/75

 

I mostly use Xtracolor, but the 81 they offer looks too green to be Braunviolett (I know there are variations). Meanwhile the 74 and 75 appear too close in hue and offer much less contrast than is apparent on period photos. I recently had a go with a couple of random other greys, which gave (I felt) a better result (as shown here - NB it's not finished yet!). I would be very grateful for advice or recommendations. 

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For 74/75/76 I use Mr. Color acrylic lacquers. Their 81 is okay too, but is the more olive drab version, which is fine for some subjects. I recently started using MRP acrylic lacquers. Their 81 is very definitely a brown-violet, which makes it a good choice for late war Messerschmitt subjects especially. I think both brands are very pleasant to use.

Edited by Seawinder
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1 hour ago, Seawinder said:

Referring to what?

Any mention of RLM colours usually ends up in a big bun fight but in this case you should be safe enough if you stick to Sovereign Hobbies' Colourcoats as they are all matched to Merrick and Kiroff's research which is generally held as being (currently) the most accurate (.....and start the countdown, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....:poo:).

 

Duncan B 

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Thanks for the mentions folks...

 

As above, and a bit like Royal Navy stuff which is a particular interest of mine, the accuracy of any model paint range is predicated on which references were used.

 

I have done no primary source research on Luftwaffe paints myself, but of the third party research out there Ken Merrick and Jürgen Kiroff's metholodogy especially impressed me as being of the sort of quality and robustness I'd expect in my professional life.

 

Be aware though that there are some surprises in there according to model makers' accepted wisdom, although if your hobby isn't models but studying cine film and photographs it will be less of a shock - e.g. Merrick & Kiroff's RLM70 and 71 are very similar in tone giving very low contrast. Similarly their RLM65 lacks the torquoise appearance that everyone elses' does.

 

In summary if you are familiar with and buy into their research you'll like our paint matches. If you're more inclined to build models that look like other models you probably won't like our's.

 

HTH :)

 

 

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12 hours ago, Seawinder said:

Referring to what?

The "best representation" of ANY WW II Luftwaffe color. Although I do like Colourcoats for the same reasons Jamie does. i just wish they were easier to obtain here in HM's Former Colonies and the former Republic of Texas.

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11 minutes ago, Space Ranger said:

The "best representation" of ANY WW II Luftwaffe color. Although I do like Colourcoats for the same reasons Jamie does. i just wish they were easier to obtain here in HM's Former Colonies and the former Republic of Texas.

Agreed, but I think there are workable options for acceptable matches. I have no doubt Colour Coats are one good option, although, like you, I have had trouble obtaining them here in the States. I also think Gunze Mr. Color does a good job with most of the RLM colors, and, as I said above, MRP does a good representation IMHO of 81 brown-violet. I can't speak to their other RLM shades because I haven't seen or used them. All of this is just my opinion, of course. I try not to be overly obsessive about hobby paint accuracy, but I'm at least discerning enough to have rejected most of Model Master's attempts at RLM colors and feel no particular grief at their demise. I base my choices mainly on the chips in Merrick's & Hitchcock's Monogram Guide.

Edited by Seawinder
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Hi, Torque,

 

Xtracolour/Xtracrylixs. 74/75 ARE rather low contrast, and XC captures the "non-greenish" quality of 74 to perfection (many classic paints, perhaps influenced by ol'Aeromaster, give it a strong greenish hue). I personally thought that 81 was "too brown"! and quite similar to, say, 30118.  70/71 are also very good, and they make the subtle distinction between 63 and 02 (not the colours you are worried about, but it adds to the credibility of the line) Personally also I thought that early WEMM paints (the ones I had access to, not having been able to get any Sovereign one) are too dark and perhaps too colour saturated in general.

 

Fernando

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On 3/6/2020 at 2:46 PM, Fernando said:

Hi, Torque,

 

Xtracolour/Xtracrylixs. 74/75 ARE rather low contrast, and XC captures the "non-greenish" quality of 74 to perfection (many classic paints, perhaps influenced by ol'Aeromaster, give it a strong greenish hue). I personally thought that 81 was "too brown"! and quite similar to, say, 30118.  70/71 are also very good, and they make the subtle distinction between 63 and 02 (not the colours you are worried about, but it adds to the credibility of the line) Personally also I thought that early WEMM paints (the ones I had access to, not having been able to get any Sovereign one) are too dark and perhaps too colour saturated in general.

 

Fernando

Thanks Fernando, So it's not just me (apart from the 81!). Plenty for me to ponder!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/9/2020 at 8:48 AM, Nick Nichols said:

My friend compared some of the colors "Mr.Hobby " with Kiroff's chips:

http://smallscale.ru/my-blog/okraska/cveta-nemeckoj-aviacii.html

 

I have these photos in the best quality. I also have comparisons with Mr.HOBBY Gunze Sangyo RLM74 H068 and 75 H069 and others of this series.

Thank you Nicholas and Nick. Sorry for the slow acknowledgement, there's been a lot going on in the last few days! 

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Have been checking this post regularly just to see what paint brands everyone swears by. Seems to be a lot of 'what's readily available'.

Same here. Down Under Tamiya has always been readily available but without RLM colours in their range something else had to be found.

Next best for me has been Gunze. Very similar to Tamiya in prep (with isopropyl alcohol) and in finish. They mix together well too.

 

Recently have collected a few different (Acylic/Laquer) brands to see what their interpretations of RLM colours were. AK has now got a great range and are available here so been giving them try. Their new 'Real Colors' range are also very Tamiya/Gunze like. Prep with ISO and mix well between the brands which can increase your colour palette.

 

Don't mind Mr Paint, great range (nation specific colours), spray straight from the bottle, good smooth even finish. Got some blues/green-blue for my Su-34.

 

A little test of RLM colours I have at the moment.spacer.png

 

AK has 3 versions of RLM 81. Top left half is version 1, lower right half is version 3

I was amazed to see how different their 'Air series' (in dropper bottles) was to their 'Real Color' (in jars) series.

As you can see there are variations in all between all brands of same RLM colour.

Same with U.S Intermediate Blue & Sea Blue and Russian AMT colours.

 

In the past I was somewhat obsessed with getting the right colour match but now I'm happy with something close as long as the camo colours look good together on the model.

 

 

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Again, it depends what they're matching to (and whether or not it's a genuinely unique shade made to match a reference, or if it's a relabel of something they already make which has been deemed "close enough"). There are numerous versions of RLM chips out there and they're all different. Some of those are derived from the colours of various historical relics, whilst others are derived from reproductions of the originals (i.e Kiroff's work). To avoid doubt, we've stated clearly on our website that our's are matched to Jürgen Kiroff's chips published in the Merrick & Kiroff volumes. If you compare our paints to Eagle Editions' chips, they'll be poor matches.

 

You pays your money, you makes your choice.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/6/2020 at 2:46 PM, Fernando said:

Hi, Torque,

 

Xtracolour/Xtracrylixs. 74/75 ARE rather low contrast, and XC captures the "non-greenish" quality of 74 to perfection (many classic paints, perhaps influenced by ol'Aeromaster, give it a strong greenish hue). I personally thought that 81 was "too brown"! and quite similar to, say, 30118.  70/71 are also very good, and they make the subtle distinction between 63 and 02 (not the colours you are worried about, but it adds to the credibility of the line) Personally also I thought that early WEMM paints (the ones I had access to, not having been able to get any Sovereign one) are too dark and perhaps too colour saturated in general.

 

Fernando

 

I came across this comment and another similar one you made on another thread. It seems that this thread got very quickly shut down with "colourcoats" but that's not helpful for those of us that don't use enamels. I use Xtracrylix at the moment and I think they look really nice painted on the model, but the RLM 74 does look quite green. Not so much on the real model, but photograpy seems to make it look very green indeed. Now, as I said I like how they look and since it took me some time to really learn how to use them (for brush painting) I don't want to switch brand again. But aside from opinion is there any better judgement of how accurate XC RLM 74/75 are? And how to they compare for example to Vallejo?

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Hi Vlad,

 

I've been using Testors FS36081 Euro Grey for RLM74 following a comment from Jerry Crandall that this was a good match for this colour. I matched it against my various colour chips and it really does compare very well. It has a slight green tinge but nothing over powering. I know you said you don't use enamels but hopefully one of the acrylic ranges you like might have an equivalent.

 

I have a bit of trouble with RLM75 - I have a stack of old Humbrol authentics of this colour and while they appear to match the colour chips reasonably well the contrast when matched with Euro Grey is too low so try to lighten it with white but this is hit and miss for each new tinlet. This isn't much use though for anyone since this paint range has long gone.

 

Best Wishes

 

Michael

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Hi @Michael louey,

 

I've seen your recent Fw 190 builds and I like your colour choices, they look very similar to how I perceive mine painted in Xtracrylix when looking at them. You seem to be better able to photograph the subtlety of the shades, in pictures my Xtracrylix look far more green than they do to me in real life.

 

I've had a look at FS36081 and apparently Humbrol 32 matches, which is also interesting because that's what Airfix recommend as an alternative for RLM 74 instead of Humbrol's own RLM paints. I use Humbrol 32 for many things already, including actually RLM 66 for cockpits. I can see on the edge of the open cockpit on my current project that there is almost no contrast between Humbrol 32 on the inside and the Xtracrylix RLM 74 on the outside, but Humbrol 32 is a pure neutral grey as far as I can tell, not a hint of green. Perhaps the Testors one you use has more green in it. In any case this just gives me confidence in my existing colour choice, so thank you!

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On 5/8/2020 at 9:34 AM, Vlad said:

 

I came across this comment and another similar one you made on another thread. It seems that this thread got very quickly shut down with "colourcoats" but that's not helpful for those of us that don't use enamels. I use Xtracrylix at the moment and I think they look really nice painted on the model, but the RLM 74 does look quite green. Not so much on the real model, but photograpy seems to make it look very green indeed. Now, as I said I like how they look and since it took me some time to really learn how to use them (for brush painting) I don't want to switch brand again. But aside from opinion is there any better judgement of how accurate XC RLM 74/75 are? And how to they compare for example to Vallejo?

Hi, Vlad,

 

RLM74 is NOT green, it has been said that a slight green tinge can be discerned only at point blank range.  The colour you are seeing in pictures i probably the dark green formerly known as "RLM 83", which was used in place of 74.

 

Updating my Luftwaffe builds, I found that Xtracolour RLM76 has a greenish tinge, that Xtracrylixs lacks. The latter falls squarely into the chips in Merrick's-

 

Regards

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31 minutes ago, Fernando said:

Hi, Vlad,

 

RLM74 is NOT green, it has been said that a slight green tinge can be discerned only at point blank range.  The colour you are seeing in pictures i probably the dark green formerly known as "RLM 83", which was used in place of 74.

 

Updating my Luftwaffe builds, I found that Xtracolour RLM76 has a greenish tinge, that Xtracrylixs lacks. The latter falls squarely into the chips in Merrick's-

 

Regards

 

I think you misunderstood me slightly. In pictures I mean, pictures I took of my models. For example below is a recent 109 I painted with Xtracrylix RLM 74. Normally when looking at it on my shelf, it does not look green. But in this picture, the light conditions or something about the photograph make it look very green.

 

spacer.png

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Hi, Vlad,

 

Never happened to me. Xtracolor and Xtracrylixs RLM74 has always been a very neutral dark grey not unlike 36081. Cannot say what happened in that picture. The Green in the Hungaria tri-colour looks very saturated but the rest of the colours looks ok. Hadn't you say so, I would have never thought that was 74. 

 This model of mine was painted with Xtracolour.

https://modelingmadness.com/review/axis/luft/190/rolandelli190a3.htm

 

Fernando

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