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Mr Color + Tamiya IJN color confusion, best choices for B6N?

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So I've been wading through what research I can find and the multiple forum and blog posts by Nick Millman/Aviation of Japan, and have been getting progressively more confused. I'm working on a B6N and have been struggling to get the upper green looking right, and am puzzled as to what to use on the underside. I made a color swatch from the paints I had and scanned it:




1) Upper surfaces: D1 vs D2 green; from what I gather, XF-11 is meant to represent D1(the darker of the two), and XF-70 is meant to represent D2. Now, which to use? Some paint manufacturers/online posts say nakajima used one, mitsubishi used the other, some say they were more interchangable?


Here is my initial attempt, using primarily the Gunze C-15. I'm not entirely happy with it, I think it looks too green. Some of that comes from some very diluted lighter paints I put on to give some color variation; super dark colors are hard to make convincing. Would a B6N likely be more like D1 or D2, or is it a purely academic question? Any suggestions for the color? I could make it darker by going over it with some of the XF-11/D1



2) Underside: I gather this is supposed to be J3 grey? I've seen this as being a almost neutral grey like the C53 in my color scan, to a pistaschio green like C128. The instructions recommend gunze C56, and this is a very green gray. I don't have it, but I can get it, looks pretty close to the C128 I do have.


The only other model in these colors is a Nakajima-built A6M5 that I tried to represent as relatively new and unfaded:




I think I used base colors of XF-11 over C53 grey. Based on what I've found now, I believe the gray is too gray and not enough green. Would this and the B6N have had the same underside color, or was there variation between the above grey green to the more neutral green I have?


3) Any suggestions on what the other colors are supposed to represent? XF-76 is what I've been using to represent early war ash-grey Zero overall color. Not sure what the difference is between Dark Green (Nakajima) C129 and IJN Green (Nakajima) C15 in the Mr Color range. XF-12 might be trying to represent the underside J3? Maybe C128 is meant to also be the overall ash-grey early Zero color, or maybe the similar army paint used overall on Ki-27?

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I suggest you consult some of the existing publications on the subject, as you did already. Nick Millman offers a couple of very helpful PDFs on his website for a few £

- JNAF Greens

- Zero Colours (incl. J3 analysis)

These as well as some articles on his webste explain colour variations and matches with relevant colour products. A little searching may be necessary.

Generally Colourcoats products are state-of-the art and have been developed with Nick's help.


On the photos, your Zero green looks reasonable for D1, but the underside grey appears too cold for J3. The latter should have a pronounced tan hue (brownish, not greenish).  I would use such for your B6N.


Cheers, Michael

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The very light ash grey is something seen on very faded Zeros, that had been left on a tropical island for years.  As these was all that were well photographed, the ash grey became the Holy Writ, regardless of the somewhat differing reports that were made at the time.  It is only fairly recently that a copy of original Japanese colour charts have become available for study.  How accurately some of the more recent paints actually match the originals remains a problem.  As advised above the White Ensign Colourcoats have been modified by the new owner Sovereign Hobbies with the aid of Nick Millman, so the current Colourcoats range is the best of the enamels and superior to the majority of the acrylics.  I gather that Tamiya has recently released some more accurate matches, and strongly suspect that the same is true of Gunze, but can't help you with which these are.

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