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PLAN (Chinese Navy) colour help


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G'day people,


I need to know what colour to paint the vertical surfaces as I have PLAN Type 51 to do. The instructions call for IJN Grey which seems too light and slightly brown, I think it needs to be a darker, bluish shade,







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I've got a bunch of PLAN hulls at 1:350 from various brands. Having browsed through countless photos of the ships taken over several years, I've decided to apply a uniform shade/tone of grey for all vessels, with subtle differences for radomes and other fitments.


I've stocked up on Tamiya acrylic paints to airbrush my projects:
XF-80 "Royal Light Gray" for the vertical surfaces
XF-63 "German Grey" for most weather decks


You're right, PLAN ships did appear to have a slight bluish hue compared to other navies, but I think this is typical for older photos. It's hard to make a definitive call because the images available on the internet are altered for aesthetic effect, and of course auto-white-balance and colour will be different depending on the surroundings and weather.


I have seen a photo of three ships in line astern formation where the first Jiangkai II is a desaturated grey and the second Jiangkai II is distinctively bluish. Differences, perhaps, between northern, eastern and southern fleets?


I've given up trying to be precise with the relative tone and shade, as long as the subtleties on the ship itself are highlighted. Best I could suggest is find photos of international fleet reviews where you can compare navies in one photo. They'll show that PLAN and RN appear closer in colour than the relatively greenish tone on RAN ships. Indian, Russian, Singaporean, Thai and USN vessels are all darker relative to PLAN.


The instructions for my various ships recommend a range of colours, if that's if any help to you:

  • Trumpeter Type 054A Jiangkai II FFG: XF-19 "Sky Grey" (Vallejo 990, Model Master 1728, Humbrol 127, Mr Hobby 308)
  • Bronco: XF-53 (for Z-9C helicopter, often comparable shade to embarked ship)
  • Bronco Type 055 Renhai CG: "IJN Gray"
  • Bronco Type 056 Jiangdao FSG:  "Light Gray"
  • Bronco Type 052C Luyang III DDG: "Light Gray"
  • Trumpeter Type 071 Yuzhao LPD: "Aircraft Gray" (Mr Hobby 57 / 73 - Mr Color, no further details for other brands)

My Type 680 Dadu AX only has Chinese instructions, as does the Type 053H3 Jiangwei II FF (which I'm intending to convert to China Coast Guard).


I'm keen to see what you end up using for your project! I've yet to apply primer to move; doing all the hulls at once before getting to the superstructures. Time poor 😔

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G'day Aurange,


I dug through my paints last night.

I actually have a jar Of GS H61 (IJN grey) which is a gloss. It is darker than I thought, close to a Light Sea Grey, lighter than  XF19 and I actually think I will go with the instructions after all.

  • XF-63 is not a bad choice but I wanted something a little darker and grey so I will opt for FS36081 instead. Actually it will be FS16081 - gloss so I can lay down the flight deck decals without needing to lay gloss varnish first.It is darker than XF-63 but once modulated and weathered it should lighten up a little. I love spraying Tamiya but their matt colours need a lot of gloss to prepare them for decals.
  • GS H57 is very light and decided against this
  • I will use FS36308 for the Ka-27, it is similar to the hull colour but also different enough to stand out


I think that the appearance of most Naval colours is greatly influenced by light, time of day and even the sea, and this is probably not an accident so nailing down a colour is never easy, and I agree that a relative comparison is probably the best method than a picture of a subject taken in isolation.


The kit includes some PE for the radar platform supports and YJ-83s. I would like to add some PE railings and have decided to use some generic 1/700 IJN WWI railings. In this scale I think I can get away with it?


Just poor  😔

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  • 3 weeks later...

'Nother question,


Most modern destryers seem to have sonar gear in the 'bulge' underneath the bow. This area does not get any ant-foul paint .

Would it be safe to assume that the Type 051C  has the sonar gear and does anybody have any pictures? V long shot I know!






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