Urban’s Colour Reference Charts, Using the Charts

by Urban Fredriksson

Back to main article

airbrush.jpg (4751 bytes)Using the charts

These charts deal with the problem of which colours to use. Maybe you know the prototype colours, but don’t know what model paints to use. Perhaps you have an instruction manual that lists model colours of a brand you don’t use and wonder what the equivalents are. Sometimes you wonder about a colour you don’t have any references to. In all these cases these chars are for you.

The emphasis is on military aviation colours.

Following paint brands are included in the charts:

  • Gunze Sanyo acrylics (Shortly referred to as GS:)
  • Tamiya acrylics (T:)
  • Xtracolor (X:)
  • Polly S (P:)
  • Humbrol (Hu:)
  • Testors/Model Master (MM:)
  • Revell (certain charts only)

When matching model paints, the gloss/matt factor is most often disregarded. You should be able to obtain the required finish by using matt or gloss varnish on the painted model.

Most often the charts simply refer to the matching paint symbol or number. If mixing is required, it is indicated by the formula like this one:

m * 99 + n * 00

…meaning that you should mix m parts of paint no. 99 with n parts of paint no. 00.

Sometimes there are alternative formulae available. Any alternative formula will appear in parenthesis after the first one. For example, the Humbrol match of

4*Hu:3 + 1*Hu:131 (3)

Means that two different colour matches could be been found in the available references. The first one requires four parts of Humbrol #3 to be mixed with one part of Humbrol #131. Another source recommended to use Humbrol #3 straight.

The order in which alternative matches are presented is not the expression of some ranking on the part of the authors. In most cases alternative matches should be subjected to the reader’s judgement. However, as a rule of thumb, colour matches that could be confirmed from more than one source have been placed earlier in the list of alternatives.

The primary sources of information have been different paint manufacturers own data, magazines (Scale Models, Fine Scale Modeller, Military In Scale), books, David H. Klaus The IPMS colour Cross-Reference Guide, Jaroslaw Pacewicz Modelarska Kolorystyka, other websites and postings on Usenet.The charts may be distributed freely to anyone as long as you don’t charge money for it.

Back to main article