Help support TMP

"IJN airplane colors" Topic

6 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the WWII Aviation Painting Guides Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two in the Air

2,091 hits since 29 Dec 2011
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

VA Wargamer29 Dec 2011 2:01 p.m. PST

I am looking for paint colors to use for Zeros, Kates, and Vals in 1942. Would prefer to use vallejo paints.



Sundance29 Dec 2011 9:13 p.m. PST

Most were still in plain flat aluminum, however, I don't like the Vallejo flat aluminum. It isn't flat aluminum – it's light grey. Personally I'd go with Tamiya's aluminum. Some of them appear to have been painted white or a light, light grey, so you could go that route also. I did some in the flat aluminum and some just plain white. Once you put the recognition/campaign stripes on them they look fine. It appears that it was summer '43 when they went to the green/flat aluminum scheme.

highlandcatfrog30 Dec 2011 9:29 a.m. PST

Sorry Sundance, but the JNAF went away from natural metal around the time the Zero was introduced. Certainly by Pearl Harbor all of the JNAF planes were painted.

There are some good research articles on the paint schemes (concentrating mainly on the Zero) on the J-aircraft web site. Links to three of them:




I don't know what the appropriate Vallejo colors would be as I use Model Master. Take a look around J-aircraft and you'll find some color chips, perhaps they will help.

Oddball30 Dec 2011 10:21 a.m. PST

Great website for paint schemes. Here's links for the Zero, Val and Kate.




If you are painting for carrier based aircraft it seems most of the Zeros and Vals were light gray. Vals were a dark green.

Land based aircraft were painted green also later in either '42 or '43. The aluminum skin is from the paint coming off the aircraft from wear and tear.

Sundance31 Dec 2011 4:09 p.m. PST

Everything I've ever seen shows them in grey or alumninum until late in the war. Ah, I see the confusion. The green paint job started in mid-43. They were painted a very light grey prior to that. The illustrations that I had seen, it was difficult to tell whether they were painted grey or left in aluminum. You're right about them being painted.

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2014 7:12 a.m. PST

What shade of green?

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.