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"F4F Wildcat Colors - Guadalcanal" Topic

9 Posts

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World War Two in the Air

2,077 hits since 2 Oct 2013
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TimHerr03 Oct 2013 4:33 a.m. PST

Hello gents. Looking for some help. Just picked up a bunch of 1/285 Raiden F4F Wildcats for Guadalcanal and can't seem to find anyone who admits to painting any. No idea how to achieve that distinctive blue-gray color they wore early in the war. Any help?

I've a broad range of craft paints and some of the Vallejos from the limited selection carried by the local Hobby Lobby. So far, mixing paints by guesswork hasn't worked out so well. Appreciate any insight anyone could offer.


Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2013 4:43 a.m. PST

I was very pleased with the result using Vallejo 904 dark blue grey.

TimHerr03 Oct 2013 5:14 a.m. PST


Thanks. You are right. Now to find a online retailer, since Hobby Lobby is too limited. (Just kidding, I have an online retailer.)

Since you have a great deal of expertise in this area, how do you paint the A6M Zeroes from the same period? If you don't mind sharing, that is. I find conflicting descriptions.


Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2013 5:54 a.m. PST

The Zero's a Bleeped text to get right – research seems to indicate it should be a very pale olive green (not tan, although it can look like there's a hint of caramel in the colour, not grey, and definitely not white) and it's one of the few subjects I've had to abandon my usual Vallejo for, with Tamiya XF-76 definitely being the best I've found.

vonMallard03 Oct 2013 6:49 a.m. PST

with a light dry brushing of white to show the effects of the sun and you should have the right color. Those aircraft were not new when they got there and in a short period of time aged quite a bit

Same is also true with the Zeros and Bettys..just dry brush either white or pail green with a hint of ocre.

Scale painting is a bit of a chore…the coat of paint you put on the 1/48 F4F will be different on a 1/72 …shading makes the differance…or dry brushing lighter colors.

Good luck with your painting project.

just my nickles worth of dimes

or for Dom
A pennys worth of farthings…lol

Ryan T Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2013 8:56 a.m. PST

Dom is right about the olive-gray shade of the Zero. Tamiya XF-76 is pretty close when scale effect is taken into account. Given the high attrition rates in the Solomons, however, the Zeros probably did not get much of a chance to lose their semi-gloss finish. For some extra detail note that the fabric covered control surfaces should be a true gray colour.

The colours in this image are a pretty good representation of the original:


Pajaro Muerto03 Oct 2013 6:57 p.m. PST

Hi Tim!

I'm also a craft paint hoarder. If you have any of this brand, I use DecoArt Crafter's Acrylics "Colonial Blue Light", straight, no mix, for the USN early war "Non-Specular Blue Gray", and the same brand "Morning Mist Gray" for the underside N-S Light Gray.

You can see examples in Raiden's old frozen-in-time website's Gallery, photos 12-15:



TimHerr04 Oct 2013 7:58 a.m. PST

Very excellent information, gentlemen. I am in your debt.

Now to hunt up the appropriate paints. Though the DecoArt pages says no one near my zip code carries it. :)

Love the amount of information found here.


Pajaro Muerto04 Oct 2013 9:16 a.m. PST

Love to help! :)


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