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"Colour schemes for Coral Sea and Guadalcanal" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Father Grigori02 Apr 2015 3:25 a.m. PST

I'm about to start painting Allied and Japanese fleets for the Solomon Seas battles in 1942. As far as I can see from photos, USN vessels seem to be painted in a two-tone grey scheme, and the IJN in a medium to dark grey. Is this correct? Any advice on colour schemes for US, IJN and Commonwealth ships would be greatly appreciated.

Sundance02 Apr 2015 4:51 a.m. PST

Japanese greys depended on the last naval yard they did a refit in and how long they had gone with out a refit so yes, it ranges from medium to dark grey. The entire ship will be in the same grey. There were some attempts at camouflage, mainly later in the war, but info on Japanese camoflage is spotty at best.

For the USN, see this website for specific ship's camoflage:


For the Commonwealth you're on your own. I don't know of a single source that covers it all. There are a couple of book sets that cover it pretty well, but I don't have them to hand.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2015 5:01 a.m. PST

Might find some help here:




(on the last site, see the "Art" tab on the far right

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2015 9:20 a.m. PST

On Sundance link you'll find a link to Snyder and co who sells the right paint, including the 4 pots for the japs with a little booklet telling you who got what and when.
Why make life complicated….

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2015 6:09 a.m. PST

Why make life complicated….

Because it isn't that simple. For one thing, what is "the right paint"? Is it full-scale color, or model-scale color? Typically, if you paint a small-scale model with the same color as the real thing, and view it indoors from up close, it looks darker than it should.

Mark H.

Father Grigori03 Apr 2015 2:24 p.m. PST

Many thanks for the responses and the links.

Terremont: I'll get an email off soon; it would be great to have some first hand info and stories about specific vessels.

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