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Author Topic: Calibrating WEM colours  (Read 11745 times)
Graham Boak
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« on: April 25, 2013, 05:09:38 PM »

is there a list/article/posting available giving information on which of the WEM paints are acceptably close to the original VVS colours, and which should just be ignored? 
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KL
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 07:43:46 PM »

WEM colours are Pilawskii?s colours!  For EP?s colours relevance check here: http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1071.30

Let's start with made-up colours:



either colours or colours and names are made-up (invented, fabricated) by Pilawskii!!!  These colours are absent in period technical literature.


In his book and on his websites, Pilawskii also refferes to paints that were in use in Soviet Aviation.: AII nitro laquers, AEh enamels etc.  But, in most cases colours proposed by Pilawskii are way off (wrong, missed).  We can only guess why; one possibility is that Pilawskii actually misidentified some of those with colours he saw in Monino.



AII Green is probably mixed-up with faded weatehered Army Olive Green (4BO)
AII Green (new) and AII Green (old) are pure guesswork
ALG-5 is probably mixed-up with modern interior light blue or aged A-14
AII Blue should be light blue, lighter than AMT-7
AMT-7 is "Deep sky Blue", darker than AII Blue
AE-8 is silver, not gray!
3B should be significantly darker than 4BO (or AMT-4 here)
 

What is left is pathetic - blacks, grays and white.  Not bad for b/w photo interpretation  Grin:



Comments please???
KL
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Graham Boak
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 08:41:11 PM »

That's a very effective assessment of EP's versions, certainly the clearest I've seen.  I've correlated the WEM colours with the tables above, assuming that the paints are a good match with the EP versions.  This may not always be a safe assumption, and this important step is missing.

Presumably because of this method of presentation, two of the WEM colours are missing.
ACS05 "WUP Grey Interior Primer"  This may equate to A14, but appears a little blue, but is significantly darker than AE-10
ACS17 "4BO Army Green"  If we regard ACS03 "AII Green" as a faded version of this, then perhaps it is close.

There is also the matter of the two "AMT-1 Grey"s, ACS09 Light and ACS10 Dark.  These do appear to bear a fairly close resembance to AMT-1 Light Brown and A21m Light Brown, but the amount of brown in either AMT-1 or A21m appears to be slight, and the paints show even less.  I've placed a query about the last colour in a separate posting.

Obviously these 4 examples have been compared tin lid to computer screen, not the most ideal method, but I suspect the comments will stand.
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 09:56:23 PM »

Hi,
certainly the colors and names are of fantasy, but there could be a vague base of truth.
For example, industrial green and industrial blue could be identified with A-7 for the cooling system and A-10 for oxygen system.
Wood aerolak could vaguely remember the DD-118 fireproof grey for the wood parts introduced in 1943, even if it should be more violet.
IMUP could be identiified with A-28m, that was sometimes utilized for internal surfaces. Besides, the MiG-3 in Veesiveehma depot has some internal pieces painted with a vaguely similar color;
AII brown and AII light brown could suggest the AII Tobacco and Cream, never utilized for what we know;
Factory green is a fantasy shade, but however it's true that some planes built in Z.1 (Mig-3 and Yak-2/4) had a darker look on their wooden parts than on metal parts, a thing rarely observed on other types and interpretable in many ways, but it leaves the suspect that the AII green utilized in Z.1 (the same reproduced by Akan) was darker than the one utilized in other factories.
Regards
Massimo
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KL
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 12:21:52 AM »

Massimo,
what is actually EP's contribution to the knowledge about VVS colours?  He made up few names and mixed up few colours... and that's supposedly result of his life-long research in Russian archives  Grin

Every Hyperscale forum member (those guys are strictly limited to US and nazi planes) knows by now that Soviet planes were brown and green on top and light blue on undersides.  They all know that cockpits of Russian planes were painted in RLM-02.  Let's make up names for those colours:

Aii Green
Aii Brown
Aii Light Blue
IMUP, wood aero-varnish (PUP, WUP or whatever)...  Aii RLM-02 is also sehr gut
 
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bbrought
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 12:12:37 PM »

Good posts, KL. I have most of the WEM colours as well as AKAN paints in acrylic and enamel. So, to continue a little - the WEM colours are considerably different from the way Pilawskii's digital colour chips appear om my screen. I can add this:

WEM AMT-7 - Way too light and bright. It is even lighter than AII Blue should be. I think it would be very difficult to mix it to get the right shade for AMT-7.

WEM AMT-11 - Way too light. I think, however, by mixing in some black you could potentially get close to proper AMT-11.

WEM AMT-12 - Too light, and it has a very strange green tint to it that does not even appear in Pilawskii's digital chips. This colour is completely wrong. I once saw someone improve it by adding red, but personally I think you would do better by starting with a different grey, such as ocean grey or similar.
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BA Broughton
Graham Boak
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 01:08:39 PM »

Yes, I'd seen the green in WEM's AMT-12.  There seems to be something about dark greys that bring out the green in people, perhaps physiologists might have a reason for this?  I've seen it said that Ocean Grey should appear slightly green, and the German 74 is sometimes described as Grey Green, although any green tinge is fleeting.  Then there is the regular confusion with 02 being a green when it is really yellowish-grey.

re the versons of AMT-11 and -12 in the above table: are they the approved values or not?  They seem to be a lot lighter than what I've seen of the AKAN ones, yet don't feature in KL's fecal roster.  I don't use AKAN paints because I don't use acrylics, but I do find that their AMT-11 and -12 appear very dark for what is supposed to be an air-superiority scheme, one which logically enough appears much lighter in b&w photos.  How about the RLM 74 and 75 as better starting points?  Ocean Grey is not particularly dark, and of course fades a lot lighter.  I sometimes wonder just how much (if any) attention was paid to fading when colours were chosen for camouflage use: for example Extra Dark Sea Grey is a very dark grey when fresh but rapidly turns into a medium blue-grey which appears much more suitable for the role.  Could this be the case with the seemingly dark AMT-11,-12?  Or indeed A24m?  The term Light Brown is patently ridiculous for the colour in the tables above.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 02:23:15 PM by Graham Boak » Logged
bbrought
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 01:20:01 PM »

How about the RLM 74 and 75 as better starting points?  Ocean Grey is not particularly dark, and of course fades a lot lighter. 

I should clarify that I just picked a random dark grey as an alternative starting place than WEM AMT-12 - there are probably better grey's than Ocean Grey to start with. It is just that my Ocean Grey (also from WEM) doesn't have anything like the green tint that their AMT-12 has.

I have properly sprayed colour chips that I made for WEM, AKAN acrylic and AKAN enamel that I keep promising to post. I just haven't gotten around to photographing them. I need to remember to do that and post it here, which will make it easier to see how big the difference between EP's digital chips, the actual WEM colours and the AKAN colours are.
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BA Broughton
Graham Boak
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 02:24:46 PM »

It would be useful to see that.

In the mean time do you have any opinion of WEM's WUP or 4BO?
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Seawinder
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 04:42:56 PM »

I don't use AKAN paints because I don't use acrylics, but I do find that their AMT-11 and -12 appear very dark for what is supposed to be an air-superiority scheme, one which logically enough appears much lighter in b&w photos.  How about the RLM 74 and 75 as better starting points?  Ocean Grey is not particularly dark, and of course fades a lot lighter.  I sometimes wonder just how much (if any) attention was paid to fading when colours were chosen for camouflage use: for example Extra Dark Sea Grey is a very dark grey when fresh but rapidly turns into a medium blue-grey which appears much more suitable for the role.  Could this be the case with the seemingly dark AMT-11,-12?  Or indeed A24m?  The term Light Brown is patently ridiculous for the colour in the tables above.

Hi Graham.
If you have access to the new Akan line of acrylic lacquers, I've been using them on a couple of Yak-1s and like them very much. They are significantly lighter than the corresponding Akan aqueous acrylics and behave much, much better (very much like the Gunze Mr. Color line). I posted pictures of one of the Yak-1s (South Front) to the General Modeling forum in case you want to see what the color looks like. I used the Akan 4BO for it; I'm using their AMT-4 for the other I'm doing.

IMHO Ocean Grey (for which I use Model Master enamel) is a better starting point for AMT-11 than AMT-12. While I'll probably use the new Akan paints for my next 11/12 project, I did try the mix for AMT-12 posted in the color chart at scalewiki.ru -- 1 part Model Master Topside Blue and 1 part black -- and thought it looked pretty good. Definitely dark.

Cheers,
Pip
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learstang
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 05:52:04 PM »

For what it's worth, gentlemen, the colour I use for AMT-12 is Testors Model Master Gunship Gray flat enamel.  It's definitely lighter than the AKAN AMT-12, which at least from their online catalogue appears to be almost black.  It may be a little light in tone, but I think it's about the correct hue.  I recently used MM Medium Gray for an La-5F I painted but I'm not entirely satisfied with it - it appears to be too light and blue to me, but so far it's the closest colour I've found for AMT-11, at least in the MM enamel line.  I'm also not enamoured of acrylics, but I may give AKAN's acrylic lacquers a try.

Regards,

Jason
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Graham Boak
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 06:03:59 PM »

This thread appears to be drifting away from my original request.  This is perhaps a bit of a side-step (call it lateral thinking if you want to be kind), but I've just been sorting through some little used paints, and would like to ask whether anyone has looked for matches beyond the usual aircraft ranges, to the WEM military or naval colours?  The USN and IJN had a wide range of greys and blue-greys, the darker ones could be for AMT-11/-12?  The RN B55 may be closer to AMT-7?  I did find a number of colours that at first glance might be closer to AMT-21, including late war B55, late war G45 and MS4.  Although what comes out of the tins seems to lack either B or G, the first two are similar to each other but too light.  MS4 seems to come out close to my printing of Massimo's Li2, is a little light. There is a wide range of greens in their USN Green range (intended for MTBs and amphibious warfare) or indeed the French aircraft range.

Apart from anything else, it would be good to find another use for some of these rarely-used or never-yet-used paints.  The USN colours are certainly available in other companies/chemicals, though not I think the RN.

I haven't tried (or seen) the AKAN acrylic laquers, but do quite like the few Mr. Colour I've tried - as long as they have a reasonably-matched enamel first coat underneath.  Much the same as WEM in that regard.

Edit: rewritten to the benefit of MS4 and to deny G45/B45.  My poor LI2 is never going to get off the ground for the weight of paint.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 07:27:29 PM by Graham Boak » Logged
bbrought
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 07:02:07 PM »

It would be useful to see that.

In the mean time do you have any opinion of WEM's WUP or 4BO?

Unfortunately, I don't have any of their 4BO, but I do have some WUP, although I haven't made a paint chip for it. I'll be working on another model tonight, so before I put the airbrush away I'll quickly make up a WEM WUP paint chip to add to the rest.

I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but the comparisons might help to give you some idea of how much mixing would be needed to get a more realistic colour from the WEM line. I do have some of the WEM British colours also, and I have quite a number of Humbrol paint chips. If I photograph them all together, it might also give some other useful alternatives.

What I can say with considerable certainty is that not one Soviet WWII colour in the WEM line is really close to the AKAN equivalent. It is a shame, because I do like working with WEM paints and their other colours are actually pretty good.

I am very interested in obtaining some of the AKAN acrylic lacquers. I don't really like working with normal acrylics, and for some reason some of my AKAN enamels thickened over time to the point that I am not sure how useable they are. I just need to find a place willing to ship them to me here in South Africa...

Regards,
Bennie
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BA Broughton
KL
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 07:28:25 PM »

re the versons of AMT-11 and -12 in the above table: are they the approved values or not?  They seem to be a lot lighter than what I've seen of the AKAN ones, yet don't feature in KL's fecal roster.

Graham,
you should be more appreciative towards the information you are getting here for free.  Have you ever used same adjective when you referred to Pilawskii's research or his book?

What is moderator doing?  is this appropriate vocabulary? What have happened with network etiquette??

KL
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Graham Boak
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2013, 09:44:09 PM »

I suspect you have misunderstood my admittedly rather casual usage.  The formal words were used to avoid the more expressive ones, but it applies to what you don't like rather than intended to be, or actually being, insulting in any manner.

I would however suggest that if you expect high standards from other posters you refrain from rants in your own.  I've been around quite long enough to realise that EP has upset a number of Eastern European contributors, despite his having done more to raise the visibility of VVS subjects than anyone else before or after, and that his colour judgements are flawed.  It is not necessary to repeat this at length on every plausible occasion.  My specific requests were directed at the WEM colours: as has been said by bbrought these are not identical to EP's, though clearly related.  Your view of Hyperscale has no relevance to this discussion.  In my opinion it is also overtly selective, but we are free to differ on that point.

Your first posting was highly informative and helpful.  The second was not.  The third appears to be due to a misunderstanding - I apologise for any inadvertent contribution to that.
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