SComplete noob with silly question (apologies)

Hi all, I’m a complete beginner. Bought myself a few  models and picked up a ‘stash’ from car boot. I think Ive got a good beginners selection of both models and tools. I think I know which paints I’m going to use, I can’t afford a spray gun yet tho. My question is ‘where do you guys go to get the correct paint no’s?‘ Shades etc. Some of the instructions are pretty lame when it comes to painting. Is there a cross ref guide somewhere? Where do I get the correct shade for my say Spitfire pilots boots? Or my Chieftain commanders gloves? Sorry if this sounds lame but I’ve tried looking on model sites and FB pages and everyone seems just to know the right colour.....apart from me! :(


2639 posts

Community Moderator

I get mine from lots of good reference books and years of experience. If I don't have it in a book, I look it up on line.

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum


9 posts

You don't need to think that an airbrush is silly expensive (they can be though!!).  I bought a compressor from Amazon for £44 and it came with a free airbrush which i wasn't expecting!  It turned out to be a better brush than the one I ordered later as well.


You don't need to think that an airbrush is silly expensive (they can be though!!).  I bought a compressor from Amazon for £44 and it came with a free airbrush which i wasn't expecting!  It turned out to be a better brush than the one I ordered later as well.

Nice. What make/model is it please?

Ive never used one so not expecting great things from my skill level! Just buying some cheap 1:72 models to learn the ropes, then the kids can have them! I have a 1:35 Chieftain that I’m saving till I know at least some basics


1238 posts

Well, if you can find a Humbrol chip chart, they normally come with most other makes of paint to Humbrol conversion charts on the back.

As for stuff like aircrew, the question can only really be answered with knowledge of the airforce and period required.

For example, for a Eurofighter Typhoon, a Luftwaffe pilot would wear a black overall, but an RAF pilot a green one (and the green fades, Humbrol 30 is a good generalisation).

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.


119 posts

at the risk of upsetting the mods i think vallejo model air are a good value for money and spray well without thining

what!! 11 o'clock already! i should realy stop modeling and get to bed.


1074 posts

Yes spadgent I would agree Vallejo Model Air is very user friendly for a novice sprayer, I started with those a couple of years ago. And they have a good range of authentic colours too!


107 posts

 As Ratch said above, look it up online. When I get stuck, which is more often than not, I find a good idea is to check the internet for someone else who has built a model that is the same or similar. There's usually at least one, and nearly always with pictures and paint info. Also check out Google images for pictures of the real thing, you can always guestimate the colour of some smaller parts by comparing them to paint chips ( the 2019 airfix catalogue does one for humbrol paints). Plastic modelling magazines are also a good source of info if you buy them regularly.


620 posts

Community Moderator

I use a variety of manufactuers' paints - Tamiya and Mr Colour Aqueous are my 'go to' paints but I have other brands too (all acrylics). On a personal level I just cannot get on with Vallejo Model Air at all and don't use them: they just didn't work for me any which way or how.


An airbrush would be an excellent addition at some point in the future, but you may need to save hard for a decent brand of airbrush and compressor, which is vital. Don't rely on the compressed air cans.


As to actual colour, I think we can get too much into 'accuracy' - but what is 'accurate'? Personally speaking I don't think we should beat ourselves up too much about not having the proper FS or 'official' colour since in real life paint weathers, it fades, it looks different in different light, each batch is bound to vary bit by bit. So far as my modelling goes, I will select a shade which, in my eyes, is close as I can get it. I know that can be heresy to some, but really, if it's a lemon yellow where there's a lemon yellow, where there's a dark grey there's a dark grey, for a sky colour there's a sky colour, for my own modelling, it suits me.


2639 posts

Community Moderator

Copying other peoples' models can lead you to copy any mistakes the builder has made. I prefer to look for pictures of real sujects. The three Matadors I am currently building are based on pictures of real Matador 854s found on line. Searching the net I have found colour charts for the RAF, USAAF and Luftwaffe (my main modelling choices) and for most other themes like Allied vehicles, German AFVs, RN & Kreigsmarine ships (I build an eclectic mix of models).

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