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Question re: Japanese Zero painting

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  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by Armor_Aficionado on Friday, July 26, 2019 2:07 AM

Question for y'all:  what is the correct color for the inside of the wheel wells on a Mistubishi Zero?  I'm building the Tamiya A6M5 kit right now, and the one thing I hate about Tamiya is, if they don't make the exact color, they're always telling you to mix all these different paint combinations!  E.g., 3 parts X + 1 part Y + 16 parts Z + two drops of blood + 1 teaspoon day-old coffee, etc.  Does anyone make the EXACT bluish-greenish color needed?  Vallejo, Ammo by Mig, Humbrol, Revell, etc.?

Tags: paint , Zero

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, July 26, 2019 3:59 AM

The color you are referring to is “Aotake”, which is actually a clear anti-corrosion paint that was tinted to indicate its presence.  The Germans used Wasserbright in the wheel wells on some of their A/C like the Me-262, but had no color tint.

Aotake has been discussed for many decades and the general conclusion is that it varied greatly, from blue to lime green.  For your Zero, I’d go with clear blue with just a little yellow, nothing scientific.  But first paint the wheel wells aluminum.  Then make multiple passes with the clear blue until you get something you like.

The paint manufacturers still seem to think Aotake is a metallic blue like some hot rod color, but it is not.

HTH

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by Armor_Aficionado on Friday, July 26, 2019 7:11 AM

Thanks much!  I've got a clear blue and clear green (use them for aircraft lights), I think I'll just mix the two until I get something that looks good.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, July 26, 2019 7:36 AM

Real G is absolutly correct there. If I may add though that it did start out as a blue straight from the can and turning more greenish as it aged. So a new Zero would be more blue and an older weathered plane would be more of a greenish shade. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, July 26, 2019 7:50 AM

Gamera, I did not know that!  You learn something every day.

  • Member since
    July, 2018
  • From: The Deep Woods
Posted by Tickmagnet on Friday, July 26, 2019 8:40 AM

Tamiya X-13 is what I use acccording to the instructions for a Tamiya A6M3 Zero I built.

I enjoy the fact Tamiya has instructions on mixing the proper color. It keeps me from using multiple brands of paint and it's not difficult to do. I keep my model instructions for color mixing references and that has proven to be a great help since some models have terrible painting instructions.

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Friday, July 26, 2019 9:36 AM

When I paint my Japanese subjects I use Alclad as a base and then Tamiya clear blue over that in layers until I get the tone I'm looking for. When done it looks pretty spot on. You could ever use a silver as a base and it would work, but it would still be a bit metal flaked.

BK

On the bench: 1/25 MPC Deserter GMC 4x4   

On Deck:

1/48 Pro-Modeller SB2C-4 Helldiver

1/48 Italeri Tornado IDS "Black Panthers"

1/48 Hasegawa P-38J Lightining

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, July 27, 2019 10:46 PM

Vallejo has an Aotake paint that is blue-green metallic.

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Monday, July 29, 2019 2:30 AM

Hate to toss in a monkey wrench, but day old coffee never works. Blood does though on certain occasions. That aside, reference the bays, it also depends on who build it, Mitsubishi or Nakajima, One was not painted or the underside color and the other Aotake. If only I could remember which. That's of course assuming your worried about this stuff.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, July 29, 2019 5:09 AM

Aotake is the name of the anti-corrosion paint you need.

Tamiya, on the release of their magnificent 1/32 Zero produced a paint to cover this colour.... X-13 metallic blue.

of all the different paint makers I have tried this is the best as it closely matches the blue samples.

If you look at my recent ZM Shinden build you can see that I have used this paint as a nod to the usage around the engine.

Aotake is very much a difficult colour to nail down as each batch made was hand measured for the materials used and hand mixed, so each batch had a different hue from blue to green.

to further muddy the waters over colour and shade is the fact that this paint further changed colour with a chemical reaction to light and salt air.

the product was also more or less the same consistency that Tamiya paint is and was always applied by paint brush and not sprayed.

So, get the X-13, and slap it on with a normal brush. Don't thin it down.

 

Do a test first onto a white plastic spoon and do a very watered down clear green to see what effect that has with NATURAL light refraction.

All other vendors of Aotake colour(s) seem to forget the metallic sheen this paint has. Tamiya not so!

when it comes to Japanese aircraft I always go with Vallejo for the paint job as their paints and sets are the most accurate, the exception is their Aotake and I always use the Tamiya stuff for that with a paint brush. In fact, I think it is the only Tamiya paint I have!

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, July 29, 2019 9:48 PM

Yeah both Lawdog and James are right here too. The Mitsibishi and Nakajima have a pile of differences. It's all very confusing. You're better off just checking around on the particular aircraft you're modeling. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, August 07, 2019 10:03 PM

I'm building the Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5c Zeke, and wanted to know more about this color as well. Here's a nice little reference for you:

https://roncole.net/blogs/ron-cole-coles-aircraft-aviation-art/12072261-japanese-world-war-ii-aircraft-aotake-paints

Also, my daughter-in-law is Japanese, and she explained the word "aotake": "ao" (pronounced "ah-oh") translates to "green" in English, and "take (pronounced "tah-keh")" translates to "bamboo"; the word literally translates to English as "green bamboo". So, after discussing this with her (she is, in no way whatsoever, an aircraft enthusiast), we kinda determined that the original aotake color looked close to the greenish color that bamboo has, so............

But she doesn't think it was made from bamboo.........

Gary Mason

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, August 07, 2019 10:07 PM

I've also read in the forums, including this one, (after I had already painted my Zeke's wheel wells, darn it!!) about first painting an undercoat of aluminum or steel for the aotake. Wish I had thought of that!! Although, I mixed what the Tamiya instructions called for (75% X13 & 25% X-25 - a 3:1 ratio), and it came out pretty good. Good luck on yours, Armor!

Gary Mason

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, August 08, 2019 5:18 PM

Here is the real aotake. note the two colours. These are from different batches and they were taken from the same aircraft!

Notice how the blue remains constant, but the green changes hye towards the bottom right side. this is because that bit was sibjected to light etc and so caused a chemical reaction.

Each batch of aotake was hand measured from a written recipe which means that the components were not consistant in quantity which gives us the two colours. Tamiyas' X13 is practically consistant with the blue. Not sure if they have a green one in their range.

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