About paint choosing

Is there any water-based paint(av.ak.etc) which can be used for this colour in Halo REACH? I use tamiya ones to get mixed but failed to find the right colour.:dizzy_face:

I downloaded this file(reach frigate)

images (1)

AK has a Spaceship grey set with a few different shades of grey,(not 50 :sunglasses: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:) ,which should give a good range to try!

@Darius359au Thanks a lot! I’ll try it~
The set seems great👍

It’s been my experience that Tamiya paints can be mixed to achieve just about any color.

Get a color wheel and some medicine droppers (eye droppers) and perhaps dial in your previous mix. I’d suggest being very deliberate in recording your ratios. Measure the paints using “drops” for consistency and repeatability. Clean the eye dropper between colors. This especially important when mixing very small quantities of “test colors” when small changes in the ratios can be magnified with correspondingly small amounts of paint.

Get close to your desired color, then do a test spray. A multifaceted or compound curved surface on the spray-out mule will give you the chance to view the color from multiple angles and light reflections. Appreciate that when viewing 3D artist renders of the prototype, you must select one of the many slight variations of the overall color to be your base color and work towards that. This can be quite difficult, especially when viewing many examples of the artist renders that the artist him or herself may have made using different lighting effects (for sci-fi models, the color of the light in the scene - say orange or yellow or red star light - will alter the color of the objects being lit. The prototype looks like one color in one scene, but in another scene, it may be quite different. Selecting the single color that might be the “true” base color by reverse engineering these thematic color shifts between scenes is on you.

(Note the historically long running arguments and debates over things like the “correct” color for any of the Star Trek Enterprises - The physical studio model color? The later 3D render model colors? The color as it appears in this TV episode or that movie? Which scene, which color? The debates have never been resolved as far as I know.)

Once you have assessed the color for overall darkness / lightness and the exact shade, you can then decide what changes you need to make to alter either characteristic. Consider that when adding darker shades of colors you need much less paint (by ratio) to alter the color than when adding lighter shades to alter the color. That is, say if the color needs to be just a bit “more blue,” then it takes only a very small amount of extra blue paint to alter it versus making it slightly “more yellow” which will take more yellow by volume (or ratio). This also works if the overall darkness or lightness needs to be adjusted. You’ll only need a touch of the darker base mix to make it darker, but you’ll need much more of the lighter color to make it significantly overall lighter.

(I have found that if I need to make a large change towards a lighter shade, that my best approach may be to start by taking one-half of the volume of my base mix and then altering that with the lighter color. This is where writing down the ratios becomes so important. You can easily do the simple math to calculate the new ratios if you start with a known quantity - 1/2 of the previous base color. Any additional color added can then be calculated by a factor of x2 to the original ratio. This can save on paint. You might only need, say 5 drops of white instead of 10 drops to make the desired alteration to the test sample. The final mix ratio is easily calculated if the test sample comes out correct.)

Also consider how the primary colors in the mix will combine to increase the secondary color values of shades. However, this effect is generally not too noticeable unless you’re making large corrections by adding significant amounts of one of the primary colors.

Generally, once you have a base color that’s close to what you want, you’ll make small alterations - perhaps a bit greener, redder, browner, slightly more orange, etc.

In the end, learning to mix paints (and Tamiya offers a very useful and versatile lineup) is one of those modeling skills that will really liberate you and your work. It’s well worth the time and effort to practice and learn. Once you have the basics, you can then easily start searching around for paint mixes that have already been developed by other modelers and use or modify those as you wish.

Finally, be aware that you can mix both Tamiya XF and X series paints and ignore the test sample sheen (degree of specular reflection) since once you have the correct color, you can simply over-spray with any clear matt, gloss or semi-gloss finish. Thus, you have the entire range of Tamiya colors to mix with.


@SdAufKla I’m just be suddenly enlightened😄! Great,such sophisticated,suggestions that I will definitely add to my notes. I realize Paris frigates on the sky are in different colors from being in universe(as you said). I should imitate the one in the chapter“TOP OF THE SPEAR”,which has more similar lights as the real on earth we live on. And,about mixing,it’s an hard-core skill to solve overall problems. German grey,US olive,Soviet green varies due to different years, even times in one day. One day I will meet such challenges for further mixing. I’m determined to practice it now🌴. Besides, I find I’m supposed to use Tamiya X series more to do Sci-fi works.
Thank you so much for condensed experiences.:rose::rose:

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I thought sci fi is what you model when you want the freedom to use whatever colors you like?

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@barnslayer Yeah. Actually I wish I could build one 50% alike the one in game(just that style you know), never expecting to paint all the same.

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You’re very welcome.

Many modelers are quite intimidated by the idea of trying to mix colors, but with just a little practice and study of the basics of color theory (most easily understood with a common color wheel), it is not nearly so difficult as they imagine.

There are the related tasks of researching the original colors, themselves, along with finding a work-flow to make the mixing process efficient for your own needs, but those are also quite basic (and most modelers who are concerned with finding just the right color are probably already doing the research part already).

(In my own work-flow and procedures, I generally mix small quantities of paint right in the cup of my airbrush. I only mix up larger amounts when I know, from experience, that I will need more than 2-3 airbrush cupfulls to do a job. I’ve learned to reduce the custom paint mixes down to basic ratios that in many case allow me to mix using only as little as 15-20 drops of paint (before thinning or reducing) and sometimes even less. This makes the entire effort very economical, yet entirely repeatable and consistent.)

Of course, some modelers don’t want to be bothered with the extra work and would rather spend money on branded proprietary colors rather than spending the time to mix their own custom colors. That’s a value judgement that only the individual modeler can make for him or herself.

As for myself, I’ve found that I actually save time and money by mostly mixing my own colors when needed. Searching for branded proprietary colors, buying them, then waiting for them to be delivered (since no hobby shop ever carries every brand and color in the world) are, for me, very time consuming - and in the wait, my model sits gathering dust on the bench. Often, when the proprietary color finally arrives, it’s not quite right anyway, meaning that the procurement effort must be repeated (with additional delay and costs) or the new proprietary color must be custom mixed / altered anyways.

There is a small initial investment in buying and keeping on hand medicine droppers, a color wheel, and note cards and a pencil, but they are all less expensive than even single bottles of paint. The medicine droppers also need to be cleaned periodically. Because (usually) I only mix the amount of a custom color that I need for the job at hand, I don’t buy and store bottles and bottles of proprietary colors that mostly sit unused, which also saves space in my shop. The paints I do buy are all available for custom mixing, and the ones I use the most often are consumed before they go bad. Many stock colors are used in many different mixes. (I go through a lot of black, white, red, blue and yellow along with a few others, but those are easy colors to resupply at my LHS.) My “bulk” paint stockage is really very modest in size (and therefore also a very modest investment) when I compare it to pictures that some modelers post up of their vast collections of hundreds and hundreds of bottles of proprietary paints.

I am not a total radical when it comes to this subject, and I do occasionally buy proprietary paint colors (mostly for brush painting). However, I have come to really appreciate the versatility and utility of the Tamiya paint line. I find it more efficient and effective to try to master it and try to get the absolute most from its potential rather than build up a collection of many, many different paints and paint lines.

Again, this may not be something that works for everyone, but for any modeler who’s ever thought to give it a try, I highly encourage you to do so. I do believe that you’ll find color mixing is not the mysterious alchemy that you might have imagined and been intimidated by.


Firstly,sincere apology for my ignorance for replying delayed(my phone somehow didn’t notify me until I check this area again).

Can’t agree with you more. Very useful and detailed suggestions🌹. And here are some of my opinions🙈. Pre-mixed
paints soild like Ak CM series suits can save us one time,but it’s not a permanent solution. Because we aren’t one worker of the assemble line, we need(have) some features,even peculiarities. If kits maker all buy the same pre-mixed paints, we will just do the same coloring. Furthermore,there will never always be a exact pre-colored suit for the mounting subjects.
Now,learning experiences,having passionate belief, I will go ahead to practice😎 unswervingly!


No worries at all about replies.

I should say that I don’t have anything against pre-mixed proprietary colors. They represent a solution that fits with the needs and work styles of many modelers, so I don’t want to sound hyper-critical about using them. That’s not my intent at all, and if I do sound that way, I apologize to the fans of those kinds of paints.

I do just want to encourage modelers, who might believe that learning to mix colors is just too hard, to trust themselves and to trust in their own skill and ability.


@SdAufKla Yeah, I understand you. :cake::cake::cake:

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I don’t do sci-fi, but my friend does. In his series of Star Trek, and Star Wars kits, he does a LOT of masking for various panels, etc. Then sprays various “Pearl” shades, followed by light coats of different shades of gray, aluminum, and steel colors.
:smiley: :canada:

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@Biggles50 Thanks a million! I’m inspired by your suggestions🌹. Although,masking really takes a long time to cut, it is a definite ecstasy when removing them. Coats of different shades also take the cake. Practice makes perfect, I will try continuously😀