It seems to me that paint mixing / color matching a lost part of model building.
Before all of the pre mixed colors available to today's modelers, mixing colors was part of the model builders skills. Now it seems that everybody wants a premixed color that matches their personal perception of what a color should be. Aviation artist Keith Ferris uses only a very basic palette but is able to produce all of the colors required in his art.
Depending on the model I'm working on, yes I do mix my own from time to time, mostly flesh tones and colors for figures that no one can dispute. I'll also mix my own for washes. BUT...I don't have the experience that some do, so I get caught up in that ideal that it has to be the "right" color or someone will pitch a bitch, so when I'm building aircraft or armor I go with the premixed on the presumption the people in the know will have one less point to ding me on. One of these days I hope I'll actually sit down and build something for fun like it was when I was a kid and didn't worry about the SBS. How do you build a model (or anything else for that matter)and truly not give a tinker's damn what others will think and how they'll judge you? If I could get around that, maybe I could actually finish something, and that applies to a whole lot more than just modeling.
I think the last big project that involved that was my rendition of the bridge of the Enterprise. I used a colour shot and matched my blues and oranges/reds to that. The 'new' TOS programs have greyed things down considerably. Even the Enterprise looks dull compared to the original shows.
Well on the one hand, we have zillions of colors available for that exact color match. On the other, though, we have a different perspective as a modeling community on color accuracy.
Whereas the color police were out in force in the 90's and before, it's now a lot looser. We have real authorities, in the world of aviation modeling anyway, who are now showing that anything that's close enough to the right color is fine to use. The slap-dash way that colors were applied in the field, how they responded to weathering, what kind of light the photos were taken in, etc etc etc all contribute to a much more casual view of color accuracy. In addition to that, we have many layers now on top of the paint that could shift the color that we may not have had before: clear gloss, clear flat, weathering of panel lines/rivets, overall weathering. My models are never the exact hue and value at the end of the build as when I first applied the camouflage (etc).
This is my long-winded way of saying that color mixing, except in some certain cases, has gone with the color police.
Someone mentioned dry brushing with a lightened version of the base color; that's about the only time that I bother with color mixing any longer. The obvious exception is using oils to paint figures; there's no other way to do it but to mix the paints.
I am glad to see them go. I believe their ideas were false. Paint chips and the like only show the paint as it was freshly applied. Except for the most modern epoxy based paints, all period paints weathered as soon as they were pushed out into the sunlight and outdoor air. Different environments in different theatres of operation did different things to the paint. A year after they left the factory two planes painted the same day but one, say, sent to Europe would look different than one sent to the South or Central Pacific.
on 10/23/2007 5:49 AM Evgeny Gudkov said the following:
To make mixing little easier, Testor's Model Master Acryl has a number of flesh tone colors. I have 4 of them, but haven't used them yet. Skin Base (4601), a very pale tan color: Skin Dark (4602), a little darker than Olive Drab; Skin Warm (4603), a dark pink; Skin Shadow (4604), pretty close to Dark Tan..
On the subject of paint and mixing, I was wondering if someone could give me advice on finding or creating a reasonable match for the gold paint on the corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB5. I picked up one in rather bad shape and would like to try my hand at restoring it for my son. Many thanks for any help. Regards Peter