Color Matching

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Gil, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    I took the liberty of sampling the image in your post and came out with the following image results posted below.

    I guess that we're making progress as the values are only off in the single digits which is hardly noticeable to the eye.

    Still thrashing about with the paint mixing stuff. Seems the hue that the mix produces is right it's the value or greyscale that seems to be off. Hues on the very dark and the very light also seem to not mix out well. I'm going to try offseting the white and black addition toward a much lighter value. Ths should produce mixes of the color desired.

    I've scanned in swatches of the primary colors I am using and found that they are so saturated that the color in one of the RGB groups falls to near zero values making it difficult to match to "primary" mixing value. In short most of the paints used as primary mixing paints have the luminance values boosted to facilitate mixing. This probably accounts for the "value" scale being too dark with the paints currently under test...,

    Stay tuned for more cardmodeling color..,

  2. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member


    What's going to be fun, will trying to match up the other colors used on different B-52s. The H models I hung around with at The Kinche, were painted in a European scheme of three greens. I have yet to find reference to those colors in FS numbers. Then there is the low viz scheme with gray and dark green used on the G models during Desert Storm and the more "tan"ner two green and tan colors. Someday I would like to match Yukiyuji's ship fleet with a fleet of B-52s (all in 1:100 scale of course).

    I think the color values averaged better because you are now using the Adobe (1998) ICC profile for color management. It matches my color management system and the dithering when saving to jpg didn't do too much to the colors. At least that's my thoughts. 8v)

    As for matching RGB values to actual paint colors, I wonder if a smaller version of the machine I saw at my local Ace Hardware is available for modelers. You take in a chip of the color you want, the guy puts it in a scanner and a computer mixes the paint to the color of the chip moments later. Would be nice.

    Stupid question here -- I know nothing about paint except that it gives me a headache when I smell it. If you were to take RGB values of say, FS 34079, and drop 89 drops of red paint, 92 drops of blue and 78 drops of green into a bottle and mix it, would you come up with the 34079 color? If so, is that where the Stockholm site's mixing of white with the colors comes in? Just curious about the RGB values. They must mean something outside of the digital computer world.
  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    RGB values are additive colors and only work for filters and luminant systems (like computer screens and TV sets). When you use filter layers in painting it's called glazing Rembrandt being one of the more notable glazers. The light actually travels through the filters bounces off a very white background and traverses through the filters and out. It's a very painstaking to create with this method but the results are worth it.

    Paint is a subtractive medium in that it absorbs all colors except that which is reflected out to the eye. It's most used format is CMYK or Cyan, Majenta, Yellow and Black. Theoretically you only need CMY to create all other colors but due to impurities in the paint the color black turns out a muddy brown color when CMY are combined necessitating the inclusion of black to make up for the deficiency. The CMYK system is used to make 4 color plates for printing color and so remains popular as a medium for computer aided production art.

    When mixing paints, though, it turns out somewhat different. Primary Red, Yellow and Blue are used to form the hue. White and Black are used to adjust "value" or luminance (light and dark). So with these five most other colors can be mixed from them. You could use Cyan, Majenta and Yellow but saturated Blues and Reds would be beyond the color gamut (range of colors attainable) for this mixing set or pallete. A fuller color set includes Red, Majenta, Yellow, Cyan and Blue but complicates the mixing process. It's much simpler when the hue lies between two colors and the value between black and white.

    I'm finding that the best way to match a particular model color is to sample the models color and take the average. Finding the RGB value allows matching to near "mixing" value in the Liquitex Pixel2Paint program. The primary color set is plugged in as the mixing set (pallete) and the program yields how many parts of those colors, black and white to mix for a match. I've found that just mixing the primary colors without the black and white is the best way to proceed. I print a sample sheet on the same cardstock as that to be used on the model. Paint swatches are painted at the edges of the swatches and adjustments made till the difference between the swatch and the paint becomes indistinguishable. The mix bottle is then labeled with color and the mix formula.

    It's not as complicated as it first seems but does require a little patience and dedication. A little practice and you'll not need the software to make a matching paint it becomes second nature.

    The paint "pallete" used for mixing is:

    Napthol Red - FolkArt Arists' Pigment #435
    Medium Yellow - FolkArts Arists' Pigment #455
    True Blue - DecoArt Americana DA036
    Lamp (Ebony) Black - DecoArt Americana DA067
    Titanium White - FolkArts Arists' Pigment #480

    The above is available at Michael's and I think the total was around $5.69. Each bottle contains 2 ounces of acrylic paint.


    P.S. I said in the first post that this area was not that well understood..., guess that means it's still and art...,

    Also attached a scan of the primary pallete.
  4. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    You know you are getting old when you read something and realize, "I knew that." hehehe. For some stupid reason, I was not equating paint with printer's ink. My newspapers were printed with CMYK plates for the very reasons you mention there. I totally spaced that...hehe. Back the Vitamin B-12!
  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    You did give me an idea that I'm working on now...., it actually may be nearer to that than you know. Get back to you after a little envelope work...,

  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Color Mixing from RGB Averages


    This is still preliminary but here's how it works...,

    Take two colors and their respective RGB values. Add each of the respective primary values and divide by 2 to find the average. The new color consisting of the averaged RGB of the parent colors is the same as when the two are mixed in equal proportions. I haven't gone much further yet but it seems that weighted proportions for ratios will suffice to get just about any color desired within the mix capability. Note that Black and White have to be scanned and converted to RGB values and are treated just like another color in the mix.

    This is pretty cool..., it means anyone with a scanner can convert a palette of paints into values that can then be used to calculate percentage mixes for nearly any color. Now to make it useable for the average modeler.

    This needs to be verified through experiment but from prior experience I fully expect this method to work within an expected narrow band of error but should be fairly precise considering from where it all started.

  7. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member


    Interesting idea. I am still trying to fully grasp how its done (I work better when doing something hands on), but don't have any paints here to work with. (yeah, yeah...I know...ended a sentence with a preposition). I might try the watercolor pencil I use for edge coloring. It should work with them and if it does, would go a long way in matching the print color to the color required for the edges.

    I have fallen back on using a neutral gray color for edges. That color seems to work well to hide the edge and still not be obvious. I had gotten tired of spending an hour or more trying to "match" ink and watercolor for the edges using a dried line of mixed paint placed next to the color in question.

    Keep us posted on your efforts!
  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    I was looking at Swingers Ju-88 thread. He's taken to using acrylic filler between the joints. It appears that he is also mixing paint to match the joint area. This is the types of application which this method could prove valuable. Michael's sells sets of Plaid acrylic paints for around $5.00. Each color is contained in individual plastic containers and each set contains around 8-10 different colors including Primaries,Secondarys, Black and White. Acrylic paints are non allergenic, thin and clean-up with water, and can create an easily mixed palette of colors.

    A simple example will show how the averaging is done. Let's take two of the primary colors that have been sampled. Say Yellow and Blue. They each contain the following amounts of Red, Green & Blue respectively;

    Yellow 229,189,12
    Blue 25,58,149

    Add Yellow & Blue Red Values: 229+25 = 254
    Take the average: 254/2 = 127

    Add Yellow & Blue Green Values: 189+58 = 247
    Take the average: 247/2 = 123.5

    Add Yellow & Blue Blue Values: 12+149 = 161
    Take the average: 161/2 = 80.5

    The new color derived by mixing Yellow and Blue is:

    127,123.5,80.5 or rounded up 127,124,81

    I'll be trying this experiment with the actual Red & Blue samples scanning the resulting color to verify if this works in practice.

  9. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Tried it out and it didn't work..., not even close...,

    Back to it once again...,

  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  11. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    News Update

    Found the following on Large Scale Models site. It's a compilation of RLM colors:

    Also found a copy of Michael Wilcox's book, "Blue and Yellow Dont't Make Green" Revised Edition. The book is simple, straight forward and isn't selling anyone's paints which is a relief. It explains how to select the palette colors to obtain the desired secondary color. It's a little trickier than at first glance but makes sense. Haven't tried it out yet but will in a day or two.

  12. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Gil, and others interested...

    I came across this information on the net while searching for some more color information. For those trying to match paint to FS colors, it might prove a little on the useful side.

    Of course, if it doesn't, I'll just deny making this post 8v)
  13. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  14. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  16. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member


    The TO 1-1-4 (first link on left side) is the "Holy Grail" of US Air Force painting schemes. I have been using that for my work for a while now. The only thing I can't find in it is the three green colors used on the H models I worked around at Kincheloe AFB in the early 70s. Has most everything else.

    I have looked through the other two (Navy/Marines and Army) regs on aircraft markings and they hold a wealth of information themselves, though I still can't understand why anyone would want to model a Navy aircraft 8v)

    If by chance you come across the FS colors for a three green camouflage paint scheme for B-52, please let me know. In the meantime, I will continue to wait for my reply from the Air Force History Office. Hopefully they will be able to locate the FS colors used.
  17. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    I now can say that FS 34079 (Field Green) can be mixed from 5 parts Cadmium Yellow, 4 parts Cerulean Blue, 1 part Cadmium Red, 8 parts Ivory Black and 3 parts Titanium White (mix the black in last testing as it's added). Michael Wilcox's book, "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" combined with Liquitex's Pixel2Paint software makes a great combination to learn the art of paint mixing...., Don't even think about RGB, CMYK or any other color model. Paint has it's own properties and you have to understand each palette color in relation to the others to even begin to understand the the rationale behind color mixing. The book introduces the color bias wheel concept and takes you through mixing steps that you can use actual paint or the software which I did also in many cases (dry labbing). I now know that taking the complement (red) to gray down the green works perfectly. It was time very well spent.

    Regarding your need for the three green B-52H I have a source which shows the SEA scheme as consisting of 34079, 34159, 34201(dark to light green) and Gloss Black tail and undersides. The first two greens are fairly dark and the third isn't that much lighter making the whole scheme rather dark overall.

    Best regards, Gil

    P.S. I'll finish up the H nose in a day or two. Took a break to research color matching and mixing.
  18. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Ahhh...but there in lies the problem. 34201 in FS colors is listed as the tan for the SEA pattern and for the normal camouflage with whitish undersides. And, 34201 is a color in the brown area, more so than the green. When it is sun faded, it turns to a bright tan color.

    However, the camo pattern I am wanting to match and get the FS colors for is the three colors in the attached image. I know the two darkest colors are 34079 and 34150, but the third definitely isn't 34201. Its the lightest color I am looking for the FS number of. All the birds at the Kinche were painted in this manner. Went really nice with the H model. 8v)
  19. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  20. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member


    That first site was one I have been to before. The list of colors is a good list.

    I have ordered the Dec 2002 issue of Finescale Modeler. Even if it doesn't have what I am looking for, it will still be a good addition to the BUFF library.

    Regarding the strategic color scheme. That was the low vis gray and green scheme used until just after Desert Storm I believe. I have seen a lot of reference to the "three green" scheme which always includes the 34201 color as a green. I will go by published regulations and tech orders on that one and call it tan, which it does fade to. It may look a little green to some, but it isn't. As the image I attached earlier shows, the three greens were actual greens...dark, medium and light...more or less. I can not find any reference to that color scheme that doesn't include 34201, or gray colors. But I will keep searching. 8v)

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