The New Mission Models Paints Luftwaffe RLM Colors: Accurate and Forgiving

Introduction:

I have previously expounded upon the virtues of the new Mission Models acrylic paints and demonstrated their use on a 1/72 Macchi Saetta: a scheme in a scale I would not have tried with any other paint. Mission paints are the easiest most forgiving acrylic paints I’ve ever used-period. I was so impressed with their performance I became a dealer. My only complaint about this paint was the lack of Luftwaffe colors. I say was because that is no longer an issue. The new paints being added to the Mission line include a nice selection of RLM colors. And, by extra-special decree from the Mission Models Grand Poobah Jon Tamkin, MPS has been provided samples. Given the gravity of the situation, the crew down in the secret underground Model Paint Solutions Research Laboratory (and bistro) were tasked with devising a simple way to assess how well these new Mission RLM colors stack up against the same colors from other paint lines: more on their methods below. Suffice to say that as a long-time Luftwaffe aircraft builder with a history of being picky about RLM color accuracy, I am very satisfied with the new Mission RLM colors: spot-on “accurate.” Yup, that’s right, “accurate.”

Being a WWII Luftwaffe/RAF/USAAF kind-of-modeler I am painfully aware of the multitude of books, paint charts, blogs, arguments, and opinions regarding accurate RLM colors. Like many of you I have at least one book by Monogram, or Hitchcock and Merrick or Eagle Editions or Ullman (or?) within which “accurate” RLM paint chips are provided. I leave you to your own musings as to which set(s) of standards is more “accurate” to you. I prefer a combination of multiple references but lean towards the colors provided by Merrick. With that as my personal measure, I like the LifeColor range, which seems to capture the color and hue of most of the RLM colors better than do other manufacturers. LifeColor has been my go-to acrylic paint for many years due in large part to the “accuracy” of the line. Second to LifeColor for RLM colors is the Gunze range: sometimes hard to find and lacquer based.

The aim of this little project is to show the color and hue of the new Mission Models Luftwaffe colors relative to the same colors from other manufacturers. I emphasize relative because of the infinite number of variables involved in photographing, publishing, and viewing color images online. With this in mind, I don’t suggest using any of the images in this (or any) online article as a source of “accurate” paint colors. What I hope you can appreciate in this piece is how these paints compare relative to one another.

To compare paints, each color was sprayed onto a ~1.8cm2 square area of white polystyrene: masked off on a grid of identically sized squares. To ensure as much opacity of the paint as possible, each color was applied first as a dry coat followed by multiple wet coats. The same airbrush, an Harder&Steenbeck Evolution with a 0.2mm tip was used to spray all the squares and was cleaned completely between each color. Yes, the grid took quite a while to shoot. The crew in the underground lab was kept rather busy. When complete, the tapes were removed and any paint that had wicked under the mask was scraped off with an X-Acto blade producing equally sized and spaced squares. Whew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results:

A quick glance at the paint grid reveals that all four lines show a fair amount of similarity for most of the colors tested. The line that to my eye showed the most deviation from the other three was Vallejo. The Mission Models RLM colors tracked most closely to the LifeColor range. Given my previously stated bias for this line of RLM paints, I couldn’t be happier. In general, Mission Models, Gunze, and LifeColor were in agreement on most of the RLM colors. Moreover, if we assume the old RLM-82/83 reversal for the Gunze paints, the agreement is even closer.

 

Table 1: Catalog numbers  of the Mission Models, LifeColor, Gunze, and Vallejo paints used in this study.

RLM          Mission              LifeColor         Gunze           Vallejo

-02            MMP-056             UA-504                C60            70.886

Grau

-65            MMP-057             UA-503                115            71.255

Hellblau I

-74            MMP-049             UA-507                36              71.258

Graugrün

-75            MMP-050             UA-508                37              71.259

Grauviolett

-76            MMP-051             UA-509                117            71.257

Lichtblau

-78            MMP-055             UA-512                118            71.101

Hellblau II

-81            MMP-052             UA-510                121            71.264

Braunviolett

-82            MMP-053             UA-511                122            71.022

Lichtgrün

-83            MMP-054             UA-132                123            71.011

Dunkelgrün

Conclusion:

Mission Model paints have taken many in the modeling world by surprise. Modelers with previous experience with acrylic paints marvel at how differently Mission paints behave: less airbrush tip-dry, less over-spray, no clogging,  tough, scratch-resistant finish. I’ve received emails from even long-time enamel and lacquer users that have switched to the Mission line after giving them a try.

Not only are Mission Models paints the easiest most forgiving paint I’ve ever used, they’re also about as “accurate” as the corresponding LifeColor paints. For me this is truly the best of both worlds. In addition to the RLM colors presented here RLM-66, -70, and -71 are in the works. A complete listing of the new Mission Models colors due in May is provided below. If you’re tired of fighting with your airbrush and want to enjoy painting with a forgiving accurate paint, give Mission Models a try.

Now go paint something!

–John

Below is a complete listing of the new colors being added to the Mission Models Paint Line:

MMP-049    Graugrun RLM-74
MMP-050    Grauviolet RLM-75
MMP-051    Lichtblau RLM-76
MMP-052    Braunviolet RLM-81
MMP-053    Hellgrun RLM-82
MMP-054    Dunkelgrün RLM-83
MMP-055    Hellblau RLM-78
MMP-056    Grau RLM-02
MMP-057    Hellblau RLM-65
MMP-058    US Dark Green FS-34079
MMP-059    US Interior Green FS-34151
MMP-060    Dark Tan FS-30219
MMP-061    US Blue Grey FS-35189
MMP-062    USN/USMC Sea Blue FS-35042
MMP-063    Light Gull Grey FS-36440
MMP-064    Dark Gull Grey FS-36231
MMP-065    Gloss Sea Blue FS-15042
MMP-066    US Medium Green FS-34102
MMP-067    Yellow Zinc Chromate
MMP-068    Green Zinc Chromate
MMP-069    Light Gull Gray FS-16440
MMP-070    Radome Tan FS-33613
MMP-071    Intermediate Blue FS 35164
MMP-072    Medium Gray FS-35237
MMP-073    Light Ghost Gray FS-36375
MMP-074    Dark Ghost Gray  FS-36320
MMP-075    Light Sea Grey
MMP-076    RAF Middle Stone
MMP-077    RAF Dark Green
MMP-078    RAF Dark Earth
MMP-079    RAF Interior Green
MMP-080    RAF Underside Sky 610
MMP-081    LRDG Pink
MMP-082    German WWII Elfnbein Interior White
MMP-083    Have Glass Grey FS-36170
MMP-084    IDF Green
MMP-085    Russian WWII 4B0 FS-34257
MMP-086    US Army Sand FS-30277
MMM-002    Cold Rolled Steel
MMM-003    Faded Aluminum
MMM-004    Copper
MMW-006    Transparent Dust 1

 

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