Going back to basics, there are three primary colors: red, yellow,
and blue. Primary colors are those that cannot be made by
mixing other colors together. Secondary colors are those that
are produced by mixing the primary ones. Red and yellow make
orange, yellow and blue make green, and red and blue make
violet or purple. All other colors are created from primary and
;e exact color of your secondary color depends on the
proportions in which you mix the primary ones. Black and white
are not colors; they are tones and are used to lighten or darken the
color. Black and white together creates gray.
;e complementary color for a primary color is what
you get by mixing the other two primary colors. ;e
complementary color for red is green (yellow and blue
mixed), the complementary for blue is orange (red and
yellow mixed), and the complementary for yellow is purple
(red and blue mixed).
If you mix all three primary colors together, you get
a tertiary, or neutral, color. Neutral colors are browns
and grays, and they can also be created by mixing a
primary color and a secondary color
together. Generally speaking, basic
military camouflage paint schemes
include various shades of green,
brown, and gray.
MIXING TIP 1: THINK SMALL
When you mix paints for the first
time, it is best to experiment in small
batches until you figure out the
ratios of the paints you are using.
;ink drops and teaspoons, not pints
MIXING TIP 2: ADD DARK TO LIGHT
and quarts. Mixing larger quantities
can get expensive. Once you figure
out the ratio that you need for a specific color using a particular
paint, you can increase the volume to produce as much of it as you
need. Don’t forget to write this information down, and keep it in a
safe place for future reference.
It takes only a bit of a dark color to change a light color, but it takes
considerably more of a light color to change a dark one. If you
want a specific shade of blue, for example, start by adding blue to a
white base. Never add white to a blue base in an attempt to create
a lighter blue.
Federal Standard color chips are the gold standard for correctly identifying (and
duplicating) properly matched colors.
When matching paint chips to your subject aircraft, place them on the airplane and
see which one is closest. You can then fine-tune from there by making the color
lighter or darker.
It is always best to use the same brand of
paint when mixing and adjusting shades of
paint. KlassKote is an excellent two-part
epoxy-based paint used by many top scale