Painting guides?

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    Hello all,
    I’ve decided to dive head first into Victory at Sea after only one game (it has all the mechanics I enjoy in a tabletop game). I decided to go with the Japanese fleet so I purchased my friends half of his starter and after getting in a small order from an online store I realized something.
    Japan painted their boats all different colors. For example the Zuikaku is kind of a bright green at least according to the starter fleet pictures. My Akagi came with a painting guide and I got a little pamphlet in the boxes saying Warlord has painting guides online.
    So….where are they? I can *try* to guess colors if I know what the base color is (my LGS only stocks army painter atm) so if I had to guess the Zuikaku would be, what, army painter goblin green or something? Having a painting guide would be really nice.
    IF there isn’t a painting guide could someone recommend where I could find more detail about how Japan painted each ship? ‘Cause the best I got is world of warships.

    Thanks in advance for any help given.


    Well what I will say is…..

    Some of the painting guides apparently have errors according to some of the more indepth historically minded people on the FB group (Victory at Sea Wardroom (unoffical))
    Depending on the year (and in the case of the Japanese where a ship was built*) the colour schemes change,  with other nations where a ship serverd as well changed their paint.

    For example the Zuikauk is shown in her late war colour scheme (1943 IIRC)

    So a lot of people go for ‘historically inspired’ paint schemes, that is what looks right on the table top.  Otherwise you have to pick a year & a fleet then paint to that – and that gets tricky, espically at 1:1800 scale!  (as an aside theres a couple of 3rd parties that do decals for carrier decks)

    *each Japanese ship yard had its own shades of grey…. 😮

    EDIT – for colour schemes and details I’m waiting for Malcom Wrights book to be published!May be an image of text that says "IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY 1932-1945 Warships and colours Malcolm Wright With Japanese Army vessels"

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Nat.

    For the USN, there’s a website that a guy put together that provides info on the camo schemes that the Navy used each year (and notes that PACFLEET and LANTFLEET used different schemes).  The site also provides the official dazzle diagram where appropriate.  Destroyers get a class scheme, but iirc everything from light cruisers on up that had a dazzle scheme has an entry.


    Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the site off the top of my head.  But an internet search will probably turn it up.


    IIRC, he’s also got a note that dazzle schemes in the USN frequently only lasted until the ship arrived in its theater of operations, and promptly got painted over.

    invisible officer

    Well, dazzle schemes got altered but not just painted over. There are books like the ones from Terzibaschitsch that state the scheme for the WW II times by month.

    I did years ago in 1/3000 all Philipine seas US ones in correct schemes.  I a fleet there was a big varition in same area and time.


    And have many models in 1/1250-

    For the Japanese carriers some Polish books are very good. And also about cruisers and destroyers. For UK there are some good British made books on camo and for the Kriegsmarine the one by Jung and Abendroth.

    But I guess you will not be willing to spend more on the books than on the ships. So you can only use internet. Simply typing Kaga in color for example brings good artwork. For Germans …. in Farbe.

    Small models need some stronger colors for effect. Like in the pic.


    The USN used dazzle schemes for probably a year and a half (or less), and even then compliance was somewhat erratic.  Pacific fleet implemented the schemes in late ’43.  The Atlantic fleet waited until the following year.  Then in early 1945 the fleet started painting over the schemes.  The primary opponent had changed from ships to airplanes, and dazzle was believed to be less effective against aircraft.  Having said that, the erratic bit still applies, and some ships apparently were still painted that way in the Pacific on V-J Day.


    Anyway, here’s that site I mentioned that covers the USN camo schemes (including but not limited to dazzle).


    invisible officer

    You are right concening the “true” dazzle ones that are not used on new or repaired ships post spring 45.

    Unfortunately some USN officers  used the word dazzle for non dazzle camo, sometimes even  for solid designs in correspondance . Some seem to have had  problems with measures that included different colors or shades, naming them wrongly dazzle. Dazzle schemes had all numbers in the 30s  But some named Scheme 12 a Dazzle one, totally wrong.

    The USN  used dazzle patterns combined with different designs.   They even used carrier ones on destroyers. And in most versions the two sides had been different.


    And often one painting had more than one name. The commonly used word  Peace grey for example.    Since 1937 light gray became light grey a.   Or named No. 5 Outside Navy gray following the name of the color used. Most ships lost that paintwork before Pearl Harbor. So the common naming “Peace gray” is not 100% correct.


    DD USS Killen was the only one to get two different  true dazzle camos.


    I’m a little late to the party here but I wanted to pass on some information about the 4 IJN shipyard gray colors.  The Mr. Color paint line from Mr Hobby has all four individual greys.

    C601 Kure

    C602 Sasebo

    C603 Maizuru

    C32 Dark Grey (2) sub color name is Yokosuka.

    C604 IJN type 21 Camo

    C605 IJn type 22 Camo

    C606 IJN Linoleum Deck


    I hope this helps.


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