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Xtracolor...color matching, but not as we know it...

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Over the past year or so I've painted a couple of F-16s and noticed that the Xtracolor Gunship Grey (FS36118) seemed very light. I put this down to the matt coat, but I've just painted two more and had the same problem.

I pulled out a fresh tin, and the results have been...interesting...

These are the two tins - definitely the same paint:-


Although quite clearly different:-


And on the models:-



Just to confirm I wasn't going mad, I checked my copy of FS595b. The first picture shows the old tin, the second the new one:-



So... given that I've had similar problems with the Aggressor greys (FS36176 and FS36251) and the Vietnam greens (FS34079 and FS34102) it seems that Xtracolor cannot be trusted to get their color matching right.

My suggestion - spray a test before you use Xtracolor in future, or you might not like what you find!


Edited by UKPonchoMan
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I hate to break it to you, but Xtracolor is far from being alone here. Model Master is notorious (to me) for changing colors.

Frankly, I don't worry that much about it. If you painted an F-16 with a straight FS match to 36118 it's going to look like a black hole anyway. Like it or not, scale color effect is a real, physical phenomenon. People (modelers) will argue with a sign post about it, but it's a physical reality.

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I used to be the NCOIC for corrosion control/paint shop at VMGR-234 and I can tell you that even thou the "gull gray" 36440 was on the cans I must have had as many as a dousen colors on one bird.

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Colours vary from batch to batch. If you ask any model paint manufacturer for colours from the same batch you have no problem, they're guaranteed to be the same. Over even an hour on the mixing table paint will vary from each batch. It happens the world and company over.

If you're worried about it, mix the two colour together in a larger container and you'll have something in between

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I have been using Xtracolor exclusively for twenty five years and they have changed their color formulas numereous times. I ran out of a RLM 82 in the middle of a model and the next tin was a whole new color, not even close. Just make sure you have enough for the kit or you mix what you have all in one jar if you want an even finish color.It looks like you got a mismarked tin what should have been dark ghost grey?? I buy four to six tins at a time from Hannants and since they give you the whole box from one lot this has cured most my mismatch problems.


Edited by GForceSS
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