Saturday, May 6, 2017

One Color to Paint Them All

This morning I sat down to paint a terrain piece, hoping  to match others originally made 15 years ago.  As I stood at my work table adding a little burnt sienna, a little white, a little burnt umber, and back to the sienna again; I considered the futility of matching my paint from so long ago.

I remember an instance, somewhere around 1993, looking at my 1/285 Soviet T-72s and T-80s setting in their tray, in a wide variety of greens, and being surprised at the variety in their color.  They had all been painted over a period of eleven years with Model Master Medium Green.  Yet, there they were glistening in 20 different shades, varying widely from lightest to darkest.  I also remember thinking, "Wow, their quality control stinks."

A few T64s left over from the same era as those T72s mentioned above,
 all painted with different bottles of MM Medium Green.

As I continued to mix my terrain paint, adding a few drops of this and that to match the little bit of paint left from all of those years ago, I also considered more recent variations in the Vallejo paints that have largely replaced my model master paints.  I imagine that color matching is better now than 35 years ago, and even though my custom mix today was much closer than those Model Master greens, and even those more recent Vallejo tans, there I was moving to first class on the crazy train, because my new mix was just a touch different from the old.

The old terrain color (left) and the new color (right).
They actually looked closer without the flash.

The magnitude of my silliness finally occurred to me, so I just sat down and started painting.  I'm feeling better now.  And my terrain is even one step closer to done.


  1. Hell you should drive past one of the First Cavalry Division motor pools as I do on a daily basis everything painted tan yet no two alike.....)

    1. Seen the same thing around here, but I just don't seem to learn from it, when painting figs. Guess I just drank my paint water one time too many, lol.

    2. LOL, That happens to us all, from my own perspective having been a soldier for a couple of decades I go for the feel more than the look when painting my stuff up.

      Uniformity is in the minds eye....)

  2. That's the reason I never mix paint. Straight outta the bottle or not at all! Then again, I'm pretty slack when it comes to painting...