A post from the Spartan Community Forums, wherein I was asked about my mixture for the IJN color.
Thanks for asking; actually, I have received some PMs to this accord, as well, so I might as well put together a little bit about how I got that blue-grey.
One thing to note is that, initially, I looked for the blue-grey in stores, and most lines didn't have anything I liked: It was either too light or too dark, or too blue or too grey. Polly S has an IJN Blue-Grey, but to be honest, it's far too thin.
So, as mentioned in my other thread, I attempted to create something from scratch, but wanted it close to a historical IJN grey-blue. I mixed a RMS HD Ash Grey and RMS HD Military Grey in equal parts, and added a couple of drops of P3 Blue Ink (about 1 part ink to 50 parts paint — but mainly, I'd start with one drop, shake, and if it didn't look well, I'd another, ad nauseum, until desired consistency and opacity). To cleanly apply paint it should be thin enough that it would almost run off the brush, and the brush should be half-unloaded (onto a shirt, or towel), before use. The HD work great for this.
These are the paints I used to achieve this particular effect. The RMS HD are the best paints on the market for general use, because the pigment is high-density — it can be thinned and covers in a layer or two.
I ran out on my first run, meaning that half my fleet is painted with the first batch and half with the second; luckily, I was able to match them really close, so it's not even really that apparent. Furthermore, all units were painted with one pot or the other, to maintain consistency in case that the final product was not as consistent as I had hoped (but it was, luckily!)
Second batch (left) and first batch (right):
Paints are thinned on a wet pallet. While parchment paper works fine, I'm a real fan of the P3 papers (even though their paints are generally not-so-hot). I simply bought the paper, and passed on the $20 case, opting for a resealable plastic container, available at any supermarket for 1/50th of the price.
It's important to note, too, that paints (and especially at this still) will become just a saturated, lighter version of themselves, so in order to light for highlights (painted on) and final highlights (light drybrushing), I lighten with this:
Additionally, while I do thin with water (and it's the majority of what's in the wet pallet), I also use different recipes, contingent on how much time I need for wet blending on the mini. From the left, water, 1:1:5 mix of flow improver:drying retardant:water, with the right being the same, albeit mixed 1:1:10.
The RMS HD Ash Grey works great for those grey units (useful in any aerial Japanese "historical" navy), and for highlights, the Military Grey color works great; I thought about using this for my IJN Blue-Grey, but opted for the darker grey, instead. It is, however, the main color of my aerial forces.
Where the magic happens:
And finally, my current project. It's coming along quite well:
If you've checked my blog (located in my signature), you'll see what most of what I have been painting the last 20 years is 28/32mm. I think a change of perspective and painting-style is needed to paint 1/600 or 1/1200 scale, so that's something I am working on everyday.