As you are well aware by now this blog stays away from all things color and paint related (well...usually). Nick Millman's blog is the place to go to for answers as to how to paint your Japanese aircraft model. But I'd like to give a big heads-up to a new publication by Model Art; their October 2016 issue, magazine number 950.
In the old issue #9 of our "Arawasi International" magazine, Apr-Jun 2008, we featured an article by Watanabe Ryoichi about the "Kaigunkokukiyo Toryo Shikibetsu Hyojun, Kariki 117 Bessatsu" (Paint Identification Standard for Naval Aircraft, Supplement to Provisional Regulation 117); in short "Kariki 117".
As Watanabe-san explained in the article:
"The IJNAF's Naval Air Headquarters stipulated the colours that were to become the standards for painting aircraft on November 26, 1938. Kariki 117 contains the colour samples that were produced at that time."
Here's the story of the "Kariki 117" as I know it.
Watanabe-san is probably the first to have discovered a copy of this invaluable document in the National Diet Library of Tokyo and Japanese Aircraft Paint Expert Owaki Katsushi was working on a publication with the "Kariki 117" as its centerpiece. Unfortunately a "researcher" that calls himself "Summer" spilled the beans, as he often does destroying efforts for serious research, obtained photocopies from the library and started selling photocopies (of the photocopies) around the world. Owaki-san was left with no other option but to release his copies of the "Kariki 117" on-line leaving his publication dream unfulfilled due to his very untimely passing a few years ago. His blog AFAIK is still on-line as a rather sad testament of his legacy.
Various Japanese aviation experts, with or without inverted commas, around the world have been using the "Summer" photocopies of the photocopies of the "Kariki 117" as their main tool to offer expert advice on Japanese aircraft colors and that would have been the end of this story.
Well, Model Art went to the National Diet Library, was able to scan each individual color sample of the "Kariki 117" together with color chips from the "Nihon Toyoo Kogyokai" (Japanese Paint Industry) Color Chart, QP card 101 and color chips created by Hasegawa Ichiro and present all the colors useful for a Zero-sen model in their October 2016 issue, magazine number 950. And as if this was not enough, they also have a special section with paint samples of grays and greens by the various Tamiya, Mr. Color and GSI Creos Acrysion. Plus various details and amazing Zero models.
I can't stress enough how useful, important and highly recommended Model Art #950 is.
It is available from our on-line store for only $US9 (postage not included). Check HERE for more In Print and Out-of-Print Model Art titles.
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Or you can simply email us: