Model Paint Conversion Charts

Welcome to ModelShade, the most comprehensive conversion tool for model paint colors

Latest Updates

2nd September 2019 - Fixed some bugs

One of our visitors pointed out a bug with the back button, all fixed now thank you Joe! If you spot any bugs please dolet us know

1st August 2019 - You can now match from RAL and Federal Standard color codes

We have now added data for RAL and Federal Standard color codes into the options, Select them from the "Convert From" table. If you have other paint codes you want to convert from then get in touch and let us know

30th June 2019 - color matching algorithm improved

The algorithm for matching colors not on one of our charts has been improved to work better with matt/gloss finishes and metallic paints.

8th April 2019 - New Product Ranges Added!

We have now included Vallejo's Model Air range of acrylic paints designed specifically for airbrushes. Select MODEL AIR from the Convert From or results filters

How it works

Select a source paint and see the closest matches across all the paint manufacturers we have data for

Matching search

Each match is rated based on how many conversion charts it appears on, combined with the results of our color matching algorithm.

Matching colour strength
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Paint Matching Algorithm

The matching tool will attempt to find multiple matches for each paint, so alongside official chart matches we also show colors matched using the CIE94 color matching algorithm. CIE94 is an algorithm devised by the International Commission on Illumination as a way to judge difference in perceived color. We use color information for over 2000 paints obtained directly from manufacturer's websites, so although representing paint color on a computer/mobile screen is far from perfect, it really is the best we can do.

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Send Us Your Thoughts

We are really keen to hear your feedback, ideas for improvements, bug reports, or anything else you'd like to say! Get in touch by filling out this form

Five Painting Tips

Some quick model painting tips from

“When you want to make the main color pure and bright, don’t just keep adding bright colors on it. Just make the colors around the spot darker and dull. It will give the scene dramatical effects. I think life is the same.”

Hiroko Sakai

1 - Clean The Sprues

Clean the sprues

When you open a new model kit you may get the impression that the plastic is completely clean and ready to paint, but in fact it will often be coated in a very fine layer of oily residue. This is used in the moulding process to ensure the plastic adheres properly to the details in the mold and can be removed easily in the factory. This coating is not good for painting over, especially if you are using water based acrylic paints. Water and oil do not mix and you will get pooling of your paint on the plastic surface. Washing new sprues in a pool of water with just a drop of dish soap mixed in will make all the difference and ensure you are painting on the best possible surface.

2 - Make Mounts for Small Parts

Make mounts

Small parts can be difficult to paint. While it can sometimes make sense to paint them when still on the sprue - often the join between sprue and part also needs paint. For this reason a good tip is to make little mounts from Sticky Tack allowing you to position and adjust the parts accordingly.

3 - Thin The Paint

Paint Thinner Bottle

Different paints will come is different thicknesses and consistency can vary wildly even within the same manufacturer's product range. Never trust the consistency of the paint straight from the pot, it is almost always too thick for all but the most delicate work. Depending on what your paint is made of you can mix it with water, spirits or a manufacturer-recommended thinner. Properly thinned paint will often require multiple coats, but it will flow much better into all those small details, hide brush strokes and create a much more even coat.

4 - Store Mixed Paints

Small Mixed Paint Pots

Despite the best efforts of ModelShade's paint conversion charts, sometimes the only way to get the shade you require is by mixing paints. But there's no need to re-mix a shade each time you spot another piece of model you forgot to paint. Any resealable plastic pot can be used to store mixed paint indefinitely. Some examples are contact lense cases, old film canisters or cosmetic jars. A quick search of 5ml plastic pots on Amazon will throw up many different and affordable options.

5 - Make Sure You Room Is Well Lit

It sounds obvious, but it is incredibly important to have a well lit painting area. Nobody's eyes are perfect and you don't want to miss a detail or imprefection because it wasn't visible under sub-optimal lighting. You will eventually see it in a well-lit environment and all those imperfections will suddenly spring out at you! So make sure you have a lamp or strong room lighting from the very beginning.

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