Here is the hull just prior to painting. The deckhouse is now glued in place on the fantail, scuppers are in place on the hull sides. I used Testors Model Master Enamels to match the Snyder & Short IJN color chip sets. The TMM paints are readily available locally but I would not call them the best paints on the market. Colors listed on the bottles are often poor matches for the actual colors they claim to represent. Match the chip, not the name! Also, please note that there are differences in the Snyder & Short IJN chips, as the samples used to make the chips varied. This will not come as a surprise to anyone with firsthand knowledge of Navy issued paints. Finally, I introduced variation in paint color to account for wear, fading, and scale effect. All these factors tend to alter tone.
First the hull was primed with a gray automotive primer. Then the lower hull was sprayed Testors #2096 Schokoladenbraun ’43 which was a good match for the anti-fouling hull “red” on the Snyder & Short IJN chip. The linoleum on the main deck was also sprayed at this time. The S&S linoleum chip on Set 1 is lighter than either chip on Set 2. I mixed 50% Testors #1736 Leather and 50% Italian Dark Brown.
The paint was allowed to dry overnight, then the deck and lower hull were masked off. Next the white false bow wave and stern wake camouflage areas were applied in light coats. I wanted some fading and tonal variation here, so the coverage is rather patchy by design.
With the white masked off the lighter of the camouflage colors is applied. I matched this to the S&S chip for Type 22 Camouflage Light Green which was mixed from two parts #2115 Japanese Army Light Gray Green and one part white. The spot pattern was masked using small balls of poster putty.
If you study Akitsushima’s shake down photograph carefully you will see a wedge of a darker camouflage color on the port quarter. This is not a shadow, it extends into the white false wake and is easily overlooked. I cut a section of this color in Photoshop and compared it to the hull stripes at the bow and found they matched. Operating under the assumption that the IJN kept to the same color pallet used later in the war, I determined the Type 2 Camouflage Green from the S&S chip set was the most likely match. Testors Russian Armor Green #2129 was used, Russian Topside Green would also work. Note that this green only appears on the hull sides, it does not extend into the stripes on the superstructure.
The rest of the hull was painted with Testors Kure Naval Arsenal Gray, and oversprayed with thinned mixes of this color cut with white to achieve some tonal variation. Large areas of the same color do not appear to be the same color in real life! Similarly, the black stripe forward is “scale black”, or black mixed down to a very dark gray. Here is a picture of the hull with the masks removed.
The Imperial Navy linoleum deck covering was applied in sections and the edges secured with 30mm wide brass strips. It turns out that a fashion trend in women’s nails is colored metallic stripes (who knew?). I was able to order rolls of these stripes in several colors from a seller in Hong Kong. The width should be 0.42mm, the nail stripes were 0.50mm but I felt I could live with the difference. They were carefully measured out and brushed over with a coat of Gloss to ensure adhesion.
Here is a view of the starboard side. I derived the pattern from what could be seen in the photograph, but it is not very clear and subject to interpretation. I later felt the black wedge aft was unlikely and eliminated that segment.
The starboard side again, posed with various subassemblies. Still a long way to go but Akitsushima is starting to look like a ship.
Now the small components can be painted up and added. I am working from the centerline out to reduce the risk of damaging fragile components. More on this with the next post!
Part IX here: