Paint colours of the ADF
Paint colours for Australian Military vehicles, aircraft, helicopters and vessels.
My interpretation of colours of the ADF
by Russ French of Defence Models & Graphics Pty Ltd
Australian Army vehicles (ARA):
Current vehicles use a three tone colour pallet of Tan, Black and Olive Green. This seems to be standard colours for all vehicles including M1A1 AIM (SA), ASLAV, M113AS4, HX Series Trucks, Unimogs, G-Wagons, Landrover 110, Hawkei and soon to be BOXER CRV. When the M1’s arrived in 2007 they were painted in an overall Modern Desert Sand scheme. This was gradually changed from 2013 onwards to the standard three tone scheme.
Sand is FS33531 or Modern Desert Sand FS33722 (Spray) (Testors 1706/Tamiya XF-57 + 25% XF-2/Testors 1963 Spray)
Dark Tan is FS30219 (Testors 1742/Tamiya XF-52/Testors 1942 Spray)
Olive Green is FS34087 (Ideally it should be mixed with 25% FS34102 Medium Green):
Testors 1711 + 25% 1713/Tamiya XF-58/Testors 1911 Spray + 25% 1913 Spray) or also a good match in spray is TS-28 Olive Drab.
Flat Black is FS37038 (Ideally it should be mixed with 10% FS34102 Medium Green):
Testors 1749 + 10% 1713/Tamiya XF-69 (NATO Black)/Testors 1949 Spray + 10% Testors 1913 Spray
Australian Army Aviation regiment aircraft (AAVN):
Current AAAvn Rgt aircraft also use a three tone colour pallet however it can vary from aircraft type except for the new CH-47F Chinook. S-70A-9 Blackhawk, OH-58A Kiowa and MRH-90 Taipan use Tan, Medium Green and Black scheme. Tiger ARH-1 uses Tan, Black and a light green (Closest Green is FS34159 SAC Bomber Green). CH-47F Chinook uses FS34201 (SAC Bomber Tan). Older CH-47D used FS34031.
Dark Tan is FS30219 (Testors 1742/Tamiya XF-52)
Medium Green is FS34102 (Testors 1713/Tamiya XF-67)
Flat Black is FS37038 (Testors 1749/Tamiya XF-1)
Light Green for TIGER ARH-1 is FS34159 (Testors1993/Tamiya XF-73 + 25% XF-2 white)
Tan for CH-47F Chinook is FS34201 (Testors 1992/Tamiya XF-60 + 10% XF-67)
Helo Drab for CH-47D is FS34031 (Testors 2024/Tamiya XF-77)
Australian Navy Vessels and Aircraft (RAN):
Current colour scheme for Royal Australian Navy vessels is RAN Haze Grey for ships hulls and superstructures with Dark Grey Decks. This colour was adopted in 2016 to replace the older AS2700 N42 Storm Grey. The deck colour varies from unit to unit however for ease it can be assumed the colour is AS2700 N63 Pewter Grey with a darker grey walkway area is contained within the boundaries of the Pewter Grey.
RAN Haze Grey is FS36270 (Testors 1725/Tamiya XF-19)
Pewter Grey is AS2700 N63 (Testors 1728/Tamiya XF-53)
Deck Grey Walkways/Flight decks (Testors 1723/Tamiya XF-24/Testors Spray 1923)
Pre 2016 RAN AS2700 N42 Storm Grey (Tamiya XF-25 + 50% XF-12) or Tamiya Laquer Spray AS-18
RAN Fleet Air Arm (RANFAA):
RAN S-70B-2 SEAHAWK is a three tone colour pallet of Medium Grey, Light Grey and Dark Grey. The new MH-60R “Romeo” is also a three tone pallet of three greys.
SEAHAWK is Medium Grey fuselage with Light Grey under belly and Dark Grey fuselage top.
ROMEO is Dark Ghost Grey fuselage with Light Grey under belly with Dark Grey fuselage top.
Mk50/51 SEAKING (pre 2000’s) is Light Ghost Grey fuselage with white top.
Mk50/51 SEAKING/AS350B Squirrel) (post 2000’s) is overall Neutral Grey.
Grumman S-2G Tracker is Gull Grey (closer to Light Sea Grey) with white belly.
McDonnel Douglas A-4G/TA-4G Skyhawk is Gull Grey (closer to Light Sea Grey) with white belly. Several A-4Gs were painted in a wraparound two tone scheme of Dark Grey and Light Green Grey.
Medium Grey fuselage (S-70) is FS35237 (Testors 1721/Tamiya XF-19 + 20% XF-18)
Light Grey under belly is FS36495 (Testors 1732/Tamiya XF-19 + 50% XF-2)
Dark Ghost Grey (MH-60R) fuselage is FS36320 (Testors 1741/Tamiya XF-83 + 20% XF-2)
Dark Grey fuselage top is FS36118 (Testors 1723/Tamiya XF-53)
Light Ghost Grey is FS36375 (Testors 1728/Tamiya XF-19 + 10% XF-2)
Dark Gull Grey is FS36231 (Testors 1740/Tamiya XF-53 + 10% XF-2)
Light Sea Grey is FS36307 (Testors 1726/Tamiya XF-80)
Dark Grey is FS36081 (Testors 1788/Tamiya XF-75)
Light Green Grey is FS35622 (Testors 1722/Tamiya XF-12)
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF):
Aircraft of the RAAF use a variety of colour schemes, often changing during the life of the aircraft usually coinciding with system upgrades i.e. the F-111C, C-130H/J etc. The C-130H and J had many schemes over the years and probably too many to go into here. The H model used a three tone South East Asian (SEA) scheme for many years. Some where painted in an overall dark green scheme and ended up in a single tone or dual tone Medium Grey scheme similar to the C-130J-30s that replaced them.
The current C-130J-30 scheme is also one of several trialled over the past 15 years. It is a two tone Medium Grey and Light Grey scheme. Medium Grey upper fuselage and wings and Light grey under and belly in a wave form.
C-17 Globemaster III is an overall Gunship Grey scheme which is the standard USAF colour.
F-111C/RF-111C/F-111G were painted in a three tone SEA scheme when arrived with black underneath. During their F-111 Digital Upgrade they were painted in overall Gunship Grey.
F/A-18A/Bs are a standard 2 tone scheme of Medium Blue Grey upper surfaces and Light Ghost Grey lower surfaces. Thee have been several experimental schemes over the years of darker grey, however most airframes remain in the two tone scheme.
The F/A-18F and EA-18G aircraft are a slightly different scheme to the Classic Hornets and are painted in the standard USN two tone grey scheme of Dark Ghost Grey upper and Light Ghost Grey lower surfaces.
The new F-35A Lightning aircraft originally came out with a standard overall Gunship Grey scheme with the RAM panelling in Dark Gull Grey however now the aircraft is in full production most of the lighter coloured RAM panelling is being painted in the overall colour. You will notice that the Gunship Grey has a slight metallic sheen to it with just areas of the tails, wings, horizontal stabilisers and fuselage have the lighter grey.
F-35A Grey is FS36118 (Testors 1723 + 15% FS17178 Chrome/Tamiya XF-53 + 10% X-11)
F-35A Light Grey is FS36231 + 15% FS17178 Chrome/Tamiya XF-19 + 10% X-11 + 5% XF-1)
Medium Grey is FS35237 (Testors 1721/Tamiya XF-19 + 20% XF-18)
Dark Ghost Grey is FS36320 (Testors 1741/Tamiya XF-83 + 10% XF-2)
Light Ghost Grey is FS36375 (Testors 1728/Tamiya XF-19 + 10% XF-2)
Light Grey is FS36495 (Testors 1732/Tamiya XF-19 + 50% XF-2)
SEA Tan is FS30219 (Testors 1742/Tamiya XF-52)
SEA Light Green is FS34102 (Testors 1713/Tamiya XF-13 + 10% XF-4)
SEA Dark Green is FS34079 (Testors 1710/Tamiya XF-58)
Gunship Grey is FS36118 (Testors 1723/Tamiya XF-53 + 10% XF-18)
Black is FS37038 (Testors 1749/Tamiya XF-1)
There are a couple of aircraft that I have not sourced paint for so I am not 100% familiar with their colour schemes such as the new C-27J Spartan and the new colour scheme for the BAE Mk127 Hawk.
*Please Note: All these colours are my interpretations of the colours used on the aircraft and ships. They are by no means perfectly accurate however have been made to look as close as possible to correct colours. There maybe other brands that represent the colours more accurately. I have only experimented with the Testors Model Master enamels and the Tamiya acrylic range.