Western Scale Models

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Painting Colors to Use

Painting tips and color guide

Guide to painting Western Scale Models kits

Modelers continually marvel over the beautiful models on display at the Western Scale Models show tables.  These models have been built for us by Ray Sadler of Phoenix, Arizona.  Ray has prepared this Paint and Finishing Guide to help you finish your models.

"This list includes colors I have used on the Western Scale display models and colors I feel are suitable for machine models.  Because most large machines have been repainted, they often are found in a variety of colors that were not the original factory color.  I use Testors Model Masters Enamels.  They are available in acrylics, but I prefer the enamels because they do not dry as fast as the acrylics."

~ Ray Sadler 

Here is a potential list of colors:


Flat Black                        FS37038

Aircraft Interior Black       FS37031 (more gray)


Dark Tan                          FS30219

Raw Sienna                      No # (same as Dark Tan)


Field Green                         FS34097

Forest Green                       FS34127     

Medium Green                    FS34102     

Dark Green                         FS34079


Aircraft Gray                        FS16473

Neutral Gray                        FS36270

Aggressor Gray                     FS36251

Dark Dull Gray                      FS36231

German Uniform                   No # (Fieldgrau)

Gunship Gray                       FS36118

Euro 1 Gray                         FS36081

Navy Gloss Gray                   FS16081

NOTE: "I feel the darker grays look better on the machines"

Steel          FS1780

"I use steel on handles, shafts, etc., for bare metal that is not polished."

Gun Metal      FS1795

"I use this color a lot.  Used full strength, it has a nice dark metal look.  When used as a stain on metal gears, etc., it gives a nice oily metal look.  I dip my brush into lacquer thinner then into the paint.  Then flow a very thin coat onto the metal.  If it is too dark, simply take off some of the paint using the thinner."

Others Tips:

"Belt pulleys, metal wear surfaces on lathes, drill press tables, etc. are polished using what I call foam core nail files.  You can buy these in a beauty supply store.  The one that I use is called Tropical Shine 4-way buffer.  It has four different grades of grit.  The coarse front is blue and pink in color while the finer back is white and gray in color.  You can clean up the casting using the coarse grit and then polish the casting with the finer grit."

Painting Guide - Techniques