Model Master Zinc Chromate Green

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Mar 20, 2013 the bottle looks way too bright too me. Maybe more yellow?
Not having used it, and looking for a non Humbrol enamel....any suggestions appreciated

This is a can of worms. There were many shades of American ZC. Grumman used a shade different than Douglas, for example.
MM paints are good, I've used them for 20+ years.
Used it out of the bottle on my Hellcat and I think it looks fine:

100302 Pit3.jpg
I agree with Meatloaf109. The colour of the preservation paint depeneds on manufacturers and a kind of metal it was applied on.

Here you are a couple of samples for the colour.


Also check thess links ...

Archival Show and Tell #1 Yellow Green by*Dana Bell

Camouflage Markings: Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 (Part II)

As far as Humbrol enamels are concerned... a good match for the Zinc Chromate Yellow can be Humbrol 81. For the apple green type or Interior Green a good one is Humbrol 151.
I usually mix mine to vary the shade a bit. Over the years of trucking, I tried to see every aviation museum in America. Undoubtably, there were some that used any old paint they had, but I have always trusted the Smithsonian and the Pensicola Navy museum to get it right. That peculiar "apple green" of Navy craft is one that really changes from plane to plane.
If we're talking areas that have been finished in ZC primer only, as opposed to those painted in the particular colour of Interior paint, then yes, there's a lot of difference. It depends on the manufacturer and 'mix' of the ZC, how it's applied, and by which aircraft or component manufacturer. Application can be by dipping, heavy brushing, or spraying, for example, and coatings can vary in 'thickness' depending on requirements, thus giving even more variation.
I normally just mix my own and, depending on the aircraft type, I might add a very tiny amount of silver - just a brush with the silver wiped off - to give that slight 'thin', metallic look sometimes seen on certain ZC applications, be it yellow, yellowish green, greenish yellow, or green.
Thanks very much for that....this is a very impressive forum in terms of knowledge and willingness to help. It's appreciated.
I'll spray a bit around and look carefully....
Crimea River (great ar234)...the Hellcat cockpit done out of the bottle looks far less garish than the bottle colour. I'll try it and report back

Yellow Zinc Chromate, Modelmaster only seem to do in acrylic......

Thanx to all
The yellow zinc chromate was the base color to which lamp black was added by the aircraft manufactures to tint it giving the green chromate color. Varying amounts of lamp black added to the base color by different manufactures or even the same manufactures led to the varying shades of green chromate found. I have an article on it saved somewhere I'll try to dig up.
I found this going through the net....

"Here is an authoritive explanation for you interest. Taken sometime ago in disscusion about yellow zinc chromate at Hyperscale.

Dana Bell
Variations on zinc chromate...
Mon Mar 3 17:05:07 2003

There's always more to learn on this subject, though most of it wouldn't apply to our modeling projects. There were several formulas for green zinc chromate; one of them was also called Interior Green.

The earliest was a mix of (yellow) zinc chromate and aluminum paste (or powder). This resulted in the candy apple green that we've seen from a few manufacturers over the years - it's use on real aircraft was pretty well limited to the mid-1930s.

The middle mix was (yellow) zinc chromate, aluminum powder (or paste), and black paste or enamel. The green was a bit darker. The mix prevailed from the late 1930s through 1942.

An aluminum shortage in 1942 led to other mixes with grey enamel in an attempt to reach the same general shade without using aluminum. Curtiss Cockpit Green, introduced in August 1942, was one of these shades.

By September 1942 the Navy introduced the black and (yellow) zinc chromate formula; in May 1943 this would be named Interior Green (after a brief flirtation with the name Cockpit Green).

Despite the emphasis on cockpits, the green zinc chromate was designed as a second primer coat. The green distinguished the second coat from the first yellow coat - a handly way of knowing how many times a surface had been primed - and acted as a finish coat. The low reflectance led to its use as a cockpit color too.

Since the choice of formula was based on date of application, it was rare to seen more than one type of zinc chromate green coating on any single aircraft, but there could be many minor variations in color with each batch of the primer.

Strictly speaking - and I'm still trying to correct myself on this - we could never say that a 1939 cockpit was painted Interior Green, since the formula didn't exist for three more years. However, many of us still take the shortcut and use the two color names interchangably. It's a bad habit, and causes some confusion, and I'm one of that mistake's worst practitioners.

Dana Bell"
Here's the article I was referring to, Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 Parts 1-3 by Martin Waligorski. A very interesting read with a lot of good information.


  • Interior Colours of US Aircraft Part 1.pdf
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  • Interior Colours of US Aircraft Part 2.pdf
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  • Interior Colours of US Aircraft Part 3.pdf
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Agree with all above. I have painted going on 200+ prop and jet aircraft for Beechcraft and even with same manufacturer many of the shades of chromate were slightly different

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