In-Box Review
IJA colors
IJA colors Early/Late (1937-1945)
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]


For modelers of IJA subjects from WWII, it is hard enough finding decent kits. Harder still is getting good colors to paint the kits with as there is a continuing debate as to what was used and the patterns with which it was applied.

The Set

Vallejo has provided some assistance with this by providing a set of acrylics that cover the full range from early paint schemes (with the disruptive yellow stripe) to the late war hard edge three color scheme. Eight colors are provided in 17ml dropper bottles. The colors are:
  • Earth green (early) polyurethane primer 70.611
  • IJA Earth brown 71.136
  • IJA Midouri green 71.134
  • Camouflage pale brown 71.035
  • Parched grass (late) polyurethane primer 70.610
  • Camouflage black brown 71.042
  • Field green 71.093
  • IJA chrome yellow 71.135

The paints match up well with what is generally accepted as accurate paint colors. Vallejo states in the instructions that as there is some debate about the brown color in early vehicles, both the earth brown and pale brown colors were included. I have read online that the chrome yellow may have been more of a pale yellow color and not as bright, but there seems to be no absolute definitive source for accurate colors that I can find.

How they work

I took a Type 1 Ho-ni 75mm SPG (Tamiya kit reviewed on this site previously) and decided to paint it up. I had previously painted the interior a base of aluminum with a light overspray of light gray. This vehicle would have received the late war color scheme so I selected the black brown, field green and parched grass colors and went to work. I popped the tops off of each bottle and inserted a copper BB to help with mixing the paints.

To obtain a nice, sharp edge camouflage scheme, I took the colors and applied them in reverse, starting with a base coat of black brown. I then applied masking tape and added the green, then more tape and added the parched grass. The parched grass was also used for the interior of the gun shield as it would have been the base color of the vehicle. All paints flowed easily with no thinning from a Badger 105 patriot at about 10psi. I did get some tip dry with the field green and parched grass primer but there was no pebbling or other undesirable effect in the paint application, and a little thinning would solve the tip dry problem. There was no paint pull-off when the tape was removed. All colors went on smoothly with no smearing or obscuring of details.

While I cannot claim that this set definitively matches IJA colors from WWII, the end result is pleasing. The parched grass came out looking less green than it does in the bottle and even though it is a primer has the same finish as the other paints. The finish has a satin to semi-gloss appearance, which is fine considering I still need to apply decals and some weathering. Cleanup of the airbrush was accomplished with window cleaner. I also experimented with goo gone cleaner. It turned the paint to goo, and it stayed in the cup.


Overall, my impression of the paint set is very positive. I still need to try the early colors on a suitable kit, but I expect that the result will be the same. The colors go on smoothly and easily, and it is very handy to have everything in one set. The bottles are large enough to allow multiple kits to be completed. If you build IJA models, I believe this set will meet your painting needs.
Highs: All colors needed are in one box, for both late and early war paint schemes.
Lows: Some paints may need to be thinned a bit more to prevent tip dry.
Verdict: This is an easy, ready to use set for IJA modelers.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: VJ71160
  Suggested Retail: $27.99 US
  PUBLISHED: May 19, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本

Our Thanks to Vallejo Acrylics!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Russ Amott (russamotto)

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright 2021 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.


Appreciate the review of them and the photos of the actual colors. It is nice to have this (the Mr. Color set is a bit hard to find) for colors that will be distinct from the German camo colors often used by modelers.
MAY 19, 2014 - 08:12 AM
Darren, thanks for getting this up. Matt, thanks for the comment. This set will be much easier to find and use. Now we just need a few more kits to use it on.
MAY 19, 2014 - 10:39 AM
very nice result straight from the jar! you made great masking job as well. I have this set
MAY 20, 2014 - 06:33 AM
Oh man, I want a set of these! Russ, great demonstration. To judge for yourself the authenticity of these colors, consider this book by researcher of Imperial Japan Nick Millman: Japanese Armour Colours, A Primer, 1937-1945
MAY 21, 2014 - 02:52 PM
Roman and Fred, thanks for the comments. Fred, you won't be disappointed, and you could finish plenty of kits. No more mixing colors trying to find a match.
MAY 22, 2014 - 12:16 AM

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