The Color Reference Designation Guide

The color guides on this site contain paint charts that compare the shades of model paints from different manufacturers. The colors are considered matched when they have been labeled either uniquely or in combination with another color.

Paints are considered equivalences if they are close to the intended color but not labeled as such. Regardless of whether a paint is deemed as an exact match or just close to its original shade, the accuracy is independent. There may be poor matches as well as exact equivalents.

Paint Code Equivalence Designation
XX labeled as an exact match to specific color
XX* labeled as a match to several colors of different standards within the same country (ANA/FS, FS/AMS, RLM/RAL, etc.)
XX** labeled as match to several colors of different-country standards (FS/RAL, FS/BS, etc.)
XX (!) questionable match to the label, tested
XX (?) questionable match to the label, untested
(XX) close equivalent
(XX) (?) questionable equivalent
An explanation of the specific designations we use to describe color matching.

An asterisk (*) may also denote implicit correspondences for standards of the same country if there is official continuity between them. However, this does not apply when there are significant differences between the official successors (e.g.: Dark Olive Drab No. 41/ANA 613 Olive Drab/FS 34087 Olive Drab), and a description of this will be given separately. By and large, correspondences with one asterisk should be considered fairly close in accuracy.

The references make no distinction between glossy, semi-gloss and matte variants of the same color. The exception to this is when there is a known or suspected color difference (e.g., FS 24087 and 34087).

This guide can be applied to