Research & Development

Research & development is a vital part of Sovereign Hobbies & our Colourcoats paint range.

We endeavour to use primary resources and the best available references for our colour research to ensure accuracy and authenticity of our range. As we update new colours we will be publishing some references behind them. Please check back for more information. 

We ensure to use both the correct colour standards (where applicable) for every colour and as such do not label all colours with Federal Standard FS595, RAL or British Standards unless that is both the correct designation for the colour used in real life and what our paint is matched to. Colour standards are only used for the applicable colour for each nationality/use. Whilst some competitors simply produce whatever modern standard colour is said to be closest to the original, our colours are by contrast matched to the best available research on a case by case basis.

This does mean that our customers need to learn what the real colours used on the fullsize subject were called, which we acknowledge can be challenging in a modelling world full of Federal Standard references for everything regardless of the fact that FS595 is really very limited and is inappropriate for the vast majority of modelling subjects. This can become patently obvious when the same FS reference is cited as the closest for several distinctly different real-life colours! For example, current "wisdom" tells us that FS*5042 is US Navy Sea Blue, which it almost is but the US Navy in WW2 used 3 distinct colours called ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue, ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue and ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue. Not only are the sheens different, but the colours are very obviously different when all three are lined up - a subtlety and point of interest lost with FS matches.

Furthermore, Colourcoats tin lids are sprayed by us using the very same paint that goes inside the tin. What you see on the tin lid is the colour of the paint inside will dry.

You can be confident that if our tin claims to be RAF WW2 Azure Blue then the paint inside is matched to the RAF Museum's officially approved Ministry of Aircraft Production WW2 Azure Blue chip and not a lazily produced FS35231 fished from a website as being a vaguely similar shade. Our customers could reasonably expect us to deliver the correct shades for their model, and we aim to please! 

We are constantly working to improve and are not afraid of revising colours when robust, well structured and compelling new research becomes available. We always appreciate input to our colour range with good quality research to substantiate colour differences.


Our latest colour revision of RN07 - B5 / B15 is the result of 7 months of research with a team of highly knowledgeable people and multiple visits to primary sources in archives from around the world. The resulting colour we have released is backed up with a short PDF detailing our conclusions and the resulting colour we are producing. This is available free for download here: Royal Navy colours of World War Two - B5 and B15. Our mission is to dispel misinformation and advance the knowledge of historical colours using proof, not conjecture, and provide those colours to our customers.


As always we will continue to expand our available ranges which currently stands at over 420 colours. 



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