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Caunter Scheme Paints
for British WWII early desert scheme


Glen Porter's 1/76 scale Matchbox Morris C8
wearing Xtracolor's Caunter Scheme paints



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Xtracolor Caunter Scheme - X821 Light Stone, X819 Silver Grey and X820 Slate
Price: From GBP£1.06 per 14 ml. tinlet (GBP£1.25 in Europe), available online from Hannants
Review Type: FirstPaint
Contents and Media: Enamel paints in 14ml tinlets.
Advantages: Accurate colours thinned with white spirits or mineral turps.
Disadvantages: Semi gloss.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Glen Porter




The Caunter Scheme comprised a series camouflage paints used on British and Commonwealth vehicles in the M.T.O in 1940/41. It was not known by that name at the time of application, but it has been adopted since because it was apparently developed by one Col. Caunter of the 4th Armoured Brigade. It used three colours, Light Stone, Silver Grey and Slate in a horizontal splinter pattern.

Xtracolor has recently released these colours in semi-gloss enamels in their usual 14ml tinlets.

The colours appear to be very accurate and match quite closely the swatches in Mike Starmer's book on the subject. (Editor's Note: indeed, the paints were matched to a very rare British Standards book dated 1942. This is where the BSC381C reference comes from).



On the labels it says to thin with White Spirits. Now I was under the impression that White Spirits was the name under which Mineral Turps was sold outside Australia. I've since found out that it may not be the same thing although it is very similar and has the same origins. However, in the mean time, I have found the the paint can be thinned quite successfully with either of these thinners although several people had told me they had trouble using Turps. I had none.

To start with, I've sprayed the three colours on to a piece of white card to show the colours side by side and Brett has photographed it along with the three tinlets.


To display the colours on a model I have chosen a Matchbox 1/76 scale Morris C8. Now this is not technically correct as this vehicle was modified especially to tow the 17 pounder anti tank gun which didn't come into service until much later but it was the only model I had of the right type. I started building it quite a few years ago and never got around to finishing.


A coat of Light Stone was sprayed over the entire vehicle and this led to the first problem. As I normally only use matt paints and these are semi matt/gloss, I over thinned it and consequently it didnít cover very well. This, I believe, is not the fault of the paints, but simply my inexperience with semi gloss and the other two colours, I thinned more sensibly and I had no trouble. The other issue I came across, was the time it took to dry. I had to wait about five hours before I could start to mask for the next coat. Normally I would start masking after only about one hour. This may be because of the thinners I was using but I don't think it would have been any faster using White Spirits as recommended on the label.



Because the model is so small, I had to hand brush the two darker colours on the vehicle proper [canopy was fully airbrushed] so you will have to excuse it being a little rough. Construction was then completed and given to Brett again to photograph.

The next job is to dirty it up a bit. The whole vehicle was given a dust-coat of Tamiya Buff, concentrating on the under-sides, wheels, tyres and lower sides, front and back. Then a dark brown wash in the crevasses, most of which was removed after it was dry. This was not applied to the canopy as I want it to be a slightly different shade to the rest. Finally, dry-brushing with white, mainly on the canopy to show the nicely moulded contours but some also on the nose of the vehicle. The whole model was coated with Tamiya Clear Gloss to bring out the brown in the crevices and to make a good surface for some decals.


The decals are not meant to be accurate for the period but to just add some colour.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:




This review has been several months coming but it's got nothing to do with the paints, just that I'm rather slow at both modelling and writing. The two problems that I mentioned above were also nothing to do with the paints but rather my inexperience with this type of paint [semi gloss] and there are products on the market to make it dry faster but I don't have any.

The colours themselves, as I said above, are a very close [but lightened] match for those in Mike Starmer's book and for the British Standards book. I would heartily recommend them to any and everyone.


Review Text Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2005 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 05 May, 2005
Last updated 05 May, 2005

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