What color of gray should you paint your new addition to your Imperial Japanese Fleet? There is no need to go to the local Shinto shrine to find the answer, it is available in a new pamphlet from White Ensign Models. Resident Yank, color master and shade guru deluxe, John Snyder, has done all of the leg work for you and produced a database that shows not only the colors of the Japanese warships but also for what periods the color was worn. The pamphlet is entitled Imperial Japanese Navy Greys: A Ship-by-Ship Compilation. John has clearly gone native by the deliberate misspelling of the word gray. Simply look up your pride and joy and find the correct date of the fit in the appropriate column. The database will indicate whether it was Kure Gray, Sasebo Gray, Maizuru Gray or Yokosuka Gray. Each Japanese naval dockyard had its own shade of gray and their paint work was readily distinguishable from the paint jobs of the other yards. The database is very comprehensive and lists almost every major Japanese warship from carriers down to torpedo boats. Many of the ships wore at least two different colors during their career, some three and one, the light cruiser Abukuma appeared in all four navy yard colors during her career. For a few ships the information was unobtainable but those ships with unknown colors are few and far between in this listing. The most significant large ship with no information is the carrier Shinano. The most significant omission from the list is the battleship Nagato. Other than Nagato all of the battleships, all of the heavy cruisers, all of the big carriers and probably all of the small ones as well are covered. I have not done a complete inventory of the light cruisers, destroyers or torpedo boats, so I can't say if any particular ship of those types is missing but finding a ship that is not listed in this pamphlet will be like finding a needle in a haystack. What you receive is a spiral bound pamphlet with a plastic protective cover. There is an introductory page followed by five pages of ship listings reflecting the color data for each ship. Production qualities of this publication are excellent as each page is printed on thick glossy paper. Normally I like to include many photographs of an item being reviewed but for obvious reasons it is only logical to provide a couple of photos of excerpts, showing the internal arrangement of ship listings. This product is indispensable for the avid Imperial Japanese Navy modeler. Now if I can only find a source for the correct paints...Oh wait, oddly enough the introductory page addresses that issue as well. It appears that the correct paints are available from a paint line called Colourcoats, which by a happy coincidence is also available from White Ensign Models.

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