The model was sprayed with a black primer coat that showed up some poor joints and construction so after these were attended to and the engine intakes, wheel wells and undercarriage sprayed white, I began spraying the finishing colours.
Now, the Osprey’s in USAF service are in a two-tone scheme of FS36118 Gunship Grey over FS36293 but looking at the reference pics I have, the Gunship Grey is a lot lighter than that bottled by the model paint manufacturers. This applies to the underside colour too as the match I found online to FS36293 (Ammo by Mig) seemed too dark as well, so after a visit to my local hobby shop I came across various Imperial Japanese Navy greys in the Tamiya Lacquer Paint range; LP-12 IJN Grey (Kure Arsenal), LP-14 IJN Grey (Maizuru Arsenal), LP-15 IJN Grey (Yokosuka Arsenal) and LP-32 Light Grey (IJN).
LP-32 seemed a good enough match to the underside colour so this was applied to the model;
Some white was thrown in and the mix sprayed in between the panel lines for some contrast.
The undersides were then masked along with the engine intakes interiors and having the choice of the three darker greys, I opted for LP-12;
Looking at the top colour, it seems light compared to the reference pics however with the application of varnish, it will darken it somewhat so the colour should be closer to that found in the various images I have.
Like all the current schemes on military aircraft they have a ‘chameleon’ feel to them as depending on sunlit or cloudy conditions the shades of grey vary substantially. Also after years of fretting about getting actual paint shades correct, I’m firmly in the ‘near-as-dammit’ camp these days and close enough will do me.
As for the model, I have found a couple of joints on the engine pods that need some rework, after which I will re-spray them. Also I need to spray a test piece with LP-12 then see if a coat of varnish will darken it, if it doesn’t I’ll re-spray the model with the darker LP-15 and go from there.