British Artillery Grey

112 lb »Zinc White«
6 lb »Lamp Black«

British Artillery Grey mixed from 19 × Zinc White and 1 × Lamp Black.

»British Artillery Grey«, actually »British Equipment Grey«, the grey colour of British artillery carriages, wagons and other painted equipment, sometimes described as »blue-grey«, was a mixed pigment colour of 18.7 parts »Zinc White« (PW 4) and 1 part »Lamp Black« (PBk 7) suspended in oils. Zinc white and lamp black, also known as carbon black, are cool colours; the resulting mixture is a cool medium grey with a noticeable hue shift towards the blue part of the spectrum.

David Morier’s painting Royal Artillery in the Low Countries, 1748, sometimes cited as the sole reliable contemporary source of »British Artillery Grey«, shows artillery pieces painted in an even darker shade of our 19:1 »Zinc White & Carbon Black« mixture above. However, there is also a four-wheeled army wagon in the right foreground which Morier chose to paint in a warm grey much closer to Tamiya XF-20 »Medium Grey«, and a limbered artillery piece advancing in the middle ground, approximately the size and level of discernible detail of a smale-scale wargame miniature on the gaming table, painted in a dirty grey not unlike Tamiya XF-63 »German Grey« tinted with Tamiya XF-2 »White«. Artists!

British Artillery Grey

  • British Gun Grey, Foundry COL108
  • Golden Acrylics: 1415 Zinc White (PW 4) + 1040 Carbon Black (PBk 7)
  • British Equipment Grey, Humbrol Authentic Colour MC20
  • PRIMAcryl: 13.100 Zinc White (PW 4) + 13.792 Ivory Black (PBk 9)
  • RAL 7000 Fehgrau
  • Grau RAL 7000, Revell 36157
  • Tamiya: XF-63 German Grey + XF-2 White
  • Grey Blue, Vallejo Model Color 70.943
  • Engine Grey, Vallejo 71.048

The Tamiya mixture above is not bluish enough (yet), Revell 57 »Grey RAL 7000« not dark enough, Vallejo Grey Blue and Foundry British Gun Grey possibly too blue for the job, the suggested 19:1 PRIMAcryl mixture slightly too light, but Humbrol Authentic Colour MC20 »British Equipment Grey« appears to be spot-on for our modelling purposes. The 19:1 mixture of Golden Acrylics 1415 Zinc White (PW 4) and 1040 Carbon Black (PBk 7) needs to be tinted with 15 to 30 % white to account for aerial perspective.


  • Morier, Pierre David: Royal Artillery in the Low Countries, 1748

Painting instructions printed on early Matchbox British Infantry and British Commando boxes recommend Humbrol MC20 »British Equipment Grey« as the non metallic metal (NMM) equivalent of blued steel. Later boxes listed Humbrol 53 »Gun Metal« instead.

The Hinchliffe French Cavalry Colour Guide published in 1976 would have you use Humbrol MC20 »British Equipment Grey« as the bluegrey uniform colour of FNC 60 French Line Artillery Train Driver.

18th Century Artillery Colours

Napoleonic Artillery Colours