It was recently reported over on TMP (here and here) that the colour of the Vallejo 894 Russian Green had changed as had the name on the pot to Cam. Olive Green – and now tagged as part of the Panzer Series. Now as I’m using this green for the Modern Soviet 1/300th forces I’m putting together (as are others) this was a worry. I only had one pot of the stuff (from a Flames of War Russian Paint Set) and that was running down. On hearing the news I descended on my local ModelZone to find that they now only stocked the ‘new’ colour and this looked noticeably lighter!
Various emails around online suppliers revealed the change must have happened a while back as no UK supplier I contacted still had the old Russian Green, with some not even aware it had changed. Luckily Mark Severin of Extra Crispy fame still had a single pot which I duly purchased. He also recommend Coat d’Arms 521 Army Green as an alternative.
When these arrived the 521 appears slightly darker but looks servicable, especially at this scale and with washes and highlights.
To further investigate this I contacted Vallejo and they eventually replied with:
Please send us your regular mailing address, so that we may send you a
bottle of 894 , most recent manufacture. We congratulate you on your ability
to distinguish the difference, there were problems with pigments, and we
have been working hard to re-establish the exact shade, and think we are now
close to it. The reason we changed the name had to do with the Panzer
Series, please see the attached FAqs. We excerpt the pertinent info.
12.2. The Model Color reference 70.894 is shown on your color chart as
'Russian Green' but on the bottle it is shown as 'Cam. Olive Green, is this
a mistake? This reference was one of the first colors we manufactured for
models and miniatures, now some 17 years ago, and at that time our advisers
suggested this shade as "Russian Green". It is indeed a match for some of
the Russian uniforms used in WWII. But as we progressed to manufacture an
ever widening range of colors, always following the advice of experts, and
careful to match RAL, Federal Standard and RLM equivalencies, we found that
this particular green 70.894 was also a perfect match for RLM 80, Olive
Green. And while uniforms have many different shades, The RLM match is the
most specific, and it seemed correct to change the name accordingly
Eugenie Vallejo Safranek
ACRYLICOS VALLEJO S.L.
Now this seemed to imply that the pigment was under development and that the latest issue was a close match – I’m assuming to the original Russian Green. They offered to send me a pot of the new version which duly arrived today in a huge padded envelope with lots of Vallejo related leaflets and pamphlets! So, to try and test this out I applied four samples.
A – Russian Green (Flames of War set)
B – Russian Green (standard Vallejo from Extra Crispy)
C – Cam. Olive Green – from ModelZone
D – Cam. olive Green – direct from Vallejo
Now, no doubt limited by my scanner and the vagueries of colour reproduction on different monitors, the above is the result. The two Russian Greens are very similar with only a slight difference. On paper (so to speak!) the new colours do not look as different as looking at the pots suggests. Yes, there is a difference, but not as much as expected. Later, I applied some of the new green over one side of the Russian Greens above and you can hardly see the difference.
Now this may all change when I start applying it to metal but so far it doesn’t seem the disaster I was expecting. Kudos to Vallejo for replying and explaining what has happened.
Hope this is of help and reassuring…