Dulux Paints for Wargaming Bases and Terrain

I want to get a more coherent look to my wargaming tables with the bases of the wargaming figures, the terrain templates and hills, and the table itself all having a consistent look. When flocking my bases I’ve been using modelling paints but that is too expensive when painting big terrain pieces or the entire table. So I’m on the hunt for a cheaper alternative. 250ml Dulux TradeColour Samplers are the answer.

Why Dulux

You can get Dulux TradeColour Samplers from any Shop that can mix their own Dulux paint. DIY stores – like HomeBase and B&Q in the UK – often have them. I’m relatively lucky to have a Dulux shop just up the road.

At £2.60 for 250 ml Dulux TradeColour Samplers work out much cheaper than buying the equivalent Tamiya or Vallejo paints. A Vallejo 17ml bottle is about £1.98 plus P&P. If you ignore postage that makes the Dulux paint 11 times cheaper (9% of the cost). If you include postage – and bear in mind I can walk to the Dulux shop – the sampler gets even cheaper.

Dulux Paints for Wargaming Terrain and Tables
Dulux Paints for Wargaming Terrain and Tables

Dulux replacement paints

I use three colours for my flocking with Flat Earth and dry brushing technique. I’ve now got Dulux replacements for all of these:

Steven’s Name for this colour Original Paint Dulux Code
Flat Earth Tamiya Flat Earth (XF-52) 80YR14140 Extra Deep W451
Dark Sand Vallejo 70847 Dark Sand DX-HCFN7NT4BF Medium W582
Pale Sand Vallejo 70837 Pale Sand 40YY75216 Light W45

(1) The first batch I got of my Flat Earth from Dulux was “Extra Deep W27” and the latest was “Extra Deep W45”. I couldn’t see a difference so I’m not sure what the “W27” and “W45” signify. I suspect it is the “Extra Deep” versus “Medium” that is the important bit

Hill using Dulux Paint
Hill painted with Dulux paint

(2) I had a bit of a saga with my Dark Sand. My first attempt was Dulux code 23YY48254 Medium W45 is not a direct equivalent as it has a hint of orange instead of the green. For some reason the Dulux scanner could not pick up the green of the Vallejo – we tried several times. Then, after some time they stopped selling it. So I found a new Dulux paint for Dark Sand: DX-HCFN7NT4BF Medium W58. This is slightly darker than the Vallejo. The overall effect, when combined with the Dulux Flat Earth and Pale Sand, is more or less identical to my previous work with Vallejo.

Dark Sand - Vallejo to Dulux
Dark Sand – Vallejo to Dulux

The Dulux Code Explained

The ICI Colour Palette notation system explains the mysterious code of the Dulux paints. The code has three distinct parts: a hue reference, a light reflectance value (LRV) and a chroma value.

ICI Paint Codes
ICI Paint Codes

Hue: The first four character in the code – two digits (00 to 99) and two letters – are the colour’s Hue. Hue is the aspect of colour that we see in a rainbow. The only colours that have no hue are white, black and the pure greys that lie in between. All other colours have a clear hue associated, for example, pink has a red hue.

LRV: The next two digits are the LRV (00 to 99), which describes how dark or light the colour is. LRV works on a black (low LRV) to white (high LRV) basis.

Chroma: The last three digits are the Chroma (000 to 999). Chroma determines whether the colour is intense (higher) or subtle (lower).

3 thoughts on “Dulux Paints for Wargaming Bases and Terrain”

  1. I take a sample of the Vallejo paint color to the the local DIY store and have them match it in Quart sizes. About $8 US gives me enough to last into my next life!

    • Yes, that’s the way to do it. Several layers of Vallejo on white paper does the trick. Except, for some reason, for Dark Sand – which confused their scanner.

  2. I’ve been a big fan of these for some time. I get them from B&Q and as they have a big rack of colour swatches, so I just match them by eye. I use a mid brown as the base coat for most model bases and for convenience I decant it into an old plastic film pot (got to hang on to those now everyone’s gone digital), which hold a decent quantity, are easy to open and can be stored with the acrylics.


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