Carmine facings on a uniform.

Carmine, a red pigment produced from cochineal using methods that are not known precisely, consists of an aluminium oxide-lime compound containing protein-like substances of carminic acid, which occurs in the cochineal as an alkali salt. The beauty of carmine is said to be enhanced by exposure to sunlight during manufacture. The commercially available carmines show various nuances, of which crimson is the most popular. Slight exposure to ammonia turns it violet. Carmine is odorless and tasteless, dissolves in ammonia and is used as watercolour and oil paint, for colouring paper, sugar etc., also as make-up and in several preparations as a dye in microscopic technology. Its colour suffers from soap, alkaline liquids and light. The solution of carmine in ammonia forms liquid carmine. The burnt carmine is obtained by carefully heating small amounts of carmine to a dark purple to violet powder and is very durable. Carmine violet is precipitated from a cochineal decoction by lead sugar solution acidified with vinegar. – Blue carmine, equivalent to indigo carmine; green carmine, s. carmine green; brown carmine, see umber.

Single Pigment Colours

A small overview of carmine (PR 254) single pigment colours suitable for miniatures, models, and dioramas.

  • Pyrrole Red (PR 254), Golden Acrylics 1277
  • Pyrrole Red (PR 254, opaque), Liquitex 321

Mixed Pigment Colours

  • Carmine, Kreul 75.215
  • Carmine Red (PR 170, PR 257, PW 6), Lascaux 925
  • Carmine, Plaka 22
  • Carmine (PR 254, PV 19, PW 6), PRIMAcryl 13.321
  • Carmine Red, Revell 361.36

Source: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6. Auflage 1905–1909