RAF colour question.

I'm in the middle of an Airfix nostalgia attack, building kits that I
haven't made since the 1970's. However, there's one thing that's bugging me
and that the colour of the paint that's suggested for the underside of the
aircraft. Currently, it's beige green. I'm sure that back in the 70's it was
duck-egg blue. Is my memory playing tricks on me or what?
Spudgun
Reply to
Spudgun
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Beige green, duck-egg blue, and eau-de-nil are all colloquial names for the very pale greenish shade that the paint manufacturers are suggesting to replicate the underside colour the RAF called 'sky'. (The 'type S' sometimes seen added refers to the surface finish - 's' for smooth - i.e. semi matt)
Info on various brands and matches can be found at
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-and it's handy to bookmark that page for future reference.
HTH
Chek
Reply to
Chek
The main reason I'm asking is that I'm building the same models from the same tooling. It's just that I seem to remember that the underside colour had far more blue in the colour than is suggested now. I do accept that there has been decal changes, so it's likely that the colour scheme has been updated at the same time.
Oddly enough, I built a Brewster Buffalo which suggested "Concrete" as the underside colour. This hadn't changed although "Concrete" has since been replaced with "Beige Green". However, things appear to have changed in the Spitfire and Hurricane department.
Spudgun
Info on various brands and matches can be found at
formatting link
-and it's handy to bookmark that page for future reference.
HTH
Chek
Reply to
Spudgun
There has been research over the past couple of decades that indicate that some local unit level mixes were used that were more a more traditional 'sky blue' in shade. (Remember, many UK fighters were painted with half black/half white undersides previously, for ground recognition purposes).
But for a representative finish, the pale green shade is the one to go for on day fighters.
Chek
Reply to
Chek
Sky , or Sky type S was standardised in late 1940.
The colours we now understand to have been used alongside Sky were: Eau-de-Nil, a fairly bright light green very common in 1930s decorating circles. Sky Blue, a light blue Sky Grey a light neutral grey (FAA) Sky Blue, paler than the preceding colour of the same name.
The other two are in various publications, notable British Aviation Colours of WW2, from Arms & Armour Press.. The second Sky Blue was created by the Royal Aircraft Establishment, and was in common use for propellors and fuselage bands late in the BoB, together with Sky undersides.
You can find paint matches to some of these on the IPMS Stockholm site.
Paul Lucas quotes FS numbers in his superb study of BoB camouflage for Guideline. Sky Grey 36463, RAE Sky Blue 35550, prewar Sky Blue 14325, Eau de Nil 14533.
But these are approximations.
Vedran
Reply to
vk
Pedant: The name of the colour is just "sky" The 'Type S' was supposed to refer to all colours to distinguish them from the matt colours that had previously been in use. The Ministry Order read "...Dark green, Dark Earth and Sky, type S..." (note that comma?) Subsequently, colour researchers misread the colour as 'Sky type S'. The mistake has survived to this day, and looks like it will be perpetuated down the generations.
Airfix used to specify Duck Egg Blue, and Humbrol even had a colour mixed (Humbrol# 23). It was later discovered to be incorrect, thus the substitution of Sky.
Reply to
Jessie C
Airfix usually give Humbrol colour references. Humbrol Beige Green is No. 90, a very pale green/blue matt shade. Duck Egg Blue is No. 23 also very pale but quite a bit blue-er.
I seem to remember that "Duck-Egg Blue" was the description given back in the '70's, too. But the subject is a lot more complicated than that ;-)
In June 1940 the Air Ministry decided to change the underside colour of the Day Fighter scheme to Sky, a colour that had been developed by Sidney Cotton for reconnaisance aircraft (he called it Camotint). Sky is a light grey-green shade, the best modelling equivalent being Xtracolor X7; Humbrol does not do a good Sky.
The fighter units in the field could not get enough of the proper Sky colour to repaint their aircraft - it was a new paint, and made by a new process, to achieve the Type S smooth semi-matt finish. So Squadrons were asking Stores for Sky paint and being told there was none available. Thrown back on their own resources, they had to first find out what colour Sky actually was! The Air Ministry, when asked, described it as Duck Egg Bluish Green - which I get the feeling was ministry-speak for "buggered if I know, squire" :-)
Very shortly afterward they were fighting for all our lives, and the proper colour of Sky wasn't all that important.
Paul Lucas' research, matching paint samples from various preserved aircraft bits, provides convincing evidence for six shades being used on actual BoB-period aircraft. 1) Sky Grey - light grey 2) Sky - the light grey-green Camotint-inspired shade 3) Sky Blue - light powder blue 4) BS381(1930) No.16 Eau-de-Nil - pale green (Duck-egg Green?) 5) BS381(1930) No.1 Sky Blue - aquamarine blue (Duck-egg Blue?) 6) an unidentified light blue-grey seen on some Gloster-built Hurricanes.
Apart from the last, all of these would have been available in the supply chain, and if Sky wasn't available, the Squadrons would have used the next nearest shade they could get their hands on. Even photographs aren't going to help you decide which shade to use - much research, using recent publications, is indicated. I think many older publications may have gone with the official Air Ministry line (Sky, Type S).
Paul Lucas thinks that the various shades of Sky or not-Sky persisted until mid-1941 and the adoption of the Dark Green-Ocean Grey-Medium Sea Grey scheme.
My own utterly empirical assessment is that the following colours are closest out-of-the-tin to the various Sky or not-quite-Sky shades.
Sky Grey (FAA) :Close to Humbrol 146 (Aircraft Grey, FS 16473) BS 318 No.16 Eau-de-nil:Humbrol 90 (Beige Green) BS 318 No. 1 Sky Blue :Close to Humbrol 65 (Aircraft Blue) Sky :Xtracolour X7 (Sky) Sky Blue (RAE) :Humbrol 122 (Pale Blue, FS35622), possibly 23 (Duck Egg Blue)?
Hope that was some use . . .
Reply to
Alan Dicey
And just to muddy the water a bit, there were probably more than one squadron where when they couldn't find the color in stores, they took a 5 gallon tub of insignia white and mixed in some Insignia blue until the result looked right to the squadron leader and then "Chiefy" and the erks turned to with paintbrushes. There was the mother of all air battles blowing up over head and keeping fighters flying was more important than color correctness.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
Alan Dicey wrote in news:43ab3803$0$27193$ snipped-for-privacy@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net:
I have that book. And I posted something like this awhile ago. This is the best and most authoratative account I've read regarding what "Sky" is. It is well worth the cost of the book just for this one section.
Frank
Reply to
Gray Ghost
AHH, so I'm not going mad! That's the one piece of informaton that I was really interested in. Obviously, I'm buying modern re-pops and not older issues of given kits so I don't have the older paint schemes, but I do remember painting the undersides of aircraft the blue-green of duck egg blue. So, when I started to use beige green, it didn't look right (when compared to what I did before). Well, at least that all cleared up. Many thanks to everyone.
Spudgun
Reply to
Spudgun
my oldies stah says a light blue. the he177 is blue and several others are the same. do not remember a single green.
Reply to
e
snipped-for-privacy@some.domain (e) wrote in news:u%etf.23772$ snipped-for-privacy@fe04.news.easynews.com:
Back in the 70s the recommendatio would be for Airfix paints for which there was a limited range... Rather than have to worry about mixing they might often suggest the closest.
If this is for a RAF aircraft the closest Humbrol match for Sky is probably 90 "beige green" unless you want to mix.
I suggest a read of this:
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Reply to
Peter Baxter
What aircraft exactly? There are many variations - if you can be more specific about the type then perhaps we can help. Cheers. Gaz
Reply to
Gary Warwick
A comment on this thread in general:
It has certainly been one of the most informative I have seen here, and there have been many other useful ones.
We seem to have come a long way in research of colour schemes in the last ten years. I remember suggesting some time ago that there was a RAF "Sky Blue" (as opposed to "Sky") and being shot down with references to official specs. For some reason, RAF underside colours for day fighters seem to be a perennial problem. There is a fair amount of evidence surfacing that there were many local variations of the official specs.
I think that the only aircraft colours which would most often totally comply with the official specs would be those on the new production aircraft from the factories. The point that has been well-made in previous posts is that the people were too busy fighting a war to worry about the niceties of specs. They made do with the local paints that they could find. There was also the transition period between "bluish", sky and grey undersurfaces.
I do not have anything to add to the discussion at this point but I follow it with great interest.
All the best to all for 2006.
Cheers,
Doc
Reply to
Doc Hopper

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