RAF equivalents/US colors--long post

IMO, feel free to correct any part, Im not an expert but I have noticed that a lot of experts dont agree either. I've beaten myself to death on
this but maybe I am approaching daylight or perhaps its just an illusion. The following rant is on US produced fighters on Brit contracts which were diverted to China or the USAAC (mostly), not bombers:
Rule: if you are modeling a US manufactured aircraft for the RAF, DO NOT USE RAF DARK EARTH/Dark Green or Sky Type S. These colors were not used on American produced aircraft so you are guaranteed to be wrong. Of course, using other colors is no guarantee of being right.
Ive gone round and round trying figure out just what equivalent colors were actually used for Dark Earth/Dark Green/Sky Type S fighters in the 1940-41 period:.
It appears that the best approximation I have find that seems to fit all the pictures and descriptions is thus:
First is a premise that most likely? all US manufacturers used Dupont paints.
First Topsides..for the following aircraft: P-40C, B-339E, P-400, early Mustang Is. .
The best picture I can find that seems to come closest to the target is this rendition of a P-400, most accurately, the close up pictures of the rendition, the overall tending to fade, that is, the closer you get to the Dark Earth equivalent color the more pinkish (could say red but when you mix red it usually makes stuff darker) cast the paint becomes. However, the green may still not be close enough, the real equivalent maybe tending to be closer to USAAF medium green rather than RAF Dark earth. Mixing the paints 50/50, I do not think gets you there. .
Note however, that in the area of the fin flash OD has been added to the color in order to paint out the fin flash. The use of OD to cover repairs paint out insignia etc is to be expected in all regions where these diverted British contract aircraft fought. In the areas were the British used the aircraft as sent by the manufacturer, repair/overpaint colors would be true RAF dark green or dark earth.
What is interesting is that the undersurface color, an attempt to duplicate Sky Type S, may have been interpreted, upon viewing in different lighting conditions, as being yellow sand by some (concerning P-40's) and light blue by others, and also a light gray. It appears to be difficult to pigeon hole the color. Perhaps a very pale gray with a hint of pale blue and a lesser (very lesser) hint of maybe pale yellow (an attempt at mixing colors to get to Sky Type S might have occurred) might be the closest to the color. The color, at least to appears to be very elusive and the colors surrounding the color might indeed influence its appearance. When exposed to excessive light it seems a most vivid pure color with little in the way of irregularity, but it may just be the reflective qualities of this paint. In shadow, it tends to darken considerably.
However, it is clearly not neutral gray nor is it a yellow sand. It is either a very pale grey or a very pale blue with maybe a hit of yellow that would tend to green it ever so slightly but not enough to dominate the pale blue/or gray tone. By contrast, in Sky Type S, the green dominates the pale cast.
Now the plot thickens and it appears guesswork takes over when you start thinking about P-40Es produced in 1941 and 42.
It seems certain? that the practice of using RAF equivalents began to decline by late 41 early 42, probably due to the mass production of US approved colors for American aircraft (more paint means cheaper paint and less time lost in using differing paints on the line). US manufacturers were quick to start using closest USAAC paints for British needs. The Brits would have hardly been in a position to argue.
However, in 1941 new equivalent paints may have been created, although it is possible? that perhaps there was a using of new paints and equivalent paints. By the time the Brits were ordering P-40Es, although the first P-40Es might still have been in DE/DG/Sky S equivalent colors as were Mustang Is for Europe, the North African Campaign clearly caused the Brits to order P-40Es in desert camo, i.e., Dark Earth and Mid stone upper, Azure blue underneath. The RAF DE/DG P-40Cs which had been diverted to North Africa and repainted by the RAF? in correct RAF colors. However, it appears that the US manufacturers, notably Curtiss, may have used an equivalent Azure blue, a very light blue but not as pale as the Sky S equivalent and then, when the aircraft were diverted to the Chinese or the US for use in the Pacific, the dark earth Raf equivalent or dark brown? portion of the camo was overpainted or perhaps painted in place of , US medium green. But what about the lighter color? Some experts appear to suggest, and it certainly seems logical that the mid stone color was merely replaced by US 26 sand, which, if anything appears to be a significantly lighter shade of the US dark earth equivalent, with a pinkish/almost gray cast. Therefore P-400's in the pacific, have a different color appearance than intercepted lend-lease P-40Es which unlike the P-400's were actually orignally intended to be in RAF North African scheme or a hybrid scheme with USAAC paint and RAF Equivalent paint . However, it does not seem to end there. OD appears to be used copiously on camoflaged P-40Es used by the US in the pacific. There are at least one, or two perhaps non-conflicting reasons that will be addressed later. In addition to the two-tone camoflaged P-40Es diverted to China, of course, at the time, USAAC P-40E aircraft in OD over neutral gray with US Army under the wings. Now, I am pretty sure? that by the time the US OD P-40Es were sent to China we were in the war so no one bothered to take it off. However, it appears that what appears to be P-40Es in Medium green and desert sand over light blue were diverted from a Brit contract to China. Whether these aircraft would fly with the CAF or the AVG in 1942 is unknown to me but it is certain, through photos, that camod P-40Es flew with at least the 23rd fighter group. Considering that the P-40Es got to the AVG prior to the turnover, it is likely they would have been flown in Chinese markings at least until July 42, and still in Chinese markings if dilivered to the CAF. Now, it appears that Medium green/Sand (US 26 Sand, not a yellowish tan sand color that we might think of today, but a pinkish cast light brown) over neutral gray P-40Es were used in 1942-43 in the Pacific by the US. There is at least one reference that indicates that perhaps some of these P-40Es had pale blue undersides without US Army, not the Sky Type S equivalent on the P-400's, but perhaps the pale blue of the English N.A. ordered planes. However, it also appears that many/most/all? of the P-40Es, camod in what appears to be Medium green/Sand and partially in OD, have neutral gray undersides with US Army under the wings. It would appear that perhaps these aircraft could have been originally OD P-40Es for the US Army, that were conformed to the British P-40Es with an overpainted (not at the factory) medium green/sand upper surfaces with perhaps some OD being not covered on the rear fuselage. Of course, repairs or touch ups, would most probably have been OD also. Pattern experts might be able to clear this up. Texas Longhorn, flown by John Landers in New Guinea, is purported to have been medium green over sand (that looks like yellow sand rather than 26 sand) over light blue, but perhaps the interpretation is in error as others have interpreted the scheme of other aircaft in the same squadron? to be medium green and perhps sand 26 over neutral gray. However, perhaps Landers aircraft was a true Brit contract mixed in with the US contract repainted planes...or perhaps the gray interpretation is incorrect and the planes had light blue undersides (and that OD on the fuselage was field applied indeed for repair, touch-up, or perhaps more markings contrast)....but what of the US army markings under the wings? A problem arises concerning the P-400's which appear to have been delivered in equivalent Dark Earth/Dark Green over Sky S (again, equivalents, not the actual RAF paints). US ARMY, something that shouldnt be logically on P-400's appears on the wings. It could be that Bell, being informed that the P-400's were going to the USAAC, just took the time to stencil US ARMY under the wings on the Sky S US equivalent undersides. The same thing might have happened to Curtiss. Eventually it appears that OD over neutral gray P-40's would eventually become the norm after copping of Brit contract aircraft ceased.
Where do those Brit B-339E's fit in? I think most folks would agree that the Buffaloes for the RAF were also painted in equivalent colors, of course the battle rages over what those equivalent colors were. I tend to think that the P-400 picture noted above would be about the closest, with my reservations mostly about the green and perhaps the earth being a tad ligther and would fade even lighter under prolonged UV exposure. Of course, touch up paint would be RAF Dark/Earth Dark Green and true Sky type S. A color used for the fuselage bands and spinners. There is no question that the Sky S fuselage bands applied by the Brits in the far east does not match the undersurface. Some folks describe this underside color as gray, some as maybe light blue, but I think perhaps the above P-400 rendition noted has it right, sort of a hard to describe color.
Thank goodness all the experts agree that the Dutch B-339C/Ds were OD/Medium green on top and silver on the bottom.
Any comments or clarifications would be most appreciated.
By the way, there is an original P-40E (it is assumed to be an E that went down in almost brand new condition in Lake Kumning March 42) and as far as I know it has not yet been raised as it is definitely sunk into mud. I sincerely hope that someone has the foresight to document the colors properly as they might provide invaluable insight into RAF equivalent colors.....unless of course, it is an OD/neutral gray ship. I certainly hope not.
Sorry for the long post but this seems to be the only way to fit in all the relevant facts?/suppositions.
Al snipped-for-privacy@cox-internet.com.
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