I have noticed in looking at photographs of the same ships that
depending on the amount of light avaliable colors are not consistent,
sometimes the gray looks light, at other times dark.
Are there any suggested model colors for US Navy Spanish American War
era grey paint?
I have seen a reference to a "slate gray" but cannot remember where I
There is a universal problem in lack of accuracy of photographs. Trying
to make photography represent accurate colors has forever been a
problem, and it still isn't solved.
Looking at photographs in a printed book is even worse. Even if you had
a perfect photograph, the printing press technology cannot print
accurate color rendition of the original negative. So there are two
weak links in the chain- the photographic process and the printing (as
in printing press) process.
It is amazing seeing photographs of race cars of which I have seen the
prototypes reproduced in various books. The colors vary tremendously
from book to book.
To me the answer is to get it reasonable and let it go at that.
Further compounding the problem- even if you use color chips, these
chips represent the color of the paint when first applied. Except for
the latest paint technology, the color begins degrading and shifting as
soon as that vehicle, be it ship, plane, or car, is exposed to oxygen in
air and more importantly to sunlight, with its UV content. So even with
a given paint, the color of the painted vehicle constantly shifts over time.
Ridley Scott has a nice answer for people who question details of his
"Oh, were you there?"
If you know of a painting done by a war artist who was there, use his
colors. Otherwise, my guess would be a mix of black and white paint,
varied from ship to ship--bow to stern, for that matter.