Monthly Archives: August 2008

Content is king. Quick answers to questions that brought searchers here…


Here are the last 2 day’s search targets:

water based model paint 3 – got that. I know Testors Model Master Acryl II, Polly Scale and Vallejo, as well as Tamiya and Gunze-Sangyo water-and-alcohol thinned products.

color paint green army code 2 – I’ll get back in that. 35079, 35092 are numbers that occur to me. See FS 595 .com site.

mixing +gunze +tamiya problems 2 – Yes, neither is *just* water based, so mixing large quantities of one into the other might not be happy. I’ve mixed small (drops) quantities of Tamiya red into Polly Scale’s Railroad Utility Orange, and they sometimes separate like oil and vinegar in salad dressing, but thorough mixing and thin application allowed me to match a decal I was trying to fix up. I’ve also mixed Gunze-Sangyo blue with Vallejo blue, and that worked ok, but I was warry, and I was trying to follow a mixing formula from Hasegawa for their 1967 VW Van (the purplely-blue…)
That’s why I went out and bought both 36495 Light Gray and 37795 Flat White Testors Model Master Acryl when I was trying to mix my own Boeing Aircraft Company 707 Gray.

standard navy gray colors 2 – There are standard ship colors, including “Haze Gray” which is the classic you see on contemporary US Navy ships. Polly Scale have it and some other WWII and later USN colors, Testors Model Master Acrylic do not. Vallejo?? Tamiya?? Gunze-Sangyo?? Humbroil?? Revell Germany?? I don’t remember seeing it but it could be there. Or there could be colors with FS 595 or other (BSC) spec numbers and names that will work. White Ensign Models in UK, The Dromedary, The Floating Dry Dock, etc, in USA, and other ship specialists are probably your best bet if you can’t find Polly Scale. US Navy airplane light gray was FS595 36440 (flat) or 26440 (semi-gloss) from before WWII until the 1980s. Named “Light Gull Gray”, “Light Gray” or “Gull Gray”.

british wwii aircraft underside colours 1 RAF and RN specifications covered “Camoflauge” on the upper surface and (at first) the lower surfaces were left in the aluminium dope/laquer/enamel used in the pre-war period. (Aluminum paint has the happy property of making a completely opaque coating, which allows no UV rays or any other visible or near-visible light to get through and degrade the cloth, dope/paint/laquer or other materials under them. Thus it is the default the UK authorities return to time and again. It gives the lowest operating cost.) A standard dark green named “Nivo” was used for night-flying bombers in the 1930s.
Between the 1938 Munich allert and the September 3, 1939 start of WWII in Europe, RAF specified black painted port wing undersides and white painted starboard wing undersides for fighters for ease of recognition. Sometimes this became black and white wings on an aluminum-finished fuselage and horizontal surfaces, sometimes the black and white met in the middle under the fuselage but the front and back underside were still aluminum, as were the undersides of non-fighter aircraft.

Matte black was used on the underside of bombers, fighters, etc, for night operation.

In 1940, “Sky” was specified for temperate., day operations. Also known as “Duck Egg Green”, its a light greenish blue. It replaced the aluminum, aluminum and/or black and white. For a while between late 1940 and early 1941, black was applied again under the port wings of fighters, but this was discontinued in 1941. Most paint companies refer to the “Sky” color as “Sky, type ‘S'”, which is both a color and a finish (type ‘S’ is smooth, semi-matte. Flatter finishing materials, including the positively sooty Special Night (black) show that “type ‘S'” is not a rendundancy, but any of the other camoflague and marking colors could equally well be “type ‘S'”. “Dark Earth, type ‘S'”, for example. Why Sky so often has the “type ‘S'” included in its name is one of those lost-civilization issues.

A light blue that wasn’t “Sky”, really just a very light blue, was also used to replace aluminum dope/laquer/paint, as was a light gray. This wasn’t a strictlly uniform finish, as there was a war on. There is some suggestion that the first batch of de Havilland Mosquito Mk IV bombers and PR Mk IV photo recon planes were finished in a slightly-darker-than-light-blue, among others.

A darker blue, “Azure Blue” was specified for daylight operations in the MIddle East fairly early on, and remained the choice there, “Sky” being too light in the hard, clear, skys over North Africa and the Med. Some aircraft in the China-Burma-India theater used Azure Blue. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) used a light blue for their own airplanes.

A different, also-not-light, blue was used for high level photo-reconnisance and high level day fighters- “Photographic Reconnisance Unit (PRU) Blue”.

Some low-altitude photo recon was flown with a pinkish overall finish, Spitfires notably, so PRU Pink is also there, although I’ve never heard of it being used with other, topside, colors.

The 1939-40-41 Temerate Land Scheme of Dark Brown and Dark Green over Sky wasn’t as effective above 10,000 feet as it was below, and as the air war moved into higher altitudes and over the the Channel to Europe, a gray lighter than Dark Brown (“Ocean Gray” or a “Mixed Gray” made of Black and Medium Sea Gray) was subsituted on top and a gray darker than Sky (“Medium Sea Gray”) was specified for undersides. “Medium Sea Gray”, the new underside color, was the last underside color to be specified for UK airplanes in WWII. In the immediate post-war, they went back to aluminum, which persisted even with camo upper surfaces as the Cold War and then the Korean War commenced.

“Medium Sea Gray” eventually replaced Black on night fighters, being used for upper and lower gray, with Dark Green in the usual pattern to break-up the shape.

At all times, prototypes, unfamiliar (foriegn, new or captured enemy) and trainers could have yellow undersides.

So, in summary, your UK WWII airplane underside colors can be:
Aluminum,
Aluminum with Black under port wing and White under starboard, with or without Aluminum under the fuselage between the wings…
Black and White divided down the middle of the whole plane
Sky
Sky with Black under port wing, briefly
Black
Azure Blue for Middle East and Far East
Medium Sea Gray (day fighters or later night fighters)
Yellow

and informally:
light blue
slightly darker blue
light gray

devastator review 1/48 revell monogram 1 – Try Modeling Madness, Internet Modeller or Hyperscale at Squadron

can dilute water-based paint with water 1 – Absolutely, covered in earlier postings and pages.

tamiya paints for germany wwii airplanes 1 – ohh, Luftwaffe to Tamiya translation. Try the IPMS Stockholm paint color charts?

usaaf tamiya paint guide 1

testors model paint oil 1 – Yep, “Model Master” Enamels, and the traditional 1/4 oz tiny bottles are still oil paint.

bay area parking lot free-flight 4 – Hmm, like school yard or park fliers?

revell zinc chromate paint 3 – Probablly exists but I don’t see Revell paint for sale here in California. Testors Model Master have zinc chromate in green and yellow, AND “Interior Green” which is supposed to be green zinc chromate with black.

bac 707 gray 3 – See my page of that name.

ww2 raaf paint colors 2 Three: a dark earth, “Foliage Green”, richer than UK “Dark Green”, and “Light Blue”. Polly Scale make them, quite possibly other people do. The Green and Brown are NOT the same as UK Dark Earth and Dark Green.

american airlines 2 – yep

train store bay area 2 – See alphabetic listings and capsule reviews. There are other, pure-train-stores, that I haven’t listed or evaluated.

dana bell’s air force colors, vols. 1-3 2 – Great books, very readable, profusely ilustrated and not confined to official orders. One photo in the front shows a gaggle of B-25s with every one sporting a slightly different finish scheme.

water based model paint 2 – covered pretty well in this blog.

testors paint oil 2 – yes it is. Model Master enamel

official norcal hobbies in union city 1 – NorCal is the only one IN Union CIty. Hobbytown USA is pretty close though.

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AI 2008/DFW, 757, 767, 777 and MD-80 photos posted


I’ve put up the best of my photos from Airliners International 2008, including photos of my brother Ian and friends Ken, Alan and Rick, the 767 pix I got on the American Airlines maintenance tour, AA 737 and Saab-Fairchild 340s landing, Embraer 170 in Air Canada markings, etc. I got more 777, 757 and MD-80 photos, and I’m putting them up separately.

Here are the 777 photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wbaiv/sets/72157606467482880/

Here are the MD-80 photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wbaiv/sets/72157606550884206/

Here are the 757 photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wbaiv/sets/72157606559901502/