Tag Archives: Glossy Gray

US Navy and Royal Navy Military Model Airplane Colors

Another post that ought to be a page- with more research. Lets start like this and improve then.

A lovely on-line reference is

1) US Navy and US Marines and US Air Force – Today – Tactical fighters and fighter-bombers and electronic warfare planes tend to appear in multiple gray colors- it used to be the Navy was all about Light Gull Gray, 36440 (flat) or 26440 (semi gloss), and the USAF about Ghost Gray Light and Dark, but its bit more mixed up now. The transport planes like C-5, C-17, KC-10, KC-135, C-130, etc, tend to be one or two grays, 36118 Gunship Gray (a darker tone) being very popular for transports. Generally muted national markings, some bright tail or nose art. Some examples:

FA-18E & F, F-15 Air Superiority, (FS595b)

36320 Dark Ghost Gray, – MM Acryl 4761, Polly Scale 505374, Gunze H053, Revell 36374, Humbroil 128, Vallejo 047

36375 Light Ghost Gray, – MM Acryl 4762, Polly Scale 505376, Gunze …., Revell ….Humbroil 127, Vallejo 050, 990

F-15 <darker colors- air-ground low altitude?> FS595b:

36176 Dark Gray, – MM Acryl 4754, Polly Scale 505232, Gunze …., Revell …., Humbroil …., Vallejo ….

36375 Medium Gray, – MM Acryl …., Polly Scale 505330, Gunze …., Revell …., Humbroil …., Vallejo ….

F-16 Three tone, mix of semi-gloss and glossy:

36118 Dark Sea Gray, Flat, – MM Acryl 4752, Polly Scale 414182; 505382, Gunze … Humbroil …., Revell, Tamiya XF24, Vallejo 053, 868

26118 Dark Sea Gray, Satin, – MM Acryl …., Polly Scale …., Gunze … Humbroil 125, Revell, Tamiya …., Vallejo ….

36270 Neutral Gray, Flat, – MM Acryl 4757, Polly Scale 505384, Gunze … Humbroil …., Revell, Tamiya XF24, Vallejo 048, 870

26270 Neutral Gray, Satin, – MM Acryl …., Polly Scale 505258 Gunze … Humbroil 126, Revell, Tamiya …., Vallejo ….

36375 Light Ghost Gray, – MM Acryl 4762, Polly Scale 505376, Gunze …., Revell ….Humbroil 127, Vallejo 050, 990

2) US Navy, 1970s, 36440 Light Gull Gray overall (F-14s, F4s, RF-8s) or on top side with glossy white on the bottom. muted black or gray national markings.

3) US Navy, 1960s, late 1950s. 26440 semi-gloss Light Gull Gray or 16440 glossy Light Gull Gray on topside, glossy white on bottom. Bright color national markings, squadron markings

4) US Navy, Mid 1950s, Korean War, late 1940s. Glossy Sea Blue overall. Grumman airplanes often omitted the Insignia Blue disc and outline on their national markings and just featured white stars and bars against the Sea Blue.

5) US Navy, late-war to VJ day: fighters: F4U, F6F, F4F, F7F (deployed but never in action) overall glossy sea blue OR dark (gull?) gray over white (some shiny white, some flat white) under and sides for anti-submarine patrol.

6) US Navy, 1943-1945, “Three tone” for all combat types, flat sea blue over intermediate blue over non-specular white. Undersides of folding wings which would face up when folded were intermediate blue. Intermediate blue was a lot like the blue-gray which had been the top-side color early in the war… Generally this was the scheme for the Pacific and Operaiton Torch, landings in Italy, etc.

OR anti-submarine patrol colors (Generally meaning Atlantic deep water patrols) dark Gull Gray over whites.

7) US Navy, 1941 to 1943: Blue gray (similar to Intermediate blue from later years) over light gray (similar to 36440 light gull gray). From early 1941 to mid 1942 the national markings included red and white striped rudders, and red spots on the middle of the white stars. The red was eliminated in the Pacific by June, 1942, to prevent confusion with Japanese markings.

8) US Navy, 1940?-1941: Overall light gray- 36440 Light Gull Gray or ANA-6** Light Gray.

9) US Navy Pre-war: Aluminum laquer fuselage, chrome yellow wings.

National markings and squadron markings are more convoluted and its best to follow what your references show. Operation Torch markings included a yellow surrounding ring on the star marking. This was after the red dots were removed/overpainted in the middle of the stars. Red was used briefly as an outline for the star-and-bar when the bars were first added, but was replaced by insignia blue surrounding.

10) The Royal Navy marked all its airplanes for Operation Torch with the correct yellow-surround-blue-circle-white-star USN markings- so Sea Hurricanes and Seafires, in otherwise standard Royal Navy Slate Gray/Sea Gray/Sky or Ocean Gray colors, would carry the US marking instead of UK red/white/blue roundels. The hope was the Vichy French might give US markings a pass but attack if they saw UK markings… it isn’t clear that this worked. Red/White/Blue tail flash on RN planes was retained with the “US” markings, as were squadron and individual aircraft numbers and letters.