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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2022 11:14 am 
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For the several decades running during which the Royal Navy used both Deck Green and Extra Dark Sea Gray on the decks of their ships, was there any rhyme or reason behind one color being used on a given ship versus the other? Like, maybe the Home Fleet had gray decks, but ships based at Gibraltar or wherever had green? Anyone know for sure?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 2:41 am 
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El Santo wrote:
For the several decades running ....


Please can you state which decades you are referring to.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:16 am 
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They used 2 shades of green and also used Dark Admiralty Grey as well as Dark Sea Grey on main decks. The latter colours were used on the flight decks of ships with green main decks.

What years are you talking about. FYI, green went circa 1978.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:46 am 
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The RCN followed a similar tradition - flight decks on our ships were green and other decks were dark gray/non-skid on the uppers.

In the early/mid 2000-2010 time-frame, the flight decks were switched to gray as well to match the rest of the ship.

I'm not sure the reason or exact timeline for this though. I'll see what I can find.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:45 am 
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508medway wrote:
What years are you talking about. FYI, green went circa 1978.

The whole period during which both green and gray were used-- so late 30's or so through '78. I'm not thinking about any specific vessel here, but rather trying to form the closest thing possible to a global picture of how and why the various colors were used, and how that evolved over time, so that I can know the right questions to ask in the all-too-frequent event that I encounter suspect painting instructions for a model of a British ship.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:16 pm 
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El Santo,

Aircraft carriers aside, the Royal Navy used two shades of green (one was a non-slip paint the other was a gloss), one shade of grey and a red-brown colour; which was a gloss, between 1960 and 1980. The red-brown disappeared sometime in the late 1960's and in my experience seems to have been confined to the DARING class destroyers during that time. The grey was originally confined to flight decks as it was a non-slip composition, before it came into general use sometime after 1980 and still as a non-slip composition. Dick will no doubt be able to give details as to what the exact shades of the colours were.

I am not aware of changes occurring with change of station, fleet or squadron. Any wholesale change that did occur was probably as a result of Admiralty directive. That said, one ship that I served in did change one green shade for the other on a specific part of her upper deck (No 1) while 02 deck remained the other shade.

I have no knowledge of the time before 1960 nor of the RAN, RNZN or RCN practices.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:29 am 
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If you want from the 1930s, you will enter the realm of WW2 camouflage schemes with blues etc. amongst the various camouflage colours in use. The specific colours depended on the camouflage scheme carried. However, AFO 2860 1941 listed light grey, dark grey, Home Fleet Grey, bronze grey & black as available non slip deck paint colours.

Green painted decks seem to have come into general use in the 1950s possibly earlier. They were known to be in use in 1956. We know that Plymouth in 1961 had BS4800 14C39 decks and a BS381C 632 Dark Admiralty Grey flight deck. Data from Defstan shows that BS381C 226 Mid Brunswick Green could be used instead of BS4800 and BS381C 638 Dark Sea Grey could be used instead of 632. Both greens were gloss and dangerous when wet.

In 1978, the greens were replaced by the two greys with BS4800 18B25 being added by NES 753 Issue 1 in September 1979.

In the mid to late 1980s, the deck colour was changed to BS381C 640 Extra Dark Sea Grey. However, BS381C Number 632 was and still is used as deck paint inside hangers and on GRP ships.

I have spoken to ex R.N. members who say that on occasion decks came in BS 381C 446 Red Oxide i.e. anti fouling paint. Often this was the forecastle or quarter deck only in this colour.

Some ships were seen in a darker grey deck in the 1990s apparently being USN deck paint “acquired” from the USN whilst they were in the Gulf.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:39 am 
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A couple of minor points:
Plymouth did not have a grey flight deck in 1961 - she did not have a flight deck of any colour until her 1966-69 modernisation.
Pedantically, BS381C Number 632 was not used inside hangers - a hanger is something to hang things on! "Hangar" is the spelling intended.


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