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 Post subject: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:52 pm 
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This is what happens when an inquiring mind encounters too much idle time; remember its only gray/grey paint.

The Questions:
Have you ever wondered what colour RN ships where painted in WW1? What colour do you get when 11 ounces of black paint are added to 6 pounds of white paint? What was the colour of grey at Jutland?

Four Shades of Grey with A Good White and Ordinary Black

Attachment:
Figure 1 RN WW1 Grey.jpg

Figure 1 RN WW1 Grey

This scan has been colour corrected back to the paint chips. When printed, the output closely resembles the paint chips.

The Answers:

Time Line Summary*
Victorian Colour schemes used prior to August 5, 1902
Dark Grey was used from August 5, 1902 until November 19, 1914 for the hulls and weather work of H. M. ships.
For the RN, WW1 starts August 4, 1914
Grey was used after November 19, 1914 for hulls and weather work of H. M. ships.
Battle of Jutland fought May 31, 1916
Light Grey was used after July 7, 1916 for the upper works of torpedo craft.
Very Light Grey was used after April 19, 1917 for the top masts of H. M. Ships.

* = Please see ‘Colour of HM Ships: Chronological Notes’ below for more detail.

The Colours
_______________Black:White Mix__Colourcoats _____Model Master
Dark Grey_______3:2____________GW04 #4 Grey___2034 Engine Gray
Grey___________3:4_____________GW03 #3 Grey___nm
Light Grey_______2:3____________nm_____________nm
Very Light Grey__1:13____________nm____________1734 Light Ghost Gray

nm = No Match, there may be suitable WEM Colourcoats or Testors Model Master paints but I did not have access to them at this time.

What We Know:

From the PRO (now National Archives) (via M. Brown):
On 5th August 1902, an amending minute was issued stating "that ships which are to be newly commissioned this Autumn are to be painted grey, the selected colour being obtained by a mixture of 6lbs white and 11ozs black. It is to be understood that this is to be the final shade, and care is to be taken that the ground does not shew through to modify the colour".

From "British Warships 1914-1919" by FJ Dittmar & JJ Colledge Ian Allan Ltd 1972, Page 13.

Attachment:
Figure 2 Colour of HM Ships Chronological Notes.jpg

Figure 2 Colour of HM Ships: Chronological Notes

From “The Ship Painter's Handbook”, Fifth Edition 1936 by George S. Welch

A Good White
___White Lead________28__lbs
___White Zinc (oxide)__56__lbs
___Patent Dryers_______7__lbs
___Raw Linseed Oil_____14__pints
___Turpentine__________6__pints

Ordinary Black
___Ordinary Stiff Black__76__lbs
___Raw Linseed Oil______6__pints
___Boiled Linseed Oil____10__pints
___Terebine Dryers______4__pints
___Marine Dryers_______12__lbs

Dryers contain metal ions, cobalt is typical, that cause a reaction in the linseed oil causing it to cross link or dry. White lead is also capable of acting as a Dryer.

Method:
Looking at the formulations of paint in “The Ship Painter's Handbook” what is ‘Ordinary Stiff Black’, White Lead and the various dryers? So it was off to the Net and Art sites to get these answers.

A Good White______________Used to Make Paint
__Patent Dryers____________Japan Drier
__White Lead______________White Lead
__White Zinc (oxide)________Zinc Oxide
__Raw Linseed Oil___________Pure Linseed Oil
__Turpentine_______________Pure Turpentine

Ordinary Black
__Marine Dryers____________Japan Drier
__Ordinary Stiff Black_______Carbon Black
__Raw Linseed Oil__________Pure Linseed Oil

White Lead is Lead Carbonate or Flake White, Ordinary Black is Carbon Black and both of these came as the dry pigment from artist supply stores. Japan Drier was the only dryer used at the recommended rate of 4 ounces per gallon. (0.04 grams in 10 grams of paint)

Attachment:
Figure 3 Paint Making Materials.jpg

Figure 3 Paint Making Materials

From the Ship Painter’s Handbook a white and black paint was made up. For the Black Paint I used only pure linseed oil but added the boiled linseed oil quantity.

Excel was used to convert the quantities into grams. I made 40 grams of white paint and 10 grams of black paint using a Mettler Toledo PB3002 precision balance.

Attachment:
Figure 4 Mettler Toledo Precision Balance.jpg

Figure 4 Mettler Toledo Precision Balance

Specifications
___Maximum capacity:__600 g / 3100 g
___Readability:________0.01 g / 0.1 g
___Repeatability:______0.01 g/0.05 g
___Linearity:________± 0.02 g/0.1 g

The 40 grams of white paint were made up in a beaker and a metal spatula was used to emulsify the white pigments into the linseed oil. Turpentine was then added to give the correct flowing characteristics as per the Ship Painters Handbook. The Black paint is a suspension of the carbon black in the linseed oil and mixed easily.

Excel was then used to calculate the blend weights of the white and black paints as per below:

Attachment:
Figure 5 Grey Mix Table.JPG

Figure 5 Grey Mix Table

AFO Date is the Admiralty Fleet Oder date. In small bottles on the Mettler Toledo Precision Balance 10 grams of each colour where made. Yes, the second decimal place is usable; the cardboard in the photos provides a wind break from stray air currents in the lab allowing for measurement stability giving accurate weights. Typically I would add weight just until the correct weight was on the display. If I went over a bit, then I would remove the excess by dipping in the spatula until I was slightly under the correct weight. I would then make up to the correct weight prior to mixing. This was done in small glass jars with a couple fishing split shot weights to ensure good mixing. The grey was both shaken and stirred to ensure uniformity of colour.

The colours where then painted onto a previously prepared colour card and the paint allowed to dry. The colour card was then scanned and corrected in Adobe Photoshop; (colours tended to be way to blue in the original scan), as shown in Figure 1.

Matching:

The Figure 1 RN WW1 Grey colours where both visually and digitally compared to White Ensign Models (WEM) Colourcoats for AP507 and for the series of grey’s GW01 thru GW05. The colours were also compared with paint chips made from Testors Model Master grays. In addition from Model Master Flat White 2142 and Flat Black 1749 I made a series of grey colour chips to match the RN WW1 Greys. All colour chips were scanned and colour corrected using the identical correction values as used for RN WW1 Greys. MS Power Point was used to combine scan of Figure 1 with scans of colour chips. MS Paint was used to place the colour chip onto the scan of the RN WW1 Grey. The Windows Snipping Tool was used to create the comparisons shown below. For a match the boarder of the colour chip will blend into the background grey.

AP507 Series

Attachment:
Figure 6 AP507 Colours Comparison.JPG

Figure 6 AP507 Colours Comparison

As the AP507 series of greys contain Pattern 8 Egyptian Blue there was no colour match ether visually or by overlaying the colour chips in MS Paint. (Blue pigment reference from Commonwealth Navy Order 109/1934 per Admiralty Fleet Order 1658/27.) Because of the addition of blue these are simply incorrect to be used with WW1 RN ships.

WEM GW01 thru GW05 Series

Attachment:
Figure 7 WEM Colour Comparison.jpg

Figure 7 WEM Colour Comparison

Dark Grey was very closely matched by Grey #5 GW05 both visually and with over layered colour chips. So here is a solution for pre dreadnaught paint. There was a slight visible difference between Grey and Grey #4 GW04 both to the eye and as shown in the overlapped colour chips. The difference is small enough that GW04 should be considered for RN ships from the start of WWI to the Battle of Jutland. Greys GW03, GW02 and GW01 appeared to have warmer colours that the RN WW1 Greys and so are not suitable for use as shown in the colour chip overlays.

Model Master Gray Matches

Attachment:
Figure 8 Model Master Colour Comparison.jpg

Figure 8 Model Master Colour Comparison

I made colour chips of 18 Model Master grays, there were only 2 matches. Dark Grey matched very well with Engine Gray 2034 and Very Light Grey matched well with Light Ghost Grey 1734. The three middle examples were close but not really close enough to be suitable as you can clearly see the outline of the over lapped colour.

Mixtures of Model Master Flat White 2142 and Flat Black 1749

Attachment:
Figure 9 Mixture Colour Comparison.jpg

Figure 9 Mixture Colour Comparison

With White Lead being very dense it takes a lot of it to dilute the Carbon Black which is very light when creating paint by weight. When creating paint by volume completely different ratios result in the same grey colour as when mixed by weight. The volume ratios resulted in very close matches to the white lead based weight based greys. Visually the matches were closer than the colour corrected overlay scans above.

Final Thoughts:

The more you know the clearer you can see the gaps in your knowledge. This record of grey paint colour is anything but complete. The Dark Grey that many of the early builders’ models are painted appears to be the correct colour the real ship was painted. These are not early examples of ‘marketing’ dramatizing for additional sales or impact. Figure 10 of HMS Monarch 1911 in the London Science Museum is a classic example. But did HMS Monarch have the red detail line at the base of all structures?

Attachment:
Figure 10 HMS Monarch 1911.jpg

Figure 10 HMS Monarch 1911

RN ships at Jutland should have been painted Grey, as it turned out, quite a dark shade. Destroyers were painted in all sorts of colour schemes and after Jutland had Light Grey upper works. Very Light Grey appears to have been used only for top masts.

But looking at ‘Colour of HM Ships: Chronological Notes’ there are a number of Admiralty Fleet Order colours that do not detail the paint blend; HMS Carysfort’s blue and destroyers patchy grey are examples. The Battle of Heligoland Bight, August 28, 1914, had dark panels painted on the sides for RN Battlecruisers. So the panel should have been Dark Grey but what of the other two lighter grey colours in the photos? Grey seams much to dark to match the grey in the photos from the time period. We seem to be missing the Admiralty Fleet Orders to cover this camouflage scheme. And speaking of missing orders, what were the colours where RN Ships after Jutland? Photos suggest a much lighter shade of grey then the standard Grey of 1914. And what of the Mediterranean colours, where they the same, this is very unlikely.

Call it one hundred years since these colours where in routine usage, we seem to have lost quite a bit of information about them. The National Archives (United Kingdom) may still hold the answers of how to make the other greys. It is interesting to note that the information from Dittmar & Colledge in Figure 2 appears not to have been rediscovered.

So it’s only grey, but how very interesting.

Cheers,
George


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:04 pm 
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I'm not really into WWI ships but darn it if that's not one nice and concise reference! Thank you for taking the time to compile and share it with us :thumbs_up_1:

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:11 am 
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The weather's just warmed up here in Calgary, George!

(Stickied!)

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:13 am 
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Thank you very much for taking the time to compile this. I very much appreciate it.

James


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:01 am 
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Great resource indeed, thank you very much. I am starting a collection of WWI Royal Navy ships and this has changed some of my ideas about how things were painted. A couple of questions for you:

1) I was under the impression that the Battlecruiser Squadron early war paint scheme had the hull rectangle in dark blue or at least blue-grey, not straight dark grey. Can you confirm this or provide evidence to the contrary?

2) Could you perhaps provide a similar comparison chart with Humbrol colours? My current colour match "plan" for my collection is as follows:

Dark Grey (pre-war and very early war): Humbrol #27 "Sea Grey"

Grey and/or Light Grey (early to mid war): Humbrol #145 "Medium Grey" - maybe there's something up with my screen settings but these two colours are very close in your charts

Very Light Grey (late war): Humbrol #127 "US Ghost Grey" - yes I know this is an aicraft colour but I started using it a while back and it just looks absolutely great on 1:700 ships (in my opinion)

Could you please provide some feedback on my colour choices? I don't want to go overboard with mixing for a perfect match but I just want a ballpark idea of the Humbrol options for matching RN WWI paints.

Thanks :wave_1:

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:35 am 
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Also, I was wondering if George or anyone else could comment go how turrets should be painted on a Dreadnought, pre war. Looking at various models in the gallery has been very much inconclusive.

I imagine the darker tops would be out given the already dark grey scheme. The Trumpeter paint guide, not that I put much stock in it, suggests turrets are a lighter than hull shade, with some Lino Brown on their walking surfaces.

Can anyone offer something more definitive?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Hi,

These panels appeared on all British battlecruisers in North Sea operations in the period after the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914 to March 1915. The Panels were painted out in 1916 prior to the Battle of Jutland. The panel also appeared again in 1918; this panel colour remains unknown.

99 years of Navy by Sam Morley has provided an 'Ah' moment. The first story is by Lt. Comdr. Woods and it turns out he kept a diary of his time on board HMS Princess Royal that included entries for both the Battle of Heligoland Bight and Dogger bank. But it is the photo of the first page of the diary that most interested me. So here it is:
Attachment:
HMS Princess Royal Diary Lt. Comdr Woods sm.jpg


Here is a separate scan of HMS Princess Royal from the diary:
Attachment:
HMS Princess Royal 1914sm.JPG


Here is the text from the lower right corner of the diary:

This photograph taken after the action off Heligoland. Shows the peculiar method adopted to deceive the Enemy in their endeavours to get a range. All ships were painted after the same style.

Note: The dark colour paint is the usual shade ships are painted.


In 1902 the Admiralty ordered that ships were to be painted 6lbs white lead and 11ozs black. By 1914 would this be the 'dark colour' or 'usual shade' RN ships were painted that I called AFO 15.8.02 Dark Grey. The 20lbs white and 1lb black, AFO 19.11.14 Grey, is the lighter shade of grey that became official on 19-11-1914.

Warship 2013 had an article on Dogger Bank with excellent photos of HMS Tiger and HMS Lion. Copying them into Photoshop I digitally sampled the colours. The dark grey side panel is the same shade as the turret tops. The white bands on the funnels are the same shade as the white of the white ensign.

Attachment:
Tiger_01.jpg

HMS Tiger Undergoing Repairs15-02-06

Attachment:
HMS LION at Invergordon March 1915.jpg

HMS Lion at Invergordon March 1915

!! Caution !!
This is Speculation
This is NOT referenced to any Admiralty Fleet Orders

My Speculative Conclusions
1. AFO 15.8.02 Dark Grey for the Hull Panel and for the Turret Tops.
2. AFO 19.11.14 Grey for the ship overall
3. White for the Funnel Bands

Cheers,
George


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Last edited by George Hargreaves on Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:26 pm 
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Vlad and Jaggy,

Questions & Answers:

1. hull rectangle in dark blue or at least blue-grey, not straight dark grey. Can you confirm this or provide evidence to the contrary?
Lt. Cmd Woods provides written and photographic evidence to the contrary. The panel is dark grey.

2. Humbrol matches for:
Dark Grey Humbrol #27 "Sea Grey" - to light try 32
Grey Humbrol #145 "Medium Grey" - to light try 27
Very Light Grey Humbrol #127 - might work but was only used after 1916
Consider Humbrol white and black and mixing using an eye dropper, easy.

3. how turrets should be painted on a Dreadnought
This greatly varied by ship and by time frame. The only easy answer I know is that Corticene (chocolate brown) was not used on turret tops. You need to research the ship of interest at one time in her service.

Cheers,
George


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:57 am 
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Hi George,

Thank you for your answer. Your post regarding HMS Princess Royal and the dark panel has sparked another question though.

I belive the text you quote supports your conclusion but the pictures do not seem to agree in my opinion. Based on your chips in the first post, the difference in shade between your AFO 15.08.02 and your AFO 19.11.14 is too small to create the huge contrast between the dark panel and the rest of the ship seen in all photos of ships with this scheme. Especially in that last picture of Lion, the hull looks almost white and the circles on the funnel are barely distinguishable, while the hull panel provides a very strong contrast.

This paint was designed to trick the eye at long range, add in haze and smoke you would not be able to see the dark panel if indeed the rest of the hull was also as dark as you suggest. That is why I can't accept your conclusion without a bit of further questioning.

I agree that the dark panel was almost certainly the left-over pre-war very dark grey, but is it possible that the rest of the hull was an unofficial lighter shade? In another thread I have seen "French grey" mentioned as a possible unofficial early war colour, which would photograph quite pale.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=155312

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:53 pm 
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Hi Vlad,

You may well be correct good Sir! The horror/fun of researching this time frame is that there is so much missing information. The few details that are known have to be pieced together, so it is so easy to make errors.

Colour Of HM Ships: Chronological Notes are colours from "British Warships 1914-1919" by FJ Dittmar & JJ Colledge Ian Allan Ltd 1972. These are highly respected researchers who must have had access to Admiralty files. There records are very detailed for Admiralty paint changes for 1915 and 1916. They do not record a lighter grey being used until 19.4.1917.

The trouble with photos is that the negative changes with exposure, the print changes with printing practice and the copies on line change with scanner settings. Add to that, the orthographic film used then responds completely differently to colour when contrasted with the panchromatic film used today. So I believe in photos for position of items but not for colour. That is why my colour comparisons where on the same photo but I used many photos that resulted in a consistent finding. The raw values between photos where completely different. The dark grey panel in RGB for Lion is 112,112,112 the same photos different source is 111,109,130 and the same panel on Tiger is 95,91,106. So you can not assign a shade of grey to a RGB value set in a photo.

So I suppose go with your gut feel and enjoy.

Cheers,
George


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:15 am 
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Yes, I was wondering how crucial various exposure and quality of photography issues would be. My logic though was that even if shade is not preserved in the photos at least contrast should be to some extent.

What we would need (if such a thing even exists) is a good photo of a battlecruiser in 1915 or 1916 close to a Grand Fleet battleship. This would confirm or refute the idea that Beatty was using some non-regulation lighter shade on his ships.

I always assumed the battleships at Jutland were a dark gray but a lot of the pictures I've seen recently of the battlecruisers from around that time (especially the famous shots just before the battle and Lion in repair after it) seem to show some very pale, white-ish ships. Of course that could all be due to overexposure as well...

EDIT - based on your example of HMS Monarch, can we assume the John Brown builders model of HMS Barham is painted in the correct colour for when she was built or is this not likely?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:47 pm 
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What we know:

1. From Jutland
The Riddle of Jutland by L. Gibson & V. Admiral JET Harper 1934 page 123; “... Beatty’s dark grey ships were outlined against the western afternoon horizon with relative clarity, while the light grey German vessels remained indistinct and hazy against the duller eastern sky.”

2. German Light Grey
From: Capital Ship Paint Schemes of the Imperial German Navy in World War I
by Tom Tanner, http://german-navy.tripod.com/sms_paint-overview.htm

Contained in Gröner's "German Warships" vessels were painted in "Colour Scheme No. 9" as used by most ships in home waters. This scheme is shown in Figure 1
Attachment:
SMS_No9_1896-1916-s.jpg

Figure 1

As ships in the distance are hull down the most likely visible colour to British gunners is Silver Grey Lfd. Nr. 4. Peter Lienau stated; "It's officially acknowledged that both, the Imperial High Seas Fleet (during WW1) and the Kriegsmarine (during WW2), were using the same colour schemes based on order of Apr-15-1896. So we can refer to a ‘Colour-Card' used by the Kriegsmarine-Shipyard Wilhelmshaven in 1944." So Silver Grey Lfd. Nr. 4 or RAL 7001. This allows us to cross link to Synder & Short, Kriegsmarine WWII Ship Colors, Set 1 where Figure 2 is Hellgrau RAL 7001.
Attachment:
Hellgrau 50 RAL 7001.JPG

Figure 2

The Link to Craig Walker's HMS Barham photos at the Scottish Maritime Museum:
http://www.finewaterline.com/pages/albums/barham/barham_irvine/barham%20irvine%20museum.html
Attachment:
Barham 03 sm.JPG


From photo Barham 09 comes this grey.
Attachment:
Grey HMS Barham SMM Builders.JPG


!! Caution !!
This is Speculation
This is NOT referenced to any Admiralty Fleet Orders

This colour for HMS Barham is close to WEM GW02
Attachment:
WEM GW02.JPG


And to Model Master Flint Grey
Attachment:
Flint Gray.JPG


In the analysis after Jutland, it was determined that the Light Grey of the High Seas Fleet was better for concealment and that RN grey should be lighter. Is the builders model of HMS Barham the colour of RN grey after Jutland?

Interesting how the tones of these grey's are so similar.

Cheers,
George


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Last edited by George Hargreaves on Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:08 am 
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So the British took inspiration from the Germans and painted their ships lighter, but then why is the builders model of Barham in this shade when she was built before Jutland?

If I get time this weekend I'm going to take some photos of a few builds of mine and mess with them in photoshop to see if I can mimic the old photos. I just want to get a clear picture in my mind of how shade can be misleading.

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:09 pm 
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Unfortunately the builders model is not dated, as there was a war ongoing, was the model completed with the ship or after. Without a date the timing is difficult.

Cheers,
George


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:19 pm 
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Hi George,

I've just been re-reading Massie's 'Castles of Steel' and see that Georg von Hase, Derfflinger's gunnery officer' is quoted as refering to the (apparent) colour of the British battlecruisers as 'black monsters' and 'dark grey giants' - seems to bear out your opinion/theory that at this time they 'should' have been painted in a fairly dark grey.

Cheers,

GrahamB


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:20 am 
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The paintings of the time (by british artists familiar with the fleet) also bear out the dark grey theory. There must be something in the colour though that makes it photograph much lighter than it actually was. I guess this is a lesson in not trusting old photography :wave_1:

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:20 am 
Vlad wrote:
The paintings of the time (by british artists familiar with the fleet) also bear out the dark grey theory. There must be something in the colour though that makes it photograph much lighter than it actually was. I guess this is a lesson in not trusting old photography :wave_1:


There are many variables that affects the photographic image, even for B&W - emulsion formula, lighting, exposure, filters, developing, print exposure, print emulsion, print developing, etc.

That is why one should not rely too much on photos for "color" information.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:13 pm 
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Yup, I've played with a bunch of photos in photoshop to try to get my head around how that works, it's really counter-intuitive and I had a lot of trouble trusting my eyes :wave_1:

I'm strongly averse to mixing paints because it's a pain to do right, a nuisance to store and even more of a pain to re-do the same if needed. I have bought a couple of Humbrol paints for some matching testing. I agree 32 is the best for the dark pre-war grey. I am currently leaning towards 123 for the early war dark grey. Even though it is called "Extra Dark Sea Grey" it comes out a tiny bit lighter than 27. The other reason is because it is Satin not Matt, so when 32 is painted side by side with it (as it would be in the dark rectangle on battlecruisers case) the change in paint texture increases the contrast to the eye depending on the lighting. This mimics the effect that can be seen in some of the photos where the lighter colour looks white despite being quite dark, while in other photos the contrast is less obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:30 am 
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GrahamB wrote:
Hi George,

I've just been re-reading Massie's 'Castles of Steel' and see that Georg von Hase, Derfflinger's gunnery officer' is quoted as refering to the (apparent) colour of the British battlecruisers as 'black monsters' and 'dark grey giants' - seems to bear out your opinion/theory that at this time they 'should' have been painted in a fairly dark grey.

Cheers,

GrahamB


This was Jutland, no? The RN ships were sillouetted at the start and during the RTTS which may have altered how Von Hase saw his enemy.

I'm not sure the Grand Fleet was a dark grey by the time of Jutland. Look at the images of the camouflaged Lion, P Royal and Tiger that George has included in this thread. The underlying ship colour is a light grey, there is a light medium grey angular pattern on funnels and upperworks finishing with a dark mid grey panel on the hull.

If you compare the wartime ship images (above) with a pre-war image (enclosed below), it is the pre-war ships that are a mid-grey or a dark mid grey. This is Lion in summer 1914, compare her to the Russian ship on the right:


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 Post subject: Re: On RN WW1 Grey
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:18 am 
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Location: England
But George's research implies that the dark panel as seen in 1915 is the original pre-war grey while the rest of the ship is in the new grey ordered as of November 1914. this should then be the same grey as worn at Jutland, just with panel painted out.

I think the pictures can be misleading. The pre-war grey is extremely dark, it appears almost black in some shots. The 1914 to 1916 grey is still dark, certainly dark enough to justify the comments of the German observers at Jutland.

But it is visibly lighter than the pre-war shade. In the 1915 pictures with the dark rectangle I believe the photography of the time exaggerates the contrast, making the surrounding hull look much lighter than it really is. It can be anything from reflectivity of paint to light conditions.

Even in the 1916 pictures there is huge variation in how dark ships look in pictures but they are the same ship in the same paint.

If the historical references give us mixing ratios and that is all we have to go on, is it not safer to assume the pictures can't be relied upon for accurate shade deduction?

I could be wrong of course, but that is the conclusion I came to reading this thread.

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