Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Beardie

WWI Whites were they really Persil bright?

Recommended Posts

Beardie    4,703

Hi all,

 

I wonder what the opinions are on the shade of white that would have been seen on WWI aircraft. I use enamels and oils and so my whites are typically more towards cream than pure 'ultrabrite' white which always creates a problem when it comes to blending in decals. It strikes me that the real insignia etc. would have been painted with an oil based white paint and probably a lead white (duller and creamier) rather than the  zinc and titanium whites which are more common now and so they would have been pretty close to the off white colour of Humbrol oil based enamels rather than the glaring white of the acrylic that features on every decal sheet I have ever seen. Any experts that can come in on this subject?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Black Knight    3,587

During some recent restorations at Shuttleworth, Hendon and the Australian War Museum, each found that the original 'white' was closer to 'Old English White', a creamy white

I believe Airfix translated this on their BE2C decals

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beardie    4,703

I am surprised that, as the premier manufacturer of WWI kits, Wingnut Wings haven't done a similar thing. The white on the decals is so stark and, dulling it down with a general wash affects the black/red/blue etc.unless you are really careful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KITCAT    22

Surely you should aim for shades of off white, Paint in those times didn't have the depth of colour we see now and in general  I feel it would be more realistic if the colours we use on WW1 models were more muted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with beardie and the rest here. I believe an off white/creamy color would be more correct. That of course is just my opinion 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
captn tommy    0

There is something quite amusing about discussions of one HUNDRED year old Paint. If the paint in  research has a formula spec which I figure  the RFC/RAF had or the major manufacturer had. Mixing to that standard would give you the color. Then again there is the point what was it painted on and what were the conditions?

 

Was the white painted on PC10 or PC12? it would have a different brown tint depending on the back ground color (Even these days if you paint white on say a Blackhawk or a Wasp You will find your first coat suffers from the color below it. Then take the mud and dust and linseed oil or exhaust on a cloth covered aircraft...

 

I am saying don't get too upset and think of where and when and how many missions your Camel or RE8 has flown. Figure If your Red, White  And Blue together are the correct colors.

ALL of them are in the same boat (Or Plane).  

 

Enjoy

Captn Tommy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Black Knight    3,587

In the case of one aircraft I was reading about the restorers took the exterior paint finish off carefully and discovered the roundels painted directly on the doped linen.

As per usual in these modern times a sample chip of each colour was taken and referered for analyisis. Using that the white was proven to be more an off-white, tending towards an ivory or creamy white, than it was towards a pure titanium white.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beardie    4,703

That is the big issue, modern acrylics and acrylic inks as used in decal production are very white as the acrylic vehicle is clear without tint where all the previous types of paint and dope had a very noticeable tint.

 

Of the three types of white that are readily available Titanium white iis the brightest but was only commercially available from 1916 and, at that point, it was considered an 'industrial grade' as the purity wasn't very good meaning the pigment had a greyish, muddy tone to it. Lead white has a naturally warm, creamy colour to it which would have been accentuated by the oil or dope used in the paint and finally zinc, while reasonably pure white, is very transparent so has poor covering power and also does not form a strong reliable paint film prone to severe cracking and drying.

 

I think I have now clarified in my head that bright white doesn't really fit the bill. All I have to do now is figure out an appropriate way to tone down my decals

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff.K    20

another consideration: air is still 1:1 scale. with distance, contrast diminishes. whites and blacks are greyed out, color less intense. so if i were representing a titanium white in 1/32, i'd probably grey it out some. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Black Knight    3,587
3 hours ago, Beardie said:

I think I have now clarified in my head that bright white doesn't really fit the bill. All I have to do now is figure out an appropriate way to tone down my decals

In 1/32 I'd ignore decals and use masks and paint the markings on

In 1/72 I'd use a hole punch to remove the red centre, cut out the white, then paint the white, decal on the blue ring and then the red centre - this I [we] used to do when decals had the centre dot printed misaligned

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beardie    4,703

The problem has only really come to the fore in my mind as I am currently doing a WnW D.VII in the scheme of Loerzer which is Black and white stripes and so the white of the decals stands out like a sore thumb but trying to mask off backgrounds for crosses over a black stripy background isn't the easiest task. With this one I think I will have to tint the crosses a little and pretend that the insignia have been repainted and so are brighter than the surrounding 'worn' white :drunk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JackG    1,711
On 9/12/2017 at 2:55 PM, Black Knight said:

In the case of one aircraft I was reading about the restorers took the exterior paint finish off carefully and discovered the roundels painted directly on the doped linen.

As per usual in these modern times a sample chip of each colour was taken and referered for analyisis. Using that the white was proven to be more an off-white, tending towards an ivory or creamy white, than it was towards a pure titanium white.

 Is this an example of where no white was used, instead the plain dope acts as the light part of the roundel?

 

regards,

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JackG    1,711

Generally, I doubt decal manufacturers take into account scale effect.  A convo with one a while back, they stated they leave that up to the modeler if they wish to tone things down.  I guess model paints are in the same boat, but there I can understand it's a cost saving measure.   Can't see a paint brand carrying a shade of paint in three or four of the popular scales.

 

regards,

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beardie do you spray with airbrush or brush a clear coat on ? Either way you should be able to add a couple of drops of a cream color to the clear to tone down everything. If you only want the whites toned down then maybe make a seperate clearcoat for whites vs other colors? Thats my thought on the situation at least. Maybe that's considered a wash but im not sure?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Black Knight    3,587
18 hours ago, Beardie said:

The problem has only really come to the fore in my mind as I am currently doing a WnW D.VII in the scheme of Loerzer which is Black and white stripes and so the white of the decals stands out like a sore thumb but trying to mask off backgrounds for crosses over a black stripy background isn't the easiest task. With this one I think I will have to tint the crosses a little and pretend that the insignia have been repainted and so are brighter than the surrounding 'worn' white :drunk:

Are you painting the black/white stripes?

What about reverse masking for the cross outline?

Is it just an outline for the cross, ie late-war style?

Perhaps put down the white first; mask off the cross area, then mask off and do the black stripes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JackG    1,711
21 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

 Maybe that's considered a wash but im not sure?

 

Probably a filter, which is like a wash, but extremely thin.  It's a method to change the colour appearance , and not necessarily considered a weathering technique.

 

regards,

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beardie    4,703

The stripes are painted (They were done a week or so ago) spanwise on upper of upper and lower of lower wings and the crosses are late war Balkenkreuz. The fuselage crosses are not a problem as they aren't bordered in white. I have already applied the decals on the underside of the lower wings and still have the upper wing ones to put on. The problem with applying a filter or glaze is trying to match it to the white of the wing which is near impossible. I might trim the white off the upper wing crosses and use the same white as I have painted the model in to replace it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff.K    20
On 9/15/2017 at 12:05 AM, JackG said:

Generally, I doubt decal manufacturers take into account scale effect.  A convo with one a while back, they stated they leave that up to the modeler if they wish to tone things down.  I guess model paints are in the same boat, but there I can understand it's a cost saving measure.   Can't see a paint brand carrying a shade of paint in three or four of the popular scales.

 

i don't think it would be in the interest of paint manufacturers to do so. a lot of manufacturers use matching the precise formula or an actual color chip as a selling point. grey it out and... well, it doesn't match anymore. 

also, it's variable and somewhat subjective. the degree of atmospheric perspective will vary with weather conditions. so, say, a DH.9 near the channel, where conditions are often hazy, would be more greyed out than one flying in the clear, dry skies of Palestine (unless there's a dust storm or something). 

all of that said, anyone got any suggestions for muting the color of decals without repainting them? for WWI kites, i've read that the rapid fading was a result of the dope crazing so a hazy glaze will do. not sure that's the best way forward for later subjects though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff.K    20

Beardie i'd bet the stripes were field painted and the balkenkreuzes factory painted. this gives plenty of leeway for the whites not matching. field painting, especially for the Germans late in the war, seems to have meant foraging whatever paint they could find. so it might have in reality been a mix of different white pigments to get the final white. 

 

short version: mismatch of whites seems to me very plausible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×