It amazes me the lengths people are going to in order to identify the correct colours. Munsell values, colorimetric values, spectrometers and sonic screwdrivers etc.
Not knocking this at all, the threads have made very interesting reading and have become reference articles in their own right.
This letter recounts the lengths a 22 year old corporal, who eventually retired as Wing Cdr W B Hurst, and his fellow "erks" went to attempting to create "Duck Egg Blue" one day in August 1940.
It was written to his wife from his posting in Gloucestershire in August 1940. Unfortunately the unit and aircraft type aren't recorded.
" We had to paint some of our kites and for some obscure reason we had to paint them duck egg blue. Why they should choose duck egg blue I can't imagine but ours is not to reason why, so duck egg blue they had to be.
Well, to start with we couldn't get any duck egg blue paint, nobody seemed to have heard of it, so the only thing to do was to mix some. The first thing we had to decide was 'what colour is duck egg blue?'
Nobody knew, nowbody could remember having seen a duck's egg in the raw, so we were stumped again. Funnily enough nobody but me thought of trying to get hold of a duck's egg from somewhere but my suggestion, that someone should be sent to try and procure one wasn't recieved very favourably.
Then we found someone who remembered having to mix some before. Oh it was a long time ago but he remeembered having to mix blue and white paint to the ration of 15:6.
Oh good. BUt was it 15 parts of blue or 15 parts of white? He wasn't sure but he thought it was blue. The only thing to do was to try it out and see what it looked like. Well, I should like to see the duck that could lay a beautiful Oxford blue egg! We concluded it must be the other way about , so we mixed in a lot more white with it and eventually got about five gallons of a sort of Cambridge blue, which we all agreed a duck's egg might possibly look like!
We slapped this on and as it didn't look to bad we left it t dry and went to dinner. When we got back something seemed to have gone wrong for our duck egg blue had dried a beautiful violet!
Now this was rather disheartening but it was quite funny to see the Flight Sergent tearing his hair out when he saw it, so we asked him to have a go.
He suggested putting some more white and some yellow with our mixture. We followed his suggestion and the resulting mixture didn't look too bad, though a bit greenish, but a duck might possibly have been able to produce an egg to match it, so we slapped that over the top of the violet.
I don't think it will look too bad when dry but we shan't know the final result until we see it tomorrow.
I don't think anyone will dare open the hangar door in the morning".
In a letter two days later, he said:
" We finished duck egg blueing our planes by the way. That first one dried alright and as we had used all the paint on it we had to mix some more and get the right shade. Most of them are a bluey greeney shade, but some of them vary from an almost pea green to almost sky blue!".
The letter can be found on P118 of Flypast.
Edited by lampie, 01 August 2010 - 08:37 AM.