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Question about TBD-1 VT-6


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Many sources states that TBD-1 camo in 1941/1942 was blue-gray top and light gray bottom. Like this:


and here it is our guy:

as for me, undersurfaces color is more close to Insignia White than USN Light Gray... any thoughts on this ?

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Think the photo is showing a combination of negative deterioration and real-world weathering - look at how the tailfin striping looks very pale and the mucky streak from the radial exhaust....

The Pacific theatre sunshine had an effect on lighter/'weaker' colours schemes too - the TBD-1 will have been sunning itself either on the carrier - or on a sunny atoll airfield - such as the one below it in the photo.


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I think you are looking at a situation where the lighting is a little unusual, Sir.

Note the shadows, particularly those of the tail-plane. The plane is heading towards the sun, and it is not much higher in the sky than the plane, and a little to its left. There is a lot of sunlight being reflected from below by the clouds. I think this light effect can account for the bright appearance of the leading edges of the cowling and wings

While the leading edges of the cowling and wings have a 'white' look to them, if you look at the under-surface color under the tail-plane, it has a grey tone much darker than the white stripes of the rudder. Indeed, it pretty well matches the grey tone of the red stripes, and the red center of the star. Here the under-surface color, the upper surface color, and the white and red and blue of the national markings, are all seen in same condition of light, a mild shade, and so it is here the differences between them are best assessed in grey-scale.

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