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Deciding what to do for the future EB-66E build once I have cleared a space - its a big lump for a 72nd scale kit!

Looks like a backate to a RB-66B is out due to lack of clear references to the camera positions and details, so OOB EB it is.

Decided to go with the sharkmouth 54-438 simply because you don't see it often on such big birds.

Nice picture of it p22 of the Aerofax monograph - but in 4 colour not 3 colour camo the kit instructions say.

In itself not a problem except theres lack of an overall set of pix to complete the scheme.

Can anyone help?


It wasn't a one off panel or partial repaint as there are ages scattered shots of others with similar light+dark tan & greens but limited to partial side shots. If I could get a look from above then I could guesstimate the pattern using the standard 3 tone tan/field green/dark green.

Note: appears to be JW coded birds only from what I've seen with the ref pic being 42nd TEWS/388TFW and maybe a Vietnam mod removed during a later stateside repaint (iaw with standard + kit scheme)

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Kit options are:

54-510, JN, 4417th CCTS,363rdbTRW, Shaw AFB, 1966

54-438, JW, 42nd TEWS, 388TFW, Korat RTAFB, 1973

I'll probably do 438 with it's sharkmouth, although both are very similar SEA schemes (I believe the original B-66 boxing was 3x nmf)

Looking through the Aerofax and at at numerous pix online, and discounting test aircraft, it seems Destroyers were basically either Silver or a pretty standard SEA 3 tone camo pattern pretty much standard SEA affair(obviously hand finished as the lines differ on airframes - a bonus for a shakey-hand painter :)). There is little real variety beyond unit markings particularly which is why a 4-tone scheme makes it that bit different to the norm, although how much Dark Tan was overpainted with Light Tan is still to be determined.

Edited by dpm1did1
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Same pic as in the Aerofax book. You can clearly see the different shades of brown forward if the wing.

I have seen another pix of an airframe port rear where it is equally visible.

Neither are simple panel repair/replacement or respeay (otherwise why only part paint?).

Soany top views of B-66s relatively few of the SEA birds tho, ans so far none of 438.

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Just noticed the Kit instructions have an error:

SEA scheme:

FS34097 Field Green

FS34097 Dark Green

FS30219 Dark Tan

FS37875 White

...so you see the problem when matching paints!

In the book....

FS34079 Shadow Green

FS34102 Dark Green

FS30219 Desert Drab

FS36622 Gray

...good job I read and check these things :)

Better update the shopping list as it's paint buying day tomorrow.

Edited by dpm1did1
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These aircraft were parked outside in the sun, I would suggest that the difference in the tan shade is due to the tan paint seen forward of the wing being bleached by the sun whilst that under the wing or in its shadow is closer to the original colour.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, aircraft paint finishes are prone to variations in colour due to many things, not least maintenance.

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It's certainly not bleaching as the lighter colour area bears no relation to it's position in relation to the wing root and in the book can clearly be seen to extend underneath.

Neither is it a simple maintenance paint over as it extends not only under the wing root but also over the curve of the top of the fuselage.

The camo in the stb front side has obviously been repainted as it doesnt match any other airframe. The dark green of the nose has been extended below and behind the white blade antenna extending below the normal cutoff for the underside colour.

Additionally these is an area of dark green on the lower rear downward corner of the adjacent light green, and other minor less than perfect marks.

Despite initial appearances the SEA paint scheme on Destroyers was far from an inch perfect paint application and 438 certainly shows evidence of a larger departure from the paint plans than most, even before taking the sharkmouth in to account. Plus it has a non-standard placement of the fin serial code with only a few others having it placed I'm front of the horizontal tail.

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I still think the original finish has been bleached. Some colours being more prone to bleaching.

The areas under the wing will not be under a continuous shadow as the shadow would move as the sun moved across the sky - the groundcrew aren't going to keep moving the aircraft around to keep the sun exactly in one spot - they have better things to do.

Have you considered that the areas you are talking about may have been repainted with fresh paint which would exhibit considerable tonal difference to the original topcoat?

Regarding maintenance. Groundcrew clamber, walk and slide all over the aircraft, in some areas they can polish the finish in other areas they can scuff and dull the finish, then there's the effect of cleaning up spilt fluids. Hydraulic oil is red, it tends to darken and gloss adjacent surfaces. Lubricating oil will permanently stain painted surfaces once the excess is cleaned up and graphite grease is a notorious stainer. All of these things can and will make localised variations to finishes - once an aircraft has been in service for any length of time it's surface finish will be particularly patchy. This is particularly the case with those older, unreliable, maintenance intensive aircraft like the Destroyer.

Regarding paint demarcations, these are a guide and as you rightly point out, there are considerable variations, I suspect that the painters weren't following the Tech Manual too closely, likewise any touch ups would be done with new paint, not necessarily well mixed and certainly not matched to the existing surface and not applied with an airbrush either - a paintbrush, roller, piece of sponge, rag or even a scrunched up paper. This too will affect the colour tone.

I don't think you're seeing anything other than an EB-66 in standard colours that's been in service in theatre for a while and is showing the consequences of that.

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Regardless of wether the light brown is new or faded it most definitely isn't a simple touch up.

If the origin dark brown has been repainted, and the tail and stb cowling as well as underwing, match the official colour then the ground crew have been very lazy in not doing the full job.

Another pic



The result, wether deliberate or accidental still results in a 4 color scheme that extends beyond the angle of the upper fuselage curve, and this is needed to make the model I'm this scheme at this point in time.

...and if I can find the van in 72nd then a simple diarama is on it's way (maybe without the open cowling though, unless someone has a J71-A-13 handy!)

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I really doubt the groundcrew have been lazy, overworked maybe but never lazy.

You may not want to believe that the patchy paintwork is down to bleaching, fading, differential wear, occasional touch-ups, inconsistent paint application and maintenance - I can live with that, but never call the groundcrew lazy.

FWIW, I think you could achieve your desired result by adding some white to the tan.

Edited by Wez
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Tan FS 30219, particularly in the early days of the SEA scheme, faded badly and both brown tones seen in that picture are consistent with the kind of colours seen on other aircrafts in theatre. The darker brown is actually closer to what I expect new 30219 to look like.

Personally I believe this is a case of repaint of a certain area for some reason with new paint over the original tan and not a deliberate attempt at a 4 colour scheme. It's of course a nice touch to represent this area of new paint on a model

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...and if I can find the van in 72nd then a simple diarama is on it's way (maybe without the open cowling though, unless someone has a J71-A-13 handy!)

A similar van is readily available, but the windshield configuration is different:


I agree with the others that most of the airframe's tan is faded and/or chalked, while the darker section looks like a quick local touch up. The EB-66's were in short supply and high demand during this time, so I'm sure ground crews were stretched thin just to keep them flying. Pretty was not important. Other photos from the period also show some pretty rough paint work. See http://www.home.earthlink.net/~jsnoy/AF_Page.html for examples.

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I'm not sure if this will help you to see how paint colour/color creeps in service

This picture of a C23-A in USAFE Europe one camouflage was painted at the Shorts factory in their own interpetation of the scheme

As you can see the dark, sharper green colour wasn't the acidy green of the proper scheme but a darker interpretation

In service however groundies were required to add touch ups all over the airframe, they used the straight from the can Europe one paint

Hey presto four greens not to 'scheme' including the PT6A-45R nacelles too

This was photographed at RIAT Fairford in 1985, I took it and dozens of others

It looks to me as if the same happened to the Skywarrior


Edited by perdu
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  • 2 weeks later...

Nothing more than touchup work using either a slightly different spec paint or (more likely), just painting fresh tan over faded tan. Look at pics of USAF F-4's, you will see plenty of examples of similar variations.

There was never an intentional 4 color SEA topsides paint scheme.

That being said, the weathering and touch-up paintwork on this aircraft definitely makes for an interesting model.

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