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Extra Dark Sea Grey


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What color is it. Most color photographs suggest it is a dark blue, not a grey at all. Xtracolor's paint is clearly a grey. Modellers seem to split, some paint a distinct grey, while others (like myself) favor a blue. Same with profile artists. I suppose that the simple answer is that it is a blue grey that shows up differently in different lighting conditions. Being a Yank. I have never seen EDSG in the flesh. What do those who have or who have a better understanding or RAF/FAA paint formulations think. Finally, I am talking about post-war colors. There seems to be universal agreement that WWII ESDG is definitely a grey. Another part of the mystery for me. What do you all think?

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Having seen the real thing on the gate-guard aircraft, (more than one) at the establishment at which I work, in various states over the past couple of decades, as well as a number of unrestored airframes, I don't think that Xtracolour is far wrong.

It seems a little dark, if anything and the sea greys fade so quickly, you wouldn't believe it, which is why I tend to use Dark Sea Grey instead, where EDSG is called for.

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What color is it. Most color photographs suggest it is a dark blue, not a grey at all. Xtracolor's paint is clearly a grey. Modellers seem to split, some paint a distinct grey, while others (like myself) favor a blue. Same with profile artists. I suppose that the simple answer is that it is a blue grey that shows up differently in different lighting conditions. Being a Yank. I have never seen EDSG in the flesh. What do those who have or who have a better understanding or RAF/FAA paint formulations think. Finally, I am talking about post-war colors. There seems to be universal agreement that WWII ESDG is definitely a grey. Another part of the mystery for me. What do you all think?

EDSG is most certainly a grey. Xtracolor's version is pretty much spot on. You could also try Humbrol 123.

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It's a grey. I have both the BS381C colour chips and the British Aviation Colours book by the RAF Museum with MAP colour chips. ESDG is a very dark grey. It's tinged towards blue rather than green, but it's a definitely a grey.

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And when speaking of blues it has some ultramarine hue (purplish violet), not the Oxford or Paris (greenish) Blue.

I look at the original FAA Sea Venom almost every day :)

Cheers

Michael

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Actually, however it might appear to various eyes, the MAP colour standard measures as a Munsell PB - purple blue! It has a very low colour saturation which persuades the perception of grey.

For the doubters out there an Aug 1951 FAA report on testing two proprietary EDSG paints for chalking, gloss retention and re-polishing confirms the Munsell PB measurement for EDSG but also demonstrated that in service the Cellon paint degraded to a Munsell N - which is a completely neutral grey. The FAA report concluded that after 6 months the blue pigment was effectively lost. The Docker paint fared better with better gloss and colour retention.The actual measurements included in the report show a stark shift in the appearance of the Cellon paint after 6 months exposure. The official report was published in a blog that cannot now be 'advertised' but the colour samples are shown below. New Cellon EDSG on left and appearance of applied paint after 6 months exposure on the right. The Munsell values for the two EDSG paints (as new) although both PB were not the same and it is clear from the report that this slight variance was expected and acceptable.

EDSGvsChalking-vi.png

Michael is quite correct in attributing a purplish undertone as confirmed by the Munsell measurement but ultramarine (Pigment Blue 29) is a deep blue which, depending on its natural or synthetic processing, can have violet to bright bluish green undertones. The natural forms tend to be duller and greyer than the synthetic forms but there is a poor quality synthetic known as 'ultramarine ash' which is a light to dull bluish-grey.

EDSG is very close in appearance to FS 26118, usefully so for an appreciation of the intended colour standard. FWIW the pigments in 26118 are Rutile Titanium Dioxide (non-chalking white), Phthalocyanine Blue (Green Shade), Carbazole Violet and Carbon Black (Blue Shade).

By way of a slight digression, in 'Chromatography; or, a Treatise on Colours and Pigments, and of their Powers in Painting' (1835), the chemist George Field had made a distinction between grey and gray, now largely reduced to a matter of transatlantic spelling. Whilst grey was asserted to be a simple mixture of black and white (a neutral grey by Munsell calculation), the presence of a third subsidiary pigment resulted in a gray. So according to George Field EDSG should be gray rather than grey!

Nick

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I'd go with a purple tint too, same with Dark Sea Grey. However, you have to take into account the colour of the primer beneath as the top coat can sometimes be very thin. Note the difference in appearance in the shade between EDSG on a Phantom and EDSG on a Buccaneer!

Edited by Blacktjet
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I have a pile of paint chips taken from a Sea Venom in my hand

The EDSG is grey, theres no purple blue nor brindle in it.

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I have a pile of paint chips taken from a Sea Venom in my hand

The EDSG is grey, theres no purple blue nor brindle in it.

So the 1951 report by the Senior Scientific Officer at the Materials Laboratory of the RN Aircraft Repair Yard at Fleetlands is in error when he describes both the Cellon and Docker EDSG paints as Munsell PB - purple blue? I doubt that! The report makes it clear that the paint degraded towards grey in service, as shown above. Happy to provide you with copies so that you can see for yourself.

But please confirm how long your paint was on the aircraft, what happened to it during that time and then measure the chips with a photospectrometer to confirm their actual colour value. It would be interesting to compare that to the RN report, thanks.

FWIW the current BS 381C does not contain EDSG but only DSG which is also given as a Munsell PB - 2.6 PB 4.2/1.0. Further Geoff Thomas compared wartime EDSG to Munsell B - blue (but with a value close up to PB of 10 B 3.5/1) and DSG as 4 PB 4/1. The BS Munsell values are approximate and not intended to be used for colour matching but the L*a*b* value for DSG also calculates as a Munsell PB.

As always there is the issue of paint colour standards vs applied paint, especially aged applied paint.

Nick

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I'd go with a purple tint too, same with Dark Sea Grey. However, you have to take into account the colour of the primer beneath as the top coat can sometimes be very thin. Note the difference in appearance in the shade between EDSG on a Phantom and EDSG on a Buccaneer!

Might not be just thin paint and primer. Were the Phantoms and Buccaneers painted with the same paint at the same time and place? If not there would probably be some variance anyway. And the variance in originally applied paint often extends to different weathering and degradation in service.

Nick

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Can someone clarify, was EDSG only ever used by the FAA, and not the RAF post-war?

RAF Operational Sea Eagle missiles were painted EDSG if that counts?

Selwyn

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I have a 1964 edition of the BS 381C which stated that approx. Munsell reference for No. 640 Extra dark sea grey is 10B 3.5/1, not PB.

Jun in Tokyo

https://www.flickr.com/photos/horaburo/albums

The difference between the Munsell measurement of the wartime MAP of 1.9 PB 3.5/1.1 and 10 B 3.5/1 is 0.79 where < 2.0 = a close match - almost exactly similar. The approx BS value would have been matched between two standard Munsell values of 10 B 3/1 and 10 B 4/1 hence the caveat of approximate and not to be used for matching. 10 B runs into 2.5 PB on the Munsell scale. If you can state the L*a*b* values in the 1964 BS 381C I'll calculate the precise colour.

Still not grey though!

Nick

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The difference between the Munsell measurement of the wartime MAP of 1.9 PB 3.5/1.1 and 10 B 3.5/1 is 0.79 where < 2.0 = a close match - almost exactly similar. The approx BS value would have been matched between two standard Munsell values of 10 B 3/1 and 10 B 4/1 hence the caveat of approximate and not to be used for matching. 10 B runs into 2.5 PB on the Munsell scale. If you can state the L*a*b* values in the 1964 BS 381C I'll calculate the precise colour.

Still not grey though!

Nick

The 1964 BS381C does not give L*a*b* value, but colour chip certainly has blue hue to my eyes.

0000061.jpg

0000061_2.jpg

Jun in Tokyo

https://www.flickr.com/photos/horaburo/albums

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Can someone clarify, was EDSG only ever used by the FAA, and not the RAF post-war?

It has been suggested from anecdotal evidence that when the Air Ministry issued instructions for the RAF in 1950-ish to paint its day fighters dark sea grey/dark green with PR blue undersides No.80 Squadron in Hong Kong may have used extra dark sea grey from RN stores on its Spitfire F.24s as there was no dark sea grey available. It is certainly a variation I intend to model eventually.

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So the 1951 report by the Senior Scientific Officer at the Materials Laboratory of the RN Aircraft Repair Yard at Fleetlands is in error when he describes both the Cellon and Docker EDSG paints as Munsell PB - purple blue? I doubt that! The report makes it clear that the paint degraded towards grey in service, as shown above. Happy to provide you with copies so that you can see for yourself.

But please confirm how long your paint was on the aircraft, what happened to it during that time and then measure the chips with a photospectrometer to confirm their actual colour value. It would be interesting to compare that to the RN report, thanks.

FWIW the current BS 381C does not contain EDSG but only DSG which is also given as a Munsell PB - 2.6 PB 4.2/1.0. Further Geoff Thomas compared wartime EDSG to Munsell B - blue (but with a value close up to PB of 10 B 3.5/1) and DSG as 4 PB 4/1. The BS Munsell values are approximate and not intended to be used for colour matching but the L*a*b* value for DSG also calculates as a Munsell PB.

As always there is the issue of paint colour standards vs applied paint, especially aged applied paint.

Nick

Well since I described the paint chips I have and not what the senior scientific officer said I suggest you keep the attitude to yourself.

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It has been suggested from anecdotal evidence that when the Air Ministry issued instructions for the RAF in 1950-ish to paint its day fighters dark sea grey/dark green with PR blue undersides No.80 Squadron in Hong Kong may have used extra dark sea grey from RN stores on its Spitfire F.24s as there was no dark sea grey available. It is certainly a variation I intend to model eventually.

In one of Paul Lucas's books on RAF post war colours, and in SAM, he suggested that some Spitfire FR.18's of 2Sqn in RAFG in standard day fighter schemes were over painted in EDSG and Extra Dark Green upper surfaces with PRU Mauve lower surfaces....

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In one of Paul Lucas's books on RAF post war colours, and in SAM, he suggested that some Spitfire FR.18's of 2Sqn in RAFG in standard day fighter schemes were over painted in EDSG and Extra Dark Green upper surfaces with PRU Mauve lower surfaces....

Which was nonsense.

The difference between Buccaneers and Phantoms was down to UK v US paints and how they weathered.

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Well since I described the paint chips I have and not what the senior scientific officer said I suggest you keep the attitude to yourself.

Sorry, I thought that in this discussion about whether EDSG is grey or blue you were asserting from your chips that EDSG is grey with no purple blue in it as per your statement: "The EDSG is grey, theres no purple blue nor brindle in it."

My mistake.

Nick

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In any case, the suggested use of EDSG on the Spitfire FR.XIV would have been the application of a wartime scheme, not a postwar one.

Personally I'm not convinced that this scheme was used on these aircrafts though

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What color is it. Most color photographs suggest it is a dark blue, not a grey at all. Xtracolor's paint is clearly a grey. Modellers seem to split, some paint a distinct grey, while others (like myself) favor a blue. ... Finally, I am talking about post-war colors.

From a modeling perspective, I too prefer the blue. I suppose my preference stems from my childhood when I used to admire the boxarts of British subjects such the old Hasegawa Sea Harrier and the Matchbox & Fujimi Phantoms

http://www.hasegawausa.com/product-images/hsgs0235box-lg.jpg

http://modelingmadness.com/review/mod/mcdf4.htm

http://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/amerang/fujimi/72/fg1phantom/britphantomfg1boxtop.jpg

I just think it looks cooler than grey.

I've been told the LifeColor Extra Dark Sea Grey (UA109) paint is a good match for this bluish tint.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LifeColor-UA109-mimetic-extra-dark/dp/B00HYYIWBO

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Having consulted my 1996 edition, ESDG isn't in it! My mistake ...

It does list L*a*b* and Munsell references though and does indeed describe Dark Sea Grey (not extra dark) as a Munsell PB. I'll defer to Nick's expertise but regardless how it measures, it's so unsaturated that it looks to my eye as what most people would call a grey (or gray!!). I agree it lacks the warmth of a pure grey, but am not sure I'd describe it as a purple-blue to a layman who had never seen it.

Still, I've learned something, as usual!

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