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Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Thanks to some help from Nick Millman, we shall shortly be releasing our newest colour ACRN36 US Equivalent Sky. This colour is intended for use on the undersides of various aircraft manufactured in the USA for Great Britain during the second world war. When Britain was ordering US built aircraft as a paying customer, the Ministry of Aircraft Production colours we are all familiar with were provided for US companies to match. Sky Type S was one such colour for which the US matches weren't especially close.

 

Du Pont 71-021 and Spec 3-1 No.323 Sky Gray were two of the common variants. Nick has provided me with information about 71-021 and we have developed ACNR36 accordingly. FS35622 is sometimes quoted as being nearest to Spec 3-1 No.323 but it's a bit too bright. Many modellers have simply used neutral light greys under their US built aircraft models, such as P40s etc.

 

ACNR01 - MAP Sky Type S ACRN01rgb_1024x1024.jpg?v=1475262432

 

ACRN36 - US Equivalent Sky (Grey) ACRN36_1024x1024.jpg?v=1482324678

 

FS35622 - FS35622_zpsfyo8krv6.jpg

 

 

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That is great news I've been struggling with paint mixes for a planned SH RAF Buffalo for ages, just need the other colours now

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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It's taken a while, but our US Equivalent Sky is now ready and on sale.

 

I have sprayed out a few swatches of ACRN36 against MAP Sky Type S, Sky Blue BS101 and Sky Grey, which people like to talk around when trying to describe or visualise Spec 3-1 No.323 or Du Pont 71-021 equilvants to MAP Sky Type S. Whilst one should never trust a photograph, I hope the following gives some assurance that US equivalent Sky was not very much like any of the British colours, and certainly wasn't light grey as many seem to paint models :huh::

 

20170108_115632_zpsze7hyawi.jpg

20170108_115439_zpsxc5ozcsz.jpg

 

Also, by way of proving that we haven't just taken the lazy route and made the nearest FS595 colour and fobbed the customer off by saying it's exactly what they need for their model, here's ACRN36 beside the oft-quoted FS35622:

 

20170108_115332_zps4rmzmbgn.jpg

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Ah, if only it were available down here...I suspect another 6 months before it reaches these shores, and here I was ready to use Humbrol US Gull grey on my P-51. Damn you man! Damn you! Now I have to decide whether to shelve the 'Stang....

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This is actual DuPont 71-021 Sky Type S - Grey - note the very pale blue

 

P%2040%20Tail%20colours%20copy_zpshvgszc

 

From your photos above it's a little hard to reconcile your colour with the actual colour swatch

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks

 

Alan

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On 20/02/2017 at 11:47 PM, SovereignHobbies said:

Hi Alan,

 

That photograph seems quite yellow under the artificial light. Here is an RGB render of the colour using its measured & manufactured values:

 

ACRN36_e04d3b4e-eaf8-444c-bab0-d29bf4ca7

 

Hi Jamie,

Most people try to tell me it's grey in colour :D But those people are from the Great Cult of "It's Grey Brigade"

(speaking of DuPont 71-021)

Lighting, artifical or Sunlight can distort the true colour of anything. Take for example the lower colour on this

P 40E-1 at MOTAT here in Auckland.

It's all one colour (except for the drop tank) -Sunlight is shining on it, but what colour is it really? Is it Powder Blue

as on the Port Wheel well knuckle, Duck Egg Blue (Chin), Blue Grey (Under Starboard wing) or grey (oil cooler flaps)?

 

FILE0263copy_zps5a2334d5.jpg

 

Your Colour tile as seen above on my computer monitor, appears grey green. Yet if I enlarge the color tile, the Blue Green colour is more apparent.

 

I compared my DuPont swatch colour with Nicks original Tile and the two share almost exactly the same space on the blue green spectrum.

If you look at my Dupont Swatch in normal ambient Sunlight, the colour of the DuPont 71-021 is a very vibrant Pale

Blue colour with a greenish tinge - exactly what a true Duck Egg Blue is and what the British Air Ministry described as required in its AMO December 1940.

I think that you have done well in manufacturing this paint, have you painted it on a model to see how it looks?

 

Regards

 

Alan

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The grey forces are legion. Everywhere I look, they are there, telling me 'IT IS GREY! GREY!!'

 

So, a few questions here...

 

1) What sources allowed you to come up with this colour as the correct tint? I am only asking this because when I have suggested otherwise elsewhere, the grey forces have almost threatened to do bodily harm to me ;) I need some ammo here.

 

2) Was this colour used under all aircraft that were lend leased to the British Commonwealth? for example http://www.3squadron.org.au/subpages/Mustangs/3 Sqn P-51K P3.htm

 

Note that they mention "Light Grey" at this website too.

 

 

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The colour has been confirmed from Curtiss documentation, US company paint catalogues particularly Dupont, and analysis by (particularly) Nick Millman, using his background in the paint industry.  It also matches contemporary comment and much contemporary colour film.  This was argued over on this site some years ago and such evidence made available: you may wish to go digging here (it should prove rewarding if requiring some patience and weeding skills) or perhaps it would be easier to contact Nick Millman and ask to see his blog on the subject.

 

The colour was used on some aircraft provided to British (and Australian) contracts (i.e. money), notably the P-40 but also Hudsons and some others - P-39s for example.  It was intended as a match for Sky, although it seems that Grumman managed to find a better one.  Aircraft provided under Lend Lease were required to be delivered as for the US Services, but in practice companies that had been producing to British colour specifications continued to do so, at least until the colours ran out.  RAF fighters of course stopped requiring Sky undersides before Lend Lease began.  Later fighters had grey undersides anyway.  In particular, the P-51K was well after Sky was required on fighters.  Late P-51s are an example of US colours being used rather than British MAP ones, and make an interesting sub-study by themselves, particularly those in the Mediterranean.  However the best source for this is in Australia.

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Ah, so what you are saying regarding the P-51 in question is that it is US equivalents for Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Medium Sea Grey, the predominant RAF/Commonwealth scheme for mainland Europe at that stage? I had Humbrol 27, Colourcoats ACUS12 and Humbrol 129 lined up for my RAAF 3rd Squadron build, and this thread threw doubt over me.

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Mike Starmer has kindly loaned me his copy of US Army Spec 3-1 and the Sky equivalent in that is very close to "proper" RAF MAP Sky. ACRN36 is more representative of the DuPont colo(u)r. I don't know offhand who North American bought their paint from.

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The P-51 used USAF colours.  Not US equivalents for MAP colours as such, as is the case earlier in the war, but acceptable substitutes as agreed between the countries.   Once the US came into the war, to simplify production it was decided to agree on which US colours would be acceptable for the UK, and to produce a smaller commonly-agreed set of paints.  However the USAF apparently refused to play ball, and decided after a while to stop painting their aircraft anyway.  

 

Vought is another company that used US standard paints instead of UK-equivalents on the Corsair, although it seems that not all of their other contractors did - the FAAM's Corsair has components that were initially painted in good TSS colours.  These may have come from Brewster production.

 

You are looking at (IIRC) Olive Drab, Sea Gray and Light Grey, in decreasing order of confidence.  I'm not sure about the correct name for the last.  Have a word with Ed Russell at Red Roo for advice on the 3 Sq aircraft, as P-51s in the Med also had a distinctive camouflage pattern, and I don't have the reference.  It seems that despite this agreement P-51s in the UK were repainted in the correct MAP colours before issue to the squadrons, at least initially.  The Mediterranean ones weren't.

 

 

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Thanks Graham.

 

Just to confirm your previous input - the colour data for ACRN36 came (once again) from Nick Millman who has helped me improve on or introduce several colours in the range.

 

I would hope he already knows from our person to person communications, but Nick's help really has been invaluable and I am both grateful for it and feel advantaged to have someone I can ask on these matters!

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Bit late to the party, but why hasn't this been a success? Low sales? I would have thought it would sell more than RAF Sky Blue. or Eu de nille. In which case, just make it when required?

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On 3/2/2017 at 10:30 PM, sapperastro said:

The grey forces are legion. Everywhere I look, they are there, telling me 'IT IS GREY! GREY!!'

 

So, a few questions here...

 

1) What sources allowed you to come up with this colour as the correct tint? I am only asking this because when I have suggested otherwise elsewhere, the grey forces have almost threatened to do bodily harm to me ;) I need some ammo here.

 

2) Was this colour used under all aircraft that were lend leased to the British Commonwealth? for example http://www.3squadron.org.au/subpages/Mustangs/3 Sqn P-51K P3.htm

 

Note that they mention "Light Grey" at this website too.

 

 

Late to the party on this

 

In all honesty you could take those of the "Its Grey Brigade" back to WWII in a time machine and show them the real

colours as applied by US Aircraft Manufacturers, and they would still not believe.

 

I have read on other websites, especially comments made by supposed "Experts" and funnily enough they can't supply

any evidence other than their say so, or some grainy colour photo, that really doesn't give you concise detail.

It's these people who prompted me to investigate myself and the results are quite surprising, that they are not right.

As I once said to one supposed Expert, did it ever occur to you people that those of us who were the end users, may

have evidence or information not readily available on the Internet etc.

 

If you look at these paint swatches of mine, the lower colour, which is the DuPont 71-021

Sky Type S - Grey, is a Duck Egg Blue aka Sky, applied to Lend Lease P 40E-1's from an RAF order

re-directed to the RNZAF in New Zealand in 1942.

 

DuPont 71-021

 

I found it quite amusing that one of these "Experts" tried to tell me the lower colour was grey.........

 

As you can see the colour is anything but Grey. If you look at it under natural ambient light, the colour

is a Pale Blue colour with a green tinge. That colour swatch provide by Jamie above is a spot on match.

 

Some Ammo for you

 

Regards

 

Alan

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That looks  lot like my tin of Hu147 pale grey which is anything but grey & does a darn good impersonation of a slightly washed out Sky. Maybe I've found a use for it?

Steve.

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1 hour ago, stevehnz said:

That looks  lot like my tin of Hu147 pale grey which is anything but grey & does a darn good impersonation of a slightly washed out Sky. Maybe I've found a use for it?

Steve.

Hi Steve,

 

Comparing paint, Hu 23 is close to it, there really is nothing grey about it, even "Washed" out.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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Oh well back to the drawing board for my tin of 147. Maybe trying to draw to many threads together but would this discussion about the Du Pont 71-021 on the RNZAFs P-40Es being ex RAF contract, as I understand it, have relevance to the Flying Tigers P-40Bs & their oft discussed underside colour?

Steve.

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On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 4:12 AM, sapperastro said:

Bit late to the party, but why hasn't this been a success? Low sales? I would have thought it would sell more than RAF Sky Blue. or Eu de nille. In which case, just make it when required?

 

Hi,

 

Yes, sales have been very poor despite all the requests for it.

 

The practicalities of it are that paint manufacture requires minimum batch sizes due to a number of reasons, but of chief importance is colour fidelity - the smaller the total volume of pigment injected, the greater the impact of the unavoidable uncertainties in each individual pigment added. Progressive cavity pumps (which are very accurate) are still only accurate to +/- a small amount. At the minimum batch sizes we use this uncertainty does not result in difference which would concern anyone. If one considers a common household printer and the very small quantities of ink they have to meter out, we can see the effects of what could happen if we went smaller. It could be done, but every batch would need human intervention and iteration and production costs would be multiplied. A new colour is always a financial hit for the guys matching the colour but the idea is that they store the final summation of all pigments that ultimately went into the batch such that when you want to make it again, the machine just meters out the final formula again. It can take days and days to get one colour right the first time it's made.

 

For context, the first batch was a modest 1 litre, or 64 x 14ml tins. That's how little demand there has been for this colour, despite all the pleas for it. Making this one was harder than usual because we didn't possess a physical sample, only a set of CIELAB colour coordinates - so there isn't even something to look at and know what it should look like - the first time we saw the colour physically was when the formula was finally correct (as measured by spectrophotometer when a swatch was painted out and dried).


Hence, only making it when required isn't really an option. It's a binary decision; to make another batch or not to make another batch. Having said all of this, we are making a second batch. It costs far less to do it this time than the first time. I doubt it will ever be popular. Perhaps I should push it harder with a US-built RAF aircraft 3 colour set to the line up.

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I suspect that if you add up all the pleas on this notice board they'll come to rather less than 64 different modellers.  I bought one of these tins, but have yet to use it.  At any one time only comparative few modellers are making a subject that would benefit from this colour.  How many of those actually know about it?  How many of those are not convinced by the arguments (too many, it seems sometimes)?  How many just don't care anyway?  How many don't use enamels?  There are times when I feel sorry for you and your predecessors: yes there is demand from those who care for something other than the bog standard "usual" colours, but is that demand economically viable?

 

I think that your idea of a colour set for US-built RAF aircraft might well help, for this particular tin.  Of course this then leads to calls for the odd colours seen on Martlet Mk.Is, or the US-equivalent shades on Corsairs and late Wildcats.  No doubt you can think of others.  Deep Sky on B-17s?

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You're absolutely correct Graham. It was perhaps a bit naive of me two years ago to jump to this request, but as I say we've got it now and I'll give it another go.

 

Gill is becoming handy with digital line drawings (watch out for a teaser announcement sometime this weekend) and that will allow us to start sketching some graphics to go with our products which might help increase exposure on Google images etc and give potential customers a steer on what to use some of our less-mainstream colours on.

 

I am very critical of our sales performance - it's just how I am, and to be fair it does annoy Gill who is more laid back than I. I do need to keep in mind that we've only been trading 3 years and I'm still learning how to do this!

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I do wonder whether attempting to provide a full range of colours was contributory to the failure of previous specialist companies.  However the very nature of such means they are run by enthusiasts who get some pleasure at poking into the darker corners and finding something interesting.  I suspect sticking to a smaller range of standards might provide  a better return (or at least fewer losses from the fringes) but would prove more boring to you in the longer run.  And you'd still be ignored by those who think RAF fighters look OK in Humbrol 30, 27 and 64. 

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