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Gone lost, Medium Sea Gray, Dark Sea Grey vs Extra Dark Sea Grey...


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Hello,

 

Sorry to say but I've gone lost concerning greys, or to be more exact Dark Sea Grey vs Extra Dark Sea Grey. And now I don't knew what to believe concerning what aircraft I can paint with wich grays. What I understand Extra Dark Sea Grey goes for NAA aircrafts and Dark Sea Grey for RAF aircrafts... ?

 

And what about "Ocean Grey" ? Is it just for RAF wartime aircraft such as Spitfire and Tempest?

 

Westland Wyvern S.4

Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky...

 

Hawker Sea Fury

Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky...

 

Sea Harrier FRS 1

No. 801 NAS Extra Dark Sea Grey / White

No. 899 NAS Extra Dark Sea Grey overall (HMS Hermes 1982).

 

Sea Harrier FA/2

No. 800 NAS Overall Medium Sea Grey (HMS Ark Royal 2004) but with the nose in Dark Sea Grey or Extra Dark Sea Grey?

 

Harrier T-10

No. 20 RS Dark Sea Grey / Medium Sea Grey (Wittering 1999).

 

Harrier GR.3

Dark Sea Grey / Dark Green

 

Supermarine Swift FR.5

Dark Sea grey / Dark Green / PRU Blue (?)

 

And what about the upcoming FG-1 Phantom from Airfix?

 

Sheers / André

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Just to add that Extra Dark Sea Grey was part of the Temperate Sea Scheme with Dark Slate Grey during WW2, not just on Fleet Air Arm aircraft but also aircraft in RAF Coastal Command, and later transports too.  Dark Sea Grey would only be seen on the lower wing of appropriate biplanes early during WW2 but this seems to have disappeared from use late on.  Ocean Grey was only seen in wartime and residual post war use, almost entirely on fighters or Mosquitos camouflaged as fighters.

 

From available photos, and limited personal observation, I'd say that EDSG weathers towards a blue wheres DSG weathers towards a lighter grey.  If you are modelling other than factory fresh subjects, using DSG to represent faded EDSG doesn't end up looking "right".

Edited by Graham Boak
Not also but only
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You got it right there, ocean grey is replaced for raf aircraft by dark sea grey postwar (though check you refs many prop aircraft were delivered In ocean grey and left as such) and the FAA continued to use extra dark sea grey until the shar2 arrived. 

Edited by PhantomBigStu
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10 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

 

From available photos, and limited personal observation, I'd say that EDSG weathers towards a blue wheres DSG weathers towards a lighter grey. 

 

EDSG loses blue and gloss as it weathers as documented in post-war RN paint test reports. After 6 months exposure:-

 

" . . . the blue hue of extra dark sea grey was lost, leaving a neutral grey tint"

 

The rapidity of weathering of different manufacturers EDSG was found to vary and is also recorded in the RN reports.

 

Nick

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This would indeed explain the pale appearance of the transport Stirling in the well-copied photo.  However this is not what appears in wartime photos of the FAA, admittedly with some doubt as to qualities of reproduction, but even when other colours appear to be well presented.  The Seafires on HMS Indomitable are but one example.  Perhaps this is/was due to the variability of individual paint manufacturers?  Nor is it what I saw visiting Yeovilton in the 60s and at air displays in the 60s/70s on Sea Vixens and the FG1 Phantom, nor seeing the faded appearance of FAA vs RAF aircraft in various British aircraft museums.  Presumably by then the weathering effect was less variable and more controlled: it certainly appeared more blue on the paler (not quite so dark) weathered aircraft than on the darker more freshly painted ones.

 

To my observation there appears to be very little blue visible in the EDSG available in tins of modelling paint, at least when applied to my models.  Perhaps the advice should be to add blue even if fading is not required?

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Ocean Grey was immediately preceded by Mixed Grey, for use mainly on day fighters and Mosquito bombers camouflaged as fighters.  It's use came about because, as with Sky in 1940, there weren't adequate stocks of the new colour when it was stipulated in an AMO.  Mixed Grey required, IIRC, 7 parts of Medium Sea Grey to 1 of Night and, predictably, produced a wide variety of shades when mixed at unit level.  Ocean Grey tended to have a slightly greenish hue which may have resulted in the colour being referred to as Olive Grey early in its life.

 

Early Shackletons, and some maritime Lancasters, Sundelands and Hastings used Medium Sea Grey upper surfaces with White undersides.  Later the colours were reversed, with White on fuselage tops (and upper wing panels on Shackletons in he Far East) and Dark Sea Grey sides and undersurfaces.  Some of the Shackletons and Lancasters, including the AEW Shackletons, were Dark Sea Grey overall.

 

As Graham and PhantomBigStu have said Ocean Grey was replaced post-war by Dark Sea Grey on RAF aircraft, but not before many had appeared n overall High Speed Silver, an aluminium pigmented colour not to be confused with untainted metal surfaces.  Most fighters used it (Swift, Hunter, Meteor, Sabre, Vampire, Venom, Javelin, Phantom, Lightning) in conjunction with Dark Green.  In their later years Lightnings appeared in a variety of greys in various combinations but a standard finish was never applied fleet-wide.  Some helicopters (Whirlwind, Wessex, Belvedere, Sea Kings (Falkland Islands), Puma and Chinook) also used Dark Sea Grey, all but the Sea Kings used it in conjunction with Dark Green.

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It's not that confusing but it's important to reason in terms of scheme first and then check which aircraft carried which scheme in a certain timeframe. In doubt, the best option is to ask here, you'll find plenty of useful information

Your list sounds ok, apart from the Harrier T.10... these were in Dark Sea Grey over Dark Camouflage Grey. Yes, the RAF introduced another dark grey at some point in the '90s to be used on ground attack aircrafts (Harrier and Tornado). The scheme was later replaced with an overall Medium Sea Grey scheme.

I may add that the Sea Harriers received an overall EDGS coat during the Falklands war but later they adopted an overall Dark Sea Grey scheme (and in between also a lighter scheme with Medium Sea Grey over Barley Grey).

Swifts had both PRU and silver undersides, check the aircraft you want to build first

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1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

This would indeed explain the pale appearance of the transport Stirling in the well-copied photo.  However this is not what appears in wartime photos of the FAA, admittedly with some doubt as to qualities of reproduction, but even when other colours appear to be well presented.  The Seafires on HMS Indomitable are but one example.  Perhaps this is/was due to the variability of individual paint manufacturers?  Nor is it what I saw visiting Yeovilton in the 60s and at air displays in the 60s/70s on Sea Vixens and the FG1 Phantom, nor seeing the faded appearance of FAA vs RAF aircraft in various British aircraft museums.  Presumably by then the weathering effect was less variable and more controlled: it certainly appeared more blue on the paler (not quite so dark) weathered aircraft than on the darker more freshly painted ones.

 

To my observation there appears to be very little blue visible in the EDSG available in tins of modelling paint, at least when applied to my models.  Perhaps the advice should be to add blue even if fading is not required?

 

Colour photographs aside the appearance of a painted surface to an individual at any given time will depend on the ambient illumination and the receipt processing of the reflected light. I can only report what the RN found when specifically testing for the weathering of EDSG after exposure for 3 months and 6 months. The paints tested were Cellon and Docker with the latter holding up better. They were concerned with loss of gloss and chalking with all manufacturers, including ICI, encouraged to develop more resilient paint formulae to achieve that.   

 

Nick

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That sounds about right Nick, well faded EDSG can look pretty similar to DSG, possibly due to the blue tint fading out of it.

 

Shackleton AEW.2s were Dark Sea Grey all over.

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6 minutes ago, 71chally said:

That sounds about right Nick, well faded EDSG can look pretty similar to DSG, possibly due to the blue tint fading out of it.

 

Shackleton AEW.2s were Dark Sea Grey all over.

 

Graham Boak wrote that EDSG dosn't fade similar to DSG. What is right here?

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Thanks for replies. It seems that I wasn't that lost and can paint an Wivern or Sea Fury in Sky and Extra Dark Sea Grey. And just juse the Dark Sea Grey for RAF.

Just interesting, but have someone compared the Extra Dark Sea Grey to RLM 75 greyviolett?

 

Sheers / André

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EDSG vs RLM 75 = 7.81 where < 2.0 = a close match. Same hue but RLM 75 is lighter and less saturated.

DSG vs faded EDSG (as measured by the RN) = 4.91. The faded EDSG is greyer and less blueish but the two colours have similar reflectivity. Perhaps the reason DSG is still in BS381C and EDSG isn't.

 

Nick

 

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I have no personal direct knowledge of the WW2 colours, but when it comes to those used in the 1960s and 70s, I have never seen a fresh or worn RAF aircraft that appeared to have the same shade of blue-grey as an fresh or worn FAA one.  The naval ones were always bluer.  Perhaps I should add here that I don't see aircraft in fresh EDSG as particularly blue, but certainly ones after seeing some service.  As an extreme example, perhaps the most extreme in my experience, I saw a display at Shuttleworth by an early  Phantom FG1 which was so light a shade of blue-grey as to look closer to RAF Ensign Blue (if less intense): I do not recall ever seeing any RAF aircraft in Dark Sea Grey, new or after years in museums, that looked particularly blue.

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That is basically correct for post-war Andre, DSG RAF, EDSG Royal Navy.

 

It is quite a subject, for example freshly painted Shackletons in DSG did look quite similar to EDSG, even where they 'appear' to have a blueish hue.

 

I can only concur with what Nick has presented above, when you look at pictures and footage (another can of worms), Royal Navy carrier based aircraft do appear to fade and lose the blue tint after time.

 

 

Edited by 71chally
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22 minutes ago, 71chally said:

That is basically correct for post-war Andre, DSG RAF, EDSG Royal Navy.

 

 

 

With the exception of FAA Sea Harriers FRS.1 and FRADU's Hunters that carried an overall Dark Sea Grey scheme starting in 1983-4

Edited by Giorgio N
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There is also the consideration that the base formulation of paints changed over time meaning that although a WW2 EDSG and an early 1970s EDSG will look the same when new the ageing characteristics will be very different. In the USA there was also the issue of different manufacturers' producing the "same" colour but it looking noticeably different.

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If it's well matted, used and abused it's probably passable. If there's a lot of pre-shading showing through, washed panel lines and shiny it's probably a bit too "European" (well executed for what they intended, but over-lightened, over stylised and very artificial looking*) for my personal tastes :)

 

*There are plenty examples of such models. They do tend to do well in competitions, but I really don't like them. And no, I won't point any out.

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Concerning Humbrol...

When became Hu 123 Satin Dark Sea Grey Hu 123 Extra Dark Sea Grey?  I've got an old Humbrol colour chart where I noticed this.

Maybe this sometimes is one of the reasons for the confusion as Humbrol also called 164 Dark Sea Grey... ?

Is Hu 123 an good Extra Dark Sea Grey today?

 

My point with RLM 75 is that maybe the Tamiya AS4 Grey Violett could be as good as Hu 123 for Extra Dark Sea Grey. But when I checked it out I found that AS4 was more close to Hu 79 Mat Blue Grey...

 

/ André

Edited by Andre B
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Andre

 

This should solve all your Harrier needs.

 

This list also gives the equivalent for all the most popular paints.

 

Laurie

 

http://www.harriersig.org.uk/models/harriercoloursv112.pdf

 

Oh Harrier Harrier you just fly like a bird
a blast of air & you perform the absurd

 

my favourite with those just lovable wings
and so up down with a side to side swing

 

you float on air and, to some, much feared
but to me, Harrier, you are just my little Shar

Laurie

 

Edited by LaurieS
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