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timeslip

RN submarine color

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I am finishing up a few submarine kits and I'm trying to figure out the true colors of them.  They are the HMS Valiant and HMS Astute.  I found one site calling out Anthracite Grey.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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I think black is too stark on a scale sub - so I use a rattle can of Halfords Volvo Dark Grey - a very dark grey, just off-black.....

 

Looks OK to my tired old eyes......

 

HMS%20Astute_03.JPG

 

Ken

 

PS - I also use Halfords Rover Tempest Grey - (which is a bit lighter) - and Halfords also do rattle cans of gloss and matt black if you want to use them.

 

Halfords Grey and Red Plastic Primer cans are also useful - for a medium grey and red lower hull colours.

 

PPS - My 1/350 scale sub builds are here.

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Hello all!

 

Thanks, Morlock, for linking my site!

 

I actually did the Astute in a colour I call "Virsago Black" (after the Mobile Suit known as the Virsago in Gundam X). I needed a colour for its wings that was almost black, but would still show black outlining pen, so I came up with Virsago Black. Over the years, I've honed it down to be a mixture of Model Master Acrylic Gunship Grey and Aircraft Interior Black. This gives it a near-black look that's perfect for showing outlining pen, OR for being flat black on a large scale. 

 

On my Astute, I did the side packs in true black, Aircraft Interior Black, I believe, and you can, if you look, see the difference. I would agree that at this scale, the flat black for the whole thing would be pretty stark, although with a bit of filtering it might work okay too.

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Revell actually produces Anthracite aka 'scale Black' RAL 7021, if you want to start a paint collection

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RN Subs are a patchy Dark Grey, due to the hulls being covered in Anechoic Tiles. Various batches of tiles seem to come in varying colours so even boats fresh out of refit have an interesting scheme. 

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I’ve been told that the tiles are actually a dark purple when new, almost black from a distance but weather up rapidly, my source spent 28 years on RN Submarines starting on HMS Turbulent and finishing up on HMS Vengance as a CPO Stoker, he saw Turbulent through a few refits in his time and joined the boat from the first sea trials. 

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Once upon a time it's fair to say there might have been a tinge as there often appears to be in Black. But these days newly refitted boats including Vengeance are Dark Grey. The tiles do weather rapidly creating multi-grey patterns 

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The rubber anechoic tiles vary in colour, as can be seen from the photo of the A boat in the dock.  Very few, if any, will be true black.  Shades of grey.  Maybe even 50!  Many paint companies do "tyre" or "rubber" paint colours, which vary a lot in colour. Boats returning from patrol usually have some missing, showing the rusty plating beneath.

 

I used to buy the spare tiles many moons ago back in the late '80's, which would have been for R, S, & T boats.  The ones I saw at the factory of one of the suppliers fresh from the moulds were quite black.  Definitely not purple-ish.  I visited Artful in the Devonshire Hall complete and ready to go on the shiplift.  Under the lights in the hall she looked pretty black.  I also visited one of the V boats in drydock at Devonport and she was pretty grey.  It doesn't take long for a ring of green growth to form around the surfaced waterline in harbour, again as in the dockside photo above.

 

So I suppose a key question is when in its lifespan you want to depict your boat.  Once they go into the water from build they will never look the same again, unlike surface ships/skimmers/targets that can be repainted.  They don't get new tiles fitted just to look nice!  The model photo above is representative only of roll-out from the Devonshire Hall onto the shiplift.

Edited by Das Abteilung
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