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sroubos

US Navy Sea Blue(s)

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I'm currently building a Bearcat and I'm struggling to find the right color Sea Blue. I've been out of the hobby for some time and I wasn't sure what I had in my stash so I did some reading and decided to go for Tamiya XF-17 Sea Blue. However, it looked pretty dark in the tin, so on getting home I checked it against some other Sea Blues I had. In the end I decided to go for XF-17 but it doesn't look right, way too dark.

 

I started comparing it in some more detail against some other kits I had painted in Sea Blue. For most I'm not sure what paint I used but you can see them here in the picture. Of course it's far from perfect to demonstrate the exact shades but you can easily tell the difference.

 

file

 

As you can see the Bearcat (which has had some rather rude polishing done after the first coat of XF-17) is far right. The Hellcat at the top is done with Gunze H-54 Sea blue, I'not sure what I used for the Corsair and the Panther, but I think it was H-54 as well, I did those before the Hellcat. The Hellcat at the lower left should be ignored because it's really old and I didn't have much of an interest in color accuracy.

 

To my eyes the Corsair looks best...

 

I did a quick test on a piece of plastic to compare the various Sea Blues I have.

 

file

 

Again, a bit crude to compare it like this. On the left it's XF-17. Lower center is Hataka A006 Semi-gloss Sea Blue. To the right it's Gunze H-54. Top middle is Gunze H-328 Blue Angel Blue, just for comparison.

 

The Hataka looks better to me than the Tamiya. I'm not sure what's wrong with the H-54. I used it on the Hellcat at the top and I THINK I also used it before that on the Corsair and Panther, the difference between those two being the satin/matt finish. It almost looks like I accidentally tipped in some white paint in my H-54 before I did the Hellcat. the shade looks way too light and grey.

 

What do you guys think about this? What paint do you use for Sea Blue?

Edited by sroubos

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FS15042 Glossy Dark Sea Blue is a very dark color when fresh. I use ModelMaster's version of this colour, and I quite like it. It's one of the few Testors paints I use regularly. I believe that FS15042 is a slightly different colour than the ANA623 (Edit - thanks, Troy! See below. Too many numbers to remember!) used during the war, which may be what some of those other paints are trying to represent. Here is my Jaguar painted with ModelMaster:

 

100_3580

 

And my Tigercat:

 

IMG_0935

 

Cheers,

Bill

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the problem, and confusion with Gloss Sea Blue is there are two of them,  1944 to 47,  ANA623 (not ANA607)  to the FS15042

this is best explained by  

@Dana Bell

On 31/12/2016 at 14:42, Dana Bell said:

Hi Ian,

 

I look forward to your results!

 

There are a couple of other reasons the model paint manufacturers have had problems matching the Sea Blues.  Most are working from the FS595 chips, which never accurately matched all three versions of the wartime colors.  The other problem is that the formula for ANA 623 Glossy Sea Blue changed in 1947/48.  The original color faded to quickly and was replaced with more resilient pigments.  When the US Navy gave modelers the old stocks of ANA paint chips in the 1960s/70s, some of us got the 1944 card-stock chip of ANA 623, while others got the 1948 metal replacement chips.  I can well remember the arguments back then, arguments that arose because we were working from different standards!

 

Cheers,

 

 

Dana

 

On 31/12/2016 at 15:25, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

We ended up matching ANA607 Non Specular Sea Blue and ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue to a US Navy monogram, sense checked with L*a*b* values provided by Nick Millman. Our existing ACUS07 colour was near perfect for ANA606 Semi-gloss Sea Blue, whilst FS15042 that is oft quoted as matching ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue didn't match any ANA wartime Sea Blues, so we made that as well. So now we have:

 

ACUS07 - ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue

ACUS08 - ANA608 Intermediate Blue

ACUS33 - ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue

ACUS34 - ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue

ACUS35 - FS15042 post war Gloss Sea Blue

 

as well as

 

ACUS37 - ANA601 Insignia White

 

and


ACUS39 - ANA605 Insignia Blue

 

 

 

So, if you use enamel, the Colourcoats are the way to go.    For acrylic, I don't know.

I did pick up a copy of the Mongram USN painting guide which has color chips, but I have not had chance to do some comparison with the paints I have. 

Note, the "tri color scheme" has three  blues,  not two,  using a mix of the ANA606 semi gloss and ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue, again, Dana to the rescue

Quote

The scheme is actually four colors - white, Intermediate Blue, Semi-gloss Sea Blue (atop the wings and horizontal tail), and Non-Specular Sea Blue (atop the fuselage and on leading edges of the wings and stabs). The last two colors differ in more than the gloss factor - non-spec is distinctly grayer and lighter than the semi-gloss. I generally refer to the scheme as 4-color to clarify the differences.

There was a later version where all of the paints were glossy - it wasn't seen often, but it certainly was a three-color scheme.

Cheers,

Dana

 

tbf_profile01.jpg

 

from https://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/tbf/tbf_profile01.shtml

 

with a list of paints, but how useful the matches are I don't know.

AK interative do a USN set, but no idea again how the matches are

AKI00002230_1_d.jpg

the blurb does not inspire confidence....

Quote

 

At the end of December 1940, all carrier-based type aircraft of Naval aviation were ordered to be painted Light Gray overall. In August 1941, it was decided that the upper surfaces of carrierbased aircraft belonging to the Battle Force of the Pacific Fleet should be painted in Blue-Gray, whilst their lower areas would retain the Light Gray colour. In the coming months, more aircraft were gradually ordered to be painted in this scheme. The case was clarified in February 1942, when all fleet and shorebased aircraft were ordered to be painted in Blue-Gray/Light Gray scheme. In January 1943, a new tri-colour camouflage scheme for carrier-based aircraft was introduced, this consisting of Sea Blue, Intermediate Blue and Insignia White colours. The painting scheme for fighter aircraft was simplified to Dark Sea Blue overall in mid-March 1944. This order was expanded to include all carrier-based aircraft in June 1944, and would remain valid until the mid-1950s.

Included:

AK2231 M-485 Light Gray

AK2232 M-485 Blue-Gray

AK2233 Sea Blue

AK2054 Intermediate Blue

AK2052 Insignia White

AK2234 Dark Sea Blue

 

HTH

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Very informative thread.

 

So ANA623 and FS15042 are two different shades of dark blue. 

Here are a couple brands that combined both in one bottle.  Question is which do they represent or is it neither?

f5713e78-c975-4e41-828a-197fad195725.png

 

 

 

 

 

vallejo-71300-1.jpg?revision=1515245982

Digital sample of of two ANA623 - accuracy??

 

HroYZyj.png

 

screenshot from ColorServer.net  FS15042

 

859c87a3-5af7-47fc-a849-ec0c0171fa89.png

 

To my eye  the late war version of ANA623 has a little yellow in it when compared to FS15042?

 

regards,

Jack

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It's probable that the FS595 incorporated colours in use at the time by other names. FS15042 certainly doesn't much resemble the ANA623 chip in The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide Vol 2 1940-1949 by John M Elliot Maj. USMC (Ret).

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I used Humbrol Gloss 190 on my Hellcat and I'm not unhappy with the outcome. It looks like a fresh coat similar to Navy Birds' Modelmaster suggestion above. 

 

Michael

 

Edited by Toryu

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I suppose there is a scale effect at work here is well, but in all the kits I see above I can definitely say it's a dark blue and with XF-17 I really need to look at it in sunlight to tell it's not black.

 

I'm going to have a go with the Hataka paint. It would be interesting to see what others use in terms of acrylics.

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Hi all,

 

For what it's worth, someone put together a listing of mixes for Tamiya paints some time back.  Here is the US listing:

 

USA

 

NON-SPEC. SEA BLUE (also GSB):- XF17:5 + XF8:3 + XF2:2

INTERMEDIATE BLUE:- XF18:5 + XF2:4

BLUE-GRAY:- XF18:3 + XF2:1

LIGHT GRAY:- XF19:2 + XF2:1

USN INTERIOR GREEN:- XF3:2 + XF5:1

 

I am not sure how accurate these are, but I note that the formula for GSB is the Tamiya dark blue, with quite a lot of medium blue and a dash of white.  I think that would give you a better match for the WWII era, but I am not a U.S. Navy boffin.

 

HTH, Jim

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8 hours ago, Jim Kiker said:

NON-SPEC. SEA BLUE (also GSB):- XF17:5 + XF8:3 + XF2:2

INTERMEDIATE BLUE:- XF18:5 + XF2:4

BLUE-GRAY:- XF18:3 + XF2:1

LIGHT GRAY:- XF19:2 + XF2:1

USN INTERIOR GREEN:- XF3:2 + XF5:1

 

I am not sure how accurate these are, but I note that the formula for GSB is the Tamiya dark blue,

Interesting Jim

but if you re-read this

On 19/01/2019 at 14:30, Troy Smith said:

The scheme is actually four colors - white, Intermediate Blue, Semi-gloss Sea Blue (atop the wings and horizontal tail), and Non-Specular Sea Blue (atop the fuselage and on leading edges of the wings and stabs). The last two colors differ in more than the gloss factor - non-spec is distinctly grayer and lighter than the semi-gloss.

 

On 19/01/2019 at 14:30, Troy Smith said:

There are a couple of other reasons the model paint manufacturers have had problems matching the Sea Blues.  Most are working from the FS595 chips, which never accurately matched all three versions of the wartime colors.  The other problem is that the formula for ANA 623 Glossy Sea Blue changed in 1947/48.  The original color faded to quickly and was replaced with more resilient pigments.  When the US Navy gave modelers the old stocks of ANA paint chips in the 1960s/70s, some of us got the 1944 card-stock chip of ANA 623, while others got the 1948 metal replacement chips.  I can well remember the arguments back then, arguments that arose because we were working from different standards!

 

On 19/01/2019 at 17:16, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

FS15042 certainly doesn't much resemble the ANA623 chip in The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide Vol 2 1940-1949 

 

which means the mix above for Non spec sea Blue(also GSB) is meant to replicate three or four different colors

 

ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue

ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue

ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue

FS15042 post war Gloss Sea Blue

 

I really hope I'm not coming across as pedantic (add rude word of choice) , as I know you posted the above in good faith, and I suspect they have been culled from Tamiya instructions.  The details of all the blinkin' blues seem to be a fairly recent addition to the joy of modelling! 

 

At some point when the phases of the moon are right and the stars are aligned in pleasing manner (or when I actually get all my stuff back home and can be bothered)  I have to have a look at what acrylic paint i have that matches the chips in The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide Vol 2 1940-1949 by John M Elliot Maj. USMC (Ret). which I was lucky enough to obtain at the Aviation Bookshop sale in December. 

 

Boy, there are A LOT of rabbit holes round these days....

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Troy,

 

do note that Dana Bell is preparing a new book about USN colours and camouflage, to be published (hopefully soon) by Classic Warships Publ. in their excellent Aircraft Pictorial line.

 

"The simple two-color scheme that we all no so much about is actually much more complicated that any of us thought." is a quote that sets my brain on fire :D

 

If two colours are complicated, three colours are actually four, and single colour is not single...

 

Can't wait.

 

Vedran

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Well, I tried the Hataka paint but that doesn't look right either :) Way too blue. Tried to darken it a bit by adding some Gunze H2 Black and this resulted in a clogged airbrush so that was that.

 

Third attempt tonight, I'm going to mix the XF-17 with some blue and white to see if I can lighten it to something acceptable :P 

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this was in the 2nd of @Dana Bell  Corsair books

b4c29348caa76eb947c12e45066e69d2.jpg

 

what is interesting is the amount of blues visible!Look at the Mongram guide chips under a halogen light, what is notable is how dark the blues under discussion are, and as an idea, the wing where the panel are open is what a faded GSB is like, but by the star on the other wing is the fresh dark color,  note also the walround here of KD431 

this is the original Gloss Sea Blue paint

 

On 19/01/2019 at 13:58, sroubos said:

 

file

 

As you can see the Bearcat (which has had some rather rude polishing done after the first coat of XF-17) is far right. The Hellcat at the top is done with Gunze H-54 Sea blue, I'not sure what I used for the Corsair and the Panther, but I think it was H-54 as well, I did those before the Hellcat. The Hellcat at the lower left should be ignored because it's really old and I didn't have much of an interest in color accuracy.

from what I can see, the Corsair looks good for fresh GSB

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That photo of the fullsize Corsair illustrates why a fixed light source and observer angle are required for objective comparison, but it's a great study.

 

I'll get the actual colourspace numbers later (my wife is using my computer for gaming right now - mine is the nuclear grade machine) but I would definitely have described the 1944 ANA623 as the greyer, less blue colour than ANA607 based both on the copy I borrowed to match the model paints and my own copy I found and bought later. However, description is only so helpful. Colourspace numbers are what is needed.

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On 19/01/2019 at 14:30, Troy Smith said:

 

the problem, and confusion with Gloss Sea Blue is there are two of them,  1944 to 47,  ANA623 (not ANA607)  to the FS15042

this is best explained by  

@Dana Bell

 

 

 

 

So, if you use enamel, the Colourcoats are the way to go.    For acrylic, I don't know.

I did pick up a copy of the Mongram USN painting guide which has color chips, but I have not had chance to do some comparison with the paints I have. 

Note, the "tri color scheme" has three  blues,  not two,  using a mix of the ANA606 semi gloss and ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue, again, Dana to the rescue

 

tbf_profile01.jpg

 

from https://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/tbf/tbf_profile01.shtml

 

with a list of paints, but how useful the matches are I don't know.

AK interative do a USN set, but no idea again how the matches are

AKI00002230_1_d.jpg

the blurb does not inspire confidence....

 

HTH

Hi Troy,

Does the diagram you posted above also show the NS Sea Blue bordering all around the wings and tails, not just the leading edges?

I have not noticed this before - I always thought it was just the leading edges.

Pat

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8 minutes ago, patmaquette said:

Does the diagram you posted above also show the NS Sea Blue bordering all around the wings and tails, not just the leading edges?

I have not noticed this before - I always thought it was just the leading edges.

Hi Pat

No, Maybe you missed the quote from @Dana Bell  which goes with the diagram

Quote

The scheme is actually four colors - white, Intermediate Blue, Semi-gloss Sea Blue (atop the wings and horizontal tail), and Non-Specular Sea Blue (atop the fuselage and on leading edges of the wings and stabs). The last two colors differ in more than the gloss factor - non-spec is distinctly grayer and lighter than the semi-gloss. I generally refer to the scheme as 4-color to clarify the differences.

There was a later version where all of the paints were glossy - it wasn't seen often, but it certainly was a three-color scheme.

Cheers,

Dana

 

I merely stand on the shoulder of giants on this one,  ( I got one of Dana's books when I was 16, which was erm,  over 35 years ago, and it was one of the first real reference books I got and I learnt an awful lot from it, and it taught me the value of a well selected image) but the more often this information gets flagged up, the more the correct information is used, creating a positive feedback.   the old LEMB site had a motto "I learn, you learn, we all learn" 

 

 

This reminded me, that previously I'd found online some decent shots, this is a good one

 

Grumman-F6F-3-Hellcat-Time-Life-color-ph

not super clear, but if you look closely you can see the glossy paint on the main part of the wing and the matter finish of the leading edge.

looking at the site  I linked this from

https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Hellcat/F6F-3.html

note the star reflection on the wing, and the lack of shine on the leading edge

Grumman-F6F-3-Hellcat-Air-Group-32-White

 

HTH

T

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Thanks, Troy.

I'm building the Trumpeter 1/32 TBF at the moment - it has been a long project. So I'm watching this thread with a lot of interest for when the time comes to slap some paint on,

Pat

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The photos in your link are interesting - the top one is much darker and almost similar to the XF-17 I used, the lower one is far lighter and matches the Hataka paint quite well.

 

Similar with the photos of the Hellcats in the three color scheme above: The top GSB color is very much a lighter version than on some of the kits posted earlier.

 

I understand now there are different GSBs out there, I didn't realize the later variant is so much darker than the earlier one, or am I confusing things here?

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8 hours ago, sroubos said:

The photos in your link are interesting - the top one is much darker and almost similar to the XF-17 I used, the lower one is far lighter and matches the Hataka paint quite well.

 

Similar with the photos of the Hellcats in the three color scheme above: The top GSB color is very much a lighter version than on some of the kits posted earlier.

 

I understand now there are different GSBs out there, I didn't realize the later variant is so much darker than the earlier one, or am I confusing things here?

As Dana has noted, the earlier GSB weathered/faded much quicker and more significantly than the later one, so there are at least three GSBs: new early, weathered early, and later...

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For what is is worth I use Humbrol 15 and have been happy with how it looks

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I've tried some more dark blues and I've settled on the Hataka after all... it's weird stuff, I thinned it with isopropyl alchohol which worked fine at the start but started to clog up towards the end, so I had to clean out my H&S and fill it again. I'll need to do some buffing but I'll post some comparison shots this weekend. I think it came out pretty well.

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On 1/23/2019 at 6:59 AM, hsr said:

For what is is worth I use Humbrol 15 and have been happy with how it looks

Strictly speaking too light & too blue. I've seen quite a good result from adding black H33 to Hu 15 in about 1:5 ratio 33:15. Good as in looks OK on the model, no idea how close it is to the standard but as we've seen, that is a very much a moving target. In any case, as long as you're happy with what you're seeing then its all cool. :)

Steve.

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Right, this build seems to be cursed. I managed to get a satisfactory coat of Sea Blue from the Hataka bottle on my Bearcat and wanted to do some quiet decalling, but they disintegrated.

 

It doesn't help that I chose to build an F8F-2 and not a 1 as the vast majority of aftermarket stuff seems to be for the -1 :(

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Right, on the home stretch with this one. It's not going to be a show winner but then I've never built a show winner so I suppose that's not really saying very much ;) Not my best work though I'm happy to get it done.

 

I got a set of PrintScale decals but they weren't that great, extremely thin and the white is very translucent on the dark blue background. Not much I can do about that. Hoping to get it done tonight.

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Whenever the white is not strong enough I either use two layers of decal or handpaint the white area with thin enamel - it‘s less difficult than it sounds.

Good luck with the final sprint.

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