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Dewoitine D.520 color confusion


MeneMene

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Hello everyone-

 

I'm putting together some research for a future French D.520 build and am having lots of confusion with the colors.

 

From what I understand, the primary colors of the camouflage scheme was Gris Bleu Clair on the underside. The top consisted of Gris Bleu Fonce, Kaki, and Brun. The last two are where I've been having the most confusion, I've seen references to Vert Fonce instead of the Kaki, and Terre de Sienne instead of the Brun. These seem to have been alternate colors- how do I know if I should use them instead?

 

As for finding paints for these colors, I'm trying to find equivalents of Tamiya, Mr Color, or MRP. So far, I have:

 

Gris Bleu Clair: FS35189, XF-23

Gris Bleu Fonce: FS35164, C366

Kaki: FS34087, C304. Vert is apparently FS34223?

Brun: FS30099, still trying to figure out a good match. Terre de Sienne is apparently FS30108?

Bleu de Nuit (for the cockpit): FS35044, MRP US Insignia Blue

 

Does anyone have any corrections or guidance for the above, especially the green and brown colors? Thank you in advance for any help.

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From "notice technique avion Dewoitine D520, paragraphe "protection", ed 1940:
- underside(& wheel well, oleo strut) : "Gris bleu clair"(this colour is darker on the early D520 and replaced by a lighter shade on late a/c)
- topside camo:  "Kaki, Brun mat & Gris bleu foncé"
- Interior: bleu de nuit(midnight blue) since Dec 39: cockpit walls(between frame 3 to 5), flooring, rudder pedals, seat, seat cushion, control stick,...the metal parts were primed with one coat of  "Chamois"/ (the button at the top of control stick was natural aluminium, it was the brake control)
- instrument board: "Bleu de nuit": two coats.(In the earlier D520, the cockpit was painted "Gris bleu").
- Interior: "Chamois"(light tan): all area no visible from exterior as cargo compartment
 Breguet & Morane saulnier specify the same shades for Br 691 & 693(jun 39), MS 406, as stipuled by the circular of french air ministry, I never read in offcial text that Vert foncé, terre de Sienne could be replace Kaki & Brun mat.

 

Bleu de Nuit on stiffener of D520 cockpit, we can see the "Chamois" undercoat

Humbrol 189, MoLak midnight blue, Molak Gloss Sea blue

the background is grey 18%, neutral

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"Chamois"

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Edited by BS_w
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Although not a D.520, here's a pic of a Finnish C.714 in this scheme with the original French paint in which it was delivered.spacer.png

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Look in Ehrengardt's excellent new work Camouflage & Marques de l'Aviation Francaise 1939-45, pages 30-31, Circulaire Numero 1422, 6th December 1938.

 

"...on utilise un melange avec les teintes Kaki  ou gris-bleu claire mates, les produit mats suivant: blanc, noir, sienne naturelle, vert, ombre calcinee, bleu, rouge...."

 

Further, it became clear that French camouflages were too dark, so lighter colours were introduced, although seemingly on MS406 initially rather than the D520.  A lighter colour was to be seen on D520s intended for service overseas, but this may only have been seen post Armistice.

 

 

 

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a letter of air ministry, 11th may 1939, specifies a new color chart with authorized shades which will be used for metal protection and camouflage.(color chart of Service Technique et de Recherche Scientifique de l'Aéronautique)
Probably these directives supersedes the circular 1422 december 38.
May be this explain the paint specifications given by Dewoitine, Breguet, Liore Olivier, Morane, their specifications dating after mid 39.
These letter was found the last year

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  • 2 years later...

Hello everyone,
I am revisiting old posts dealing with D.520 since I am planning a build of few of 520s myself and would like to collect the updated intel with the latest research. I have ordered few additional (newere) magazines & books but before they arrive I wonder if you would be able to help me with few extra things:

I find contradicting info about the cockpits:
_Was it painted in Bleu de nuit (midnight blue) from the 1st production machine or was it painted differently in the beginning (Gris bleu)?
_Was instrument panel painted with two layers of Bleu de nuit or was it painted Black as some sources state? I saw a set of photos of original D.520 that does show it with more neutral hue on the instrument panel (but I wonder if the reason for this was heavier application of Bleu de Nuit that make it look "darker" creating this effect?

For the exterior - Is there any new confirmation that Khaki & Brun were replaced by Vert foncé (dark green) & Terre de Sienne (Sienna) colors? As also mentioned above, in early 1940 it was noticed that fighter aircraft are looking darker than expected (Graham is mentioning this above too) & they wanted to brighten them up? Sienna coloro is of redish hue & brighter than Matt Brown & Vert foncé was supposed to be more saturated & more "real" green than Kakhi.

if the letter that BS_w mentions confirms this change - would that mean that aircraft built on a later date would be in these new colors?

So many questions from me :) Forgive me please!

Best,
Milos

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Les Ailes is currently running a series on French camouflage and markings - this point ha not yet arisen but if it is in No.4 you may find out before I do.

 

I don't recall this suggestion appearing in Ehrengradt's recent book on the subject.

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4 hours ago, Milos Gazdic said:



I find contradicting info about the cockpits:
_Was it painted in Bleu de nuit (midnight blue) from the 1st production machine or was it painted differently in the beginning (Gris bleu)?
_Was instrument panel painted with two layers of Bleu de nuit or was it painted Black as some sources state? I saw a set of photos of original D.520 that does show it with more neutral hue on the instrument panel (but I wonder if the reason for this was heavier application of Bleu de Nuit that make it look "darker" creating this effect?
 

about D520 cockpit

 

 

early aurplane has cockpit painted in "gris bleu"

 

wreckages  N° 2, the part (4) is a sliding frame of hood(interior surface)

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from dec 1939, the color "bleu de nuit" was specified for cockpit interior

stiffener of N° 251

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Instrument panel D 520, the erection maintenance manual 1940 :

one coat chanmois primer then two coat "bleu de nuit" (Dewoitine not follow the AA spe...)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

I don't recall this suggestion appearing in Ehrengradt's recent book on the subject.

Knowing that things travel for a month or so to Shanghai, you might get the magazine before me Graham :) And I need to bother my wife to translate it for me... not something she really enjoys much :)
And I see I need to make another purchase... again something my wife doesn't enjoy much... I would be better of with a husband I think :)

And once again thanks for clarifications & great image of Nº2's cockpit parts!

Best,
Milos - ordering that book too as he types this

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After like one and a half hours spent on the net today, trying to find the shop that has the book & that would ship it for less than 30€ I gave up :(
Bookstores where I buy, either don't have a title or the shipping is just way too expensive

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  • 2 years later...

(Reposting from Hyperscale so people on this forum can follow too!)


Hello!
I hope you don't mind me reviving the old post, but I prefer to keep related things under the singular thread so they are more easily searchable...


As you may know (based on many posts in the past dealing with it), I am obsessed with Dewoitine D.520, and I have been preparing for a series of builds based on the Tamiya 1/48 kit. I also hope that Dora Wings will scale down their planned 1/32 kit and make it into my preferred scale with possible options for all variants and all the small differences between the whole production series. Otherwise, I have to bother @BS_w for his resin upgrades and push him to redo them again :).

As I am starting with the project, I have built two "test mules" in out of a box manner to understand all the issues I might be facing with the kit's assembly & to remind myself of how it builds in general since I built the last one 7-8 years ago. 

I have also started spraying my chart of useful colours for the project. I exclusively use Mr Color paints in my modelling, and I have based all my chips on this line of products. 

2533134_b01f0d108b8f32e50ab023a043b2e097

 

The chart was sprayed with Gunze's Mr Color paints. Code numbers are listed under each chip. If you cannot read my writing, it goes:
29 - 41 - 131 - 42
X - 55 - 12 - 304
X - 366 - 305 - 37
337 - 306 - 307 - 376
118 - 117 - 35 - 97
TBC!
 

I hope this can be useful for others. I am attaching the chips I have created so far. I am waiting for a new C55 to arrive (the one I have is almost gone and dead, but I have sprayed it anyway) and for C367, which was suggested in several online threads. I will also make some mixes of my own and spray them.
The colours were sprayed on a matt (quite porose) KT board. I masked the squares but didn't press the tape too strongly, afraid it might lift the KT's surface. 
The photo was taken in a room with ceiling windows and strong diffusion shutters under daylight, and the white balance was further neutralized. It should be acceptable to most. 
The Iliad Design Color Chart is the ONLY colour chart I have for French Colours in my possession. :( I have used it as a reference for comparison. It is missing Brun, among many other colours, in the Vitocharts colour guide or Aero Edition's chart (both visible on the Hyperscale link above). Still, at the same time, Illiad does not mention Brun in their instructions either as a top colour used on fighters before WWII, during fights with the Luftwaffe, and the Armistice. Based on the scans of these two charts posted on the Hyperscale, some colours have a small difference in hue and saturation. Still, it is all in the same "ballpark", especially if one chooses his approach to the story & sticks to it for "consistency", which is my goal (or, in case of making variations, to have an explanation behind those variations, due to low standardisation in French colour industry prior and during to WWII).

More to follow. I'm looking forward to hearing your takes & conclusions. 

Another QUESTION: Was Aluminium Mat ever used as a lower surface on MS406 and D.520? 

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Colourcoats still do some French colours as follows albeit they are being discontinued so you need to snap them up:

 

Vert Fonce (Ivy Green)

Chocolat (Burnt Sienna) 

Gris Bleu Ciel

 

HTH.

 

Pat.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/6/2019 at 12:39 AM, Graham Boak said:

Further, it became clear that French camouflages were too dark, so lighter colours were introduced, although seemingly on MS406 initially rather than the D520.  A lighter colour was to be seen on D520s intended for service overseas, but this may only have been seen post Armistice.

Hello @Graham Boak, have you ever seen any actual confirmation of the use of "lighter" colours on D.520? And did you ever, by any chance, see the undersides of D.520 in Matt Aluminum? I know both were suggested but I never seen anyone confirming it. Sometimes some of the machines look brighter when I look at them but I worry it would be wrong to assume that the Vert was for instance introduced instead of Kaki & so on...
TIA
Milos

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5 hours ago, Milos Gazdic said:

Hello @Graham Boak, have you ever seen any actual confirmation of the use of "lighter" colours on D.520? And did you ever, by any chance, see the undersides of D.520 in Matt Aluminum? I know both were suggested but I never seen anyone confirming it. Sometimes some of the machines look brighter when I look at them but I worry it would be wrong to assume that the Vert was for instance introduced instead of Kaki & so on...
TIA
Milos

 

it seems there were two shade of Gris bleu clair, the first was darker than second.

Found this in a note about the paint on D551

"however the light blue gray shade of the lower parts will be significantly lighter than on the first D 520 aircraft",

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Thanks, Waroff, for this additional info.
I will write to Iliad Design since it's them that suggest the use of Matt Alu for the lower surfaces in later times (but it's not clear if it's suggested for D.520 or other types!) So I will ask what they have from the info. 
When looking at the interpretations of D.520s in profiles & models, colours are all over the place. I know that French color industry was not the strictest of all but at the same time it looks like 50 factories (and not two) produced & painted all these airframes :)
 

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I fear that you will find a similar variation in profiles for whatever nation's subject you choose to study closely.  The Zero, for example.

 

As to your direct question, I can only state what I see in my collection of reputable French works on the subject.  I quoted from the latest and certainly the most readily available.  I also have series of articles on the subject from Fanatique de L'Aviation and Replic. but it would take considerable time to find the relevant comments, if any.  The articles in Les Ailes unfortunately (for us) have concentrated on prewar principles and examples.

 

PS  It would take some time because I read French with all the facility of a native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne who last encountered language lessons in 1963.  (GCE Grade 4, 6 being barely scraping a pass.)  To be fair, I was helped by Jean Deprez of Model Art introducing me to the early Air Fan, and continued if irregular reading of French aviation and modelling magazines.  Fortunately the language of WW2 Aviation is fairly straightforward to understand, with the help of multi-lingual captions and an occasional resort to a dictionary.  However I cannot interpret subtleties of meaning or even, at times, tense.   

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21 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

I fear that you will find a similar variation in profiles for whatever nation's subject you choose to study closely.  The Zero, for example.

I agree, Graham. But somehow, when I see variations in some of the subjects, I still see "pattern" or a modeller's wish to portray a certain colour. With D.520, it seems so many times that people portray different colours. 

 

21 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

As to your direct question, I can only state what I see in my collection of reputable French works on the subject.  I quoted from the latest and certainly the most readily available.  I also have series of articles on the subject from Fanatique de L'Aviation and Replic. but it would take considerable time to find the relevant comments, if any.  The articles in Les Ailes unfortunately (for us) have concentrated on prewar principles and examples.

Yes, I understand fully. I was just wondering if you stumbled upon something since some articles are more readily available for you than for me in China. However, I try to chase all these issues & order them whenever possible. Unlike you, who struggles with French - I am totally lost case. I use digital apps & gadgets to help me translate pages... That's how I even translated whole Docavia D.520 book :))) Complete. 

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21 hours ago, GiampieroSilvestri said:

Ciao Giampiero,
Just checked this. It's a good color chart & this is a good scan. I had it in slightly lower res & without the last two pages with references for those older modeler colors. Thank you!

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