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Peter Roberts

Vimy G-EAOU colour - NIVO?

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WW1 is not a strength, especially colours, so I post hoping for help with this

 

I am planning a build of the Vickers Vimy, G-EAOU, used by the Smith brothers, Bennett and Shiers to fly from England to Australia.

 

It appears to be overall a dark green. Is this the NIVO colour that is sometimes referred to for later WW1 aircraft?

 

Is there a colour straight out of the bottle/tin that is a good match?

 

TIA - any help appreciated

 

PR

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I don't think the Smith Vimy was NIVO.......that's the flat grey/green colour used, probably most famously, on the Handley-Page Heyford 1930s bomber.  It's not known for certain that it was even used on WW1 era aircraft like the HP O/400 or Vimy.

Some recent sources suggest they were more likely PC10 or 12.

 

I don't know if the Smith plane has been repainted, but the museum photos I've seen suggest it's a glossy olive green shade.  Probably not the military finish (PC10 ; a khaki-brown shade) , as that wouldn't have been applied on the lower surfaces, which were usually clear doped.    So my best guess is that it had some non-military repaint at some point, which may or may not have used military dopes.....

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As I recall, there was a long running disagreement on whether PC10 was green or brown, with decent evidence on both sides.  This was eventually settled (I thought) by accepting that both existed, as there had been a variety of paint manufacturers and little or no central control.  So it is possible that it was both PC10 and green.  Or at least greenish.

 

 NIVO was Night Invisible Varnish Orfordness, named after trials in 1919.  Given time for overall production and adoption, it is very unlikely to have been carried on a Vimy.  After all, something would have to be done about the large stocks of PC10 in stores!

 

I wonder if night bombers such as the Vimy wouldn't have been painted with PC10 undersides, which was certainly the norm on the later overall NIVO bombers.

 

Which doesn't rule out some other green.  If Handley Page could find pink paint for a O/7, Vickers could surely find a green for a Vimy.  At additional cost, of course...

 

 

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This doesn't help the original poster I'm afraid, but is tangentially relevant. I've prepared a sheet with 9 samples of model paints purporting to represent PC10. Not exhaustive, just what I had to hand. It will be on the Great War SIG table at Telford if we have room. Not annotated yet, but from left to right, top to bottom, we have Colourcoats, Humbrol 155 and 159 (sometimes reccommended by Wingnuts), Humbrol 98 (also according to Wingnuts), a 1973 issue Humbrol Authentic RFC Green, Tamiya 62 (Wingnuts again), Hataka acrylic, and AK Interactive acrylic, early and late PC10. There are also mixtures given by various kit manufacturers, but by this point I was losing the will to live. Paint is brushed over Halfords grey plastic primer on an ancient sheet of 30 thou plastic card. The right hand side of each sample has Johnsons Klear/Future brushed on roughly.

 

414328728.jpg

 

If Mr Roberts does, for whatever reason, decide to go with NIVO, Xtracolour do a nice one out of the can.

 

Paul.

Edited by Paul Thompson
Missed out a bit.

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I found that the Humbrol RFC Green was a near ideal match for the Dark Green on RAF Jaguars.  I do however recall one WW1 pilot writing that when we saw wreckage falling through the sky, he could tell the brightly coloured German ones from the brown British ones.  (I think that he said chocolate brown, but maybe not.)  This was on RFC Camels.

 

I am pretty sure that this was in Winged Victory by V M Yeates.  However the two editions I have since bought were both notably abridged from the hardback I read from Horden library when it was re-issued in the late 50s/early 60s.  Notably the political chat in the mess and some of the medical talk, but without access to the original I can't tell what else.  And maybe it actually was in another book, but I've never re-found it anywhere else either.

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Graham, shows how variable personal accounts could be. I've read many accounts when the pilot or groundcrew refered to RFC/RAF aircraft as green or brown, and some as khaki. IIRC it's in Sagitarius Rising that Cecil Lewis refers to green SE5 or SE5as. Combined with weather exposure and chemical aging effects, even in the short service life of most wartime aircraft, and the tendency of khaki to look greenish or brownish depending on lighting and the eye of the beholder, it makes for a massive wormy can. From a model makers perspective I'm happy if the result looks different to me on different days, which is why I still sometimes use Ray Rimell's ancient recommendation of a mix of Humbrol darl earth and black. You'd be suprised how green that can seem in direct sunlight, although I usually add a touch of Humbrol 155 0r 159. For the moment though, I like the Authentic RFC green i recently got off Ebay, for so long as it lasts.

 

For the sake of relevance to the origina; topic (apologies for digressing), I really do like Xtracolor Nivo. I've tried the Mister Kit colour but think it's too light. I must agree thought that continued use of a military paint on a civilian airframe seems unlikely.

 

Paul.

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I entirely agree.  I'd just like to track down the source of the original comment.

 

Repainting an aircraft costs time and money, adding weight.  Why do it if you don't need to?  Especially then.  Not sure that military paint wouldn't have been available anyway, not least at the manufacturers.  Everything else was being sold off.

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Well given that it still exists allowing for a restoration after being damaged in a fire. The original has to be a definitive reference. Looking at some colour photos of it. Some are very green some with a brownish tinge. PC10 perhaps? Any of our antipodean members fancy a trip to check it out? 

 

It was a late production Vimy which never saw service so PC10 seems likely. But when did Nivo appear? The RAF museum Vimy replica is said to be painted Nivo on various websites. 

 

Wingnut Wings recommend XF 62 from Tamiya for PC 10.

 

Edited by noelh

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Hello all. Thank you very much for all the replies! Most appreciated.

 

From the above I would say it is unlikely to be NIVO. RFC Green sounds like a good candidate. That Tamiya reference, Noel, is close. Then again, the plane itself is quite glossy with a variety of surfaces that all seem to reflect a bit differently. They had an open day at the Memorial a little while back but I neglected to take my FS fan deck with me! Even if no match it could have been a possible starting point.

 

The fuselage, tail-planes and lower inner main-planes are 'original' (note the difference in finish of the fuselage compared to the front of the cowling in the colour photo in the article below). It has gone through at least one restoration but I don't know if this involved a complete repaint. I haven't checked yet but the registration letters look a bit neater than the original and are missing the huge number of signatures that were apparently scrawled on them during the flight. Washed off by weather, cleaned off, or repainted?

 

I did try to post a picture, but obviously did something wrong (I'll have a look at the instructions for that - apparently instructions help :) ). This link has a good colour photo of the Vimy as it is now. RFC green?

 

https://acesflyinghigh.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/ross-keith-smith-the-1919-england-to-australia-air-race/

 

Again, many thanks all.

 

PR

Edited by Peter Roberts

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Just did a search on the options and Aviattic have a 'Dark PC 10' green decal which seems to be close, so will run with that one.

 

Thank you to all who responded,

 

Thanks

 

PR

Edited by Peter Roberts

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