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Phantome

Munsell values for RAF wartime colors

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Hello folks,

 

Does anyone know of a resource (preferably online but book is fine) that has generally accepted Munsell values for the RAF wartime colors? I figure this something in the Nick Millmann line of expertise but surely there must be something available for public consumption out there? I'm thinking of something along the lines of the Official Monogram USN books that had the US ANA colors in a  nice little table at the end.

Thanks!

Edited by Phantome

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9 hours ago, Phantome said:

surely there must be something available for public consumption out there? 

BS 381C quotes Munsell values for most of the post-war colours of the same names as the wartime MAP colours, but of course those are not the standards to which MAP wartime paints were made.  I have not seen a wartime MAP reference quoting Munsell colours but it's possible such things cropped up in correspondence relating to batch testing for specific paints.

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Are you interested in a certain color range, or all of them? I have the RAF Museum series book on camouflage and markings with the color chips and can spectrometrically measure them for you. My measurement software can report Munsell values.

Edited by Rolls-Royce

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A six year old thread had @Nick Millman  offering a pdf file of MAP paint colour standards.  Not sure if the offer is still available or if these were Munsell values.

See post #7 in below link:

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

1 hour ago, Rolls-Royce said:

Are you interested in a certain color range, or all of them? I have the RAF Museum series book on camouflage and markings with the color chips and can spectrometrically measure them for you. My measurement software can report Munsell values.

 

Currently am curious about roundel colours (both bright and dull), so that is an interesting offer.  Would you be able to post a digital (RGB) sample as well?  If only numerical values are posted, not sure what I can do with them as I don't possess a Munsell book of colours.    Is there an online converter for Munsell to RGB?

 

 

regards,

Jack

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1 hour ago, JackG said:

A six year old thread had @Nick Millman  offering a pdf file of MAP paint colour standards.  Not sure if the offer is still available or if these were Munsell values.

See post #7 in below link:

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Currently am curious about roundel colours (both bright and dull), so that is an interesting offer.  Would you be able to post a digital (RGB) sample as well?  If only numerical values are posted, not sure what I can do with them as I don't possess a Munsell book of colours.    Is there an online converter for Munsell to RGB?

 

 

regards,

Jack

I think it would be enormously useful to the modelling community to have this info so if anyone wants a crack at this, I'll be the first to give a massive thanks.

 

I have a copy of the IWM book but no proper equipment to do this and my current values are based on a scan which I've calibrated to get what "looks best"... hardly a professional solution. If anyone has more professional equipment, that would be better!

 

And yes, there is a Munsell to RGB online converter with the only caveat that the second value just goes one decimal point and the third value in multiples of 0.5. I did run all the US ANA colors on it and was nevertheless hugely pleased with the results.

 

EDIT: Forgot to link the converter, http://pteromys.melonisland.net/munsell/

 

 

 

 

Edited by Phantome

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3 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

BS 381C quotes Munsell values for most of the post-war colours of the same names as the wartime MAP colours, but of course those are not the standards to which MAP wartime paints were made.  I have not seen a wartime MAP reference quoting Munsell colours but it's possible such things cropped up in correspondence relating to batch testing for specific paints.

Yup, that's why I would prefer the values for the wartime chips! Post-war Sky looks considerably different (yellower) than the wartime shade for example....

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3 hours ago, Rolls-Royce said:

Are you interested in a certain color range, or all of them? I have the RAF Museum series book on camouflage and markings with the color chips and can spectrometrically measure them for you. My measurement software can report Munsell values.

That would be fab, but let's wait a day or two to see if @Nick Millman pops up in this thread as I would bet that he has the values already or knows a source. My only caveat with using the book is that it is quite old and the colors have likely changed over the decades. It would still be a huge step up to my scan, though! :)

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8 hours ago, JackG said:

A six year old thread had @Nick Millman  offering a pdf file of MAP paint colour standards.  Not sure if the offer is still available or if these were Munsell values.

See post #7 in below link:

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Currently am curious about roundel colours (both bright and dull), so that is an interesting offer.  Would you be able to post a digital (RGB) sample as well?  If only numerical values are posted, not sure what I can do with them as I don't possess a Munsell book of colours.    Is there an online converter for Munsell to RGB?

 

 

regards,

Jack

Phantome gave a link for a converter, so that's covered. I can give sRGB numbers as well, but what you see would be based on how accurate your monitor is. Munsell books only give the color values in integers, while a majority of the colors will measure out to fractional (decimal) values. So a book will only give you a range that that color falls in.

BTW, Nick's MAP work is available in .pdf form by contacting him at his website. It does have color swatches, Munsell values, and the closest FS and RAL equivalents. For the last two, he also gives dE2000 values, which tell you how far away from the actual color the quoted equivalent is, with a dE of 2.0 being very close. It has tons of background info on the paints and also features JackG's bright and dull roundel colors. It's professionally done and would be a much better reference for you than my humble efforts.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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Didn't Scale Models publish a colour guide that quoted Munsell values of a range of camouflage colours? It might still be around on Ebay. Scale Colour, if I remember correctly. 

 

John 

 

Edit

  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SCALE-MODELS-EXTRA-MODEL-COLOUR-MAGAZINE-HINTS-TECHNIQUES-DATA-/202791529604

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Scale Models did not use Munsell values but Methuen ones, which were commonly used in printing.  They were available in a very nice little book containing them all.  One of the editions (2nd?) included a table of Munsell equivalents.  The Munsell system permits more intense hues than the Methuen one, something not normally required in camouflage colours.

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8 hours ago, Phantome said:

That would be fab, but let's wait a day or two to see if @Nick Millman pops up in this thread as I would bet that he has the values already or knows a source. My only caveat with using the book is that it is quite old and the colors have likely changed over the decades. It would still be a huge step up to my scan, though! :)

Sadly, it appears you are right about the book's chips changing. The Dull Red color is pretty far off between Nick Millman's work and the book, with a dE hovering right at 4.0 over several runs. The Bright Red is much better, with Nick stating 5R 4.0/120 and the book's color chip reading at 5.3R 3.8/11.7, with a dE of 1.95, definitely in the ballpark. I didn't go any further.

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William Marshal of SA Colours and Markings (he has a facebook page) did a digital listing with both RGB and CMYK equivalents of various colours used during WWII. I have also seen that the colour chip cards of BSC381C - 1964 issue had Munsell (and approximates) on them. Sorry no red or blue in the cards I have seen.

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14 hours ago, Phantome said:

That would be fab, but let's wait a day or two to see if @Nick Millman pops up in this thread

Nick has not posted on BM for more than two years so I wouldn't hold your breath

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22 hours ago, JackG said:

A six year old thread had @Nick Millman  offering a pdf file of MAP paint colour standards.  Not sure if the offer is still available or if these were Munsell values.

 

regards,

Jack

Nick offers his MAP/RAF Paint Colour Standards 1939-451 PDF file on his Aviation of Japan blog for 12.99 pounds (can't find the symbol), He give the values in FS, Munsel, and RAL. If you are interested in purchasing a copy he's been a bit busy with family so might be a bit before he gets back to you.

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17 minutes ago, nsmekanik said:

Nick offers his MAP/RAF Paint Colour Standards 1939-451 PDF file on his Aviation of Japan blog for 12.99 pounds (can't find the symbol), He give the values in FS, Munsel, and RAL. If you are interested in purchasing a copy he's been a bit busy with family so might be a bit before he gets back to you.

That is excellent, I'll send him an e-mail.

 

Thanks everyone :)

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Emailed Nick yesterday, but given the time of year, wouldn't expect a quick response.

 

In the meantime, one can use google, with search parameters Britmodeller Munsell, along with the specific color name you are looking for.  I've been able to find both Bright and Dull Red as quoted by Nick in these forums.

 

regards,

Jack

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About the linked online converter for Munsell to RGB,  it was mentioned  the chroma values (the last input set of numbers)  can only be adjusted in increments of 0.5 - so did a little test to see how crucial this is. 

 

siIELW5.png

 

Using Nick's reading for roundel bright red as an example,  I find (at least for this particular color choice) that -/+ 0.5 results in a difference that is very difficult to detect.   

 

 

regards,

Jack

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As an aside, Nick lists two Munsell callouts for most if not all the colors in his MAP .pdf. The first is his own, I think, while the second, in parentheses, is from another reference.  Bright Red 12%, for instance, is shown as Munsell 8 R 3.4/11.3 (5 R 4/12*), with the asterisk indicating its origin in the other reference.

 

Unfortunately, the software I use does not yet allow direct entry of Munsell values, so I cannot use it to generate RGB numbers from someone else's findings.

The closest I could come online for Nick's Bright Red was 8R 3.4/11.5, at 156, 26, 28.

Edited by Rolls-Royce

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It's not clear what the OP wants with Munsell values exactly and it's none of my business really - but the reason you'll get different quoted Munsell references for the same colour is because Munsell introduces a large degree of subjectivity by inviting the observer, who's eyes stand a good chance of being defective anyway given the demographic we have here (aging males, mostly), viewed in unspecified lighting conditions and then to guesstimate an interpolation between swatches. For anyone to then use the Munsell reference multiplies the potential error by requiring them to do all the same in reverse from a value that likely already has error built in.

 

Personally I absolutely loathe Munsell, and it would be my joint last resort along with Methuen. I'd never use it if I had an alternative and even then would treat a Munsell reference as indicative at best.

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Hmm, I always assumed Nick was measuring with some kind of instrument and not the Mark I eyeball when posting his Munsell values?   Then again, searching through past threads I do see he has changed some values for the same paint, usually with not too much variation.

 

Anyhow, have taken the new Bright Red 12% value (what does the 12% represent?) as supplied by member Rolls-Royce, and it has an interesting comparison with the earlier value. For kicks, have thrown in Paul Lucas FS approximate for Bright Red.

 

uTFrGNr.png

 

regards,

Jack

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Jack, according to Nick's MAP document, the 12% refers to reflectivity.

If Nick is using a spectrophotometer, as I suspect he is, it's not unusual to get some small differences in readings from time to time. The repeatability specifications for these instruments are not tight enough to preclude it. 

Edited by Rolls-Royce

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8 hours ago, JackG said:

Hmm, I always assumed Nick was measuring with some kind of instrument and not the Mark I eyeball when posting his Munsell values?   Then again, searching through past threads I do see he has changed some values for the same paint, usually with not too much variation.

 

Anyhow, have taken the new Bright Red 12% value (what does the 12% represent?) as supplied by member Rolls-Royce, and it has an interesting comparison with the earlier value. For kicks, have thrown in Paul Lucas FS approximate for Bright Red.

 

uTFrGNr.png

 

regards,

Jack

 

Nick does indeed use a proper spectrophotometer which measures properly then from there one can back-calculate to Munsell. That still leaves a possible visual error in the user actually looking at the Munsell Book of Color. The point is though that the original and traditional use of Munsell is literally eye-balling your colour against their matrix and when it lands between their chips, as it invariably does, you guesstimate how far between them it is. Nick's credentials wouldn't be in question here - but the sources/origins of Munsell values in general should always be questioned.

 

6 hours ago, Rolls-Royce said:

Jack, according to Nick's MAP document, the 12% refers to reflectivity.

If Nick is using a spectrophotometer, as I suspect he is, it's not unusual to get some small differences in readings from time to time. The repeatability specifications for these instruments are not tight enough to preclude it. 

 

Indeed, the 12% is Light Reflectance Value (LRV) or Reflection Factor RF).

 

 

 

Other readers should note (it's a common point of confusion) that LRV/RF has nothing to do with glossiness of the finish* and is entirely a measure of the amount of source light that is not absorbed and is therefore reflected by the colour. The purest of pure black is 0%, whilst black paint is about 2.5~3% typically, white paint usually around 80% and theoretical purest of pure white is 100%.

 

Edited to add some visual aids (these are, incidently, WW2 Royal Navy camouflage paint tones reduced to zero colour saturation to make them all monochrome greys, but maintaining their Light Reflectance Values):

e866da0c-02fa-4d12-8d22-ff48a8fa9855.png

d8fcccc6-bc1b-40f1-8006-c98aab26405d.png

c5e2850b-10bd-4dd0-a1af-3547105d75ff.png

621f513b-b985-4359-a752-7207d4caa9f8.png

7034bfe0-c41f-4140-bdb7-24ce7b2b437d.png

d18da29c-6cf8-4e50-aceb-9dcfd38e90f0.png

c24e98ab-ee3d-49a3-8196-2d9aa8114197.png

 

 

 

 

 

*Glossiness can affect the result, hence proper objective colour measurement requires a known, fixed and consistent Observation Angle which has been standardised on 10degrees for around half a century. It was 2degrees before that which had some weaknesses with very glossy finishes, but this isn't really a problem with typical military type paints so older measurements can still be regarded as much better than anyone's eye-balling.

 

 

If it's of any interest, I own 2 copies of the RAF museum chips from different editions / different covers on the book etc. The chips are all practical matches for one another - there's no apparent difference between them.

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Jamie, I agree with everything you have said, with only one caveat: for those with no hard references such as actual parts, paint chips, etc to match to, things such as Munsell references can be useful. It is, after all a form of shorthand for transmitting color information from one user to another, and far more detailed than phrases such as "bluish purple".

However, conversion to RGB is fraught with uncertainty. Jack, please note that the RGB numbers derived for a color calculated from Munsell and probably other standards as well will vary - sometimes considerably - based on the RGB colorspace and illuminant (the color of white your display is set for, in this case) selected for the conversion. The Munsell notation itself doesn't change during this process, but the RGB values sure do!

 

BTW, is anyone else finding this discussion very interesting? I am! :D

Edited by Rolls-Royce

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Absolutely to the immediate above.  Also at the mercy of whoever  wrote the program that converts Munsell to sRGB.  Note on the web page for the converter, one of the sources is wikipedia.

 

 

regards,

Jack

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