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Curtiss P-6E Hawk - What shade of blue ?

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Hi - I've finally got to the painting stage of the Olimp Curtiss P6E Hawk.  The yellow is getting there (!) however the instructions I have do not give any detail for the fuselage blue.

 

I'm not having much luck on the internet. I've found reference to USAAC Light Blue and Air Corps Blue. I imagine this could possibly be a bit of a minefield having seen various shades of blue on Boeing P 26A Peashooters.

 

Any thoughts? (I mainly use enamels)

 

 

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As Im a bit of a fan of Interwar aircraft and Im trying to learn more this is a very good question, thank you for asking it ? 
 

Dennis

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This is indeed a minefield, maybe @Dana Bell can help.

 

A definite answer will probably never be possible. If the date of your drawing (1937) is correct then we are in the middle of the conversion of colour standards from the former Army Light Blue 23 to the new A/N True Blue standard (1938). During this period a lot of colour composition trials were conducted by the paint manufacturers to meet the service requirements. Light Blue 23 is a greyish blue while True Blue is the saturated medium blue Navy section colour.

Since all P-6E were originally painted in Olive Drab 22 this example had been repainted some time after 1934. Freeman/Starmer depict it in Light Blue 23. Wright Field was the issuer of colour standards and tests, so can we assume that the latest proposition, i.e. True Blue was applied??

If you want to build any other P-6E different standards, e.g. olive drab, need to be taken into consideration!

 

Btw, the yellow you used is too light (never trust the box art!). Army Yellow 4 was a strong orange-yellow, and the later A/N Orange Yellow was a little less dark, but still not lemon-like. The colour of your wings as they appear on my screen would be closer to the original yellow of Navy wings.

 

Sources: Archer, the Official Monogram Army Air Service & Air Corps Aircraft Color Guide; Freeman/Starmer, Wings of Stars; Bell, Air Force Colors Vol. 1

 

Cheers, Michael

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Light Blue 23 is a rather elusive color and has not, to my knowledge, been done well if at all by model paint producers.

 

In this Hyperscale thread:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/hyperscale/p-26a-colors-t194612.html

one poster gives FS 35193 as the closest match to Light Blue 23. Comparing that FS chip to the one for Light Blue 23 in Archer's book, it's a decent match.

 

In the same thread, Dana Bell posts some useful information about the various versions of Light Blue. An even more lengthy discussion can be found here at Britmodeller:

 

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Hi Pinback, Dennis, and Michael,

 

There are three possible blue colors used by the Army in the 1930s.  For this project you can certainly skip the Navy's True Blue, which would have appeared sometime after the P-6E was repainted.  Here's a general note I wrote some time ago:

 

There were two colors with the name Light Blue 23. The first was the lighter, turquoise shade dating back to 1919 Quartermaster Spec 3-1. The second was stronger and darker, issued with the Air Corps porcelain enamel plates of late 1934. It took some time for the newer color to go into production, and confusion between the colors continued through WWII. (What? Two different paints with the same name? What could be confusing?) 

 

There was an ANA agreement in 1934, with the Army agreeing to adopt the Navy's True Blue as standard, but the agreement was ignored until late 1939/early 1940. Wright Field continued to proclaim the ANA color would become standard, but then again, True Blue wouldn't appear in any Army specs or TOs until that 1939/40 time period. Soon after that, the name was changed from True Blue to Light Blue, again adding to the confusion and allowing the earlier Army colors to remain in use. (What? Three different paints with the same name? What could be confusing?) 

 

While I would suspect the P-6 used the later Air Corps shade, even with a B&W image it would be hard to be certain of which blue was there.  I'm afraid I don't have a recommendation of which modeler's paint fits either of the Air Corps colors, though many companies produce bottles of the Navy/ANA True Blue.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

Dana

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Curses, I've just bought some True Blue for use on a B-10 for which the same considerations apply (I presume). 

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2 hours ago, dalea said:

Curses, I've just bought some True Blue for use on a B-10 for which the same considerations apply (I presume). 

You may be able to use it as a starting point to doctor your way to a satisfactory #23.

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IMO, the turquoise-like Lt Blue 23 went out of use well before the introduction of the A-N colour standards.  I've seen proprietary colour charts from paint manufacturers like Fuller and Sherwin-Williams from the 1933-36 period which show colours denoted as 'Fuselage Blue' or 'Light Blue' (pretty obvious what the intended use was), which are much closer to True Blue, than to that early turquoise shade.  So I think that kind of shade was probably what was used on the P-26/B-10.

 

I think the 'turquoise' shade was probably that used on the first generation of 'blue' aircraft (O-2H, PT-3,etc).

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@Pinback,

 

This won't provide the definitive answer to your P-6E True Blue/Light Blue  query, and I am not even in the same galaxy as Dana Bell or Nick Millman, but I found this link recently, and I offer it to all as a basic guide and starting point. I vaguely recall Modelmaster had  True Blue in  their enamel range, but as  the parent company has pretty much axed Floquil, Poly-S, and much of the Modelmaster line to 'simplify-streamline'  their product line, (Their words, not mine!) I don't think that color is available any more. It's pretty close to intermediate blue, so you could use that color as a starting point and mix to match the FS35193 chip/color that Dana Bell described.

Mike

 

https://www.aircorpsart.com/blog/WWII-color-codes/

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Hi BIG thanks to everyone - I think I can see why the instructions did not include what blue to use!

On 2/16/2020 at 10:04 PM, Toryu said:

Btw, the yellow you used is too light

Noted! thanks for the steers

 

On 2/17/2020 at 8:24 AM, Seawinder said:

Thanks Seawinder for the  link and comments-much appreciated

 

On 2/17/2020 at 8:27 AM, Dana Bell said:

While I would suspect the P-6 used the later Air Corps shade,

Thanks for the detail Dana- really appreciated.  Its a great help This is the shade I will be aiming to create. (aiming!)

 

On 2/17/2020 at 12:38 PM, dalea said:

Curses, I've just bought some True Blue for use on a B-10

Hi dalea - There is not much of the B-10 externally showing but if you have not seen this then hopefully this will cheer you up! and its in colour

 

10 hours ago, Roger Holden said:

IMO, the turquoise-like Lt Blue 23 went out of use well before the introduction of the A-N colour standards.

Hi Roger - Thanks for your comments - Hope its not too wet where you are!

10 hours ago, 72modeler said:

This won't provide the definitive answer to your P-6E True Blue/Light Blue  query,

Hello 72modeler- Thanks for your time - it all helps - especially the link

 

Edited by Pinback
typo

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I've always been partial to the old Testor's square bottle BLUE 1110, as it used to be known, to represent the darker shade.  Newer bottle I bought was just called "GI Blue", but they both had the same barcode: 0- 75611-11100-1.  Here's what they look like, pretty close, at least on my monitor:

 

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Please forgive the dust motes; the model have been dusted at least twice in the last 40 years...

 

Ed

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, but I messed up... I meant to post THESE two pictures, the latter being in the Museum of the United States Air Force:

 

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Granted that the lighting in the museum is atrocious,  but according to memory, the picture is very close, maybe the paint on the model being just a touch too purple...  It does show, however, that the yellow does have a good amount of orange.

 

Ed

 

Ed

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For what it it is worth, I mixed the late 1930s Light Blue 23 and Yellow No. 4 thus;    No.23 is 4 x Humbrol 48 +1 x H120 + 1 x H89.    No.4 4 x Humbrol 46 +4 x H69 + 1 x H225.  These are very close to the swatches in  Archer, the Official Monogram Army Air Service & Air Corps Aircraft Color Guide;  

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5 hours ago, Mike Starmer said:

For what it it is worth

...worth a lot!

Thanks Mike- will give it a go🙂

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