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Interior colour of AEC Dorchester


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Looking at the instructions for the AFV Club Dorchester it states that the front cab should be painted silver. I know this was correct for tanks but I would assume the cab would be the same as the rear since they are not truly separate. Why bother with two different colours? Is there any evidence of this?

 

If this is correct is there a good paint to simulate this silver. I would imagine an acrylic would work best as a 'true' silver colour would make the cab look silver plated! I know the Dorchester was a bit luxurious but that might be taking it a bit far!!

 

Any help appreciated.

 

A

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was thinking surely the cab of a Dorchester is a relatively dark place like the interior of an AFV only having two front windows when the flaps were open and having the cab curtained off from the rear making it dark so using a dark exterior camouflage colour would make it a difficult place to operate in. 

 

So I went in search of interior photos finding these  http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1058

 

As it is an unrestored example it is difficult to say definitively what colours they are I will defer to Mr Stammer as they do look dark.  Perhaps Dorchesters driver ate lots of carrots for their night vision. 

 

I never looked inside the Puckapunnyal example as I was only at the  School of Armour for two years so hardly had the opportunity 😳

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Hi dcrfan

 

Thank for this. Yes I've seen that thread and heard about the 'Canadian seven' Shame it's sort of disappeared. 

Yes those pics are frustrating as it does show the interior nicely but with little left. Those colours look odd to me as they are a right mix of dark and light blue grey, sea green, yellow and white. 

Probably various primers, undercoats and re paints with the original somewhere in between! 

 

My thoughts:

The photos, being scanned film, have a blue cast (need to sort the white balance) 

The factory colour is the yellow as its mostly on the chassis and is a 'desert' colour. 

The repaint is a green exterior as the door interior is that which I believe was the practise. 

The light blue is the engine factory colour. 

The wall panels and cab are the final 'blue grey' with the structural verticals etc left factory yellow. The blue grey is in fact a more neutral, lighter grey due to the flash and incorrect white balance. 

You can see where the yellow is the base where cabinets have been removed. 

The light green is a result of the flash and the white is either an undercoat or possibly the yellow 'washed out' due to the flash. 

 

So I could do my model (early North Africa):

 

Exterior and chassis - light stone (with additional 'sun shield' camo) 

Engine/gearbox etc - light blue

Interior walls and cab - sea grey

Interior structure and door - light stone

Ceiling and cupboards etc - white (there are B&W pics that indicate this). 

Floor - dark red linoleum 

 

Would make it visually very interesting but would it be accurate? 🤔

 

Discuss 😊

 

A

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK so I might be getting close to putting some paint on the Dorchester and so it's decision time on colours. 

 

Exterior will be light stone and black 'sunshade' camouflage. 

I'm OK with the light stone and the black would be what ever they could find I assume. Question is for an early North African campaign would this colour be factory or applied over another colour? Asking for weathering purposes. 

 

Interior cab and rear will be pale cream 52 walls etc. Ceiling will be white and lino floor will be dark red. 

Question is what does pale cream 52 look like? Google gives me cheap Sherry 😳 @Mike Starmer? 🙂

Sundry appliances will be pale sea grey. 

 

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I believe I am correct in saying that Pale Cream 52 should be exactly the same colour as today's BS352.  Allowing for any colour shifts in rendering etc, something like this below.  You can find digital colour swatches like this one on line.  They do vary noticeably, however.  I'm not a sherry drinker so I can't comment on that analogy.  It is perhaps darker and yellower than I might have expected.

 

On the subject of colour variation, I was told recently of a situation regarding the re-painting of a preserved tank in Light Stone.  Now, today's BS361 Light Stone is supposed to be the same colour as the WW2 Light Stone 61 and has been the Army's desert colour for Iraq and Afghanistan.  However, 4 different brands of "BS361" auto paint all proved to be noticeably different, leading to a difficult choice.  So what?  Well if today's digitised colour standards, computerised colour matching and ingredient mixing and improved ingredients can lead to this situation then it seems entirely likely that there were visible variations in WW2.

 

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Thanks Das

 

That Pale Cream looks a lot darker and yellower than I was expecting. I was imagining a more creamier colour. The inner and outer colours won't be that dissimilar then especially allowing for lightening for scale etc.

 

 

Screenshot_20201231-131239_Google Screenshot_20201231-131308_Google

 

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I was imagining something like Elfenbein, more of an off-white. 

 

But contrary to what some people will assert, the very essence of colour codification is that the colour standards don't change.  Numbers change, as in BS that have grown from 2 to 3 digits to accommodate more colours.  Names change as in some RAL that have changed names since WW2 to better describe the colour.  But in both cases the colours against the codes are the same.  BS52 = BS352, BS61 = BS361, RAL 7021 Dunkelgrau WW2 = 7021 Schwarzgrau today.  Etc etc.

 

That being said, all 3 of these also claim to be BS352 Pale Cream................

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Just as worrying as the Light Stone episode I mentioned.  The swatch on the right looks more like BS315 Grapefruit and the middle one more like BS 353 Deep Cream. At least to my eyes with corrected vision on my monitors with my colour settings.

 

The only creamy colour in BS381C 1930 lighter than 52 Light Cream was 64 Portland Stone.  Here is the complete 1930 palette.

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With the arrival of BS387C and the SCCs in 1942, could the interior colour have been SCC11B??  None of these really look like the interior colour you and I seem to be thinking of.  I think we're both thinking of more of an off-white.

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I can't get away from thinking that if we have as much variation today as we see here with all of our modern technological aids to analysis and consistency then there must have been as much variation, if not far more, in the WW2 period.  Especially for paints still batch-mixed from pigments and a medium in paint shops rather than factory-produced ready mixed in cans.  The British supply system still described "paint, ready to use" in the WW2 period, implying that there was another kind.  And yet we agonise over an exactitude that we almost certainly cannot achieve.  Not to say that we should not try: anything most definitely does not go.  But we should not drive ourselves to breakdowns over it. 

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I completely and wholeheartedly agree with all you are saying. The variation must have been much greater back in the day and add to that the 'don't you know there's a war on?' element.

Yes we are both thinking of a subtle pleasant working environment within, what is in effect, an office which to our modern eyes would be an 'off white' however I do think that is very much a modern concept. The subtle hints we see today have only been around for a couple of decades. Think back to your youth in old public buildings, schools etc the walls were a definite strong, yellowish cream rather than a 'hint'. Looking at the BS Ready mixed swatch above from a distance (In other words allowing for scale) No52 Pale Cream and No61 Light Stone do look about right to my eyes. If I mix to something close to those two I think I would be happy. I don't think the interior colour would come under camouflage colours.

 

I would argue that on a domestic level, given the technology of the times the ability for subtle was very much reduced and so mass produced colours would be more definite and therefore stronger. If you look at periods pre 1930's; Victorian, Edwardian, Regency etc then the colours really do get very eye watering. We tend to only see the faded remnants. I would also argue that stronger colours = expensive paint = status etc. 

 

A

 

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5 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I've seen Eau de Nil mentioned as the interior colour, as "restful to the eyes".

Yes I seem to remember that being offered however I also remember it being dismissed by those that know better than us mere mortals 😉

 

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Eau De Nil was used as an interior colour post-war.  Back in the early 80's I ran with the local chapter of the Military Vehicle Conservation Group near Southampton.  One of the members had a Humber 1 ton radio van still in original finish and the rear body interior was definitely Eau De Nil with brown lino floor.  I travelled in it often enough.  Cab interior was Deep Bronze Green as per the exterior.  I seem to remember from my time in the TA in the 90's that the interiors of Bedford box bodies were Eau De Nil too.

 

BS381C was and remains a colour palette primarily for military and government-use colours.  Hence, probably, the deeper cream many of us remember in schools and public buildings.  The first colour standard for domestic ("wall decoration") colours didn't appear until 1945 with BS381WD.  Replaced in 1949 by BS1572.  Both shown below, with apologies for poor quality.  Note the presence of Eau De Nil.  The colour 103 Cream here is perhaps more the sort of colour we were expecting for the Dorchester.

 

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Those of you who are tea drinking fans might appreciate this entirely unofficial shade chart I found 😁

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Good stuff there Das 👍🏻

 

As a real word 1/1 scale experience we have painted most of our walls with an 'off white cream' colour called Timeless. Recently I did some touching up after the new bathroom. When I got the pot out it took some convincing that I had the right one as the label swatch and the contents looks distinctly yellow while the walls looked practically white even compared to the ceiling. 

 

20210103_114438

 

 

Here it is on the wall with a proper yellow and a white coving and ceiling

20210103_114400

 

My point being that a swatch is a lot stronger than an actual wall full of a colour. We all know about scaling a colour and this, I hope, proves the point. (A very rough analogy allowing for quick phone shots and poor light balance etc)

 

So coming back to the colours in question the Pale Cream No52 would look a lot more washed out than the swatches.Your No103 swatch above would be closer to a real life No52.

 

Coming on to your Humber I can understand the cab being in Bronze Green since that would be a factory item and completely separate from the rear therefore the standard practice of the cab being the same colour as the exterior would applied and make sense. However with the Dorchester the whole vehicle is a bespoke build including the cab which apart from a canvas screen is all one large compartment. Therefore the whole interior would be the same colour. A civilian comparison would be the difference between an A Class mobile Home (The Dorchester) and a Coach Build mobile Home (The Humber) where the A Class is a complete bespoke build on an existing chassis where the driving compartment is part of the living quarters and therefore the fitting out would match the rear while a coachbuild would keep the stock cab I.E. Ford or Renault etc but have, in effect, a caravan stuck on the rear.

 

I did a quick google of 1930's colour swatches and while I did find a few subtle pastel shades the majority were rather earthy strong colours. Earthy being easier and cheaper to mix I should imagine.

 

Screenshot_20210103-110728_Google

 

Screenshot_20210103-110929_Google

 

 

And as for the tea chart I think it needs an additional 'Trotting Mouse'. A saying in our family of "Strong enough to trot a mouse over" 😉

 

So coming back to the matter in hand I think a pale yellowish buff colour would work well for the whole of the interior. I might do the cupboard interiors and ceiling in white as a 'field mod'. The equipment will be sea grey, the lino will be redish brown and the map table a nice dark wood.

 

A

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Dorchesters were factory finished according to the current regulatory specifications. The desert ones were probably Khaki Green No.3, ex-works including the chassis and wheels.  They were then repainted in Egyptian depot workshops, initially in Caunter patterning then after October 1941 overall Light Stone BS.381 No.61.  This is yellow, not cream of beige at all and nothing like the current No.361 Light Stone.  The usual office interior colours for closed vehicles was gloss Pale Cream No.52 upper side walls and ceiling.  From about half wall height to floor had heavy duty scuffproof linoleum material often medium brown or green.  The floor had similar material so as to be easy to clean and quieter.  Inside of doors which would be exposed to view when open were painted the exterior camouflage colour.    IIRCC the box art of Caunter, is rubbish.  The colours were Light or Portland Stone with Silver Grey and Slate stripes and the pattern is wrong anyway.  There is no middle colour above the Slate on the sides and one colour is missing entirely on the rear.  If you maill me at mikestarmer18 at gmail dot com  I have images and drawing of Caunter on this vehicle

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42 minutes ago, Mike Starmer said:

Dorchesters were factory finished according to the current regulatory specifications. The desert ones were probably Khaki Green No.3, ex-works including the chassis and wheels.  They were then repainted in Egyptian depot workshops, initially in Caunter patterning then after October 1941 overall Light Stone BS.381 No.61.  This is yellow, not cream of beige at all and nothing like the current No.361 Light Stone.  The usual office interior colours for closed vehicles was gloss Pale Cream No.52 upper side walls and ceiling.  From about half wall height to floor had heavy duty scuffproof linoleum material often medium brown or green.  The floor had similar material so as to be easy to clean and quieter.  Inside of doors which would be exposed to view when open were painted the exterior camouflage colour.    IIRCC the box art of Caunter, is rubbish.  The colours were Light or Portland Stone with Silver Grey and Slate stripes and the pattern is wrong anyway.  There is no middle colour above the Slate on the sides and one colour is missing entirely on the rear.  If you maill me at mikestarmer18 at gmail dot com  I have images and drawing of Caunter on this vehicle

Hi Mike

 

As usual you have all the definitive answers. Oh and you have told me all this in a previous post but I went of on a ramble. Thankfully you've brought it back down to reality.

 

So this is the final, final decision on the paint scheme:

 

Interior everywhere including cab and ceiling will be Gloss Pale Cream No52

The only exception to Mikes suggestion will be no Lino on the lower walls as there is very little bare wall.

Lino could be either brown or green but I am tempted by a dark red brown? Would that be plausible?

Exterior will be Khaki Green No3 underneath, chassis, wheel arches etc

Exterior body will be Light Stone No61 with Khaki base showing through for wear.

Camouflage will be Sunshade using 'black' actually a dark grey.

 

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Hold on a moment.  That black disguise paintwork on the ACV version is confined to false bonnet grill, if fitted, and cab windows.  The vehicles with those features and  side and rear markings to represent fuel tanks and lorry canvas tilt were RE demolition vehicles not office type bodies with HQ units.   I have drawings of this but cannot post here. 

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😳 Well thats put the cat amongst the pigeons hasn't it!!

 

So what your saying is and if I've read it right......

 

All these are RE Demotishion vehicles;

 

imageserver 2

 

Note Aerial bracket on rear

rear AEC

 

Note aerials

2020-09-27_03-24-06

 

Note aerial bracket on rear

2020-09-27_03-24-56

 

 

AEC_DorchesterACVcamo_Haugh1

 

 

and this is most likely a Command or true Dorchester;

 

873912ff46a955c6b9dda63ed5e9b33a

 

 

However a one of the Demolition pics above has both the aerials i place and they all have the brackets. Would a Demolition vehicle have them? They also all have the side canopies which may not be such a defining element.

 

This could be a game changer!!!!

 

A

 

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Just done some more research. There were 3 versions of this vehicle, Command (ACV), Mine layer (AMV) and Demolition (ADV). All three were manufactured to order and so would be kitted out as their intended version at the factory. Of these the AMV was made redundant and most were converted to ACV's. Many of the ADV's were also converted to ACV's. I can't find any reference to any ACV's being converted to either of the others. This is understandable as I'm sure these were best suited and most useful to the ACV role. The relevance of this is the fact that all of the full sunshade examples above have the aerial mounts and awnings which I would imagine were only fitted to ACV's.

 

 

 

A

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Well, it turns out, after some email back and forth, that @Mike Starmer is right and I'm wrong. Who would have thought it! 🙄🤡

 

All of the vehicles in the above post are ADV's

 

So the choice is now:

 

Interior everywhere including cab and ceiling will be Gloss Pale Cream No52

The only exception to Mikes suggestion will be no Lino on the lower walls as there is very little bare wall.

Lino could be either brown or green but I am tempted by a dark red brown? Would that be plausible?

Exterior will be Khaki Green No3 underneath, chassis, wheel arches etc

Exterior body will be Light Stone No61 with Khaki base showing through for wear.

Camouflage will be either;

1. Partial Sunshade with just the front cab fake windows, bonnet extension, false cab top and racking on the roof.(Probably what I'll end up doing)

2. No camouflage with just a rack on the roof. (To make a contrast between 'boring' exterior and the full on interior)

3. Cantour scheme. (While this is tempting I want to do that on something else)

4. A 'What if' in the Malta scheme (Sorry Mike only joking 😉)

5. THIS BEAUTY.........

2020-09-27_06-30-59

Sorry Mike only joking again 😁

 

A

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