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Humbrol interior green for Airfix B-17G


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I’m tentatively looking at starting the interior on an Airfix B-17G. 
I do work mainly in Humbrol enamel for brush painting the insides. The colour call out is for 195 Satin dark green which I don’t have. 
However I have a bunch of other interior greens in Matt finishes. 
 

Greens

 

So, which one is going to be the closest to do the job. Doesn’t have to be exact, just close as possible to avoid buying more paint 🫡

 

Cheers

Chris

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Posted (edited)

From what I've read most of the interior in the B-17 was unpainted aluminium, with the odd/ocasional part in zinc chromate yellow (Humbrol 81) or green (around Humbrol 150/158/226) primer.  Only the flight deck area was painted, usually in USAAC specified Dull Dark Green, which was obtained by mixing zinc chromate with black.  Some flight deck fittings were in something akin to Humbrol 195.

Edited by stever219
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22 hours ago, stever219 said:

From what I've read most of the interior in the B-17 was unpainted aluminium, with the odd/ocasional part in zinc chromate yellow (Humbrol 81) or green (around Humbrol 150/158/226) primer.  Only the flight deck area was painted, usually in USAAC specified Dull Dark Green, which was obtained by mixing zinc chromate with black.  Some flight deck fittings were in something akin to Humbrol 195.

 

Out of interest, would that also apply to the B-17s used by Bomber Command, I'm thinking of the Fortress Mk.lll here.

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Posted (edited)

Chris,

We have had a couple of detailed discussions regarding B-17iG interior colors, which included photos. IPMS Stockholm also did a three-part article on WW2 US aircraft interior colors, and you can do an internet search for it- a well researched and pretty accurate article.  You will find some areas were finished in dull dark green, some in unpainted aluminum, and some in untinted zinc chromate primer. In addition, there were parts of the flight deck and bombardier/navigator station that had canvas insulation/sound deadening panels that were in dull dark green or OD. In the unpainted section aft of the radip conpartment, you would also see the stringers and some supports finished in zinc chromate primer. Hope this helps!

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
corrected spelling
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B&W photos of B-17Gs during assembly in 1943-44 do not show any noticeable tonal differences between the skinning, ribs, formers, etc indicating the aft fuselage is essentially all unpainted aluminum. Source: Building the B-17 Flying Fortress, a detailed look at manufacturing Boeing’s legendary WWII bomber in original photos; Bill Yenne; 2020.

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Posted (edited)

All models of Fortress were unpainted internally. Never, at any point in B-17 production, was US Interior Green used. 
 

The exposed metal in the flight deck was the only ‘officially’ painted area, according to the Boeing construction manual. This was Dark Dull and later Bronze Green. Humbrol 149 is your friend here. The rest of the flight deck walls were covered in an olive green padding. 
 

Nose, radio room, rear fuselage and tail were all natural metal. The bomb bay was unpainted too, other than some mid-batch F models that were delivered with neutral gray bomb bays. 
 

As others have stated, an olive green padding and canvass would be found in the nose and radio room of B-17s but this was dispensed with during F-model production. Floors were natural wood with rubber (black) anti-slip matting. 
 

However, with multiple factories being supplied by hundreds of subcontractors there would be some variations to the above. There are pictures of odd components in zinc chromate primer but these are very few and quite rare.
 

To answer your query about a Fortress III, which is in essence a B-17G: these were delivered, minus a few exceptions, straight from USAAF stock and were modified upon arrival in the UK. They did receive numerous mods and there is anecdotal evidence that the nose sections and waist areas were painted internally to reduce glare from searchlights. Despite many years of research, I’ve never been able to find anything definitive on this. Whether these areas were RAF interior green or black, I simply cannot pin down. RAF B-17s were notoriously camera-shy due to their highly sensitive jamming equipment etc., so pictures are quite hard to come by - and those you can find don’t show the interior. In short, paint it as you wish as no one will be able to prove you wrong! 
 

I hope that helps - and good luck with the build. 
 

Tom

 

EDIT: to answer your original question, I’d say the bottom centre tin (number 116?) is probably the closest shade for the cockpit metal areas of the tins you’ve pictured. 

Edited by tomprobert
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2 hours ago, 593jones said:

Out of interest, would that also apply to the B-17s used by Bomber Command, I'm thinking of the Fortress Mk.lll here.

As delivered it should do as all of them were built with USAAC/USAAF serial numbers and diverted to the RAF but it's entirely possible that some areas were repainted during conversion to the ECM/RCM roles.  You’d need to get hold of either the series of articles by Martin  Streetly published in Scale Models magazine back n the late ‘seventies or early ‘eighties (my copies of these are in the Loft of Doom and currently inaccessible) or his books Confound and Destroy and The Aircraft of 100 Group for the most reliable indications on this score but, from memory, the navigator/bomb aimer’s position in the nose had the widows painted over, at least in part, with a blackout curtain across the nose transparency.  The cockpit aft side windows had their bottom halves overpainted also.  It’s possible that the bomb bays were repainted Smooth Night as half was still available for bomb carriage even with the Jostle transmitter (a big, black dustbin-like contraption) installed in the other half.  I’m not 100% sure about the waist gunners’ positions: logic suggests that these have been toned down on aircraft with open , or opening, side windows for the same reason.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, stever219 said:

As delivered it should do as all of them were built with USAAC/USAAF serial numbers and diverted to the RAF but it's entirely possible that some areas were repainted during conversion to the ECM/RCM roles.  You’d need to get hold of either the series of articles by Martin  Streetly published in Scale Models magazine back n the late ‘seventies or early ‘eighties (my copies of these are in the Loft of Doom and currently inaccessible) or his books Confound and Destroy and The Aircraft of 100 Group for the most reliable indications on this score but, from memory, the navigator/bomb aimer’s position in the nose had the widows painted over, at least in part, with a blackout curtain across the nose transparency.  The cockpit aft side windows had their bottom halves overpainted also.  It’s possible that the bomb bays were repainted Smooth Night as half was still available for bomb carriage even with the Jostle transmitter (a big, black dustbin-like contraption) installed in the other half.  I’m not 100% sure about the waist gunners’ positions: logic suggests that these have been toned down on aircraft with open , or opening, side windows for the same reason.

 

Thanks, that sounds as though it makes sense.  I'll look out for Martin; Streetly's books as well.  I remember reading about the cockpit side window lower halves being painted in 'A Thousand Shall Fall' by Murray Peden, but, annoyingly Mr. Peden didn't elaborate or any other paint jobs!

Edited by 593jones
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13 hours ago, tomprobert said:

 

EDIT: to answer your original question, I’d say the bottom centre tin (number 116?) is probably the closest shade for the cockpit metal areas of the tins you’ve pictured. 

+2 to what Tom has said, 195 is quite dark, none of the greens you show are as dark as that but 116 is the darkest in your collection & I'm sure would do admirably.

Steve.

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Posted (edited)

I am no B17 specialist.
But I do know interior green (primer) used on many other aircraft can be mixed with bright lemon yellow and black. Zinc chromate green is nothing more than zinc chromate yellow with black added. And dull dark green is even more black.

Edited by Steben
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1 hour ago, Steben said:

I am no B17 specialist.
But I do know interior green (primer) used on many other aircraft can be mixed with bright lemon yellow and black. Zinc chromate green is nothing more than zinc chromate yellow with black added. And dull dark green is even more black.

 

I thought dark dull green normally a a slightly blue tint to it which you will not get by just adding black to zinc chromate? Also isn't interior green tinted zinc chromate with aluminium powder added, though I'm not sure what powder does to the look of it?

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Just a reminder, the single type group builds (STGB:s) are often a great collection of knowledge on the subject. Like The B-17 too!

V-P

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Hi folks,

 

There's a great deal of confusion surrounding American interior colors - this is just a note of clarification...

 

Zinc chromate primer is a cool, semi-transluscent yellow; it's a range of colors, depending on how the components were mixed and what vehicle they were mixed in.

 

Aluminized zinc chromate is zinc chromate primer with ground aluminum primer added.  The first of the green zinc chromates, it was a range of bright "candy apple" greens depending on the original primer color and the amount/composition of the aluminum added

 

Yellow Green was the second green zinc chromate; similar formula to aluminized zinc chromate, but with black added.  Great variation in color depending on the original colors and the type/volume of black added.

 

Interior Green was "invented" in late 1942 and standardized in May 1943.  The only green zinc chromate that was expected to match a color card, this was a mix of zinc chromate primer and black.  Despite the standardization, the color showed some variation in practice.

 

Bronze Green was usually an enamel, not based on zinc chromate.  It usually had an oily appearance.

 

Dull Dark Green came in two versions, neither based on zinc chromate.  Generally produced as a lacquer, it had a flat or semi-flat finish

 

Medium Green was a camouflage color often seen on the leading and trailing edges of flying surfaces.  In November 1944 it was approved as a cockpit and anti-glare color, though there is limited evidence of the extent of its  use.

 

In Seattle, Boeing had problems with a paint shop; the AAF granted an exemption from painting interior surfaces unless an anti-glare color was needed.  Photos of surviving B-17s often show several green paints used in the same cockpits.  Douglas skipped the instructions and painted many of its B-17 cockpits Interior Green, receiving permission after the fact.  I've no data on Vega's cockpits.

 

I'd love to get this all pinned down one day, but contemporary evidence (Wright Field/contractor correspondence) is hard to find.  

 

Good luck with the model!

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

Dana

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I have the Finish Specifications from the B-17G Erection and Maintenance Manual in PDF format. Send me a PM with your email address if interested.

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Posted (edited)
On 19/05/2022 at 18:46, Tbolt said:

 

I thought dark dull green normally a a slightly blue tint to it which you will not get by just adding black to zinc chromate? Also isn't interior green tinted zinc chromate with aluminium powder added, though I'm not sure what powder does to the look of it?

 

Might be! Judged only by other comments on this one.
As I've read now, those primer and aricraft colours are complex.
At least I can conclude interior green is zinc chromate with black. The variation can easily come from amounts of black used.

Yet ... adding carbon or lamp black to a lemon yellow brings out more blueish green undertones.
281820246_3200006023580198_2809341637379

Edited by Steben
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10 hours ago, Steben said:

 

Might be! Judged only by other comments on this one.
As I've read now, those primer and aricraft colours are complex.
At least I can conclude interior green is zinc chromate with black. The variation can easily come from amounts of black used.

Yet ... adding carbon or lamp black to a lemon yellow brings out more blueish green undertones.
281820246_3200006023580198_2809341637379

Try Bone black.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Casey said:

Try Bone black.

Well, yes.
Yet my point was adding carbon black (given its slightly blue nature) is exactly what might give you the mentioned blueish undertones in the resulting dark green. ;) 
Gunze H58 was a great (zinc chrom) interior green, but they choose to ruin it ending up with something like tamiya XF4.
left old, right new (not my picture though). I guess adding some black again might render the original.
dscn9217.jpg

Edited by Steben
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For those of us on the western side of the Atlantic, Dull Dark Green is generally linked to FS 34092, AKA Euro Green, the shade used for example on A-10s in the Euro 1 scheme. Humbrol does it as No. 149, which explains the number of people recommending that tin. It's got a definite blue cast. Of the tins shown in the OP's photo, IMHO No. 114 looks the closest, but would need some black added.

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Well, I must say thanks for all the replies. I must admit it went a bit further than I expected 😂

 

It seems 149 is winning by a nose, luckily I found a tin of it in the stores to use in the cockpit. 
I should add in addition to the box schemes, I also have decals for the preserved ‘Texas Raiders’ which is painted green throughout. That shade is a whole other can of green worms 😉

Cheers 

Chris

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