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What green/drab colours used by British air branches in WW1?


Steben
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Posted (edited)

Hi Guys,

 

What I've read so far is that before RFC and RNAS merged into the new RAF on April 1 1918, both used different colours.

However, notes and formulas of P.C. 10 existed before and after that date.
What does that mean? Did the RFC use P.C. colours while the RNAS did not and the latter was dropped?

On the subject of PC10 I can add a little more fuel:

A little summary of what I've seen:

- The most known pigment formulas are those based on either "yellow ochre + lamp black" or "yellow ochre, raw umber, red ochre and chinese blue".
- The ochre and black formulas are often mentioned with a minimum Fe2o3 amount (red oxide), which ranges from around 30% in early ones to 80% in later formulas.

- The US adopted British coating at first, calling it olive brown or khaki, but switched to "olive drab" in the 20ties. This olive drab is glossy OD 22, the gloss version of all army OD's later until end of WW2.

 

Funny observation: if one mixes ochre, red oxide and blue one gets a warm dark grey almost black which is easily reduceable to raw umber perhaps with some very low amount of white. This depends on the type of blue and the ratios.
If one adds this to the formula, one almost sees only ochre and raw umber. The red and blue are not surprisingly mentioned as extra tools to add if the basic result needed "adjusting".
Now, with the right amount of red oxide in the base ochre + black one gets the same colour range.

Yellow ochre + raw umber + red ochre + china blue ~
Yellow ochre + raw umber + (some yellow ochre + red ochre + china blue) ~
Yellow ochre + raw umber ~
Yellow ochre + (some yellow ochre  + red oxide) + black ~
Yellow ochre (w red oxide) + black ~

This is all based on experiments. All these mixes I tested tend to go very close to battle dress khaki aka uniform colour. Very close to a dark version of field drab (FS30118) and very similar to this:
Sopwith-Camel-moved-into-exhibition-spac

What if ... perhaps .... the rumoured "greenest" of all PC10 is not PC10, but an olive green mixed with almost the same formula but less red oxide?
What if ... perhaps .... the "late" PC10 is the same PC10 as in the beginning and the "early" just another colour, perhaps RNAS olive green?

What if ... perhaps .... the US dropped the red oxide and got something greener, what we know as typical ww2 olive drab?
Was there an RNAS green from the start, next to PC10 (and 12 ...) that got dropped? And was this perhaps closer to US olive drab than PC10?

 

Edited by Steben
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Even if it was olive green it was still called PC10!

PC10 is the identifier given to the mix. If it was mixed slightly differently in the field, as I'm sure it was, the colour would be slightly different. Hence "paint it whatever colour of green/brown pleases you". No one can prove you wrong!

 

Ian

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Brandy said:

Even if it was olive green it was still called PC10!

PC10 is the identifier given to the mix. If it was mixed slightly differently in the field, as I'm sure it was, the colour would be slightly different. Hence "paint it whatever colour of green/brown pleases you". No one can prove you wrong!

 

Ian

Yes, PC10 was a cellulose dope coating specification, not merely a colour.
But colour cards were used to match with eyeball. And different official recipes did exist as a base that were corrected if needed (diff ochre spec etc) at the spot by adding extra pigments.

The RNAS did use something like "Proprietary Khaki" instead of PC10 which was licensed to the RFC. One can expect this to be an equivalent, only bypassing the license.

But in the early stage there was a "Ripolin Khaki A" as well... etc etc. And recently I noticed the RNAS had a Dark Green as well in use.... next to Khaki.
All elements that make me wonder whether the whole "it was green no brown no everything" discussions are infected with not appreciating the different colours that were in use.
There was PC10, PC12, "a" Dark Green and the RNAS had equivalents in use.....

Edited by Steben
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PC10 was initially specified as a mix of yellow ochre and lamp black, so as you can imagine it must have varied from factory to factory and from batch to batch, add to that the variation possible in application and the result would probably be infinite variation on a green brown.

 

In practice I just use the AK interactive PC10 early and PC10 Late over a coat of Tamiya khaki drab.

 

6-DEF1-B7-B-D7-CD-4-E36-A1-D7-2-AA332-A6Which I think generally gives pleasing results.

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Suit yourself. This argument has been had so many times it's not even worth pursuing any more.

Paint it whatever colour you want!

 

Ian

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Brandy said:

Suit yourself. This argument has been had so many times it's not even worth pursuing any more.

Paint it whatever colour you want!

 

Ian


I did on a Camel!
I mixed revell 2 x 361 and 1 x 84 (ral6003 and ral8027) and used preshade to get some different tones:
259978380_6404977332909827_7268173482558

Interwar Belgian proto in a great out of the bottle colour by Rudi Vander Linden in Gunze H421:

260467215_1937386993101016_4712815104922

Thing is ... I am busy writing something about olive drab and a chapter on PC10 is included...
So it is all about numbers and what was proscribed ;) .
 

Edited by Steben
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I read and passed on two books about Australian SE5's. In the two books, there were descriptions written by the pilots themselves. Two of the descriptions mentioned "brown" and another that mentioned "chocolate brown".

So that's where I'm leaning.

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My one last piece of information which makes me think we should be veering more to brown than green is that the Germans nicknamed the RFC the Sparrows and sparrows aren’t green.

 

931-DAB9-D-CA90-4-FEC-A81-F-7-D9-A4-B6-E

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Marklo said:

My one last piece of information which makes me think we should be veering more to brown than green is that the Germans nicknamed the RFC the Sparrows and sparrows aren’t green.

 

931-DAB9-D-CA90-4-FEC-A81-F-7-D9-A4-B6-E

 

 

 

That's cool. CDL on the belly and brown above.
Thing is, people tend to call any colour according to their taste and cultivation.
The "Brown Violet" classic variation of a very brown olive drab easily can yield a "brown" label. Especially in sunny light. The Stampe SV-10 depicted above is a clear example. It is brown but a bit OD as well.
I mean, "brown pc10" is definitely not a wild card to paint maroon or almost black. I'ld definitely settle for a "brown but a bit greenish". A kind of "dark" field drab. It is brown, but greenish is mentioned. Everybody wins.

Edited by Steben
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Steben said:

It is brown, but greenish is mentioned. Everybody wins.

Tbh so long as you’re happy. There are so many factors relating to colour and colour perception that we may never know what a factory fresh 1917 PC10 looks like.  There is no such thing as accurate colour, I prefer the term plausible colour.  

 

You can match a colour to a colour you have in hand, and the automotive industry does it but it takes a lot of technology and cost to do it.

 

And if you think PC10 is difficult try figuring out what colour a MK IV heavy tank should be……

Edited by Marklo
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On 5/23/2022 at 1:06 PM, Marklo said:

Tbh so long as you’re happy. There are so many factors relating to colour and colour perception that we may never know what a factory fresh 1917 PC10 looks like.  There is no such thing as accurate colour, I prefer the term plausible colour.  

 

You can match a colour to a colour you have in hand, and the automotive industry does it but it takes a lot of technology and cost to do it.

 

And if you think PC10 is difficult try figuring out what colour a MK IV heavy tank should be……

 

Please you give the automotive industry FAR to much credit when it comes to paint. or quality control. 

 

I work in a tier one supplier of external mirrors and door handles.   IN the business, we have quality standards and management has a saying. 

"if the customer is paying for a part to have 10$ paint quality, but will accept 6$ quality... we send the 6$ part EVERY time"

 

and the most used everyday in production:

 

"We are behind on schedule or the truck is waiting for us to finish this tote of goods,  just F))))G  send it out"

 

We all know what a paint run is,  We have sent out parts to customers with paint runs as large as an American quarter on them and never reiceved a complaint. 

 

In our paint lab, they have such a poor lack of quality control that at some times, if the part is 1) fully painted and 2) the correct color  we simply just use it.  

    ON a funny side note, when it comes to certain colors such as "michigan state police blue",  in 2018 they made 63 batches of the color.  NOTHING in the lab, electronic OR human eye, was able to match each color to ANY other batch of that color OR to the official color master chips from Ford Motor Company

 

BUt i am completely disqusted by the company itself and its "political theology" that has black listed me from promotions simply for being a white male heterosexual person.

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1 hour ago, masterKamera said:

Please you give the automotive industry FAR to much credit when it comes to paint. or quality control

Funnily enough I’ve never worked in automotive but I have worked on inkjet and had fairly extensive training on colour science, I also worked on medical devices and was involved in a project to standardise the colours used in the sheet metal covers of the devices.

 

 

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On 5/25/2022 at 3:02 AM, Marklo said:

Funnily enough I’ve never worked in automotive but I have worked on inkjet and had fairly extensive training on colour science, I also worked on medical devices and was involved in a project to standardise the colours used in the sheet metal covers of the devices.

 

 

and no one wants to know that the outside mirrors on their brand new 2022 ford f150 or silverado are assembled by people who smoke a joint every break, and munch on pot candy and sometimes we think meth in between. 

 

no one wants to know that millions of assembled parts have been made by people who smoke so much drugs that they literally spend 30 minutes after lunch re discovering their thumbs

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Posted (edited)

Ochre/burnt sienna mix (allowing for a mix of yellow and red oxides) and lamp black compared to OD319 and Humbrol 29.
Completely UK battle dress khaki / olive brown (AKA brown with greenish tint) and almost a match with the ochre and raw umber mixes.
When I look at it now I think Humbrol 29 + black will indeed get you close. I've seen this trick before.

284182320_508691531046717_35155739198525

What I remember here is that almost all the known recipes tend to converge to this "battle dress khaki", a (not that dark) brown with a green hint.
Slightly more brown compared to D Archer's khaki/PC10 swatch.
I do not speak of the late war 80% red oxide mixes. Those will give maroon.
I do not speak of mixing tolerance, aging and varnish strength. They happened.
But there was a seperate PC12, a RNAS PC10 equivalent and a "green" colour if I believe many comments and excerpts of literature.

Edited by Steben
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