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Middle Bronze Green- an enigmatic colour


GrahamB

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Dear Britmodellers,

 

a request for paint matches for Middle Bronze Green BS381 223. This is a very difficult colour to pin down in modeling forums as most discussions focus on the more widely-used Deep Bronze Green. I know that it was used on British soft skins and Landrovers for a while, as well as RAF bombs during WW2. I see that Hataka produce this colour, as do Sovereign Colourcoats and Xtracrilix (?) but does anyone have a match using Vallejo, Gunze or Tamiya paint? This colour has been referenced as the standard for the RNZAF dark green after British supplies diminished during the war and local manufacture (BALM) kicked off. I am intending to to an Airfix 1/48 "Faithful Annie" (Avro Anson) in 1944 RNZAF colours of Dark Green, Ocean Blue/Blue Grey (=PRU Blue), and Sky Blue (BS101).

 

Kia ora,

GrahamB

 

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1 hour ago, GrahamB said:

referenced as the standard for the RNZAF dark green after British supplies diminished during the war and local manufacture (BALM) kicked off.

 

Hi Graham,

 

I have never seen Mid Bronze Green for WWII RNZAF Dark Green.

 

The Best and closest Colour for WWII RNZAF Dark Green is Humbrol 3 - Brunswick Green.

 

Given that you are looking at a time frame of 1944, BALM paints would have been in reasonable supply by then

either NZ manufacture or Australian.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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Hi Alan,

 

thanks for the reply and colour match, but my source for the Middle Bronze Green =RNZAF Dark Green is Warren P. Russell's (1982) nice NZPAF RNZAF Aircraft Colour Schemes Vol.1 , page 21.

"All New Zealand mixed paints, though based on BS381C, were given local names....."

 

He also connects the Ocean Blue to PRU Blue (BS381C 636) and the Duck Egg Blue (A) to BS381C 111 Pale Blue.

I don't know if this has been since discredited.

 

Cheers,

GrahamB

 

interesting that my clean copy of the book was once owned  by "Henry A. Klung,Jr. Lt. Col. USAF retired" !

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2 minutes ago, GrahamB said:

Hi Alan,

 

thanks for the reply and colour match, but my source for the Middle Bronze Green =RNZAF Dark Green is Warren P. Russell's (1982) nice NZPAF RNZAF Aircraft Colour Schemes Vol.1 , page 21.

"All New Zealand mixed paints, though based on BS381C, were given local names....."

 

He also connects the Ocean Blue to PRU Blue (BS381C 636) and the Duck Egg Blue (A) to BS381C 111 Pale Blue.

I don't know if this has been since discredited.

 

Hi Graham,

 

I'm very familiar with Warren Russell's books, having read them too.

 

The actual/Official name for the "Ocean Blue" is actually NZ Sea Blue Grey, and I have never seen any official Document

stating that Ocean Blue was an official name, but more a colloquial name.

 

I have seen some spurious colour call outs, in Russell's books and having checked with the RNZAF Museum, didn't

exist, such as the Duck Egg Blue colour on an RNZAF Corsair (RHS) The Corsair on the left did exist, but the leading edge

colours again spurious - The Roundel colours all wrong

Warren%20Russell%20Book%20NZPAF%20RNZAF%

 

As far as the lower colour on your Anson , it would not have been "Sky Blue" but actually NZ Sky Grey, which

is a Blue Green colour - a copy (from my research) of the US Dupont Sky Type S- Grey as found on the P40E-1's.

Typically being the Kiwi's that we are, saying Sky Type S - Grey, just too much of a mouthful, so shorten

to Sky Grey :)

 

Books and information written around that time have "issues" with colour call outs (including Charles Darby's

RNZAF the First Decade - who I have also met). I read an article where some author stated that the four MK III

Sunderland's that arrived late 1944, were in upper colours of RAF Dark Earth/Dark Green over lower colour Sky 

upper colours totally wrong, in that the colours were Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey.

 

Take of what I have said, what you will. Caveat to this is your model your call

 

Regards

 

Alan

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Hi Alan,

 

excellent stuff👍. I'm only really starting with RNZAF colours (the Anson in mind) so haven't been aware of later research on the subject. It makes you wonder from where some of the statements in the earlier works (including Russell's) originated. I've a copy of "Real Colours" so can check out the Dupont Sky Type S.

 

Cheers,

Graham

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6 minutes ago, GrahamB said:

I've a copy of "Real Colours" so can check out the Dupont Sky Type S.

 

Hi Graham,

 

Myths and the such just grow from differing sources, i.e  something so one might have said

a long time ago etc.

One myth passed on by Russell, is that RNZAF Corsairs became pink from the coral - in reality,

Dana Bell's research shows it was more a a paint manufacture issue.

 

I grew up on RNZAF Bases, and these types of things were rife then too.

 

Below are actual Dupont Dark Earth/Dar Green/Sky Type S - Grey colours from

a P 40E-1 flown by the RNZAF

 

DuPont%20%20Swatches%202%20-%20Feb%20202

 

The lower colour being Sky Type S- Grey, is a Greenish Blue colour, hence my comment on NZ Sky Grey being

a copy.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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Hi Alan,

 

wow, real stuff. I think there has been a resurgence of interest in recovering wartime aircraft wrecks in the UK (especially BOB period) so yet more artifacts can help resolve colour conundrums.

 

Cheers,

Graham

[Waikanae, Kapiti]

 

P.S. I'm a navy brat myself - father in Royal Navy: HMS Belfast (Korean War), HMS Swiftsure, HMS Sheffield, HMS Manxman (I went on this as a wee nipper) and HMS Chrysanthemum (then moored on Thames Embankment as HQ for London Reserve. He grew up on a farm a few miles from both RAF Waddington and RAF Swinderby - had a Manchester crash nearby.

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51 minutes ago, GrahamB said:

so yet more artifacts can help resolve colour conundrums.

Hi Graham,

 

We are very lucky/blessed in this country, we have some relics (whole ones at that)

that have original wartime colours (squirreled away for 6 decades), that help with these colour

issues.

 

Below (from the RNZAF Museum) a couple of photos,

1st is an Anson at an RAF Station WWII (St Eval) check out the camouflage

Avro%20Anson%20RAF%20ALB20171456008%20co

(RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand -  Used with permissions)

 

Now note this RNZAF Anson (NZ413) below flying near New Plymouth (Mt Egmont/Taranaki in the background)

 

This one is wearing the RNZAF Pacific Scheme (Dark Green/NZ Sea Blue Grey/NZ Sky Grey).

How can I tell? The scalloping along the lower camouflage edge.

The question ask now is the Dark Green as in worn with RAF or NZ Dark Green painted over?

The camo pattern is much the same as in the Anson above, except the Brown is now Sea Blue Grey, and lower is Sky Grey.

IMHO the Dark Green looks darker than the RAF Green

 

RNZAF%20Avro%20Anson%20MUS030116%20copy.

(RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand -  Used with permissions)

 

I get the whole experience of having a Dad in the Service. I got to do and see things that aviation buffs can only

dream about today :D

 

Kind regards

 

Alan

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Hi Alan,

 

very nice photos - many thanks for posting them. The K8713 is photographed pre-May 1 1940 because of lack of fin flash and yellow surround to the roundel;  served with 217 Squadron, before being sent to OZ 18 November 1940 (from The Anson File). It clearly has the official aluminium undersurfaces. The Kiwi Anson looks really neat and with a strong contrast between the upper surface colours (with the probable rich NZ Dark Green as you suggest?). I'm still puzzled by the Sky Grey thing though. If it was Dupont colour applied to US-manufactured (e.g. P-40E) aircraft why would it have been on a British-made/Kiwi re-conditioned airframe if local paints (such as the Duck Egg Blues) were available?

 

Good to see Taranaki in the background - we lived in New Plymouth for a year on arriving in NZ.

 

Cheers,

GrahamB

 

 

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41 minutes ago, GrahamB said:

I'm still puzzled by the Sky Grey thing though. If it was Dupont colour applied to US-manufactured (e.g. P-40E) aircraft why would it have been on a British-made/Kiwi re-conditioned airframe if local paints (such as the Duck Egg Blues) were available?

 

 

Hi Graham,

 

Sorry, should have been a little more specific in my previous posts re: NZ Sky Grey

 

NZ Sky Grey was a BALM Paint manufactured either here in Enzed or Aussie. BALM had Chemists et al here in

New Zealand,to create paint colours for our military including the RNZAF,  which included NZ Sky Grey.

Given that it is a Greenish Blue colour, I believe that the colour is a copy of Dupont Sky Type S - Grey.

It was applied to aircraft as part of the RNZAF Pacific Scheme, and really superseded Duck Egg Blue which fell out of use

earlier on (though you probably could find Duck Egg Blue as aircraft codes, or on instructional airframes at various TTS's

(Technical Training Schools) at various RNZAF Stations))

 

We know what colour NZ Sky Grey is, because NZ3220 Gloria Lyons (RNZAF P40N) that was in John Smiths collection

for some 6 decades was/is wearing it.

 

Below is a link to a post by Pete Mossong (fellow BMer), if you look through the photos, you can see the remains of the NZ Sky Grey,

painted over the US Neutral Grey

NZ3220 Gloria Lyons

 

The RNZAF Over painted a number P40's in this Colour especially early shipments of P40K/M's' serving in the forward areas, and applied

it as a lower colour to many P40's arriving back in NZ circa mid 1944 as an under colour with Foliage Green upper.

 

Below is a group of RNZAF P40K/M's (including NZ3072 Wairarapa Wildcat), note NZ3060 LHS wearing

the RNZAF Pacific Scheme (scalloped lower edge) while the remainder are wearing Olive Drab/Neutral Grey

P40K%20NZ3060%20PR1249%20copy.jpg

(RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand -  Used with permissions)

 

To summarize, your Anson circa 1944 would be in a Dark Green, with NZ Sea Blue Grey/NZ Sky Grey paints,

which were either BALM New Zealand/Australia manufactured

 

Hope this is of help to you?

 

Regards

 

Alan

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14 hours ago, LDSModeller said:

Anson (NZ413) below flying near New Plymouth

That's an interesting Anson and would make a good model. Another picture here....

https://www.airhistory.net/photo/424577/NZ413

in a line-up here

https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/commonwealth-air-forces.29251/page-5

However, sccording to this thread it carried Dumbo artwork, not in evidence on either photo.

https://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/3322?page=2

Perhaps there are other pictures?

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Hi Alan,

 

OK, that's cleared the Sky Grey thing up and judging by the P40 photos (great!) it was quite a strong colour and might be truly be considered a 'duck egg blue'.

Quite keen to get on with the Anson now - as NZ413 (crashed out of fuel Ngrangi, 16 October 1944 - can't find this place, could be typo).

 

Thanks so much for enlightening me about the RNZAF colours.

Cheers,

GrahamB

 

P.S. Ed's photos are really nice too. The paintwork looks very faded and patchy compared to the one in Alan's post.

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1 hour ago, Ed Russell said:

However, sccording to this thread it carried Dumbo artwork, not in evidence on either photo.

https://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/3322?page=2

Perhaps there are other pictures?

 

Here you go :)

 

RNZAF%20Anson%20NZ413%20Dumbo%20Nose%20A

(RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand -  Used with permissions)

 

The above tends more to look like she's wearing RAF TLS than RNZAF Pacific Scheme.

 

Have to agree about NZ413 over New Plymouth photo, would make a very nice model.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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39 minutes ago, GrahamB said:

paintwork looks very faded and patchy compared to the one in Alan's post.

 

22 minutes ago, LDSModeller said:

look like she's wearing RAF TLS than RNZAF Pacific Scheme.

Maybe received as a somewhat worn DG702 and repainted in the RNZAF scheme? A model ireally would have the Pacific Scheme colours and the nose art.

This picture has apparent TLS and nose art - did they keep it?

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Hi Ed,

 

yes NZ413 in faded/patchy RAF TLS and code letter forward of fuselage roundel, then in nice fresh RNZAF paint with code aft of roundel and with Dumbo nose-art?

Cheers,

GrahamB

 

Lovely photo!!!!

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On 08/12/2023 at 07:19, LDSModeller said:

Hi Graham,

 

We are very lucky/blessed in this country, we have some relics (whole ones at that)

that have original wartime colours (squirreled away for 6 decades), that help with these colour

issues.

 

Below (from the RNZAF Museum) a couple of photos,

1st is an Anson at an RAF Station WWII (St Eval) check out the camouflage

Avro%20Anson%20RAF%20ALB20171456008%20co

(RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand -  Used with permissions)

 

Now note this RNZAF Anson (NZ413) below flying near New Plymouth (Mt Egmont/Taranaki in the background)

 

This one is wearing the RNZAF Pacific Scheme (Dark Green/NZ Sea Blue Grey/NZ Sky Grey).

How can I tell? The scalloping along the lower camouflage edge.

The question ask now is the Dark Green as in worn with RAF or NZ Dark Green painted over?

The camo pattern is much the same as in the Anson above, except the Brown is now Sea Blue Grey, and lower is Sky Grey.

IMHO the Dark Green looks darker than the RAF Green

 

RNZAF%20Avro%20Anson%20MUS030116%20copy.

(RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand -  Used with permissions)

 

I get the whole experience of having a Dad in the Service. I got to do and see things that aviation buffs can only

dream about today :D

 

Kind regards

 

Alan

If you are comparing the two photos, I'd say the first one is ortho film based on the roundel. That lightens greens. You really can't compare colours if it is two different types of film.

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10 hours ago, GrahamB said:

Hi Ed,

 

yes NZ413 in faded/patchy RAF TLS and code letter forward of fuselage roundel, then in nice fresh RNZAF paint with code aft of roundel and with Dumbo nose-art?

Cheers,

GrahamB

 

Lovely photo!!!!

It is a lovely photo but it's not really "scalloped"? Interesting that the cowling has a hard demarcation line but all the other lines are very soft, and the inboard demarcation is much lower. Note the dark edge on the fuselage just by the chap's head, which looks like the darker colour was added to feather the demarcation. All seems like a lot of effort for an aircraft far from the front!

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7 hours ago, Phoenix44 said:

It is a lovely photo but it's not really "scalloped"

All seems like a lot of effort for an aircraft far from the front!

Any "Scalloping" was really only applied to repaints, as in the the photo of NZ413

flying past Mt Egmont/Taranaki I posted above.

 

As far as being far from the front. nothing could be less true.

From declaration of war September 1939, we had German raiders laying mines

and sinking ships in our home waters. Last attack was a U Boat attack circa April 1945 on

shipping in Gisborne Harbour on our East Coast.

 

After declaration of war with Japan 1941, we had Japanese submarines operating off our coasts, and

reconnaissance aircraft flying over major cities, as in Auckland where I live. Thankfully we weren't bombed

like Darwin (Australia) was. One of my Grandfathers fought in the Solomon's, really just up the road from us.

People seem to think that Australia and New Zealand were not part of WWII (or WWI for that matter).

Edited by LDSModeller
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11 minutes ago, LDSModeller said:

 

 

Last attack was a U Boat attack circa April 1945 on

shipping in Gisborne Harbour on our East Coast.

U-boat that far from home and any support in April 1945?  Most odd.  Could it have been an I-boat?  Or perhaps one of the U-boats taken over by the Japanese?

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I think it was U-862 under Korvettenkapitan Timm in January 1945. Her home base was Batavia in the NEI - present day Jakarta, Indonesia.

There is an excellent book - U-boat far from home by David Stevens documenting U-862 and much more.

https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/book/David-Stevens-U-Boat-Far-From-Home-9781864482676/

 

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13 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

U-boat that far from home and any support in April 1945?  Most odd.  Could it have been an I-boat?  Or perhaps one of the U-boats taken over by the Japanese?

 

Definitely German, one of the torpedoes was found (had missed) on a Gisborne beach.

 

I will have to re-check the date, but the Newspaper I read, it from was around that time.

I thought it most odd too, given that Germany was not that far away from wars end in Europe.

 

 

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The post starting off with Middle Bronze Green and the RNZAF Dark Green actually being (Middle) Brunswick Green BS381C 226 I've found a very useful Resene colour  match for my Aussie/Kiwi neighbours - this to help matching available models paints if enamel Humbrol H3 is not used.

 

A given RGB value for the standard is 51-83-59 and an almost identical Resene colour is 'Goblin', RGB 52-83-61. Excellent! It is in the Multi-finish range, palette 25. A nice, deep, rich colour. It's a useful technique I've found for other purposes - matching paint brush-outs to accurately-researched colours (e.g. Nick Millman's RAF set) on a computer monitor just doesn't work.

Cheers,

GrahamB

 

P.S. FWIW, I think the lovely photo of "Dumbo" shows it in the RNZAF scheme - quite fresh and with signs of overpainting of previous colours (e.g. lower fuselage, especially the paler of the two colours - Sea Blue Grey over Dark Earth).

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3 hours ago, LDSModeller said:

Any "Scalloping" was really only applied to repaints, as in the the photo of NZ413

flying past Mt Egmont/Taranaki I posted above.

 

As far as being far from the front. nothing could be less true.

From declaration of war September 1939, we had German raiders laying mines

and sinking ships in our home waters. Last attack was a U Boat attack circa April 1945 on

shipping in Gisborne Harbour on our East Coast.

 

After declaration of war with Japan 1941, we had Japanese submarines operating off our coasts, and

reconnaissance aircraft flying over major cities, as in Auckland where I live. Thankfully we weren't bombed

like Darwin (Australia) was. One of my Grandfathers fought in the Solomon's, really just up the road from us.

People seem to think that Australia and New Zealand were not part of WWII (or WWI for that matter).

The Ansons, not NZ. And the Solomons are 2,500km away from Auckland, about the distance from Paris to Moscow. 

Edited by Phoenix44
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