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Post Info TOPIC: Painting help with the 21cm Amiens railway gun.


Sergeant

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Painting help with the 21cm Amiens railway gun.
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A friend of mine has made a beautiful 1/32 model of this gun using 3D printing and has asked me to paint it  There’s numerous photos on the AWM web site of the gun after capture and many of the gun later which I assume has been repainted.  Looking at the period photos I’m thinking there were five colors used all being then outlined in black.  The builder of the model thinks the colors are purple, light green, medium brown, buff and off white.   I know the film used in WWI turned some colors such as yellow to black and having learned photography in high school I know poor printing in the dark room can lead to prints with high contrast.  

I’m asking for a baseline on what colors the Germans were using to camouflage their large Artillery in 1918.   I’ve already started sketching out in colored pencil the shapes and want to get this as accurate as possible  

I appreciate any insight to helping with unraveling these colors.

Thanks 

https://web.archive.org/web/20090523162714/http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/P01887.001



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Charlie


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Btw the gun is 28cm and not 21cm. Sorry about the typo.

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Charlie


Commander in Chief

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http://www.landships.info/landships/railway_articles.html#



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MZ


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MZ
Thanks for the link and happy to read the AWM stayed true to the original colors. Now the work begins.

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Charlie


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mad zeppelin wrote:

http://www.landships.info/landships/railway_articles.html#


 

You can get a URL to individual pages on Landships II by looking at the bottom of the page you wish to reference - there's a heading which

says "URL for this page" - http://landships.info/landships/railway_articles.html?load=railway_articles/28cm_kurze_bruno.html

Regards,

Charlie

(It took me ages to figure out how to make that work - may as well use it)



-- Edited by CharlieC on Tuesday 6th of August 2019 01:58:23 AM

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Colonel

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Hi gents

 

This question on the camouflage is a very intrerestig indeed. An short article can be found here: https://www.awm.gov.au/about/our-work/projects/amiensgun

It has been debated some years ago and I there noted that there is a slight possibility that the colours found on the remaining parts could have been faded over the years. You can also read it in the Landships article (see mad zeppelins link):

"A note on the camouflage. The manner it has been painted is NOT speculative. The Museum have done a very ambitious job in reconstructiong the original camouflage on this, one of their most prized possessions, stripping the gun of layers of post-WW1-paint, to get down to the real thing. And they have got the exotic pattern exactly right. The exact hues can be debated, however. The basic colours are without doubt correct, and they match exactly with what we know about German WW1 Arty Camouflage (often using combinations of sand, dark brown, light brown and feldgrau, with black borders). I hold it as a possibility though, that the years under the hot Australian sun first faded the Feldgrau into something appearing Mint Green, and the Light Brown into something appearing Pink."

 

Here some pictures that may support that view:

 

18 September 1918 Paris

 

1942 Port Wakefield

 

And I didn't dare to ask whether the gun had been repainted one day...

 

18 September 1918 Paris

 

26 March 1920 Sydney

 

Cheers, Peter

 



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Peter
Thanks, for the post. In looking at the photos on the AWM site of the carriage being dismantled I’m of the opinion that only the sides of the carriage were camouflaged as the top of the structure hold the gun appear to be a uniform color and perhaps field gray. You or others have similar thoughts?

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Charlie


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cduckworth wrote:

Peter
Thanks, for the post. In looking at the photos on the AWM site of the carriage being dismantled I’m of the opinion that only the sides of the carriage were camouflaged as the top of the structure hold the gun appear to be a uniform color and perhaps field gray. You or others have similar thoughts?


That's my impression too. There are some pictures of the carriage while scrapping that show this very clear. All the inner sides and even the top of the carriage profiles appear to have an unifom colour - "Fieldgray" would be my first choice, but I am NO expert in railway guns!!!If you google "Amiens Gun" and "Paris" there are other clear pictures too, that support that theory and even some parts of the side (platform) have obviously no camo ...

P.S. If you would send me your email adress, I could send you some additional pics.



-- Edited by Peter T on Wednesday 7th of August 2019 08:46:45 PM

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Legend

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I wonder if the Amiens Gun was carried as deck cargo to Australia - the paint job looks pretty tatty on the 1920 image in Sydney although

the camouflage scheme was in good condition when it was displayed in Paris in 1918.

Perhaps the camouflage scheme is partly due to painting in Australia before it was displayed outside the Canberra railway station.

I found some images which I think might support my case. It really comes down to how well did the painting in Australia before the gun went to Canberra

replicate the original appearance of the gun

Regards,

Charlie



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Corporal

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Hello - I have been thinking this about camo pattern for quite some time and had been looking for an easy way to do it (dry transfer decals. hydrographics etc etc). I never found a silver bullet. So, I then started to look at trying to at least make it accurate with respect to pattern details. I had the opportunity to visit the Australian War Memorial/Museum several years back and took some pictures of the remaining parts of the 28cm Bruno (which were the ammo loading cabin roof and barrel). I talked to some staff and they indicated (as above) the color scheme had been researched quite a bit and was accurate. I always thought it was "too loud" and needed a patina just to make it look the part of "war machine". I took a profile shot taken of Bruno while on display in Paris that had a fairly good perspective of the pattern and made a "rough" outline in photoshop. From there, I took the image and applied the color samples from the barrel at the museum. I played around first trying to see what the pattern would look like so I then took the image I had made in photoshop and applied that to the 3D model I used original to create the physical model. Please see the attached photos of my preliminary estimate as to what I think it would have looked like. I muted the colors and made it look a bit weathered (since I prefer beaten up look). While not exactly a solution, I hope the info helps you get her makeup on :) 


Happy Modeling!



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Corporal

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Hi - Forgot to add one pic that shows the top of the roof had been painted - 

Regards

 

 

Edit: Please note some of the demarcation lines between colors have been hi-lited by me (in photoshop).

My goal here was to hi-lite the known lines to help better establish the pattern. I just wanted to

point that out relative to evaluating the photo.
Cheers 

  



-- Edited by Epoch3 on Sunday 11th of August 2019 01:47:11 PM

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Sergeant

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Beautiful model!  I’m in the same camp as yourself with the original colors being too loud. Do you recall what brand and colors you used on your model?



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Charlie


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Looks very, very impressive!!!



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Corporal

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Hi again, with regard to the perception that the Bruno paint scheme seems to be a bit over the top, please see an example at the link below.   About 7 or 8 years ago, someone contacted me seeking information on the Bruno. I provided them a few drawings and an early version of the 3D model I had made. They indicated they were doing a movie but couldn’t tell me anything about it.  They were from New Zealand and I am pretty sure they were or were connected to WETA (a well known Special Effects company there).   I don't know to what degree they used the model or information I provided to them but I think that the model in some way contributed to the design of the model below.   I think this is in 1/10th scale but don't know for sure.
 
 


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Epoch3,

That model Sir Peter Jackson is standing next to certainly looks 1/10th scale to me. I hope his company has attributed your contribution to their research.

 

Cheers,

Chris



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CharlieC,

 

The Amiens gun was carried as hold cargo. It was in the forward hold closest to the bridge and can be seen in this image being unloaded at Jones Bay, Sydney, during 1920.

 

Cheers,

Chris



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I would suggest that due to oxidation of pigments over the years, though the colours may be slightly wrong, the pattern itself, as the AWM says, is correct.

Note the images from Paris in September 1918 and the dull appearance, with barely discernible patterns on the roof, in Sydney 1920. I would suggest that prior to leaving France, a protective coat of engine oil was rubbed all over the gun, to protect it from rust and salt spray. This was a common method to protect steel and iron, frequently used on steam engines at the time and no doubt used by seafarers as well. This would have been a magnet for dust, coal dust and soot whilst awaiting transport and on arrival in Sydney, but would have stopped it quickly rusting away.

 

This is an AWM image of the gun with a SGT (probably the Engr SGT who drove the train) once it was driven to safety on 8 Aug 1918.

E02779

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C962591?image=2



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Legend

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green_acorn wrote:

CharlieC,

 

The Amiens gun was carried as hold cargo. It was in the forward hold closest to the bridge and can be seen in this image being unloaded at Jones Bay, Sydney, during 1920.

 

Cheers,

Chris


Being picky but the carriage certainly is shown being hoisted out of ship's hold - no evidence on the barrel or superstructure. It looks like the outriggers didn't survive the dismantling and transport to Australia.

Fiddling about with the image taken after capture with Gimp the gun house looks as if the camo pattern was four colours - I won't fall into error and try to guess what they were.I'm reminded of the comments by Max Hundleby about the A7Vs - that they were transported to the Belgian railway workshops at Monceau-sur-Sambre and camouflage painted with whatever paint was available. Hundleby suggests the A7V camouflage was likely Belgian railway colours (red-brown, green and ivory/amber (interior paint)) over Feldgrau base coat. Perhaps a similar process happened with the railway guns - it would make sense to use the nearest available railway workshops as a base for maintenance of the railway guns rather than sending them back to the factory.

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Corporal

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Hi - The whole thing was just disassembled in order for it to fit on the ship. It was reassembled back in Australia and put on display. I think even the ammo wagon was initially displayed with the gun unit. There is a grouping of photos on the net somewhere showing the barrel, trucks and little bits etc all being loaded on the ship. The piece was repainted in the 1920s and probably several more times before it was partially disassembled with the carriage/mount pressed into service as a test bed for conducting barrel testing at one of the test ranges. The main carriage was cut up for scrap in 1962 I think (see photos).

In the one photo with the welder, you see one of the Jack screws and Bruno's Weige minus the barrel off to the side.

Sorry - I had problems linking photos -  

Best Regards






-- Edited by Epoch3 on Thursday 15th of August 2019 01:49:09 AM



-- Edited by Epoch3 on Thursday 15th of August 2019 01:54:51 AM



-- Edited by Epoch3 on Thursday 15th of August 2019 02:06:42 AM

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Colonel

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CharlieC wrote:

Fiddling about with the image taken after capture with Gimp the gun house looks as if the camo pattern was four colours



 

I must admit, I had the same impression. However I have no doubt, that the experts that researched the paint some 20 years ago did a good job. Couldn't it be that some hues are so close in tone and brightness that you can't distinguish them in b/w photos?



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Sergeant

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I wrote the AWM as to the colors used on the Amiens gun and here’s the reply

colours that were selected for the Amiens gun were based on previous conservation investigations, involving paint sampling and spot rubbing back to  bare metal surfaces, to determine chronology and camouflage patterning to ‘1938  layer’. Paint colour matching was conducted in conjunction with a paint company in Canberra.

 

The Industrial paint system selected is  a Wattyl Paracryl IF540  two pac acrylic. This paint system was selected for durability and resistance to UV and oxidation, due to objects prolonged display outside. The paint  has a high gloss, which I suspect is not appropriate. We added 30% matting agent (maximum recommended by manufacturer) to dull down surface appearance. Keep in mind that the paint is modern and colour achieved is indicative of WWI period. 

     

Colours  (camouflage) applied to surfaces in 1999,  2011 and 2018 are as follows:

 

Wattyl Colour code      Colour                                                                                                                                                                                          

 40018                                DARK TAN (Amiens Gun Salmon)                     

 40017                                TAN (Amiens Gun Yellow)

 40019                                LT BROWN Formula  (Amiens Gun Red)

 30181                                BEIGE (Amiens Gun Cream) 

 20099                                GREEN (Amiens Gun LT Green)

 40016                                DARK brown (Amiens Gun Brown)

 BLACK                               Black

 

Colour applied in 2018 after complete disassembly and treatment of gun shelter                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

CUSTOM                         Grey   (Amiens Gun shelter-underside roof panels)  -  tint 450(48); 510(2); 560(34)                                   

 

Paracryl IF 540 Matting base                                                                                                                                                                                 

Wattyl L747 Thinners”

 

Unfortunately Wattyl doesn’t sell paint in the US so I can’t get paint chips. I tried using their web site to look up these colors using the numbers

provided using a search but got back an entire web page of similar hues. So if som has more experience in using their web site I’d appreciate seeing what these colors are.

 

Charlie D.        

 

 



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Charlie


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‘1938  layer’, not 1918? Could this be a typing error? If not, we would have an explanation for the actual vivid colours



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Sergeant

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Peter

Good point, I‘ve emailed the auth of the email to confirm is it 1938 or 1918.  I’ll post her response when I get it.  The use of the Belgium Railway colors is an interesting theory to this discussion. 

Charlie



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Charlie


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Charlie,

Having spoken to my father who is both a former Royal Australian Engineers railway and small ships officer, the gun barrel would have also been in a hold, as would probably have been the bogies and other associated parts. It would have been illiogical to have the barrel strapped to the deck of a general cargo ship of the day, there wasn't much free deck space, very few tie down points and there are good reasons for the gun and other large items being being carried as hold cargo. The carriage and barrel would most likely have been the heaviest loads on board and putting them in the hold, tightly packed with dunnage, keeps the centre of gravity low and most importantly stops the very heavy cargo breaking chains on deck in a storm during the long voyage to Australia.

Even the British railway howitzers and guns of the time went across the Channel as hold cargo. Though I suspect Boche Buster and Scene Shifter would have gone across by the train ferry.

Cheers,

Chris

 



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Lieutenant

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I have looked at the Wattyl Industrial site. I will try and drop into a Wattyl centre and see if I can get a brochure/Pantone colour codes for you. If I can get a brochure I will scan it for you.

 

Chris

 

 



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green_acorn wrote:

I have looked at the Wattyl Industrial site. I will try and drop into a Wattyl centre and see if I can get a brochure/Pantone colour codes for you. If I can get a brochure I will scan it for you.

Chris

 Chris

I have the Munsell color book to so if there’s a way to cross reference these colors to the ones on the gun that would help too  

 


 



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