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Post Info TOPIC: Dark Khaki Brown


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Dark Khaki Brown
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Has anybody set out what is meant by the above shade?
Is there a matching BS Code No. or FS Code No. for it?
Has anybody worked out what proportions of Humbrol colours need to be mixed to provide this effect?
I'd hate to get on the wrong side of the "experts" if there is an approximation or equivalent laid out somewhere.
If nothing is available, can Bovington give us a reference?
Tony

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Legend

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Colours cause more argument, dispute, high blood pressure etc. than many a religious or political disagreement. One of the problems is that in the 1914 -18 period you couldn't just pop down the stores and get a can of ready mixed paint or even a colour chart. What you could get was a recipie that defined the pigments and the proportions needed to mix to get an 'official' colour and your workshop or factory mixed it up as needed. Unfortunately individual factories didn't always use precisely the proportions (or qualities of pigment) as specified so that colours could vary from factory to factory and even from batch to batch. To make things worse the colours once mixed were not always stable over time. As a result two 'experts' can be nose to nose, going purple and insisting that the colour of their model is the only true colour and all others should be cast into the firey pit And they can both be right (as Kipling once described a similar dispute "There are four and twenty ways of making tribal lays - AND EVERY ONE OF THEM IS RIGHT").
The WW1 model aircraft fraternity has already had this argument - ad nauseum.
To complicate this further read my posting on scale paint and colour (Peter said he was going to put it on the site - but it seems to have slipped his memory)

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hi tony


this argument has been kicked around so much in all the forums. its covered particularly well in the missing lynx forum in a post from a year or so ago.


essentially no meaningful paint code number exists from the time for various reasons. a sort of general agreement (at the moment) is that Humbrol 29 is close, but you may want to darken or lighten it according to choice (and, by the way, Humbrol have just gone bust so don't hang around getting the paint you want!)



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Ooops, sorry 'bout that one, Centurion. Where do I find this post? This is a ever recurring issue, and well worth doing an article about. Will post ASAP. When I find it...


 



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/Peter Kempf


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My own two cents: you take a colour that really can be described as Dark Khaki Brown, and that will be fine by me. There is NO WAY of knowing the actual hue of that colour now. And I doubt if there ever *was* an actual, standard exact shade in the first place. 


A good memento is the German "Feldgrau" debate. After examining left-over paint on actual WW1 pieces of equipment, the German who did the investigation, found out that there was no one feld-grau colour, but that it ranged from grey to green and even beyond.


I agree with Centurion: Let's not follow the WW1 Aero fraternity up this blind alley.


The real thing to concentrate upon is instead


A. Markings. Of course.


B. Different colour schemes. The Mk IV was for the most time given an overall Dark Khaki Brown colouring, and you can't go wrong using that one; but you can actually find variants, with squiggles in a different colours and even two-tone schemes. I hope to one day do a small article on multi-coloured Mk IV's. Because such animals existed, albeit rare.



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/Peter Kempf


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Peter Kempf wrote:



Ooops, sorry 'bout that one, Centurion. Where do I find this post? This is a ever recurring issue, and well worth doing an article about. Will post ASAP. When I find it...


 




Searching fails to turn up the original posting (I've noticed before that some older postings seem to become invisible to the search) so I attach the article again

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this from missing lynx forum


http://www.network54.com/Forum/282066/message/1150308948/


and if you change your mind about brown, how about naval grey with red piping used for parades. Firespite 2 (mk4 female) is shown in these colours. of course, you then have to decipher the arguments about naval grey!



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Phil R wrote:



this from missing lynx forum


http://www.network54.com/Forum/282066/message/1150308948/


and if you change your mind about brown, how about naval grey with red piping used for parades. Firespite 2 (mk4 female) is shown in these colours. of course, you then have to decipher the arguments about naval grey!




Not just parades. There appears to have been a period when tanks left the factory in grey and sometimes the crews painted them and sometimes they just allowed the mud to do the camoflaging.

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Although any definitive representation of the paint finish of WW1 AFVs may not be possible, I would still like to know something about the pigments and medium used. Other than the rare survivors with what must be assumed to be weathered and oxidised paint, there is the tantalisingly contemporary model of the Gun Carrier, which at least has not spent its existence exposed to the elements.


For a contemporary interpretation of the Solomon scheme, an illustration by Fortunino Matania has some interest, as this artist often researched meticulously, and some of his work is of a very good quality.



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That is true. It would be great if someone did a work corresponding to the German "Feldgrau" project, on the Dark Khaki Brown. It would certainly be possible.


 



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/Peter Kempf


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Some initial thoughts


The Ministry of Munitions issued recipies for two pigment mixes that could be added to a transparent base to produce either a greenish khaki or a darker brown khaki. When mixed with aircraft varnish these produced PC10 and PC12 and were used on most RFC, RNAS, AFC and American operational aircraft. I suspect that the same pigments were used with a different base to produce vehicle (and tank) paint. The main ingredients were lamp black, iron oxide and yellow ochre, unfortunately I don't have the proportions to hand but these are probably buried in the archived bits of my library (I'll try and dig them out but they are not too easily accessible as I have not yet got round to fully indexing the material). In any case the evidence is that diffrent factories applied different versions of the mix so that PC10 could vary from very greenish to almost chocolate (and insistiguishable from PC12). PC 12 was intended for use in the Middle East and Africa (being considered better able to withstand strong sunlight) but recently discoverd colour photos of the AFC in Palestine suggest that PC10 was also used in the Middle East. The chocolate brown of the Whippet in the Brussels museum could easily be a terrestial form of PC12 but equally could be a dark mix of a PC10 equivalent. If the latter then it could be that the colour of individual tanks could be somewhere in a wide range of shades. To add to the confusion the transparant base used could affect the colour fastness so that some mixes darkened with age whilst others lightened.


The enclosed photos of two WW1 aircraft also show that using shades on photos to determine the lightness or otherwise is a false hope. The two planes (Sopwith Snipe prototypes) were painted in PC10 almost certainly from the same batch and photographed when new. However because differnt types of film were used the tones are reproduced differntly. (Also note how the  Red white and blue of the national markings on the tail vary considerably with the blue being almost white in one instance) The front section of each aircraft was painted in Admiralty Grey which is the same colour as used on RNAS armoured cars and probably on tanks. See how this also appears in very diferent tones. I'm afraid that the same effect is certain when looking at photos of tanks - the film stock can mislead.



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The pigments mentioned by Centurion, Lamp Black, Iron Oxide, and Yellow Ochre were probably selected not only for their ready availability in quantity but also for their lightfast properties, as all three are very stable. One consideration in their use as aircraft finishes was the reduction of the effects of U/V light on the linen fabric covering, and the cellulose medium into which they were added acted as a shrinking dope, but the effect in all photographs I have seen is most definitely not matt.


It may be optimistic of me, but I cannot help hoping that there might still be some procurement documents relating both to the pigments and medium for terrestrial vehicles of the 1914-18 period. Stable pigments in the earth colours were readily available and well known, and relatively cheap, as they still are. This is reflected in current prices of artists' grade paints and pigments now.


I do agree with Centurion on the need for caution when relying on the tonal values of contemporary photographs, as film stock prior to the widespread use of panchromatic can give very misleading effects, with deep blues hardly registering, as in the Snipe photographs, and yellows appearing very dark. There are photographs of a yellow-nosed Pfalz DIII taken apparently on the same day, but with different film stock, which look like two different aircraft.


Solomon J. Solomon, by the way , wrote at least on book, (on painting). It contains no information on his time as a cmouflage specialist.


 



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Michael Taylor wrote:



The pigments mentioned by Centurion, Lamp Black, Iron Oxide, and Yellow Ochre were probably selected not only for their ready availability in quantity but also for their lightfast properties, as all three are very stable. One consideration in their use as aircraft finishes was the reduction of the effects of U/V light on the linen fabric covering, and the cellulose medium into which they were added acted as a shrinking dope, but the effect in all photographs I have seen is most definitely not matt.


My hypothesis was that the same set of pigments might be used on both land and aircraft but with a different base medium. This would be much easier on the supply side. Its worth noting that the grey used on metal and wood on aircraft was the same as used on RNAS armoured cars. Whilst the immediate effect on aircraft of PB10 and 12 was glossy it very quickly became semi matt or eggshell and finally went matt over time. It was discovered that whilst the pigmented varnishes were slightly better than clear ones at preserving fabric a light grey mixed with alumonium oxide (giving a silver effect) was far superior. This had already been introduced by the Pfalz factory in Barvaria and by Nieuport in France but only a few RAF aircraft appear to have been so treated by wars end so attached were the Ministry of Munitions to PB10 and 12. (the camoflage effect of these colours was actually incidental). Grey (with sometimes a blueish tinge) had long been the standard colour for British army wagons, carriages and gun carriages (being refered to in RA circles and instructions as "the colour". Browns and Khakis are much of a WW1 period introduction which would increase the possibility of the Ministry of M  creating an overall standard.


BTW the varnish on aircraft hould not be considered as a tightening agent (like dope on a model aircraft) but rather as a stiffener and preservative to retain the tautness of the linen fabric.



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A serious question!


 


The basic colors were produced as pigment. Mixing the basic pigments in certain proportion would produce color. The shade of the color depended upon the quality of the pigment. All nations had limited number of basic pigments and all colors were produced from few basics.


 


Example is US ‘olive drab’ from ww2. The basic colors – black and yellow were mixed in certain proportion to make ‘olive drab. Depending on the theatre of action the shade was different. It could be from 9/1 – yellow/black – used in warmer climate and giving the ‘sandish’ color to 2/8 – yellow/black – giving the dark, dark shade of olive. In Europe vehicles were further coated with wasted oil for better protection against the humidity and that darken the ‘olive drab’ much further.


German crews in WW2 were given 3 basic pigments – sand, brown and green. It was left for the unit commander to decide what colors would be used in the unit. Further problem for color identification is that there were several mediums used for the color. Pigment might be mixed in gasoline, water… Each mixture gave different shade. Depending on the method of application the shade varied – it could mix with the basic color (if solution – the medium was dissolving the basic color); it could be applied by brushes or by airbrush…


 


The quality of WW1 paints (enamels, colors) depended much on the medium. For WW1 aircraft it was the mixture of 1/17 yellow/black. Then it was mixed with cellulose acetate, oil varnish or other medium. Later on there appeared a color ‘standard khaki’ mixed and caned to be applied. Khaki was produced in two types – for the War Office and for Admiralty. The color was called P. C. 10. It had proportion of ferric oxide Fe2O3 that was mixed with black pigment. The shades varied as the proportion of ferric oxide changed during the war. So the color varied from light olive brown to yellowish brown…


 


It ranged from greenish ochre-greenish brown-brown green to almost all brown, and it changed the color depending on how worn it was…


 


I took these numbers from the book ‘Fighters, Attack and Training Aircraft’ by K. Munson (1968) for the P. C. 10, based on Air Board color master:


 


3E/F7 – 3E/F4, 4F, 4E/F5 – 4E/F5, 4F/G7-4F/G4 and 4/5F6 – 4/5F2 with all the variations between. Admiralty khakis were in the range 3F8 to 4 F9 (Methuen range)…


 


But you need a color for a tank – not a plane…


 


It really is a serious question…


 


Best,


 


I



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Yvan Stefanos (Ivan Stefanovic)


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Yvan/Ivan


I think you've oversimplified a bit - for example there was also PC 12 


However talking about tanks see the attached colour photo taken about 1939. The tank is very weathered and faded on the sides which look light or medium redish brown but in the sheltered area between the horns the predominant colour is a greenish khaki!


I suspect that the colour of tanks varied considerable depending both on the factory that built them (and possibly even the paint batch) and on how long they had been in the field. When modelling I think one should not agonise on the precise colour (unless one has reliable info about the specific tank being modelled) and accept that it could be somewhere within a range from a greenish kahki and a dark brown kahki.


I can remember a cartoon in an early MM magazine which showed a competition judge examining a model of a Greek hoplite with a magnifying glass and commenting "the dirt under his toenails is the wrong colour for Thermopolae" There is a danger in attemping to define the undefinable.


 



-- Edited by Centurion at 14:17, 2006-09-14

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Dear Centurion,


 


Yes it is just simplified version - and for the color used on planes only...


The point is - you are never sure about the color. It changes and it is never constant.


What I do is to mix colors using few basic colors. Only point is (just an opinion) that basic colors are different for different nations as the pigment was produced localy...


I would mix 'British Scarlet' (yellowish red -brock red) and black for khaki dark brown... To what ammount? Oh, well, till it looks good enough for me...


 


Best,


 


Yvan



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Yvan Stefanos (Ivan Stefanovic)
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