An online database of camouflage used by 
United State Naval Warships during WWII


The Development of Naval Camouflage 1914 1945
Part III: British Camouflage in World War II  

By Alan Raven

  

(Article reprinted courtesy of  Plastic Ship Modeler Magazine issue #97/1)  

COIL MATTING A heavy rope carpet or matting laid on small working are as such as searchlight platforms, etc. of small ships, destroyers, etc. during WW Dispensed with in the nineteen twenties.

Color: Medium brown.

 

DECK CAMOUFLAGE (BRITISH)

During World War II the use of patterned camouflage on decks and other horizontal surfaces was rare. Wood decks were usually left in their natural color, Semtex, corticene, and asphalt areas would be left in their natural colors. Bare steel surfaces would be. painted as per instructions given in the tables.

 

Aircraft carriers, especially the fleet carriers, did wear patterned camouflage on their decks on an intermittent basis. No special colors were employed for this purpose, but the effects of weathering on horizontal paint surfaces was sometimes extreme, with colors showing excessive fading.

 

Photographic evidence shows that only a handful of other types of warships ever carried deck camouflage in a patterned style. Among them was the battleship RODNEY and the cruiser NIGERIA.

 

WORLD WAR II BRITISH CAMOUFLAGE COLORS 

  

COLOR
DESIGNATION

DATE OF
INTRODUCTION

1929 MUNSELL NUMBER

MS 1

1941

5PB 2.5/2

MS 2

1941

5PB 4.5/1.25

MS 3

1941

5BG 5.5/1.25

MS 4

1941

5GY 6/1.5

MS 4A

1941

5BG 7.5/1.25

507A

1920

5PB 3.5/2

507B

1940

5PB 5.5/2

507C

1920

5PB 7/1.5

Mountbatten Pink (Light)

1940

5RP 5/1.5

Mountbatten Pink (Dark)

1940

5RP 4/1

Western Approaches Blue

1941

5B 8/2

Western Approaches Green

1941

5G 7/6

Berwick Blue

1941

B 3/6

PB10

1940

7.5PB 1.5/6

B5

1941

10B 5/2

B6

1941

10B 6.2/2

G5

1942

5PB 2.8/1.5

G10

1942

5PB 3.5/1

B15

1942

7.5B 4/2

B20

1942

5B 5/2

G20

1942

5GY 5/1.8

B30

1942

GY-G 6/1.8

G45

1942

10Y 6.5/2

B55

1942

GY-G7.5/1.5

White

1940

 

Dark Brown

1940

Unknown

Light Green

1940

Unknown

Stone

1940

Unknown

Black

1940/41

 

Pink

1941

R 7/2

Dark Blue

1941

B 4/6

 

NOTES ON COLORS

 

Berwick Blue - A dark PURE Blue that utilized the Purkinje effect.

 

Purkinje Effect: A visual phenomena with respect to the color blue. The Purkinje effect occurs where a deep pure blue is present, and is the shift in the color sensitivity of the eye with the change from light to dark adaption, the sensitivity of the eye for blue light relative to the sensitivity to red light increasing very greatly with the change from light to dark adaption. For example, in full sunlight a dark blue will have approximately the same reflectance as a dark grey (about 10% ) but under weak light, twilight, moonlight or less, the dark blue will appear as a very light grey.

 

Dark Brown - No sample or formula has been found. Description is based upon verbal reports, contemporary watercolor paintings, and photos.

 

Light Green - As for Dark Brown.

 

Pink - Taken from a color card that was supplied by the Naval Establishment Paint Stores. The author had been unable to establish its authenticity.

 

Stone Description taken from official document. Photos suggest a color of medium light tone.

 

Dark Blue - Description taken from several verbal accounts and from official documents. These suggest that it was a pure blue similar to Western Approaches Blue, but much darker.

 

Mountbatten Pink Although taken from Union Castle Lavender, Mountbatten Pink was noticeably different. For actual Union Castle Lavender as worn by the American destroyer WINSLOW in late 1941, early 1942, see the l1SN color list (PSM 4/3).

 

HOW TO USE MUNSELL COLOR REFERENCES

 

Readers wishing to view the colors will have to obtain access to the Munsell Book of Color - 1929 edition. Most large cities will hold this volume somewhere in their central library.

Numbers from the 1929 edition have been used, because documents before World War II use the 1929 edition numbers. Readers must NOT use any other edition of Munsell except the 1929 one. In more recent editions the system was revised and the current color numbers/values are NOT the same.

 

The Munsell Book of Colors describes colors as being primarily composed of three facets or dimensions. These are:

Hue = Color

Value = Degree of darkness or lightness without regard to color.

Chroma = The. degree of color saturation.

 

The Munsell number system is therefore broken down as:

Official color 507A = 1929 Munsell SPB3.5/2 5PB = Midpoint in the purple blue range,

3.5 = Value = midway between 3 and 4 on the value scale.

2 = The. degree of chroma

 

 

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