United States Navy
Ships - 2

Supplement to second revision of Ships-2
March 1943




Pattern Layout.

The laying out should present no special difficulty.  Straight lines can commonly be drawn by snapping a chaulk line, and curves can be made by tracing the arc of a loosely held rope.  In many cases the contours of patches can be sketched in freehand, either with a piece of chalk on a pole or roughly indicated with a long handled spray gun.  It will avoid confusion if designations such as 5-H, 5-L, etc., are chalked inside the areas.

While it is desirable that the fundamental character of patterns be retained, it is rarely necessary that time should be lost in making exact measurements with a steel tape.  For example, the Haze Gray patch on the starboard profile of Design 1D, Plate XIX, starts from the edge of the deck at  a point approximately 65 feet from the bow, nut it would be a waster of time to measure it off exactly.  Standing at the after end of the forward gun turret the painter could simply walk to the side of the ship and put a chalk mark for the end of the patch.  Such a method of locating the paint areas is quite good enough.

Working Drawings.

Detailed working drawings of specific designs for specific types of vessels and sample color cards of the colors used in each design will be furnished upon request to the Bureau of Ships.

The laying out of any design is much more readily accomplished from larger and more detailed drawings than is possible to publish in SHIPS-2.  The Bureau of Ships is preparing larger scale drawings to be issued to the yards and painting depots.

Painting Techniques.

A new and very effective style of camouflage is based on soft, misty areas of color.  This type of painting is somewhat difficult to apply with brushes but is a "natural" for spray painting equipment.  It is the simplest way to break up the long, sharp lines of a ship.

Areas of one color  are sprayed on over a dry coat of another color.  The best effects are obtained with high-pressure air-gun sprays.  Good equipment will spray a mist coat at the rate of 50 to 75 square feet per minute.  A recently designed portable outfit covers at the rate of 500 to 600 square feet per minute.

Most all modern painting is done with spray, Without masking, edges are automatically soft.  By increasing the distance of the gun from the ship and moving the gun rapidly, big , graded shades are easily achieved.

Pattern Adaptation.

It will be frequently necessary  to adapt a design made for one type of ship to a vessel of quite different construction.  In such a case the best course is to use one of those patterns, such as Design 1B on Plate XXIV or Design 17D on Plate XX, made up of large areas of paint with soft edges or soft and sharp edges.  These designs, which for the best results should have spray application, are intended to break up the silhouette of the ship and this result will be accomplished even if the pattern varies widely with the working drawings.  In designs of this type, target angle deception is merely incidental, but there are other designs in which it has received careful consideration and will be lost if the changes necessary to adaptation are made at random.

 In painting a ship from a plan issued for a inherent type, it is not a good practice to start at the bow and lay design off in proportionate measurements.  The best plan is to key such a design to the bow and stern and superstructure with due though for breaks in deck level and lengthen or shorten the design in the less critical spaces between these points.

Improvisation will frequently be required.  In general, carry the color of adjacent areas over any new gear or additional structure, but there are some instances where deviation is better than repetition.  For example, if you have to apply a design showing only one stack to a two stack vessel it is invariably good practice to paint the two stacks in different colors.  The reason for this lies in the value derived from partial visibility.  If one stack is Ocean Gray (5-O) and the other is Light Gray (5-L), there is a large chance that both will not be equally visible on the same day.  Not only will the vessel be first identified as a one stacker, but the possibility of estimating the target angle  from the position of the two stacks will be greatly reduced.  For the same reason it is often good policy to paint two masts in different colors.

Paint colors.

Any number of shades of Blue-Gray can be mixed from Dull Black, White (5-U), and Blue-Black tinting material (5-TM).  Likewise any number of shades of Gray-Green can be mixed from Black (13), White (5-U), and the new Green tinting material (5-GTM).  Many of the Blue-Gray shades are already well known by name.

Camouflage colors and shades are listed in Tables I and II in the order of their lightness (reflectance) from White (75 percent reflectance) to Black (2 percent reflectance).  They are mixed by adding a given number of pints of the tinting materials to a designated number of gallons of the white.

The tinting materials (5-TMa, 5-BTM, and 5-GTM), Deck Blue (20-B), White (5-U), and Dull Black may be procured from:

Mare Island Navy Yard.
Norfolk Navy Yard.
Navy Yards, stations and supply depots.
Commercial manufacturers and dealers.

Since January 1943, commercial paint manufacturers have been furnished Navy paint formulas and paint color cards from the Test Laboratory, Navy Yard, Philadelphia.  Many private paint manufacturers are on the accredited list and may supply yards, docks, and private shipbuilding companies with tinting materials or with certain  stocks of the paints listed already mixed.

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