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Royal Navy Colour Chips
Jon Warneke and Jeff Herne

Nearly every fighting ship in the Royal Navy wore a dazzle or disruptive camouflage scheme at some time between 1940 to 1945.  In January 1940 the destroyer HMS Grenville became the first WW2 Royal Navy vessel to display a camouflage scheme. Most of the early patterns were generated unofficially, and competitions were often held between ships for the best camouflage patterns. The RN camouflage department experimented with several dazzle pattern variations, and decided on a scheme devised by Peter Scott, a naturalist. These schemes were eventually developed into the Western Approaches Schemes.

By late 1940 the dazzle patterns on many larger vessels were painted over, and an overall medium gray (507B) scheme was adopted. A number of larger vessels (cruiser size and larger) continued to carry camouflage, usually a Modified Peter Scott scheme, using Admiralty Home Fleet Dark Gray (507B) and White, with a dark black gray (507A) sometimes being used. By the summer of 1941,  larger ships began carrying the First Admiralty Disruptive schemes, which were used sporadically until the latter part of 1942.

In 1942 the Admiralty Intermediate Disruptive Pattern came into use, and was reasonably successful in breaking up a vessel’s outline at medium and long ranges and in most weather and light conditions. The colors usually consisted of MS1, MS3, MS4a, and B5. In 1944, Admiralty Standard Schemes were developed in an attempt to standardize patterns and colors.

There is no possible way to catalog every camouflage scheme carried by Royal Navy vessels. The many unofficial schemes, as well as variations in standard schemes, means that artistic license as well as photographic evidence must play a part in   modeling World War Two Royal Navy vessels.

RN Colour 1929 Munsell Matching Paint Chip

Pallet 1
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Pallet 2
RNchip02.jpg (44593 bytes)
Click to view full size pallet


Editor's Note:
The "matching paint chip" refers to paint colour samples available free at home improvement centers in the USA. "DB" indicates the "Dutch Boy" line available at Sears.  It is not necessary that you buy a gallon of the indicated colour, probably enough for at least a thousand 1/700 scale models.  Obtain the free chip, which has been painstakingly matched to the Munsell standard, and mix your own.  And be aware that these chips are full scale matches.   The smaller the scale, the more you will have to tone down the colour with white or light grey to obtain the right "look" in a 1/350 or 1/700 scale model.

vertbar1.gif (932 bytes) MS1 5PB 2.5/2 DB Centennial 1-B-1
MS2 5PB 4.5/1.25 DB Cliffhanger Gray 28-V-5
MS3 5BG5.5/1.25 DB Spruce Hollow 29-G-1
MS4 5GY 6/1.5 DB Appalachian Dawn 29-G-2
MS4A 5BG 7.5/1.5 Behr Legend 3A56-3
507A 5PB 3.5/2 DN Mason Dixon 28-B-1
507B 5PB 5.5/2 DB Tornado Season 29-V-5
507C 5PB 7/1.5 DB Georgetown Gray 30-V-5
Mountbatten Pink (Lt) 5RP 5/1.5 DB Deception Pass 22-V-1
Mountbatten Pink (Dk) 5RP 4/1 DB Preserves 1-V-1
WA Blue 5B 8/2 DB Land of the Free 19-B-3
WA Green 5G 7/6 DB Kittery Green 11-G-2
Berwick Blue B 3/6 DB Marina 2-B-6
PB 10 7.5PB 1.5/6 DB Old Glory 1-B-2
B5 10B 5/2 DB Husky Blue 28-B-2
B6 10B 6.2/2 DB Silicon Valley 24-V-3
G5 5 PB 2.8/1.5 DB Union Blues 1-B-3
G10 5PB 3.5/1 DB Black Butte 28-V-4
B15 7.5B 4/2 DB Regatta 1-B-7
B20 5B 5/2 DB Motown Blues 23-B-1
G20 5GY 5/1.8 DB Aspen Crest 22-G-3
B30 GY-G 6/1.8 DB Cumberland Gap 16-G-3
G45 10Y 6.5/2 DB Saybrook Manor 30-G-3
B55 GY-G 7.5/1.5 DB Etna Green 17-G-3
Pink R 7/2 DB Vintage Vineyard 24-V-1
Dark Blue B 4/6 DB Kahana Bay Blue 10-B-4