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FLYING BOATS COLOUR CHARTS
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The colour and camouflage schemes of flying boats, and the actual shades or hues of the colours used when painting them, have always been a subject for discussion. This is particularly so for modelers who choose to replicate, albeit in miniature, those schemes. 

Good primary reference sources are very hard to come by, and it is only in recent years that colour pictures from WWII have come to light. These are very much dependent on the various printing processes involved and, of course, how the original print has been produced. Notorious colour shifts can be apparent. However, the vast majority of pictures still remain in black and white.

There exists for all the paint used at the time paint charts which were produced by the manufacturer as a reference guide to military paint stores and their quartermasters when issuing stocks. These charts took the form of a list of 'paint chips', sample squares which were large enough to verify the colour and shade of the paint stocked.

If you can find them, these charts are modelers 'Gold Dust' as they represent the colour as it was produced ie: neat, with no weathering. These 'chips' give one a very good guide as to the shade and hue of the original colour.

Of course, today on a PC the colour displayed depends on how it was scanned, resolutions on one's monitor and a number of other variables including your own eyesight.

But, nevertheless these chips will still give a good idea of a particular colour for the modeler; at least as close as one is likely to get, or indeed want to get, for reasonable modeling purposes.

These charts have scanned particularly well and are a reasonably good guide but should be used in conjunction with other resources.

Credits: Grateful thanks to Tim Kalina for all his help and assistant with this gallery.

Click on the links or the icon to view the charts:

Armee de l'Air Aeronavale - Official Colour Chart - 1900 to 1945 * Whole Chart
Italian A.F. Official Colour Chart - 1916 to 1943 * Whole Chart
Japanese Official Colour Chart - 1936 to 1945 * Whole Chart
Luftwaffe Official Colour Chart - 1934 to 1945 * Whole Chart
 Finland-Holland-Belgium Air Forces - Official Colour Charts * Whole Chart
Polish Air Force Official Colour Chart - WWII * Whole Chart
Spanish A. F. Official Colour Chart - WWII * Whole Chart
US Official Colour Chart - 1919 to 1940 * Whole Chart
US Official Colour Chart - 1916 to 1945 * Whole Chart
US Post-war Korea-Vietnam era Official Colour Chart * Whole Chart
USSR Official Colour Chart - Early to WWII * Whole Chart
Royal Air Force WWII Colour Chart Re-Print of Original WWII Camouflage Specifications
United States Navy Colour Chart Whole Chart *
 
It is with great pleasure we present the gallery below contributed by our long-term correspondent, Tim Kalina, who has generously provided these original colour charts. These date from 1932, 1935, two from 1940 and one from 1946 and span the all-important pre-war and war years. As well as scanning the complete charts, I have enlarged each of the lists of 'chips' and placed these into their own pages. This is so that anyone with a decent graphics program can sample the colours for placing into their own colour palette, without the surrounding paperwork.

These charts have scanned particularly well and are a reasonably good guide but should be used in conjunction with other resources. Many thanks, Tim.

 
1932 BERRYLOID Colour Chart  Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips
1935 SHERWIN WILLIAMS Chart  Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips 
1940 BERRYLOID Colour Chart   Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips
1940 SHERWIN WILLIAMS Chart Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips
1946 BERRYLOID Colour Chart     Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips
1946 SHERWIN WILLIAMS - Part 1 Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips
1946 SHERWIN WILLIAMS - Part 2 Whole Chart Enlarged Colour Chips