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HMS Victory 2017 re-fit colours


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I see some discussion about the merits of the new (old) colour scheme.

What I have not found is any reference to paint colours from suppliers (available in the UK)

Has anyone worked out what to use?

The yellow now looks a terracotta colour

The red appears to be nearly a vermilion colour (  I suspect a red lead paint.)

The black presumably can still be a semi gloss as before.

Has the blue changed?

All ideas gratefully received!

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No other replies so :-

I have had a good look at paint available and the closest to what I can see with on-line pictures of the new paint.

 

Tamiya  XF-15 flat flesh.

This seems very close (IMHO.)

Perhaps slightly dark out of the bottle.

 

gunport.jpg

Edited by Seren
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Supposed to be  - Red Ocre,     inside wood frammings and inside gun lids.      Yellow  Ocre,      inside bulwarks and gun carrages etc,   also the yellow ish bands on the outside hull are yellow ocre,   and dull black/semi dull satin,   the black bands on the hull and other black feactures.

 

Hope this helps.

 

OC.

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I am part of a small group of enthusiasts involved in completing a model of the Victory belonging to one of the local library assistants.  Her father passed away before he could complete the model, so we are finishing it for them.

 

We had the same issues re colour, so started digging and asking around.

This is our answer.

 

Here we go...

Revell 36135 Flesh for the new light (yellow) bands on the hull

Revell 36109 Anthracite for the 'black' bands on the hull.
Humbrol 71 Oak for the masts and

Humbrol 132 Satin Red for the cannon ports.

 

I have also made a print-out from a screenshot of the video on the HMS Victory restauration blog (there is one where the colour scheme is discussed).  We have the paint, and I am intended to paint a few bits of scrap wood and hold them against the screenshot print-out.

Hope this helps

 

L.H.

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This is the basis of our choice: a reply from the restoration team to our colour request.

The pantone colour codes, as supplied by the Historic Ships Conservation Team for the hull are below. You can view the shades for reference at: http://ncscolour.com/products

Victory Hull Ochre. NCS S 3020-Y40R

The hull black is : NCS S 8500-N

 

Other standard paints are:-

Black paint for ‘ironwork’ (Admiralty Paints: Matt (Metal) Black, AP9106)

White paint (Admiralty Paints: Matt White, AP9111)

French blue paint (Admiralty Paints: French Blue, AP9117)

Red ochre paint (Admiralty Paints: Red Ochre, AP9116)

Copper paint (Admiralty Paints: Copper, AP9126)

Gold paint (Admiralty Paints: Gold/Brass, AP9125)

Brown (wood/leather) paint (Admiralty Paints: Wood (Walnut) Brown, AP9119)

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14 minutes ago, Seren said:

Landrotten Highlander,

Perhaps you can answer another question?

The captains cabin behind the ships wheel has always been dark brown / wood.

I have seen one picture today which seems to be new showing this area painted "pink."

Is this correct, or was I dreaming?

 

Many thanks for your comments.

I suggest for this you ask robdurant (one of the members here) - he has recently taken some pictures on the Victory (on a very bright sunny day).    He gave a link to his flick album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/150573193@N04/sets/72157689985594735

There is one where the background behind the steering wheel does look a bit pink (is that the one you are referring to?), but i think it is either the same colour as the masts, or a very pale wood or even white? colour - but that is my opinion.

Best ark robdurant for that

Slainte

L.H.

Edited by Landrotten Highlander
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6 hours ago, michaelpsutton2 said:

I emailed them and they emailed back a color sample but who knows if my monitor displays it accurately looks much browner to me than Seren's picture above.

 

If I remember correctly, the video on the resoration blog did mention that the ochre on the hull would look different depening on the light - in bright light it looked very pink, while in dull light it looked more ochre.  This makes matching the hue on a scaled down model to that of the real ship very difficult in my opinion.

Our group has made a choice of colours, and from this moment on we are not going to nitpick any further - otherwise we will never finish the model.

Slainte

L.H.

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  • 1 year later...

Across a number of threads there has been considerable debate about the new colour scheme for HMS Victory, most recently on Dafi’s Victory build.  There are supports and doubters.  Doubts as to the change mainly arise because of the there isn’t much material out there other than to say we looked at some old paint samples and worked out what’s what.

 

To see if I could get some further information to help inform the debate and assist in members deciding which colour scheme to go with I thought I’d go to the man who should know, Andrew Baines, Deputy Director of Heritage and Curator at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

 

I emailed Andrew with the following queries:

 

‘Firstly, there is a degree of scepticism as to the voracity of the research behind the new colour scheme.  Despite the information in the public’s domain from Crick-Smith the opposition to accepting the result centres around extrapolating the tests from the various samples to the entire ship. Is there any data that could be shared to demonstrate the applicability of the tests across the fabric of the ship?

Secondly, how does the certainty arise to say ‘this layer’ of a given sample is from c1805?’

 

Andrew kindly responded in some detail earlier today with the following:

 

”I'm afraid that anything associated with Victory tends to be subject to significant debate, much of it ill-informed.

I think the first point to bear in mind is that Victory has changed colour innumerable times since 1922, we have simply been honest about what we have done, and based the change on all available evidence.

From 1816 or so until 1922, Victory was painted black and white. During the 1922-1927 restoration, the SNR and RN desired to return the ship to her Trafalgar appearance. It was believed that Victory's sides were painted 'bright' yellow, and so the brightest available yellow - chrome yellow- was used. Unfortunately, chrome yellow became available only in the second decade of the twentieth century, so this colour was demonstrably incorrect for 1805. Through the twentieth century, the colour changed slightly as the use of heavy metals in paints became unacceptable. When manufacture of the paint for Victory ceased to be undertaken in the dockyard, a trade paint was adopted, and the nearest available colour to that provided by the dockyard recipe was adopted. It was actually quite late into the 1990s before the colour was fixed to a RAL. This colour was not arrived at by archaeological or archival evidence.

We undertook the archaeological paint research not with the intention of changing the colour in which Victory was painted, but to better understand the way in which the ship has been repaired over her long life; there are approximately 33,000 individual elements in the ship, and some 800 rase marks - marks cut into timber as part of the conversion process, and which frequently include the date at which the timber entered the yard, or was converted. As we know the dates of Victory's repairs, we are able to discern the date at which these pieces of timber was placed into the ship. The first layer of paint on that timber element can therefore be dated with some degree of accuracy. We are then able to extend the paint stratigraphy across other timber elements that do not carry a date mark - if those timber elements have paint layers under the layer identified on our dated piece of timber, we know that they date to an earlier repair, if later, we know they date to a later repair. By extending this technique to other dated timbers, one is able to build an extensive timeline of paint treatments for each part of the ship, accurate to a period of five years or so. This accuracy can be improved on by understanding dirt between layers and similar - when the ship is laid up, the dirt layers tend to be very thin, or indeed negligible, when she is at sea, the dirt layers can be quite thick. It's also possible to understand when several coats of paint have been applied in short succession, as dirt layers do not exist.

In addition to the extensive historic paint surfaces on board the ship, we also have the archaeological archive of material removed from the ship between 1960 and 2005. This material can help fill in gaps or give greater understanding where areas on board have been subjected to extensive stripping in preparation for new coats of paint.

Beyond the archaeological evidence, we have details of what paint was carried on board Victory, and the quantities in which it was consumed. The accounts of carpenters stores for Victory in the run up to Trafalgar also gives details of use of paint, and some indication of how it was mixed, but this is actually quite difficult to decipher due to the manner in which the quantities are recorded against the work undertaken.

Further afield from Victory, there is archival evidence for paint used by other ships, and indeed how other ships were painted at the time of Trafalgar. Captain Duff of the Mars, wrote to his wife on October 10th 1805, that ‘I am sorry the rain has begun to-night, as it will spoil my fine work, having been employed for this week past to paint the Ship à la Nelson, which most of the Fleet are doing.' We know from Mars' carpenter's accounts: ‘Painting ship double sides, and repairing the paint work of the Captain’s cabin: paint, white, 109lbs; yellow, 100lbs.’ Allowing 9lbs paint for repairs to the captain’s cabin, this indicates a ratio of 1:1 for the mixture of yellow: white. One can argue that more than 9lbs was needed for the captain's cabin, but the figures are, nevertheless, indicative.

From the surviving carpenters' accounts of British ships at Trafalgar, we can discern that ship's sides were either painted with pure yellow (Prince, Temeraire), used a mix of two or three parts yellow to one part white (Ajax and Revenge prior to the battle) or used a mixture that was (or was close to) equal parts yellow:white (Mars, Thunderer).

Specific to Victory, a survey of carpenter’s stores dated 12th May 1804 records that Victory carried 2cwt 3q 15lb of Venetian (presumably red) paint, 3cwt 0q 17lb of yellow and 2cwt 2q and 1lb of Port Red (dry) paint. Ten months later, in March 1805, a further survey records identical quantities of Venetian and port red, 93lbs of yellow paint and 1,137lbs of white lead paint.

I am sure you will be aware of Peter Goodwin's 2013 article in Mariner's Mirror, in which he documents Nelson's desire to see the ships of his fleet painted in a pale yellow: Goodwin states ‘…Nelson authorised a six-to-one mix of white and yellow, which would be so light as to verge on the colour cream.'. Unfortunately, this is not entirely accurate, as Nelson was not at liberty to authorise such a change. Rather, in late September 1805, Nelson submitted a proposal to Commissioner Middleton at Gibraltar Dockyard that private ships were to be painted three, and flagships four, times per year, the proportion of white paint to yellow to be 6lbs to 1lb.; This proposal was referred to London where it was reviewed in December 1806. The Navy's decision was that the old regulation was to stand, and Nelson’s proposal was not to be carried into effect.

In summary, the manuscript evidence is as follows:
1. Yellow ochre as supplied to ships was a dark colour that was commonly mixed with white (1804 handbook of instruction for RN officers). It must be borne in mind that this was an earth pigment and the actual colour varied widely.
2. The shade of yellow paint employed by the British fleet prior to Trafalgar appears to have varied from ship to ship. Some ships used yellow neat, others mixed yellow with white in a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1, whilst others mixed yellow and white at 1:1.
3. Whilst there is primary source evidence of Nelson’s desire to employ a pale yellow on the topsides of the ships of the Mediterranean fleet, the evidence is also conclusive in confirming that the proposal was rejected. No manuscript evidence supports the mixing of a shade with more white than yellow.
4. The evidence from Victory’s carpenter’s accounts suggests very strongly that the shade of yellow employed was obtained by mixing white and yellow in equal parts.

The archival evidence when combined with the archaeological material provides, therefore, compelling evidence that Victory's colour in 2013 was not correct to the time of Trafalgar (I don't know of anyone who seriously suggested it was) and that we were able to say with some degree of confidence that it was possible to return to a Victory much closer to that Nelson would have known (admittedly he wanted it lighter, but didn't get his way).

All of the available evidence was reviewed by the Victory Technical Committee, then chaired by Martyn Heighten the then Director of National Historic Ships UK, also a member (and still a member) was Jonathan Coad, who had served on the Victory Committee for almost forty years at that point. The recommendation to change the colour was not, therefore, made on an ad-hoc basis, but subject to extensive scrutiny before the Board of the HMS Victory Preservation Company took the decision to change colours when the ship was next repainted.


We do intend to publish a paper on this subject, but our priority at present is resupporting the ship in order to arrest her structural movement - within the next few days the first of the old cradles will be cut out as we move Victory onto her new props”.

 

This certainly changes some of my thoughts, and corrects some misinformation.

 

I thought I’d post this information here rather than on a specific build thread to make it easier for people to search for and retrieve the information.

 

Gary

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  • 5 months later...

Morgan, your write up is very informative and interesting :)

 

As an artist myself to get a pure yellow color it is common practice to put a base coat of white with a layer of yellow over the top.

 

I'm wondering if this was done to freshen up the Victory instead of just painting a mixed yellow and white over the top. If the base material is not a uniform color / shade then that can create the effects of color variance of colors painted over it. On a large surface this would be more apparent, so it makes me think that a baselayer of white may have been used and then yellow over the top... meaning the final color would be pure yellow.

 

This color may have been what Nelson had an issue with, and as there was yellow and white paint available I'm sure that some mixing would inevitable to experiment with different yellow paint options as you have mentioned, If more new coats were applied more often then perhaps the need to paint a white base coat was not needed as the color was still quite 'clean' underneath. This means that if the navy supplied paint had yellow and white available in the quantities mentioned then the mixing of those paints would be quite likely.

 

Pure yellow aged in the sun would indeed pale over time and to match this when repainting, a yellow / white mix may attempted to match the aged yellow color. A new yellow color would be quite alot brighter and if there were many ships in a fleet painted at different times then I can see Nelson's issue and request for a pale yellow color to be used as standard.

 

Of course this is just my 2 cents as an artist who works with oils in large pure abstract type colors. (ie large blocks of pure colors)

Edited by DarkAngel
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1 hour ago, DarkAngel said:

I'm wondering if this was done to freshen up the Victory instead of just painting a mixed yellow and white over the top. If the base material is not a uniform color / shade then that can create the effects of color variance of colors painted over it. On a large surface this would be more apparent, so it makes me think that a baselayer of white may have been used and then yellow over the top... meaning the final color would be pure yellow.

 

This color may have been what Nelson had an issue with, and as there was yellow and white paint available I'm sure that some mixing would inevitable to experiment with different yellow paint options as you have mentioned, If more new coats were applied more often then perhaps the need to paint a white base coat was not needed as the color was still quite 'clean' underneath. This means that if the navy supplied paint had yellow and white available in the quantities mentioned then the mixing of those paints would be quite likely.

 

Pure yellow aged in the sun would indeed pale over time and to match this when repainting, a yellow / white mix may attempted to match the aged yellow color. A new yellow color would be quite alot brighter and if there were many ships in a fleet painted at different times then I can see Nelson's issue and request for a pale yellow color to be used as standard.

 

Of course this is just my 2 cents as an artist who works with oils in large pure abstract type colors. (ie large blocks of pure colors)

Keep in mind that this was not paint as we know it (no barrels full of yellow paint or barrels of red), but rather pigments to make paint.  Usually a dry pigment was shipped and mixed with the solvent/carrier and other pigments only when needed.  It is unlikely that the modern approach (lay down a base layer then paint over that) was used as painting that big beastie was very time consuming and resource intensive. 

 

 

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