[WWI] SPAD colors ...

Crawford Neil wwi@wwi-models.org
Tue Dec 2 04:15:00 2003

Hi, First I must correct something I said yesterday, Allan Touelle
doesn't think French planes should be darker, he thinks they
should be portrayed lighter. Also I should also say again, that 
he is talking about Breguets, it was me that managed to get it on 
to Spads. But he does mention that one of his colour chips is from
the inside of a Spad, I'm not sure if we can assume that what applies
to Breguets also applies to Spads? I read it so, and that's sort of
new to me. In any case none of this really revolutionary, I had a look in the 
FMP book, and most French aircraft are beige rather than yellow 
except some of the Spads. 

A question arises about Linsead oil, if the yellowing on Spads is due
to age, how long did it take, as we are depicting models as they were,
would yellowing be appropriate? BTW why didn't the roundels go yellow,
no Linsead oil on them I suppose. Weather and light probably makes
a difference too, so is French "yellow" like PC10? Dicta Ira!

The new Breguet 14 special is really an awesome piece of work, there's
so much interesting stuff on french paintwork, it's an eye-opener.
I've never realised that the rudder text's were done with decals for 
instance, and that it's easy to recognise the manufacturer by the font
used. How many people knew that Darraq hand painted their "lever ici"
markings, and all the other factories used decals!
/Neil C.

Lance says:

>I seem to recall discussions of the fatty varnish used on French
>planes, and the likelihood of yellowing in consequence.  Does anyone
>else recall this?

Yup. Linseed oil based stuff. Yellowish right out of the can.

I'm inclined to agree with Toelle that the average French aircraft was 
probably not nearly as yellow as they are often depicted. Remember the 
effect of yellow surfaces on ortho film? If they were that yellow they'd be 
at least dark grey on many (probably most) B&W photos, and it just isn't so.