[WWI] RFC/RNAS Queries

Ray B fokkereiv at yahoo.ca
Sat Feb 10 13:17:45 EST 2007

I think the tyres have been dealt with by others however here is the
officially designated PC10 Mixture and ts a bit different than your
reference indicated. 

These were the officially directed formulations of 1916-1918

To make 100 gallons of PC10 the supposed formula in use in 1916. 

250 pounds Nitro-cellulose syrup,
50 Pounds of castor oil
74 pounds of Pigments

the pigments in ounces

640 ounces of Yellow ochre
480 ounces Umber
40 ounces red ochre
24 ounces chinese blue 

To this was added 20 Gallons Acetone
15 gallons amyl Acetate
15 Gallons of Benzol
15 gallons of methylated spirit

Now if you look at the colours, yes there is a brownish set of coulrs
all mixed together, but that blue would definately pull it to the
green range of colours. 
therefore PC10 is not just yellow ochre mixed with lampblack. 

PC12 was similar in chemicals but the pigments were Red iron oxide
and lamp Black. perhaps this is where the black was confused from. 

Also the PC10/PC12 dope coat was just part of the finishing system if
you like there were multiple layers of dope, varnish and then the
PC10/PC12 topcoat.

The RNAS were a bit slower in adoptng PC10/PC12 although the colours
were introduced to the RFC  and RNAS in 1916 they were not in general
use until the spring of 1917. Remember the companies that made the
mixtures would not have been dead accurate, so there were a range of
shades, add in weathering and you get a large range of tones and

Hope that helps.  Oh I used WWI bristish aeroplane Colours and
markings which is a pretty recent reference and used offcial records
for its formulations. 


--- Christopher Malany <cmm-saj at snet.net> wrote:

> Hello, List:
> After a long hiatus modeling just about everything but
> WWI a/c, I’ve come back to early warplanes with a
> vengeance, particularly RFC/RNAS machines.  Having dug
> out  accumulated books and references, and rapidly
> filling out my library, I still have some basic
> questions.  Your patient tolerance of a relative
> newbie, and your advice, are gratefully appreciated. 
> My questions:
> 1) Historically, how many different formulae were
> there for P.C. 10?  From Kenneth Munson’s books bought
> in childhood, I’d understood that P.C. 10 was composed
> of yellow ochre and lamp-black, with the ingredients
> mixed into nitrocellulose dope or linseed.  As I
> interpreted Munson, this formula could only yield a
> chocolate brown color, with any “green shift”
> attributable to the dope, lacquer or linseed medium. 
> Is this right, sort of right, or completely wrong? 
> For example, the very detailed margin notes Henry
> “Hank” Burden made around the photo of his S.E.5a
> C’1096 identified the upper surface and under fuselage
> color as simply “green,” which suggests P.C.10 could
> really look green.  I’m confused 
> 2) Can list members suggest any favorite mixes for
> P.C. 10 using Humbrol enamels?  I still have a few
> precious tins of their “Authentic Colours” RFC Khaki,
> but I’m going to need to start mixing P.C. 10 using
> their current paints.
> 3) What colors were aircraft tires?  Eduard suggests a
> pinkish-grey for their Nieuport 17, and various shades
> of light and medium greys seem common.  When did they
> start batching rubber with lots of carbon to produce
> our current greyish-black tires? 
> 4) Most WWI a/c have half-moon shaped footrests or
> stirrups on the fuselage sides, often simulated in kit
> form with nifty PEB pieces.  I assume these were
> actually cut outs; what were they backed with?  It
> looks like there should be a fabric bag, or at least
> gusseted fabric, but I haven’t found any illustrations
> of this detail.
> 5) Was P.C. 12 used on machines on the Western Front,
> or was it confined to the Middle Eastern theater?
> 6) Does anyone know the French camouflage colors used
> on RFC Nieuport 24/27s.  More generally, is there any
> decent one-volume monograph or study on WWI French
> paint finishes and camouflage?
> 7) A recent build by Neil Pinchbeck of Revell’s S.E.5a
> kit in SAMI v. 12 iss. 12 suggests that cockpit
> interior sides were finished in red oxide primer.  All
> my references for S.E.s and Sopwiths point to
> varnished and often stained wood finishes instead. 
> Any ideas on red lead primer?
> A long list of questions   Thanks in advance for your
> thoughts.
> Christopher M. Malany
> Stephanie A. Johnson

Models blog

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the WWI mailing list