[WWI] French Yellow

Gabriel Limon arglim at msn.com
Tue Apr 22 15:22:59 EDT 2014

I think you need to be suspicious about using Guynemer's S VII as an example.  I saw it many years ago when it was still in the Invalides.  I have seen it since at the Musee de l'Aire et Espace.  It seems to have darkened with age, at least to me.  I also think that when it was in the Invalides it was pretty neglected for a period of time.  Let's put it this way, it sure ain't factory fresh!  I'm attaching a photo of #2, and the Nieuport 11 for a "contrast" photo.  I don't remember if the N.11 is an original or repro.  Gotta remember that aircraft factories and field mechs didn't hire interior decorators to hustle down to the nearest Lowe's or Home Depot to get the absolute exact color match.

From: davecww1 at gmail.com
To: wwi at wwi-models.org
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:26:52 -0400
Subject: Re: [WWI] French Yellow

Hi Tom,
JR seems to have the right idea here, Nieuport used 
the light yellow on some of the N.11's such as the one flown by Victor Chapman, 
also on Caudron and various other two seaters, and on the SPAD aircraft such as 
the SPAD VII, XII and early S.XIII.  I just re-read Alan Toelle's book 
on the Breguet 14, and he says that the fabric surfaces were clear doped while 
the metal areas were painted with Ripolin, an oil based pigmented varnish that 
was mixed to closely match the fabric.  But it was not a perfect match, 
usually appearing darker than the fabric areas.  Alan calls the color used 
Beige, not French Yellow.  I'm not sure about the SPAD, it could have had a 
pigmented varnish mixed with the dope over the fabric areas.  

Mister Kit has a pre-mixed French Light Yellow 
which is a good base color for the SPAD fabric.  The Mister Kit Beige is 
one of the colors for the later 5 color camouflage so should not be used for the 
early Yellow SPAD.  As far as Model master paints go, I could not find an 
exact match out of the box to the Mister Kit paint, but British Gulf LT Stone 
may be a good starting point, mix that with white 50/50 and you should be close 
to the  French yellow fabric color.  
Mix The Gulf LT Stone with some ANA 616 SAND and you should have a good color 
for the metal parts.  
Hope this helps...
From: "J.R. 
Boye" <hopeandmercy at hotmail.com>
To: "World War I Modelers' List" <wwi at wwi-models.org>
Subject: Re: [WWI] French Yellow
<COL126-W369BAA0676F2FB8EF49C29D6590 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; 

Mr. T!

>From what I have read, the French 
"yellow" was not a true CDL (used on earlier French aircraft) but an actual 
color specified by the military. There is speculation that aluminum powder was 
added to this light yellow to make it more opaque.

The metal parts were 
painted to closely match the yellow color, just as the later camouflage colors 
matched the fabric tones. On the preserved S.VII of Guynemer, the color is a 
light beige, but apparently there was some variation. On Victor Chapman's 
Nieuport, the color is described as "cream". In photos, sometimes the SPADs look 
darker, rather than lighter; more on the brown side.

On my models, I make 
the metal portions a slightly different tint than the metal, usually lighter to 
indicate some weathering of the doped fabric.

J.R. Boye

dr-I.417.17 at cox.net
To: wwi at wwi-models.org
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:18:55 -0500
Subject: Re: 
[WWI] WAS French blue Now French CDL?

Hi, out of lurk mode here. 
picked up a nice SPAD double kit, just curious about the
French ?all yellow? 
finish. Looking at the SPAD VII on line it
appears that the fabric portions 
are tinted CDL. But what about the metal
portions? Was this a paint mixed to 
match the CDL color or was it the same
color used on the fabric?
anyone have any suggestions for Model Master paint 



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