Mark IV Colour

Forum for discussion relating to the British MK IV Tank
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Chris Hall
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Chris Hall » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:06 pm

Paul -

Love those pictures ........

'Lusitania' (the top one) was actually a Mark II, used at Arras in mid-1917. The original Mark I's were pretty tired out by then, so the Tank Corps had to use what they'd got. The Mark II's were superficially similar to the Mark I's (losing the tail wheels), but the key difference was that they were only designed for training, and used mild steel rather than boilerplate ! That's why the one at Bovington ('Flying Scotsman') is shot full of holes .........

I don't know anything about 'Escapade' (the second one), but the 'crew' are Germans, which could explain the grey / green tint :wink: .

And, as you said in your earlier post, this is a hornet's nest of a question. The splinter camo was definitely Mark I's only. The white / red / white recognition flashes were not introduced until mid-1918 (certainly not Cambrai), when (a) they needed to differentiate from the captured German Mark IV's, and (b) the newly-formed RAF were providing more ground support, so clear aerial recognition was important.

I think there is general acceptance that, post-1916, British tanks were basically brown. I'm not convinced there would have been a particular shade, as the Tank Corps was a very new formation, with a high attrition rate, and things just weren't that regimented. I suspect they used what was easily to hand, and let the mud do the rest. The Germans used captured stocks of French Railway paint on their tanks, and I'd imagine that the British would have done something similar / equally expedient.

So, in general, I don't think there's a definitive answer. That leaves everyone to do whatever they feel comfortable with (just don't do yellow with purple spots as my wife suggests !).

All the best,

Chris Hall

ADDENDUM 18/2/2015: I should have added that the usual word used to describe the shade of brown is 'chocolate'. It all depends, of course, how much cocoa and milk you like to use :wink: . However, I take that to mean a darker shade. Is there anyone out there who knows what colour brown the French Railways used for exterior paint before WW1 ? That would be a pretty good source .......
Last edited by Chris Hall on Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul Morris
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Paul Morris » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:01 pm

Hello Chris.

Thanks for your reply and taking the time to do it :) very interesting stuff unfortunately I have no room to keep of these great models myself but I do have a couple to do for customers ..... oh those rivets haha.
Looking forward to seeing yours grow.
Kind regards Paul. :wink:
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Adrian Harris
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:51 pm

There doesn't seem to be a consensus on colour, so what colour and brand of paint have people used so far ?

I've ordered a British Standards swatch pad, from which BS381C 361 "Light Stone" looks a likely candidate. Given the amount of metal to cover, I'll probably use matt acrylic rattle cans for the base colour.

Adrian.
Last edited by Adrian Harris on Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stephen White
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Re: Mark IV Colour and New WW1 book.

Post by Stephen White » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:24 pm

Adrian

As Chris says, there is a fair amount of debate about the colour of British WW1 tanks. I did post a while back though on "Grit", the Mk IV presented to Australia. It's now in the Australian War Memorial Collection. When it was being conserved, some original paint came to light and the tank was painted in this colour, same process as the Bovvy Tiger. It certainly looks like a dark chocolate colour. The post is here:

http://www.armortek.co.uk/Forum3b/viewt ... =25&t=5497

The conservation work was supervised by my good friend Mike Cecil, who was then Head of Military Heraldry and Technology at AWM. Mike has just published a book titled Pioneers of Australian Armour in the Great War, the second part of which deals at length with the gifting of Grit and her use in Australia. It's a great read, available in UK on Kindle:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pioneers-Austra ... B013HMIMNE

I also did a post on a compile of other schemes relating to my old lot and the use of Chinese Eyes:

http://www.armortek.co.uk/Forum3b/viewt ... =25&t=5531

Hope you can find something of use amongst this lot.

Stephen

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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Pete Nash » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:44 pm

has anyone a thought on this colour?

I got it via e-bay from Peko Dec colour Military spray Paint camouflage. Its really for Paintball and airsoft people to camouflage thier bits. This one is called RAL 7013 Brown Uniform.

i thought it was too green until i saw the image of 'Escapade'.
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Steve Stuart » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:38 pm

I believe that a lighter shade of brown is closest to the real thing. There is a model of a Mark V in Bovington which is reputed to be painted in the original paint of those times, if necessary I can find a photograph to post in this thread. The irony is that the colour of my Mark IV now matches the RAL 7028 Dunkegelb of my Tiger, especially when time has darkened the Tiger's paint...
I will no doubt be corrected, but Mark IVs were not Green at all, plus some one else may remember where the Mark V models photo has already been posted!
Steve

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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Stephen White » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:57 pm

Pete, Steve, I refer you back to my post above. The post on Grit:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5497

It's the nearest you're going to get on a definitive colour for 1917-18 Mk IVs. The colour is very similar to the very small patch Phillipe Gorczyinski found in the tank he recovered, Deborah.

Next week sees the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai. Deborah will be unveiled in her new museum next to the cemetery in which her crew are interred. The Tank Museum has produced a trio of excellent videos to mark the occasion and the Royal Tank Regiment, successors to the Tank Corps and the oldest tank regiment in the world will exercise the Freedom of the City of Cambrai and celebrate the centenary.

https://www.facebook.com/tankmuseum/pos ... 8044850842

Regards

Stephen

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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Adrian Harris » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:51 pm

It's interesting that the upper picture in that original thread looks distinctly brown to me, whilst the lower (earlier) pictures look green.

I know from the pictures I take for work that the Auto White Balance feature on a camera can introduce all sorts of colour variations, especially if it can't "see" anything which appears to be white.

Adrian.
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Pete Nash » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:48 am

It Gets worse :( :( :(
It seems that there is no specific colour that can be relied on. I took the attached image this morning in day light to get a more accurate image of the 'uniform Brown' paint from Dec Colour.
Also, next to it, is their 'Mud Brown (S.H. one T Brown :P? ). This looks more like the oft mentioned 'Chocolate brown but looks a little too dark.
One problem with RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb is that it was not a standard colour, it varied from a light shade in 1936 to a darker shade, dear RAF dark earth, in 1945. So no one it seems can say definitely what colour is right or wrong. Time and exposure to daylight changes the original paint, which is why art galeries are so dark.
The images of, or even Deborah herself can't be relied upon to give an accurate colour as she has been buried for 1200 years so soil has undoudtably changed her original paint hues.
It is interesting that searches on the web reveal that Humbrol are introducing an acrylic 400ml spray dark earth in Feb. 2018 so might just as well wait for that to come out. So, at the moment, I am gouing to stick with either Deco Colour Uniform Brown or go for Humbrol's new acrylic dark earth as my interpretation of 'Neutral Brown'..

Incidentally, my tank kit number is 052, so I'm thinking of making it D52 'Delilah' to follow on from D51 'Deborah' and just hoping that at the moment that it is a fictitious tank. :!: :?
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Chris Hall » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:26 pm

Pete -

You're in luck ..... :lol:

According to Philippe Gorczynski's 'Following the Tanks - Cambrai' (which is pretty well the Bible on this topic) there wasn't a D52 at Cambrai. The nearest to Delilah I can find is D43 'Delysia', a Female (no. 2515) commanded by 2/Lt. H.H. Robinson. So your fiction can be maintained ! And as there was no fixed correlation between gender names and gender tanks (the obvious example being 'Hilda', which was a Male) you can swing either way :wink:.

If you want to go historical, though, let me know and I'll have a trawl for 52's.

But it'll be good to see another Mark IV on the circuit !

All the best,

Chris
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Adrian Harris » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:50 pm

Spotted this picture on the Guy Martin Mark IV programme:

Fosters142.jpg
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Colour looks darker than skin tones but lighter than most of their hair.

I don't know why but the idea of people working in engineering factories always brings to mind the sort of engineering/lab coat worn by Ronnie Barker in "Open All Hours":

download (1).jpg
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This photo is from the Tank100 site and looks to be very similar in hue to the tank above, and almost the same shade as the chaps in uniform:

download.jpg
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Both tanks appear to me to be lighter than what I would describe as a chocolate colour, unless Georgian chocolate was a different beast entirely.

Adrian.
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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Kevin Hunter » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:32 pm

Sorry (to an extent) for re-awakening the colour debate. Has anyone tried or got experience of the Vallejo Model Air acrylic in "Tank Brown" (possibly "Armour Brown") 71.041?
What are their paints like generally? The bottles seem a bit small for our models - rattle cans may be more use.
Kevin

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Re: Mark IV Colour

Post by Adrian Harris » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:10 pm

It's amazing the difference between a 17ml bottle of Vallejo and a 400ml rattle can, but the Vallejo if pure pigment, whereas the rattle con contains the propellant as well. I'd love to know how much pigment is actually in a rattle can, as it's amazing how quickly you can get through them doing what appears to be just a few light coats.

I've just used up two 400ml cans on the insides of the Mark IV track links, so have ordered four more for the tops, so I can be sure not to run out.

Just need to warm weather to return again :roll:

Adrian.
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