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This page outlines the colors used in the roundels and on the rudder of American WWI aircraft, as measured by comparisons to surviving fabric and paint samples. While the reds were fairly consistent (a little more brick-red than fully-saturated red), there was much more variance in the blues.[1]

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Red American National Markings
Reference Color House Paints or Standards Hobby Paints
Methuen 9D8[1]

CIElab 46.71,40.78,28.51
rgb #b54f41

Beauti-Tone Cherry Blink (A23-1-1075-3)

Behr Tibetan Orange (PPU2-14)
Benjamin Moore Rosy Apple (2006-30)
Dulux Tender Rose (10YR 16/407)
FS595c 11302
Pantone 7608C
Sherwin-Williams Peppery (6615)
Valspar Toasted Cranberry (2001-5A)

Vallejo Model Color Amaranth Red (70.829) ?

Vallejo Model Color Brown Rose (70.803) ?

Red American National Markings
Reference Color House Paints or Standards Hobby Paints
Methuen 9E8[1]

CIElab 42.21, 36.62, 25.84
rgb #a2483b

Beauti-Tone Heatwave (A10-1-1407-3)

Behr Morocco Red (PPU2-17)
Benjamin Moore Country Lane (2088-20)
Dulux Downing Street (30YR 14/365)
Pantone 2350U
Sherwin-Williams Brick Paver (7599)
Valspar La Fonda Antique Red (2002-5A)

Vallejo Model Color Dark Red (70.946) ?


Blue American National Markings
Reference Color House Paints or Standards Hobby Paints
Methuen 22D4[1]

CIElab 63.54, -9.79, -12.11
rgb #78a0af

Benjamin Moore Whipple Blue (HC-152)

British Std 2660 Wedgewood Blue (BS 8-088)
DIN6164 TSD 18-2-2
Dulux/Glidden Balkan Sea (50BG 32/114)
Dulux Trade Winter Teal 2 (70BG 31/124)
NCS1950 S 3020-B10G
Pantone 2177 C
PPG Americana (1152-4)
Sherwin-Williams Tranquil Aqua (7611)
Valspar Summerhouse Blue (4008-5C)

Reaper MSP Snow Shadow (9021) ?
Blue American National Markings
Reference Color House Paints or Standards Hobby Paints
Methuen 23B6[1]

CIElab 65.28,-19.21,-25.8
rgb #45accd

Beauti-Tone Epimetheus (C17-3-0660-4)

Behr Aztec Sky (P490-4)
Dulux Amsterdam (50BG 41/312)
Pantone 7702 U
Sherwin-Williams Fountain (6787)
Valspar Ocean Sigh (5002-10A)

Reaper MSP Sky Blue (9018) ?
Blue American National Markings
Reference Color House Paints or Standards Hobby Paints
Methuen 23C6[1]

CIElab 53.24,-18.63,-23.02
rgb #47a4c1

Beauti-Tone Charybdis (C17-2-0661-4)

Behr Explorer Blue (M470-5)
Benjamin Moore Ash Blue (2057-40)
Dulux Chelsea Blue (52BG 38/320)
Farrow & Ball St. Giles Blue (280)
NCS1950 S2040-B
Pantone 7702 U
RAL Design 230 60 30
Sherwin-Williams Jamaica Bay (6781)

TBD

Pure white needs no further explanation, but there may have been a slight blue tinge to the white center circle. The Windsock Datafiles provide no further information on the subject.

Background and CaveatsEdit

Note: As always, there was frequently variation in paint color, weathering, varnishing, etc., so this is just a general guide. Unless you've got a high-end, wide-gamut monitor in perfect calibration (and who does?), do not trust the colors you see on your monitor! Instead, visit your local paint store and see if you can find paint samples like the ones listed and then match your hobby paints or mixes against those. The goal is just to "get close enough" for your own tastes.

Color matching was performed with the 1989 Methuen Handbook of Color and a Nix Color sensor.

ReferencesEdit

Citations
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Guttman, p.32.
Bibliography
  • Jon Guttman, Windsock Datafile 36: Nieuport 28. Great Britain: Albatros Publications, Ltd., 1992. ISBN 0-948414-44-8
  • A. Kornerup & J.H. Wanscher, Methuen Handbook of Colour, Third Edition. Great Britain: Methuen London, 1989, ISBN 0-413-33400-7