USS Olympia Colors

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USS Olympia Colors

  • Hello.  I have two Revell kits of the Olympia showing two different paint schemes, and I also have the Pyro kit showing buff and white.  My question is, is what were the actual colors used on the ship?  Did it vary according to the time periods?  Thank you!!

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  • Paint scheme will depend on the year(s) in which you choose to depict your model.  Buff and white is a peacetime color scheme.  The overall gray scheme was used in wartime.  Most navies up to 1905 used a variety of black and white or buff and white color schemes (others too) for their peacetime liveries.  You will need to pull up some good photographic references for the period you wish to model.   Try NavSource, as this site has an abundance of photographs of ships like the Olympia.   WS

  • Okay.  That makes sense.  One kit gives the gray scheme, and the other gives the white and buff.  I'll have to decide..can only build one at a time!  Thanks!!

  • WEM makes a paint called War Color or Slate in their RN/USN WWI line of Colourcoat paints.   Its appropriate for the Spanish American War war-time USN.    WEM also makes a Buff color, a nice yellow caramel which suits both USN White & Buff schemes as well as USCG Spar color.

  • I'll check into that.  SInce I have two kits, I may do one in each scheme.  Personally, I like the white and buff the best..it looks neater and cleaner to me, more crisp.  Thank you!

  • What color was the deck? Did it remain the same in both wartime and peacetime?

    Ken

  • The deck would have been in its "natural" wood state in both war and peace for Olympia.  The USN practice of painting the wooden decks came about in World War 2 as a response to the dangers of aircraft.  However, the appearance of the wooden deck would certainly have varied from peace to war.  Ships like Olympia were high value vessels and as such in peacetime would have maintained their decks in pristine condition (the exception being during  the course of coaling operations in which virtually everything had a layer of black dust on it).  Wartime did not leave the crew time for scrubbing the decks to the typical peacetime standard.

    Interpreting those colors is a whole other ball game.  Generally, a freshly holystoned deck can be represented by a color like radome tan, a very light slightly yellowish tan.  A ship at sea, or a model in a diorama setting with a damp or wet deck should be depicted in a deeper tan color, something with more brown in it, perhaps like Testors tan.   A deck not kept up with constant scrubbing would tend much more to brownish gray tones.  A badly neglected deck will appear almost completely gray.  You can see examples of this just by going to a local marina and checking out the better boats and yachts with teak decking.  Search around through photos on NavSource and you can find effects much like I have described.  Look through NavSources photos of the dreadnought USS Texas and you will see examples of the differences in the appearance of the decks.  There is one great color photo of the ship plowing through the Atlantic with water streaming down the deck which appears to be medium brown with gray streaks running through it.  WS

  • Thanks, great info!

     

    Ken

    Ken

  • This is OLYMPIA in one of her initial schemes. 

    Al Ross

  • Al Ross shows a fantastic example of a ship model that includes, for this discussion, a deck color approach that is perfectly in balance IMO with the finish of the rest of the ship. It isn't a weathered look and in fact isn't meant to look "wood washed in salt water" but it follows a tradition of ship models that represent how it might have been designed.

    Small matter: I model that way too.

     

     

  • bondoman

    but it follows a tradition of ship models that represent how it might have been designed.

    Yup.  This is a wooden model and traditionally they are displayed full-hull on pedestals in "as built" condition.  The deck is strips of basswood glued up with black glue.  It comes in sheets .050" x 3" x 22" with plank widths from 1/16" up to 1/4".  It's really nice stuff.

    Al Ross

  • Interested in the deck material, Al. I just bought sheets of basswood as you described, scribed, with a label "Midwest" . Really nice stuff. I also ordered a bunch of sheets from Micromark that sounded the same, but the quality is so inferior I'm inclined to toss them and write off the $12. What did you use, how did you glue it down.

  • Northeastern Scale Lumber is the primary manufacturer of the glued-up decking.  You can get it direct from them or through outlets like BlueJacket Shipcrafters ( http://bluejacketinc.com ).

    I normally use medium viscosity CA for the bulk of my gluing.  

    Al Ross

     

  • That is a beautiful model!  Is it from a kit or is it scratchbuilt?

    Bill Morrison

  • warshipguy

    That is a beautiful model!  Is it from a kit or is it scratchbuilt?

    Bill Morrison

    Thank you.  Both, sorta...Whistling  It is the display model for the kit I developed for BlueJacket Shipcrafters.

    Al Ross