SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Any info on USS Arizona's pre or post WWI color schemas? Early 1900s?

5046 views
50 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2021
Any info on USS Arizona's pre or post WWI color schemas? Early 1900s?
Posted by JoeSMG on Thursday, March 14, 2024 7:44 AM

 

I'm contemplating a conversion of the Revell 1/423 kit, using 3d printed parts to bring her back to her original configuration, and I have it in my head that there was a time when our early dreadnoughts had silver turrets. I even remember painting a version of her with them as a kid - I think the instructions may have lead me down that road as I have no idea what would have inspired me to do such, pre internet and all... Anyway the image of Arizona in her full on steam punk-ish original state, sporting silver turrets and cage masts is very appealing to me, but I do want it to be reasonably accurate.

 

Does anyone know of a source describing such an early paint schema where she had silver painted turrets? I've seen several black and white photo's where they look noticeably lighter than the rest of the ship (as seen below), so I'm reasonably sure it was a thing. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

 


early Uss Arizona pain schema

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 9:42 AM

never known it a 1/423 scale when it is actually 1/429 scale & the math proves it. read this link on that scale. http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=286900

are you going to correct her concave stern & how are you going to fix her hull sides once you have removed her torpedo bulges as i have done that?

are you certain it is silver & not light gray?

 

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Thursday, March 14, 2024 11:14 AM

ddp59

never known it a 1/423 scale when it is actually 1/429 scale & the math proves it. read this link on that scale. http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=286900

are you going to correct her concave stern & how are you going to fix her hull sides once you have removed her torpedo bulges as i have done that?

are you certain it is silver & not light gray?

 

Thanks for correcting my faulty memory on the box scale.
For the non deck hull parts, I'll just be putting the casemated guns back. I don't think the Revell kit has torpedo bulges, if so they aren't obvious like ones on models of Texas I've seen. Really wasn't planning on touching anything below the waterline. Maybe a waterline build is in order! :)

The color sure could be light gay in the pic I posted, though I've seen others where the reflectivity made me think silver. If light gray what would the hull have been? Dark Gray, Sea blue or Navy? Any of those combos would be attractive. Just have little written info to go on for her actual colors during this period.

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Thursday, March 14, 2024 11:35 AM

Dec 1940 Arizona
OK - just looked at a finished version of the kit and compared it to the first pic I posted. I think I see what you mean now by “concave stern”. The Revell model shows an indentation after the last walled up stern casemated position that I don't see in the 1919 pic. Maybe I can print a plug for that, that just fits over? I’m guessing this will be harder than expected. I’ll keep you all posted.

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 11:42 AM

Revell model has the torpedo bulges but not the proper bulges the real ship has. that ledge on either side of the hull is the tops of the armor belt & torpedo bulges. you do know that you will have to remove the tripods & superstructure deck as not there at that time period as had cagemasts & open the upper hull sides to put in the casemates that was removed later in her life. what plans are you using to do this? i'm using 17 models of Revell's 1/429  scale Arizona as a basis to do all the battleships from the Wyoming class to the Colorado class during ww2.

read this link  if you have not already. http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/39a.htm

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Thursday, March 14, 2024 11:46 AM

Thanks for the tips and links.
Have you completed your Arizona yet? Would love to see some pictures, if you have links please share them.

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 12:57 PM

they are a work in process so will be a few more years before i get them done. did have links but removed them from the site that they were on due to site issues.

look at this link http://navsource.org/archives/01/039/013962.jpg then compare it to the model you posted as you'll see you have a lot of work to do.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Thursday, March 14, 2024 1:11 PM

From 1919 when the fleet painted out of wartime color to April-ish, 1941 the Arizona was in Standard Navy Gray #5.    If you go to Archives and you put "Panama Canal + USS Arizona" into the search bar you can find some photos of the Arizona transiting the canal in the early part of the 20th century

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Thursday, March 14, 2024 4:55 PM

Dave - That is a great picture, nice and early, pre WW1? Being high res, clear and mostly full profile, it will help me design the older parts.

Ed - I googled "USS Arizona in panama canal" and there are some great pictures.
This one again makes me ask what color are her turrets? I'm sure you are right about all the rest of her, that could easily be Standard Navy Gray #5 though it seems a little dark.
Uss Arizona in Panama Canal

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 7:16 PM

JoeSMG
This one again makes me ask what color are her turrets? I'm sure you are right about all the rest of her, that could easily be Standard Navy Gray #5 though it seems a little dark.

We run into the ever-present problem from period photos--they were taken and printed so as to render the best visual contrast the camera, filme, lighting, and the photographer could manage.  Which was further "cranked upon" when the negative was "exposed" to print the photo.

Now, poking an eyball on the Canal photo, a couple of reference items pop out.  Those would be the bloomers on the guns and the shade tarp over the forecastle.  Those appear to be an unpainted 'raw' canvas, which is going to be a very pale whitish gray.

That gives a place to start comparing the turret color.

This time frame encompasses when "Range Clocks" and "Formation firing" were still common doctrine.  So, there is the possibility that the "off side" of the turret have vertical stadia stripes on them in #5 or even Black

This is USS California for reference

Now, if those turrets are a lighter color is ajudgement call, that's a somewhat over-exposed photo.
And, here's USS Mississippi

It's odd that the documentation for the paint scheme is so scanty, as it appears to be pretty common, here's USS New York i nthe Canal

With the distinctly pale turrets.

Your Mileage May Vary

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Thursday, March 14, 2024 7:38 PM

Joe, around the time of her commission which was Oct 17 1916, before the US entered the war.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Friday, March 15, 2024 4:20 PM

More great pictures CapnMac, I had much the same thought that most photos had been adjusted to bring out whatever the photo processor thought important. My shot of the Arizona in the Panama Canal for instance, the jungle is likely too dark. After adjusting the brightness and contrast to give it a more likely shade, Arizona's shade of gray became lighter and much closer to what #5 should look like. But the turrets sure did get awfully light too!

 

Thanks Dave for the date confirmation.

 

Another question to the forum: Does anyone know if the insides of the air ventilation stacks were a different color on US ships in the 1910s? Several nations chose to paint them differently from the rest of the superstructure. And as they are a prominent feature of Arizona in this period, I'd really like that color to be accurate.

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, March 15, 2024 4:41 PM

JoeSMG
Another question to the forum: Does anyone know if the insides of the air ventilation stacks were a different color on US ships in the 1910s? Several nations chose to paint them differently from the rest of the superstructure. And as they are a prominent feature of Arizona in this period, I'd really like that color to be accurate.

I don't qualify as an expert, but based on 60 yrs or so of studying photos, I think any of that went out after the Spanish-American War and the 'Great White Fleet' era.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Friday, March 15, 2024 5:19 PM

I agree Greg, and wouldn't have given it a second thought. But I was looking closely (maybe too closely) at the picture of 1916 Arizona that Dave had linked, and the insides of the funnels are in direct sun but I thought they might be a shade darker, maybe not, but had to ask.
arizona air vents

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, March 15, 2024 6:36 PM

JoeSMG

Uss Arizona in Panama Canal

Something caught my eye in this photo. 

The Bloomers are not fitted on Able Turret, but are on Baker.

That's probably a sign the sailmakers are repairing them, rather than improving turrent ventilation i nthe steamy tropics.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, March 16, 2024 6:23 AM

Okay.

        Now here is the conundrum.Many folks ,some even experts in the printing fiels couldn't tell what colors were used on the Arizona in any of those shots. In some She is obviously very light grey. In Others she appears dark Grey(Or it could be Fleet Blue) and so on. The ventilator cowls were either near maroon or black. I have only seen the Texas one time with the throats painted a light color. That went away fast after a group of veterans had their re-union on her!

       It seems the Arizona continues to hold mysteries for us ship modelers. I guess that's why she stands out among the ships back then ,Besides the aweful thing that happened that day,Even then there were questions about turret colors and Turret top colors.The "Blister" in the stern was done on the "New York'. Now about the Armor Belts, frankly I have never had folks mention those.

       Four client Arizonas later and I can tell you they were all different, but I could not convince any of my clients to do the Cage Mast version! So with a set of bad plans I am going to(I have already started her!) build a 1/200 scale version,  and make all the changes to back date her to that era. For me! 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, March 16, 2024 9:04 AM

JoeSMG

I agree Greg, and wouldn't have given it a second thought. But I was looking closely (maybe too closely) at the picture of 1916 Arizona that Dave had linked, and the insides of the funnels are in direct sun but I thought they might be a shade darker, maybe not, but had to ask.
arizona air vents

Joe, don't know whether you'd seen this one or not, a Navsource photo 'ca. 1920' showing fly-off trials w/a Nieuport 28 fighter mounted on a platform on one of Arizona's gun turrets [which -- hint, hint -- might be a really cool thing to model Wink], with part of a ventilator cowl conveniently visible. Again, no expertise claimed, and no suggestions offered, as tonal comparisons in b/w photos are always a minefield, but at least it gives you one more 'look' w/which to draw your conclusions.

https://navsource.org/archives/01/039/013920v.jpg

Cool project you've embarked on! Yes

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Saturday, March 16, 2024 10:07 AM

Greg that is a great idea! - I hadn't heard that Arizona had experimental aircraft handling trials. I'll definitely bake that into the conversion. Assuming my hull modification for the casemates works out, if I can't get a respectable result on that, I'll likely bag the conversion and straight up design and print the whole model (I’d still keep the aircraft & turret platform). But doing this conversion has been in the back of my head for years, far longer than 3d printers have been a thing, so I do want to give it a solid effort. That said, Dave's point on the torpedo bulges really stung. I can't see me pulling off their removal to my satisfaction, so that's already a feather in the "just print it" cap. I'll just do the hull as planed and see how I feel with the results. Thankfully Revell didn't make them as obvious as they likely were.

 

The inside of that vent does look slightly darker, but I spent hours last night Googling for period paintings of our Dreadnoughts, thinking they may have captured the colors of vents and turrets. Nada! First I’m surprised at how rare battleship paintings of this period are. I think the newfangled flying machines got all the artistic love & attention. The few I did find were rendered too small to make out the vents but none showed the turrets as significantly lighter, which was disappointing.

 

All that said – If anyone has info or an opinion please give it a shout out.

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Saturday, March 16, 2024 10:55 AM

Joe, how are you with scratch building as removing the current model bulges is really not that hard as i did it on my Tennessee conversion from the Arizona. i cut the bulges out & filled the holes with 1mm(.0 40") sheet plastic then put the new armor belt back on. is that your site that you posted that model Arizona from? because if so then i will send you my pics of what i have done. are you using plans or what to do the kitbash to the earlier Arizona?

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Saturday, March 16, 2024 12:39 PM

My scratch-build skills are hit or miss. When they work, they end up on my site, when they don't the project gets 86'd! When I know I'm in for a challenge I start with the deal breaker first to make the potential agony of defeat less painful. Often times the results may not be horrid but the bits that are off bug me disproportionately and end up being all I see.

 

 For actual Arizona plans, the only thing I've found online were in the National Archives and are of the 1930's overhaul. There is an excellent blueprint of the added bulges, showing the original lines and with the bulges added. Making such an extensive mod looks to be above my paygrade. I know it would be much easier for me to just print a new hull and it would look better too. But I also know if I did that, there wouldn't be enough of the original kit left to be able to call this a kit mod...

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Saturday, March 16, 2024 1:07 PM

armor belt https://catalog.archives.gov/id/75840436

never mind the hull as i have an idea on that but do you think you are capable of replacing everything from the main deck & up minus the main turrets & their barbetts & most of the funnel?

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Saturday, March 16, 2024 1:46 PM

This is the belnder design of the parts I intend to replace.

It's far from done but should give you an idea of what I had planned to do.

AZ1917 blenda

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Saturday, March 16, 2024 2:04 PM

are you going to 3d print that casement section or scratch build it out of plastic sheet? i have the topview drawing of that main deck showing those casements & the plans of a 1916 Arizona i copied off ebay if you need.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Saturday, March 16, 2024 7:05 PM

Yes, the plan is to 3D print everything in that screen shot - and then some. I'm just getting started on the Blender design work, most of the measurements are currently just roughed in from pictures of the Revell model (for deck dimensions) and photos of pre WWI Arizona. I'll need to actually measure the models cut back hull and adjust the design where needed before printing anything. I may leave the forward barbet, though it would be an easier cut to get rid of it.

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, March 17, 2024 7:24 AM

Aha!

 See Joe! I like printers for the idea of the Cage Masts. But that's one of the few times I would find a use for it. The way I do things a printer would actually not be cost effective.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Sunday, March 17, 2024 9:08 AM

Hi Tanker,

 

I get that, I wouldn't recommend them to most folks. The work sunk into learning a design tool, then actually creating desirable objects and successfully printing them, can be frustrating and painful, more so, if you don't have a familiarity with the technology and enjoy doing those types of activities. Then you have the hazardous waste, toxic fumes and solvents to deal with, if you chose to go with a resin printer. For lots of reasons they're not for everyone.

 

I’m surprised an old sea dog such as you doesn’t have a few thoughts on the paint scheme on the 1916 Arizona. Are you in the all Standard #5 camp too? I’m starting to think that is the case – curse those deceptive black and white photos!

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Sunday, March 17, 2024 11:12 AM

Sorry TB somehow I missed your post!

 

Tanker-Builder

 

Okay.

 

        Now here is the conundrum.Many folks ,some even experts in the printing fiels couldn't tell what colors were used on the Arizona in any of those shots. In some She is obviously very light grey. In Others she appears dark Grey(Or it could be Fleet Blue) and so on. The ventilator cowls were either near maroon or black. I have only seen the Texas one time with the throats painted a light color. That went away fast after a group of veterans had their re-union on her!

 

       It seems the Arizona continues to hold mysteries for us ship modelers. I guess that's why she stands out among the ships back then ,Besides the aweful thing that happened that day,Even then there were questions about turret colors and Turret top colors.The "Blister" in the stern was done on the "New York'. Now about the Armor Belts, frankly I have never had folks mention those.

 

       Four client Arizonas later and I can tell you they were all different, but I could not convince any of my clients to do the Cage Mast version! So with a set of bad plans I am going to(I have already started her!) build a 1/200 scale version,  and make all the changes to back date her to that era. For me! 

 

 

 

 

If you need a pair of 1/200 scale cage masts let me know, guarantee we can work something out. Same for you Dave. though I'd be pretty surprised if they aren't already on eBay.

 

Seeing how you two are getting into this era of Arizona, you guys must be looking into the most aesthetically pleasing color scheme too, or at least the most accurate? Any juicy nuggets there guys? What year are you two shooting for? I’m finding it hard to nail that down, I'd like to go with 1916 but a more interesting color scheme may have come out latter, and finding enough decent pictures in any one configuration is a bear - I'm a little worried I'll end up making a Frankenstein’s monster mishmash of different era's.

Maybe we should start a new thread: "Arizona the Super Dreadnought years"

 

 

 

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Sunday, March 17, 2024 11:39 AM

TB at 1/200 I've been thinking about your project, you've got yourself a big canvas to work with. Arizona must be just over 3 foot long at that scale and wooden deck planking becomes a real option that big! 1/200 is all around way friendlier to traditional scratch building. How far along are you?

- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Sunday, March 17, 2024 11:42 AM

i'm doing the ww2 /post ww2 time period so will try to use the color schemes of that period. don't think they make 1/429 scale cagemasts in 3d format.

Joe, if the planks on the real ship was 6" wide then divide by 200 scale gets you a plank .03" wide so not really feasible.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Sunday, March 17, 2024 1:12 PM

Sorry Dave I got confussed and thought you were doing the pre/post WWI dreadnought fleet. And I know you're 100% correct about the planking though I've seen some good looking smaller scale builds that use wooden decking... but yeah at less then a 1mm/plank width, it couldn't be acurate.

 

- Joe the SMG

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.