Aircraft Color Schemes, U.S. Army Air Force

 

Introduction

When the US entered World War II on December 7th, 1941, aircraft camouflage colors where specified in the Air Corps Bulletin No. 41 dated October 24th, 1940 which replaced the earlier Specification 14057 which dated from April 1931 and had been revised numerous times since, the latest being Specification 14057-C on December 27th, 1939. Bulletin No. 41 introduced a palette of eight main colors (a ninth, Sand, would be added later) including the two colors that would be ubiquitous among all early war US aircraft: Olive Drab No. 41 and Neutral Gray No. 43. As for their application, this would be specified in the Technical Order No. 07-1-1 which illustrated the way in which aircraft were to be painted though in many cases, camo patterns were applied in an ad hoc manner by commanders in the field. The USAAF also relied on its own equivalents to RAF paints replicating some common RAF schemes and it was not uncommon for some USAAF units in the UK to use RAF paints.

The need to unify color codes for the USAAF and USN (which used completely different camouflage schemes) later resulted in the Army and Navy Aircraft (ANA) system introduced in September 28th, 1943. ANA Bulletin No. 157 introduced an initial palette of 19 mostly matt (plus a few semi-gloss) colors. ANA Bulletin No. 166 added a further 15 gloss colors as well. A number of additional colors were later added for a total of 44. Most camo color equivalents were very close matches between the No. 41 and ANA systems, and in most cases, have close post-war Federal Standard equivalents as well. One notable exception was Olive Drab, which varied considerably not just between the No. 41 and ANA versions but also those used by the US Army. As such, its real color has been subject to considerable (and largely unsettled) debate over the years.

As with all World War II camouflage color subject matter, the information presented here should not be taken as definitive given the huge amount of often contradictory evidence out there. Readers should do their own research and come to their own conclusions over what were the correct colors of a particular aircraft at a particular time.

Contents:

External Links:

 

Early War (1941-43)

At the beginning of World War II, all USAAF aircraft were painted with a standard pattern of Neutral Gray No. 43 undersides and Dark Olive Drab No. 41, which are often referred to as Aircraft Gray and just Olive Drab respectively. Some aircraft (particularly bombers) were painted with Medium Green No. 42 blotches, usually on the edges of the wings, vertical stabilizers, and fins though some aircraft had them all over the fuselage. It is believed that sometimes RAF Dark Green was used for UK-based aircraft. One of the biggest debates in World War II camouflage is the exact shade of OD 41, particularly since USAAF and Army versions were different, and USAAF versions changed over time, notably when the ANA system was implemented in 1943. It is widely accepted that that OD 41 was more of an olive brown when freshly painted but turned slightly greener when faded. It also faded more on fabric surfaces than on metal, hence why OD 41 aircraft appeared with lighter flaps and other movable surfaces.

Even after ANA 613 was implemented in September 1943, the USAAF used up its stocks of No. 41 before switching to ANA 613, the result being that most new USAAF aircraft were probably still being painted in OD 41 well into 1944 by which time camouflage was abandoned altogether (see below). Finally, additng to the confusion is the fact that briefly before the implementation of the ANA system, authorities temporarily switched to the so-called Olive Drab 319 which was a color used by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is also different from both OD 41 and ANA 613, being a slightly lighter brown. Despite being an Army color, it was likely used on a small number of aircraft in 1943.

Paint guide: A constant problem for modellers is the fact that most paint manufacturers simply produce one shade of wartime USAAF colors despite the changes that took place after the adoption of the ANA system. There is also the question of whether the aircraft in question is relatively new in theater and hence frenshly painted, or has been considerably exposed. Olive Drabs that err on the side of brown should be preferred on the former, while those that feature a greenish tint should be used for the later, though some paint ranges offer faded versions that can be a bit too green. Frankly, I am uneasy about offering recommendations on what OD 41 paint is most accurate and will therefore refrain from doing so; my personal preference is Gunze H78 (labelled as the US Army shade) which is neither too brown nor too green. Tamiya XF-62 is also quite dark and green but should be preferred as OD 41 than ANA 613 if one has to choose. Finally, because MG 42 was never a main fuselage color most paint manufacturers have avoided it. However, it matches very well with both ANA 612 and post-war FS 34092 which is widely available.

 

  Neutral Gray Dark Olive Drab Medium Green
No. 43 No. 41 No. 42
     
Scheme
Basic Lower Upper Blotches
Paints
Gunze Aqueous H53 (H78) (H302)
Gunze Mr Color C13 (C38) (C302)
Humbrol 176 (66) (149)
Model Master (2035) - (1764)
Revell (374) - (48)
Tamiya XF-53 XF-62 (XF-26)
Vallejo Model Air 71.051* 71.316 (71.124)
Vallejo Model Color (70.992) - (70.895)
AK Interactive AK-2203 AK-2201 AK-2202
AK Real Color RC-261 RC-259 RC-260
AMMO by Mig A.MIG-239 A.MIG-237 A.MIG-238
Hataka HTK-033 HTK-004 HTK-019
Lifecolor UA 046* UA 005* UA 008*
Mission Models - MMP-091 -
Mr Paint MRP-141 MRP-139 MRP-140
Xtracolor (X158) - (X114)
Xtracrylix (XA1158) - (XA1114)

 

Photos:

Freshly painted P-40s outside the factory. Note the brownish tint of clean, unfaded OD 41. Debate over?
Not quite. Just slight changes in color balance and lighting produce completely different hues for OD 41. The real color, however, was certainly closer to the first picture than this one.
A B-17 in the field which shows both OD 41 and NG 43. The faded aspect of OD 41 on the fuselage is evident when compared with the freshly painted bit in the nose art.
Possibly the best photo of a wartime B-17 in terms of color balance. The greenish tone of OD 41 is easier to appreciate. Also note how OD 41 faded more in fabric surfaces like the flaps and rudder which is also evident in the factory photos.
These are new US-based A-20s awaiting transfer to the USSR. The MG 42 blotches are clearly evident on the fins.
There was no consistent pattern of MG 42 when applied. Although in the majority of cases they were blotches, in some cases they covered much more than just the edges due to concerns over Luftwaffe air attacks against UK bases in 1942-43.

 

Links:

 

Sea Search scheme

This was a variant of the basic early war scheme, and consisted of using Insignia White No. 46 undersides rather than Neutral Gray, with Olive Drab No. 41 as the topside color and when applicable, Medium Green No. 42 blotches. In contrast to the basic scheme, the demarcation point was higher on the fuselage sides (around halfway) in very pronounced waves, and the white would also extend into the fin(s) resulting in a very simple but elegant camouflage pattern. This scheme was only applied on USAAF aircraft on anti-submarine duties.

Paint guide: Any variant of Insignia White, FS 17875, or off-white should do the trick for the underside color.

 

  No. 46 No. 41 No. 42
Insignia White Dark Olive Drab Medium Green
     
Scheme
Sea Search Lower Upper Blotches
Color Matches
Gunze Aqueous (H316) (H78) (H302)
Gunze Mr Color (C316) (C38) (C302)
Humbrol (22) (66) (149)
Model Master (1745) - (1764)
Revell (301) (66) (48)-
Tamiya (X-2) XF-62 (XF-26)
Vallejo Model Air (71.279) 71.316 (71.124)
Vallejo Model Color (70.820) - (70.895)
AK Interactive (AK-2052) AK-2201 AK-2202
AK Real Color (RC-222) RC-259 RC-260
AMMO by Mig (A.MIG-047) A.MIG-237 A.MIG-238
Hataka HTK-043* HTK-004 HTK-019
Lifecolor (LC 51) UA 005* UA 008*
Mission Models (MMP-104) MMP-091 -
Mr Paint (MRP-135) MRP-139 MRP-140
Xtracolor (X141) - (X114)
Xtracrylix (XA1141) - (XA1114)

 

Photos:

This B-34 (USAAF version of the Navy's Ventura / Harpoon) shows the attractive contrast between Olive Drab and Insignia White.
Note how the Insignia White extended across a larger part of the fuselage and even the fins.

 

RAF equivalent schemes

Upon the entry of the US into World War II, many USAAF aircraft were painted in approximations of RAF camouflage schemes. These included equivalents to the Temperate Land Scheme (Dark Earth/Dark Green over Sky) or Desert Scheme (Middlestone/Dark Earth over Azure Blue). Most of these colors did not have existing official US equivalents and were identified by their DuPont numbers; only later were they incorporated into the ANA system which resulted in slight variations. Dark Green never had an equivalent; from 1942 Olive Drab was taken as an alternative for RAF Dark Green. While close to the RAF versions, the US paints appear duller and more prone to fading to the point that demarcation lines are less clear than in RAF aircraft. Of particular note, however, is the US version of Sky which seems to lack most the duck egg hue and is instead more of a warm gray. The aircraft most commonly associated with these patterns is the P-40, which was the main US fighter in service at the time of Pearl Harbor and which had already seen combat in the hands of the American Volunteer Group (the 'Flying Tigers') in China where they wore TLS colors. Many aircraft intended for lend-lease were also painted in RAF schemes only to be taken over by the USAAF after Pearl Harbor. US basic schemes could also be mixed with RAF equivalent colors; there is evidence that many Sand-colored aircraft in North Africa had Azure Blue rather than Neutral Gray undersides.

It was also the case that many UK-based USAAF aircraft used actual RAF paints, most famously some units based at RAF Duxford (DG over Sky) and RAF Boxted (OG/DG over MSG). There was usually no attempt to replicate RAF patterns and as a result, USAAF patterns varied significantly between aircraft and could be highly irregular.

Paint Guide: Most modellers will be fine by using the more widely available RAF matches with perhaps some dulling down. The ANA equivalents were slightly different than the US originals as well. The trickiest is Sky which look more like a light gray which suggests Camouflage Gray FS 36622 as a possible alternative. Mr Paint is the only range which includes US-specific Azure Blue and Dark Earth, though in many cases paints match both RAF and ANA colors.

 

  71-021 71-062 71-069 71-009 71-013
ANA 610 ANA 609 ANA 615 ANA 617  
Sky Azure Blue Middlestone Dark Earth Dark Green
         
Schemes
Temperate Land Lower     Upper Camo Upper Camo
Desert   Lower Upper Camo Upper Camo  
Color matches
Gunze Aqueous (H74) - (H71) (H72) (H73)
Gunze Mr Color (C26) (C370) (C21) (C22) (C23)
Humbrol (90) (157) (225) (29) (116)
Model Master 2049* 2048* 2052* 2054* (2060)
Revell - - - (82) (68)
Tamiya XF-21** - - XF-52** (XF-81)
Vallejo Model Air (71.302) 71.108* 71.031* (71.323) (71.324)
Vallejo Model Color - (70.902) (70.882) (70.983) -
AK Interactive (AK-2015) (AK-2017) (AK-2016) (AK-2012) (AK-2011)
AK Real Color (RC-290) (RC-291) (RC-292) (RC-286) (RC-287)
AMMO by Mig (A.MIG-244) - (A.MIG-200) (A.MIG-070) (A.MIG-915)
Hataka (HTK-026) (HTK-028) (HTK-013) (HTK-009) (HTK-016)
Lifecolor (UA 095) (UA 098) (UA 097) (UA 092) (UA 091)
Mission Models MMP-080* (MMP-092) (MMP-076) (MMP-078) (MMP-077)
Mr Paint (MRP-118) MRP-143 (MRP-121) MRP-145 (MRP-110)
Xtracolor (X007) (X026) (X009) (X002) (X001)
Xtracrylix (XA1007) (XA1026) (XA1009) (XA1002) (XA1002)

 

Photos:

A P-40 from the Flying Tigers in US Temperate Land Scheme. Note how DuPont 71-021 differed considerably from RAF Sky, though the topside camo was closer to their RAF equivalents.
Another quality color shot of an A-20 in US Temperate Land Scheme. Again, note the hue of 71-021.
A P-40 in RAF equivalent US Desert Scheme colors. The demarcation between the topside colors looks more pronounced which suggests that US DE/MS colors were farther from each other than their RAF counterparts.
Francis Gabreski's famous P-47 painted in actual RAF colors from the Day Fighter scheme (Ocean Grey, Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey). The pattern, however, was quite unique.

 

Links:

 

 

North Africa / MTO (1941-43)

USAAF aircraft that participated in the North Africa campaign had a bewildering array of camouflage patterns, using both US colors as well as approximations of RAF desert camouflage. The basic desert camouflage scheme was Sand No. 49 over Neutral Gray No. 43. However, Sand 49 was a late addition to Bulletin No. 41, and it replaced the slightly different Sand No. 26 from the pre-war Bulletin No. 31. Sand 26/49 is said to be closer to a desert pink but was also prone to fading and photos do not appear to capture its original color well, particularly its pinkish hue. USAAF aircraft were also known to carry a three-tone scheme which usually consisted of Dark Olive Drab No. 41 and Sand 49 over NG 43 in a pattern remniscient of RAF camouflage or in some cases, completely random patterns. It is also believed that RAF paint (or US versions of it) was used at well although this is unlikely to be determined from black and white photos. Some aircraft are referenced as being Sand 26/49 over Azure Blue. Following the implementation of the ANA system, Sand 49 was replaced with Sand ANA 616 which is said to have varied compared to its predecessors, being by some accounts to be more apricot colored. Post-war, it was matched to FS 30279 though some believe this was actually closer to the original Sand 26/49.

Paint guide: Most paints that are labelled as 'US Desert Sand' or something of the sort tend to match with FS 30279 which should be good enough for most modellers. Mr Paint offers the only separate matches for both ANA 616 (MRP-144) and FS 30279 (MRP-243). Lifecolor is also the only one to specifically match Sand No. 49, though it also matches FS 30279 (UA 089).

 

  No. 43 No. 41 No. 26/49
Neutral Gray Dark Olive Drab Sand
     
Schemes
Basic Lower   Upper
Basic Camo Lower Upper Camo Upper Camo
Color matches
Gunze Aqueous H53 (H78) -
Gunze Mr Color C13 (C38) -
Humbrol 173 (66) (250)
Model Master (2035) - 2053
Revell (374) - -
Tamiya XF-53 XF-62 -
Vallejo Model Air 71.051* 71.316 71.140*
Vallejo Model Color (70.992) - -
AK Interactive AK-2203 AK-2201 (AK-2111)
AK Real Color RC-261 RC-259 (RC-032)
AMMO by Mig A.MIG-239 A.MIG-237 -
Hataka HTK-033 HTK-004 HTK-068
Lifecolor UA 046* UA 005* UA 089*
Mission Models - MMP-091 -
Mr Paint MRP-141 MRP-139 MRP-144
Xtracolor (X158) - -
Xtracrylix (XA1158) - -

 

Photos:

A B-24 in Sand over NG camo. Aircraft in the MTO were very dusty and faded quickly in the scorching sun. However, at least the forward fuselage here appears clean which may suggest a recently arrived aircraft, given the Torch landings-era insignia.
An example of what is likely to be OD/Sand over NG camo in a B-25 also around the time of the Torch landings.
Some A-20s like these used completely unique patterns that were clearly improvised in the field.

 

Links:

 

Late World War II (1943-45)

The United States adopted a joint USAAF/USN color system in September 1943 with the publication of the Army-Navy Aeronautical Bulletin 157, this new system is popularly known as ANA. Almost all existing colors were replaced by their ANA versions, usually with some variation from their earlier version. Olive Drab ANA 613 was considerably different from its predecessor, Olive Drab 41, being slightly lighter and more brown, closer to the post-war FS 34087 which is often (but incorrectly) used as an equivalent. Neutral Gray 43 was abandoned altogether even before the ANA system was implemented, it's replacement was a US approximation of RAF Ocean Grey known as Sea Gray ANA 603 which was darker and with a bluish tint; it was matched with FS 36118 post-war. Medium Green 42 also had a new equivent in Medium Green ANA 612 but was very similar. Both OD 41 and NG 43 continued to be used while stocks lasted which meant that most aircraft in the OD/NG scheme retained their older colors. In October 1943, the USAAF abandoned factory camouflage altogether, and new fighter and bomber aircraft built from then retained their natural metal finish which in the ANA system was known as Aluminium. ANA 613 continued to be used on transport aircraft as well as for anti-glare panels on NMF fighters and bombers. By 1944, night fighters like the P-61 were frequently painted in special gloss black Jet ANA 622 scheme that would continue to be used post-war.

Despite the new factory orders, field commanders were allowed to camouflage their aircraft at their discretion, which resulted in many aircraft retaining one or both of OD/NG. One common pattern was OD applied unevenly to the upper surfaces while the lower fuselage and sides were left in NMF, as was the case of the 361st Fighter Group, the most photographed USAAF unit in World War II. If stocks of OD were not available at UK airfields, then RAF Dark Green was used instead. Some units even discarded OD/NG altogether like the 56th Fighter Group whose 61st Squadron was painted in matt black (which faded to a dark blue or purple) over NMF, while its 63rd Squadron was painted in a pattern of indigo blue and sky blue over NMF. None of these were official US colors. By and large, by this point in the war the Allies enjoyed air supriority to such an extent that camouflage became irrelevent, as evidenced by the gradually more colorful and flamboyant squadron markings seen on USAAF aircraft in 1944-45.

Paint guide: The use of older OD 41/NG 43 even after the ANA system was implemented makes it easy for modellers to use the same paints for any World War II aircraft which use the OD/NG scheme and avoid the tricky issue of finding different shades for ANA 613/603 of which perhaps only a very small number were ever painted that way given the switch to NMF. Some of the newer paint ranges have specific ANA 613 and ANA 603 shades and as a basic rule of thumb they should be browner and darker respectively, from their predecessors. For NMF, aircraft in service were nowhere near as shiny as those seen in museums or air shows. I am personally a huge fan of decanted Tamiya AS-12 (a lacquer spray) for a wartime NMF finish given its semi-gloss appearance, as well as for its quick drying and forgiving nature compared to other metallic lacquers like Alcad. It is also worth noting that some NMF aircraft like the P-51 had aerodynicamically important surfaces like its laminar-flow wing (minus the flaps) painted in aluminum lacquer that was noticeably duller than the rest of the airframe. Modellers can reproduce this by painting these areas matt or semi-matt aluminum.

 

    ANA 603 ANA 612 ANA 613
Aluminum Sea Gray Medium Green Olive Drab
       
Schemes
Basic   Lower Camo Upper
Basic (Oct-43) Overall     Anti-glare
Color matches
Gunze Aqueous (H8) - (H302) H52
Gunze Mr Color (C8) - (C302) C12
Humbrol 56 (125) (149) 155
Model Master 1781 (1723) (1764) 2050
Revell 99 (74) (48) -
Tamiya XF-16 (XF-24) (XF-26) -
Vallejo Model Air 71.062 71.097* 71.124* 71.016*
Vallejo Model Color - (70.868) (70.895) 70.887*
AK Interactive - (AK-2144) (AK-2106) AK-2204
AK Real Color RC-020 (RC-244) (RC-230) -
AMMO by Mig A.MIG-194 (A.MIG-204) A.MIG-238 A.MIG-240*
Hataka HTK-078 HTK-031* (HTK-019) HTK-018
Lifecolor LC-74 (UA 022) UA 008* (UA 222)
Mission Models MMM-003 (MMP-084) - (MMP-025)
Mr Paint MRP-3 (MRP-40) MRP-140 MRP-138
Xtracolor X142 (X130) (X114) X113
Xtracrylix (XA1216) (XA130) (XA1114) XA1113

 

Photos:

New B-24s from Consolidated's Ft. Worth plant in 1944. Still looks OD 41/NG 43 to me, though NG 43 might have been replaced by ANA 603 by now.
A P-51D fresh from North American's Inglewood plant. By now most USAAF combat aircraft were left unpainted aside from the anti-glare panels.
The famous 'Lou IV' of the 361st Fighter Group showing its OD/NMF scheme which some claim is RAF Dark Green. Contrary to a myth that refuses to die, there is no evidence to suggest this aircraft was ever painted bright blue.

 

Links:

 

Night Fighters (1943-45)

The USAAF began equipping with night fighters like the P-61 as well as converted versions of the P-38 and A-20 (known as P-70) in the second half of the war. These were finished in the typical scheme of Olive Drab No. 41/ANA 613 over Neutral Gray No. 43/ANA 603 which was maintained even after the October 1943 order of leaving most combat aircraft unpainted at the factory. Later, experiments were undertaken to provide a suitable gloss black paint for night operations which resulted in Jet ANA 622, a late addition to the ANA system. Despite being gloss, it was applied without a primer and tended to both fade and look matt after extensive use. It was not uncommon for many P-61s to paint their radomes Insignia White No. 46/ANA 601 or possibly some shade of light gray.

Paint guide: Despite being a gloss paint, ANA 622 should definitely look matt for an aircraft in combat, with the exception of the radome. Mr Paint is the only range which carries ANA 622 (MRP-137) but any lightened black or black/gray should suffice.

 

  ANA 601 ANA 603 ANA 613 ANA 622
Insignia White Sea Gray Olive Drab Jet
       
Schemes
Basic (Radome) Lower Upper  
Black (Radome)     Overall
Color matches
Gunze Aqueous (H316) - H52 (H2)
Gunze Mr Color (C316) - C12 (C2)
Humbrol (22) (125) 155 (21)
Model Master (1745) (1723) 2050 (1747)
Revell (301) (74) - (302)
Tamiya (X-2) (XF-24) - (X-1)
Vallejo Model Air 71.279* 71.097* 71.016* (71.057)
Vallejo Model Color (70.820) (70.868) 70.887* (70.861)
AK Interactive (AK-2052) (AK-2144) AK-2204 (AK-719)
AK Real Color (RC-222) (RC-244) - (RC-001)
AMMO by Mig (A.MIG-047) (A.MIG-204) A.MIG-240* (A.MIG-032)
Hataka HTK-043* HTK-031* HTK-018 (HTK-041)
Lifecolor (LC 51) (UA 022) (UA 222) (LC 01)
Mission Models (MMP-104) (MMP-084) (MMP-025) (MMP-047)
Mr Paint MRP-135 (MRP-40) MRP-138 MRP-137
Xtracolor (X141) (X130) X113 (X012)
Xtracrylix (XA1141) (XA130) XA1113 (XA1012)

 

Photos:

A P-61 in OD/NG probably in late 1943 or early 1944. Note the IW radome.
A P-70 and P-61 in ANA 622. The gloss sheen has all but disappeared.

 

Interiors

The US used two main interior colors for most of its aircraft although in practice, many aircraft manufacturers and subcontractors used their own colors or produced different shades of an existing one. The standard corrosion-resistant primer used on almost all US (both USAAF and USN) aircraft was known as Zinc Chromate. This referred to the pigment rather the paint color which was a yellow with hints of green, hence why it was also called Yellow Zinc Chromate. YZC was used primarily for areas of the aircract that were exposed to the elements like wheel wells and covers but in many cases was used for interior sections as well. The exact tone of YZC varied slightly between manufacturers and it was never assigned a number on any color system. A second color was created by adding lamp black pigment to zinc chromate, producing what became known as Green Zinc Chromate (or also tinted Zinc Chromate). This was used mostly on unexposed interior parts, cockpits, as well as repainted areas that were previously covered only in YZC. This is why some aircraft were seen with YZC wheel wells and covers and others in GZC; the latter had likely been repainted. Manufacturers often used different proportions of zinc chromate and lamp black in their mixes and as a result GZC varied even more in practice than YZC. Following the introduction of the ANA system, GZC was rebranded and standardized as Interior Green ANA 611 which was slightly browner than the average GZC shade and later officially matched to FS 34151. Notably, Grumman used a proprietary light gray (often referred to as Grumman Gray) as its main primer.

Besides GZC, two other cockpit colors were in use in World War II. Before the war, Bronze Green No. 9 was used by numerous manufacturers notably Grumman and Republic. This was a dark green which has been compared to a black-green similar to the Luftwaffe's RLM 70 although its wartime shade may have been lighter. Bronze Green was officially replaced in September 1942 by Dull Dark Green, which had a distinctive blue tint. In both cases the actual color varied among manufacturers and may have been very difficult to tell apart. Ascertaining the correct cockpit colors has therefore become somewhat confusing in retrospective. Although there may have been many exceptions, it is now believed that most bomber cockpits used BG/DGG up to the end of the war. For fighters, BG/DGG was used for all Republic-built P-47s, Grumman Avengers, early razorback F4U-1s, and early P-51s (all P-51A variants and early P-51B/Cs) although the seats of many P-51D were painted BG/DDG, possibly as a result of being subcontracted. Barring pictoral evidence to the contrary, it should be assumed all other aircraft had GZC and later ANA 611 cockpits but photos often show more than one shade of cockpit color being used which means the only rule of thumb is that there isn't one.

Unlike exterior camouflage, vintage wartime-era color photos of cockpits are a rarirty, which makes the problem of approximating the actual colors so much more difficult. Cockpit photos are also notoriously difficult to accurately assess given that colors tend to look lighter than they actually are, and even slight variations in a photo's color balance (particularly in its blues) would make Bronze Green and Dull Dark Green virtually indistinguishable. Furthermore, restored aircraft like those found in museums may have been repainted and the new color may not match the original. In conclusion, all information here is speculative and should not be taken as the final word on this controversial topic.

Paint guide: Yellow Zinc Chromate is not well represented among the traditional paint manufacturers although Tamiya's XF-4 is a suprisingly accurate match that will displease nobody despite its generic labelling. Green Zinc Chromate is problematic because many paint ranges do not differentiate it with the browner ANA 611 or give unspecific labels like 'US Interior Green'. Gunze H58/C27 is a good match for ANA 611 and both YZC and GZC are available in a Mr Color paint set. AMMO by Mig's A.MIG-202 incorrectly labels itself as both but it is more accurate for ANA 611. Very few ranges offer matches for Bronze Green and Dull Dark Green that are specific to US interiors and given the controversy over their real shades, may or may not be accurate. BG has been approximated to FS 34052 while DDG is said to match more closely to FS 34092. AK Interactive's version of FS 34092 is too blue and is therefore a better choice for the cockpit color.

 

          ANA 611
Yellow Zinc Chromate Green Zinc Chromate Bronze Green Dull Dark Green Interior Green
         
Schemes
Basic Interiors Interiors / Cockpit      
Basic (Sep 43) Interiors       Interiors / Cockpit
Alternative Interiors Interiors Cockpit    
Alternative (Sep 42) Interiors Interiors   Cockpit  
Color matches
Gunze Aqueous - - - - H58
Gunze Mr Color C352 C351 - - C27
Humbrol - - (75) - 226
Model Master - 1734 (2025) - 1715
Revell - - (65) (148) -
Tamiya XF-4** - - - -
Vallejo Model Air 71.107 71.094 71.013* - 71.137
Vallejo Model Color - - 70.897* - 70.850 (!)
AK Interactive AK-2207 AK-2306 AK-2205 AK-2106* AK-2303
AK Real Color RC-263 RC-262* RC-264 RC-230* -
AMMO by Mig A.MIG-221 A.MIG-220* (!) - A.MIG-077 A.MIG-220*
Hataka - - - - HTK-211
Lifecolor - - (UA 111) - UA 004
Mission Models MMP-067 MMP-068 - - MMP-059
Mr Paint MRP-129 - MRP-132 MRP-229 MRP-131
Xtracolor X408 - - - X117
Xtracrylix - - - - XA1117

 

Photos:

A real life Rosie the Riveter working on a fuselage primed in untinted (Yellow) Zinc Chromate.
These aircraft parts were painted in Green Zinc Chromate. This color varied greatly between manufacturers. Note some parts below the wheel well in Yellow Zinc Chromate.
This P-47 razorback was found as a wreck in the Pacific and shows a cockpit color commonly seen on Republic and Grumman aircraft. Possibly a lighter variant of Bronze Green?
This B-25D cockpit shows what could be the Bronze Green found in early bombers though it could be a post-restoration color.
This pre-restoration B-17G in the National Museum of the US Air Force shows what is possibly a Dull Dark Green cockpit, with some sections retaining Green Zinc Chromate.
Confusingly, another B-17G in the same museum shows a much deeper blueish tint. It is unclear whether this is the original color or has been changed during the restoration. Or whether the previous photo actually shows Bronze Green.
Here's the cockpit of 'Bock's Car', a B-29 introduced in 1945 showing parts in Dull Dark Green below the instrument panel and on the control column, ANA 611 sides, and some parts left in Zinc Chromate primer.

Links:

 

Paint Charts

Air Corps Bulletin No. 41

  ANA FED-STD 14057-C
  No. 41 Dark Olive Drab ANA 613 (!) (FS 34088) No. 31
  No. 42 Medium Green ANA 612 FS 34092 No. 28 (!)
  No. 43 Neutral Gray ANA 603 (!) FS 36173 No. 32
  No. 44 Black ANA 604 FS 37038 No. 33
  No. 45 Insignia Red ANA 619    
  No. 46 Insignia White ANA 601 FS 17875 No. 25
  No. 47 Insignia Blue ANA 605    
  No. 48 Identification Yellow ANA 614    
  No. 49 Sand ANA 616 FS 30279 No. 26

 

ANA Bulletin No. 157

  FED-STD No. 41 14057-C
  ANA 601 Insignia White FS 37875 No. 46 No. 25
  ANA 602 Light Gray (FS 36440)    
  ANA 603 Sea Gray FS 36118 No. 43 (!) No. 32 (!)
  ANA 604 Black FS 37038 No. 44 No. 33
  ANA 605 Insignia Blue FS 35044 No. 47  
  ANA 606 Semi-gloss Sea Blue FS 25042    
  ANA 607 Non-spectacular Sea Blue FS 35042    
  ANA 608 Intermediate Blue FS 35164    
  ANA 609 Azure Blue FS 35231    
  ANA 610 Sky FS 34424    
  ANA 611 Interior Green FS 34151    
  ANA 612 Medium Green FS 34092 No. 42 No. 28 (!)
  ANA 613 Olive Drab FS 33070 (!) No. 41 (!) No. 31 (!)
  ANA 614 Orange Yellow FS 33538 No. 48  
  ANA 615 Middle Stone FS 30266    
  ANA 616 Sand FS 30279 No. 49 No. 26
  ANA 617 Dark Earth FS 30118    
  ANA 618 Dull Red FS 30109    
  ANA 619 Insignia Red FS 31136 No. 45  
  ANA 620 Light Gull Gray FS 36440    
  ANA 621 Dark Gull Gray FS 36231    
  ANA 622 Jet FS 17038    
  ANA 623 Sea Blue FS 15042    
  ANA 625 Sea Plane Gray FS 26081    
  ANA 626 Semi-gloss White FS 27875    
  ANA 627 Field Green FS 34097    
  ANA 628 Sierra Tan FS 30219    
  ANA 631 Forest Green FS 34079    

 

ANA Bulletin No. 166

  FED-STD No. 41 14057-C
  ANA 501 Light Blue FS 15102    
  ANA 502 Insignia Blue FS 15044    
  ANA 503 Light Green FS 14187    
  ANA 504 Olive Drab (FS 24165)    
  ANA 505 Light Yellow FS 13655    
  ANA 506 Orange Yellow FS 13538    
  ANA 507 Aircraft Cream FS 13594    
  ANA 508 International Orange FS 12197    
  ANA 509 Insignia Red FS 11136    
  ANA 510 Maroon FS 10049    
  ANA 511 Insignia White FS 17875    
  ANA 512 Aircraft Gray FS 16473    
  ANA 513 Engine Gray FS 16081    
  ANA 514 Instrument Black FS 27038    
  ANA 515 Gloss Black FS 17038    
  ANA 516 Strata Blue FS 15045    

 

 

Last modified: 18 April 2019