World War II Warship Colors

Snyder & Short

PMB 224
9174 Kiefer Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95826-5105

Phone: (916)736-1918
Fax: (916)455-8891

For many years the serious ship modeller/historian/artist has had to rely on best guess or the ultra-rare 1929 Munsell colour book in order to accurately choose the colour carried by the ships of various nations. Well no more - John Snyder and Randy Short have made it their business to research these same colours and provide the aforementioned parties with accurate, reliable colour samples of Second World War warships. Each set is more then just a printed collection of colours, Randy and John have actually taken samples from surviving original paint chips and lockers and mixed their own paint to match the samples. These custom mixes are then painted on to heavy 8.5"x11" card stock along with the colour name underneath. to date they are marketing sets of the colours worn by the ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, United States Navy and the Royal Navy.

Future sets are are under development with Set 2 of the RN colours due out next, to be followed by the Kriegsmarine and Regia Marina.

- Bob Pearson

U.S.Navy World War II Ship Colors
Set 1 - Blues and Grays

The first of the colour chips to be available was this one consisting of the various blues and greys carried by USN ships. Colours include:

#5 Standard Gray (1937); #20 Standard Deck Grey

Early 1941:
5-L Light Gray; 5-O Ocean Gray; 5-D Dark Gray

Late 1941:
5-H Haze Gray; 5-O Ocean Gray; Cavite Blue; 5-S Sea Blue A; 5-S Sea Blue B; 5-S Sea Blue C; 5-N Navy Blue; 5-B Thayer Blue; 1941 Deck Blue 20B; 1942 Revised Deck Blue 20B; Norfolk 250N Flight Deck Stain; Flight Deck Stain 21.

#82 Black; 5-P Pale Gray; 5-L Light Gray

U.S.Navy World War II Ship Colors
Set 2 - Browns and Greens

The second set released covered the browns and greens and a few more grays:

Prewar (1920s-1930s):
Mahogony Flight deck stain

Mountbatten Pink (Dark); Brown 1A; Brown 2A; Brown 3A; Brown 4A; Green 1A;Green 2A; Green 3A; Green 4A;

1943 Early Greens:
5-HG Haze Green; 5-OG Ocean Green; 5-NG Navy Green; 20-G Deck Green.

1943 Revised Greens:
5-PG Pale Green; 5-LG Light Green; 5-HG Haze Green (Revised); 5-OG Ocean Green (Revised); 5-NG Navy Green (Revised).

#1 Green; #2 Green; #3 Green, #4 Brown

#46 Outside Gray; #37 Light Gray 5-L; #27 Haze Gray 5-H; #17 Ocean Gray; #11 Outside Gray; #7 Navy Gray 5-N; #4 Deck Gray 20

Imperial Japanese Navy WWII Ship Colors

The third set released was for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Because each of the major yards had differing stocks of gray paint they are each shown here, as well as a partial list of which major warships were painted at each yard and when.

Sasebo Naval Arsenal; Kure Naval Arsenal; Maizuro Naval Arsenal; Yokosuka Naval Arsenal; Type 1 Camouflage for Aircraft Carriers; Type 2 Camouflage for Aircraft Carriers; Deck Tan and Linoleum round out the IJN set.


Royal Navy World War II Ship Colors,
Set 1 - Prewar to 1941

The most recent release is this set of RN colours for the early war period. For those who think warships should be drab and dull, Mountbatten Pink and WA Blue and Green put the lie to that notion. I personally can't wait for set two as I have a ship waiting on just what colours B15, B30 and B55 are. .

507A (1920); 507B (1940), 507C (1920); B-5 (1941); B-6 (1941); PB 10 (1940); Western Approaches Blue (1941); Western Approaches Green (1941); Pink (1941); Mountbatten Pink, Light (1940); Mountbatten Pink, Dark (19490); MS 1 (1941); MS 2 (1941); MS 3 (1941); MS 4 (1941); MS4a (1941); Dark Brown (1940); Light green (1940); Berwick Blue (1941); Dark Blue (1941)

Deck Coverings
Semtex (Early War); Corticene

I have no hesitation at all in recommending these to anyone interested in knowing just what colour their ship model, painting shoud be .. and as previously mentioned. . bring on RN Set 2.