This is the best explanation that has been posted. There does seem to be a "cultural difference" in approaching this. I'll email you later.
From Ron Smith
June 3 2009 at 5:44 PM John Snyder (Login johnwem)
from IP address 18.104.22.168
Response to Malta Spitfires (you there Modeldad)
Ron asked me to post the following, as HS doesn't seem to like him today:
"According to manufacturing specs at NARA there is no difference between
the pigment for ship paint or aircraft paint at the manufacturing level.
We're talking about QA lab level specs where they not only specify
materials but tests to verify the quality of the batch, at that level
the color is given in wavelengths reflected (angstrom is the unit) as
well as grain size for the pigment. Where the difference between ship
and aircraft paint happens is the paint base the pigments get mixed
into. Please don't guess, get off your butt and research the original
material instead leading people down a fallacious path with your claims
of pigment grain size.
USN aircraft paint could either be a lacquer intended for spraying or a
varnish based paint intended for brushing. We'll refer to the varnish
based paint as enamel even if it isn't 100% technically correct it's
close enough. Ship paint was the latter type, yards tended to thin and
spray it while crews tended to brush or roll it it. Again this is from
the original documents.
Wasp, like all carriers from CV-2 onwards, had two paint lockers, one
the ship's locker the other the aviation locker. Standard paints in the
aviation locker were enamels in the colors of ID markings, including
small amounts of the brighter prewar colors, black and white for
stencils, zinc chromate, grey primer, red lead pigmented primer, red
lead pigmented shrinking dope, and small amounts of the camouflage
colors intended for touch up but not complete repaints of the airwing.
The ship's paint locker would have 250-N flight deck stain, 251-N flight
deck marking paint, various cans of striping paint for color coding
inside the ship, various floor and interior paints, red lead primer,
zinc chromate primer, 20-B deck blue, 5-U white paint base for external
use, 5-TM tinting material (think Payne's Grey and you won't be too far
off) to be mixed into the 5-U to make the external camouflage colors and
possibly the Captain would have had his bosun make sure there was enough
premixed 5-N, 5-O and 5-H for immediate touch up use already mixed. What
there won't be in the locker are the boot topping and anti-fouling
coatings but all other internal and external paints are there. Wasp wore
5-N, 5-O and 5-H. We're still running off original documents to this
point, not secondary or tertiary sources.
Now we apply a bit of logic.
Now what paint would they use? Let's go with what they won't use first.
They aren't going to use the 250-N flight deck stain, it is not paint
nor does it tint paint particularly well and such paint would not dry or
adhere worth a damn. Not likely they used the blue/grey from the
aviation locker either, there isn't that much there since what's carried
aboard is sufficient for touch up and not complete repaints of the
airwing. Despite claims it may have been used and was dark when first
applied it isn't as dark as the repainted Spits. This leaves four
paints, blue striping paint, insignia blue, 5-N and 20-B. Not blue
striping paint for sure, it's a lighter true blue used to color code
things inside the ship and they would only have a few gallons, likely in
quart cans and it's glossy. Probably not insignia blue as they would
only have enough to repaint the markings on the airwing. We have two
paints left, both ship paints, 5-N and 20-B. 20-B is supplied ready to
use, 5-N has to be mixed from 5-TM and 5-U. 20-B is only used on
external steel decks, not the wooden flight deck but there is still a
huge amount of that nice premixed paint carried. Now figure which of
those two paints the bosun was most likely to part with and you have
your best deduced answer. Ship paint can be thinned enough to use on
aircraft without significant degradation of performance. 5-TM can be
used to tint aviation paint but given the limited amount of same on
board that is unlikely.
The argument of British paint is also false, if it wasn't in the C&R
Allowance Logs (even though C&R officially goes away in 1941 those logs
stay in use under that name through most the war on ships commissioned
before July 1941), if it came aboard or left the ship it was recorded in
detail in the decklog. There is no mention of British paint being loaded
in the decklog. Having run through tens of thousands of pages of
decklogs from 1937 through 1943 I have seen one and only one exception
to this rule and it is CV-8 Hornet, the only mention of the Doolittle
Raid is the day of the raid as the last B-25 cleared her deck the entry
is: "US Army bombers completed launching." Wasp however does list the
Spitfires being loaded and British personnel as they report aboard.
Now if you want a solid answer and if it exists it will be in the
various other records of Wasp at NARA. I invite you to get off your butt
and spend anywhere from 10-80 hours ferreting it out from the original
documents. Those records are spread across several record groups and
there is no guarantee which group it will be in. If the answer exists
I've just told you where to find it, I personally don't care either way.
I'm just tired of seeing hot air blown out various orifices over the
subject based on secondary and tertiary sources and not one of you doing
your due diligence of checking the original documents, which do exist.
Real research is done with primary materials, all else is mere
regurgitation of references produced by other people."
The Token Yank
White Ensign Models
"Another day older and deeper in debt"