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Old 25 June 2002, 02:04 PM   #1
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I have a general question.
Did in OT times exist paints in precisely determined colours, or were basic colours just mixed in paintshops in order to obtain desired shade of blue/red/khaki or other colour?
I want to determine a general rule, if the colours should be the same or not for various airplanes. Should German mauve be the same for any German plane (like RLM paints in WWII) or should it vary, depending on manufacturer or even production batch?
This question raised when I begun to think what shade of green I have to choose for Prinz Friedrich Karl Albatros D.I. Should it be the same light green which was used in German 3 colour camo, or could it be any other light green?
But I want answers also about French, Brits and other countries.
I know that Italians used many various colours even for their national markings.
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Old 25 June 2002, 02:15 PM   #2
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>Did in OT times exist paints in precisely
>determined colours, or were basic colours just
>mixed in paintshops in order to obtain desired
>shade of blue/red/khaki or other colour?

It is my understanding the British had basic recipes for their standard dopings, however bucket chemistry ruled the day. There was no modern idea of quality control, so it probably varied greatly from the quality of the pigments, to the different foremans and workers that made the constituent mixes, factory to factory and batch to batch. I would say not only colour differed greatly but resistance to the outside conditions and other factors.

The modern idea of quality contrrol only came about in the late 1960's. Australia paint manufacture in WWII is a good example of pre-scientific quality control. Foilage Green is good for debate as the official standard was not fixed in stone and different manufacturers made up their own specs to the official specs. Add to that manufacturers painted on aircraft whatever was lying around, CAC painted a bunch of Boomerangs Light Green instead of Foilage Green because they had it lying around left over, supposedly DAP painted their Beaufighters RAAF Dark Green because it faded to foilage green.

Old 26 June 2002, 10:05 AM   #3
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* Pre-mixed paints were available from several German, French and British paint manufacturers. In the case of P.C.10 and P.C12 the Royal Aircraft Factory held the patents and furnished the recipe to the British manufactures. *The French five color *dope and paint patents were held by Nauton et de Marsac at St. Ouen, near Paris. *
* German paints were furnished by several companies to the German aircraft industry. As a result, the colors differed from manufacturers. The colors from one paint manufacturer would be somewhat consistant but may vary slightly with another. Blues seemed more difficult to match than other colors.
* *The U.S.Army and U.S.Navy had control of the colors and paint chips were furnished to the Aircraft manufacturer. It was up to the aircraft manufacturer to assure he purchased the correct colors. *The same was true for British manufacturers.
* * In the case of German aircraft being painted in persnal or Jasta or unit markings, the paint came from the local paint or harware store and was purchased by that units individuals. In this case there was no control other than what was available. *A case in point is the various blues used on the fuselages of the Fok. D.VII of Jasta 15.
* *To *say they did not have quality control in WW1 is not correct, they sure did! * *for example, Fokker had in his Kontrolle Abt, Quality Control Dept, 12 men and 12 women. *Think of the problems of fitting cowling on the twist post fasteners. the were drill jigged, not only that, the Fokker D.VII cowlings, wings, tails etc., were interchangeable between Fokker , Albatros and OAW built Fok. D.VII aicraft, same for all others compontents. *This was accomplished with jigs and fixtures. The case in point is the Fokker D.VII in Paris at Le Bourget, it has cowling panels from all three builders, the fuselage serial number does not match other component serial numbers. *You can not have series production, without quality control. *Think of ammunition and the guns they must fit into!
* * During WW2, total interchangeability of all parts became a reality and Quality Control was raised to a higher level.
* *Another example, Standard Aircraft in the U.S. made the wood piece parts for the Handley-Page 0/400 and they were shipped the England in kits. *The pieces were assembled in England which became components and then complete aircraft . That could not be accomplish without quality control. *Ever since Henry Ford started to make Model T's on a production line prior to WW1, quality control became essential.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * Blue skies,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Dan-San
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Old 26 June 2002, 12:32 PM   #4
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>To say they did not have quality control in WW1
>is not correct, they sure did!

You mis-understand modern quality control. Interchangable parts has been around since the industrial revolution as has interchangable labor, it was only in the 60's that the Japanese using the Deming Way created modern quality control. That involves using statistical methods to control process variation and hence final variance in final products.

Manufacturing in WWI and WWII did not have the mathematical tools nor the management processes to continual improve the product and processes that are taken for granted today. As an example, in the 50's and 60's in Australia it was common to hear of cars that were friday afternoon specials, you dont hear that since Australian manufacturing adopting TQM.

By 1990's standards, WWI and WWII may have as well have been independantly made products. Much like software is today, irreliable and poor quality from platform to platform and installation to installation. Software will go through a Deming like revolution and there will be methodologies to make it as reliable as bridge engineering.

Forgot to add a link to a webpage on Deming,

Old 27 June 2002, 08:43 AM   #5
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Quality control existed long before T/Edward Deming. In 1942, Deming and two other quality control engineers established training schools under the auspicious of the War Production Borad to teach house wives how to make airplanes, tanks, rifles and every thing needed. Sorry Cam, It may not have arrived in Australia until 1960, but it was in England, europe and the U.S during and after WW1.
In 1947, I wrote the Quality Control Manual for Security Parachute Company in order to comply with the U.S.Army Air Forces requirements for the
manufacture for all types of military parachutes.
In 1951 I revised it to include the manufacture of parachutes for nuclear weapons. That was before the T. Edward Deming's influence on the U.S industry. He achieved his fame in japan after WW2 in reorganizing the japanese industry.
In 1985 while the CEO of Guardian Parachute, we adopted the Deming System, "Circles of Quality."
Unfortunately, the Deming System did not work well because of the U.S.Air Force Quality Control Specification were more demaniding of manufacturing process inspections to be made by an inspector rather than the worker inspecting his or her own work. While I saw advantages in the Deming system.
Cam, manufacturing process inspections and dimensional inspections were made by the U.S., British , French and German industries.
Without it, nothing would fit together.
I agree with you regarding mathematical tools. i.e. the personal computer and C.A.D. but they did have computers, the old fashion kind, it's called a slide rule. That is the instrument the U.S. engineers used to design the all the aircraft in WW1 through WW2 and all the manned rockets systems up to and including all of the Apollo Moon ships. I still have my slide rule, but I prefer the computer, it is easier and faster. The inspection departments in WW1 had microscopes, dial indicator and vernier calipers, guage blocks and micrometers and all the measuring tools that are used today. Metal and chemical analyses were performed where and when necessary. First articles were required, in Germany, it was three complete aircraft. which one, was subjected to destruction testing. One was kept at the factory as a production model. Which at the end of the contract would be delivered to the air service. The third was sent to the front for evaluation by front line units.
The military of all the countries, had their own in house inspectors who checked on the manufacturers system, and further, did their own quality testing of all and every part be made.
The U.S.Navy in the U.S. had their own inspectors in any factory that was manufacturing an item for the U.S.Navy.
Blue skies,
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Old 28 June 2002, 12:07 AM   #6
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Sorry, but did you know to date , this day that M16 receivers are NOT interchangable between weapons.

Year 2002...Sears/ Bob Vila, still advise mixing your gallon of paint together before starting to paint your house....Small print on commercials. And these paints are "computer mixed/matched.
In the 70's had two cans of sky blue from the same company, Dutch Boy, guess what they were a different batch and 2 shades different.

Old 28 June 2002, 01:50 PM   #7
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>Quality control existed long before T/
>Edward Deming.

Inspection based quality control and Statistical based quality control are two different things. Inspection based control is good at finding products that have gone outside of an acceptable standard deviation, statistical based quality control, builds the quality into the process in the first place.

Nowadays I bet the variance in a paint pigment is 10 parts per million. Back in 1918, it would have been to 5 millilitres and that is probably with a consciencous worker measuring the liquid to the line in the beakers. It would have been bucket chemistry, even with overseers. Painting by hand is a low quality process as well, IMO paint colours on WWI aircraft would have been a wide range due to the lack of modern quality control in paint manufacturing and paint application processes.

Old 29 June 2002, 09:20 AM   #8
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* The RFC recipe for P.C.10 and P.C.12 was for 200 gallon batches. *The ingredients were measured by weight and mixed in large vats. I would hardly call this bucket mixing.
* *I am curious, what are you basing your observations on in regard to what was done in WW1. *They had fine and accurate scales. I had a scale in WW2 for measuring O2 bottles that was extremely senstive, it could weigh a cigarate paper.
* *Statistical analyse inspections would not work for the manufacture parachutes. *The specification required 100 % visual inspection of all seams. *Statistical analyses works great for nuts , bolts and rivets, *
* *Very few American companies have adopted the T. Edward Deming's inspection system. *I am well familar with it, having had disscussions with Mr. Deming directly,and his team about it's benefits and how it could help my company, when Guardian Parachute adopted his system in 1985. *It is not the only method of Quality Control, there is the Harvard and Stanford Systems. *These like the Deming System are coupled to business management.
* *If you go examine the various parts and pieces of WW1 RFC/RAF built aircraft you will find the inspector's A.I.D.stamp on each of the parts, which is the indication that that piece/part had been visually and dimensionally inspection. *I wonder what is the the source of your information. *I refer you to "The Aviation Pocket-Book." by R.Borlase Matthews, 1918, Crosby Lockwood & Son,Westminster, 1918.
*There are discussions in it about aircraft inspections. * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *Blue skies,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Dan-San
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Old 1 July 2002, 11:12 PM   #9
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HEY Dan San;
What am I chopped liver?

Even current paint..batch to batch are not the same. Answer my comments !!!!!

In the military...Mil Std. the tones of colors still don't match. You think they did almost a hundred yrs ago. We are talking Gov't inspectors here.


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