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General Ship Modeling: Painting & Color Schemes
Topics on painting and paint schemes are grouped here
USS Lexington (CV-2) color scheme
Bigrip74
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Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 03:29 AM UTC
Newbie question: I am building a 1/700 USS Lexington (CV-2)and need to know what colors to use for the structure and flight deck. I use Tamiya paint mainly.

All help is GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Bob
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 04:28 AM UTC
You did not indicate what time frame that you wish to model Lexington. There are at least three different schemes, and I have information on each. Please select the time frame and I will give you what I have appropriate to the time you select.
brekinapez
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 04:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You did not indicate what time frame that you wish to model Lexington. There are at least three different schemes, and I have information on each. Please select the time frame and I will give you what I have appropriate to the time you select.



Would you by any chance have any info on whether or not the Lex applied any distinctive markings to the aircraft assigned to her, as was seen on some other ships' planes? I have not been able to find any good pics of Lexington-specific planes. I was hoping to model an F6F-3 in Lex markings as the Lex was stationed in my home town as a training carrier for many years before being decommissioned. Any time period is okay. I have a Wildcat I could do as Butch O'Hare's plane, but if I could do a whole range of Lexington planes that would be pretty cool.
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 05:56 AM UTC
I am very sorry but I don't have anything solid on markings past 1942. My area of interest is the first year of the Pacific War, roughly from 1941 through the Battle of Santa Cruz. For that period I have loads of data.

That said markings and color schemes changed a few times between 43 and 45. In 1945 all of the carrier air groups adopted geometric patterns on the tail of the aircraft to designate both air group and the carrier they were based on. Before 45 no such markings were in use, and the aircraft from carrier to carrier differed very little save for plane numbers.

Couple of things you should keep in mind I think. First off O'Hare's Wildcat was an F4F3 the model that did not have folding wings, and second if you are going to model an F6F3 you are probably limited to the years 1943-44. Most of the Dash 3 Hellcats were used up by 45 and the most common model then in use was the Dash 5.

There are several books available on both of the Lexington's (CV2 and CV16) One in particular on CV16 should still be available. Can't recall the title off hand but is one of those you see on the book racks at hobby shops, and it covers Lex from commissioning until they hauled her out of Pensacola and towed her to Corpus Christi. In fact the last page is full of color shots of her being towed away.

When you do O'Hare's or Thatch's aircraft I have really good data on them, should you need it.

Sorry I could not give you more complete answers, but thinking about it there may be a place for you to go about the CV16 aircraft markings. Contact Mark Tutton at Starfighter Decals, he produces aircraft marking decals that are quite good. Used them on several of my carriers. Don't know how much he has for 1/72 and larger aircraft, but what I do know is that he would probably have the information you are looking for
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 06:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Newbie question: I am building a 1/700 USS Lexington (CV-2)and need to know what colors to use for the structure and flight deck. I use Tamiya paint mainly.

All help is GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Bob



It is important to know what time period-- Lexington had a distinctive refit in 1936, which widened her forward flight deck. CV-2 Lexington was lost in 1942, so it would have had an overall blue-gray scheme including a blue stained flight deck as befits early war US Navy camouflage patterns (I want to say measure 21, but don't qoute me on that). In the book "U.S. Aircraft Carriers" by Friedman there is a clear photo of Lex just before she sank in the unmistakable overall standard Navy blue-gray scheme. Earlier, pre-war, she was overall mid-gray with "reddish" flight deck, and yellow striping. There is a wide black band at the top of her funnel in the 1930s. As for aircraft, the Lexington had her own tail color assigned for the "Yellow-Wing" pre-war schemes- Here's a chart for that:

http://www.cybermodeler.com/color/usn_preww2.shtml

Early war schemes for aircraft for CV-2 were Navy standard of blue-gray upper surfaces, white below, with either a red and white striped rudder, or a painted out rudder (in blue-gray depending on the time period). The CV2 Lexington didn't have F6F aircraft, as they wouldn't come along until CV9 Essex was launched on December 31st 1942, the first Fleet carrier to be equipped with the F6F, followed by CV16 Lexington (Feb. 43) and then CV10 Yorktown (Apr. 43). CV2 Lexington would have been equipped with TBDs, F4Fs and SBDs at Coral Sea, with the unmarked tails or the red and white stripped rudders, and the blue surround white star with red dot. The white carrier "symbol" tail markings didn't exist until the second Yorktown came along in 1943, which used a diagonal line on the tail, then the Essex adopted a horizontal line on the tail. I know the the Essex class Hornet would adopt a white ball, but all of this would have been after CV2 was lost. Before that time, aircraft were designated by thier fuselage call numbers, such as "8-T-1" -- the 1st aircraft in Torpedo Eight. If you are talking about Lexington CV16, she would be a whole different story having undergone several re-fits, but she was left in Measure 21, (Navy blue-gray) the only Essex class carrier to never have a "dazzle" scheme applied. Between 1943 and 1945 she was equipped with different aircraft including SB2Cs and F6F and TBF/M variants.

For Shell: Late war F6F-5 Hellcat tail markings for Lex were a wide diagonal white stripe starting at the upper corner of the rudder and going down to where the tail and fuselage meet. I don't have any info on earlier markings, but I'll do some research-- your best bet might be to PM Tracy White-- he's the "guru" of the Essex class. My info comes from "The Essex Class Carriers" by Faltum, and "Hellcat" by Anderton/Watanabe. I have a "fair" collection of Essex class carrier books, and at least two 1944 and 1945 publications on carrier warfare. My Dad was a plankholder on the Essex.
VR, Russ
brekinapez
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 07:10 AM UTC
Chuck and Russ,

Thanks. I did realize my Hellcat was present on the new Lex, but did not know there were none on the earlier vessel. I have a Trumpeter SBD that comes with the early markings/striped tail so I am covered on that aircraft. Since I only do 1/32 I won't be able to include a TBD unless Trumpeter finally releases their long-gestating kit, but I do have an Avenger which I believe would have been on CV16, correct?
Bigrip74
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 07:18 AM UTC
@Chuck, I would like the early 1942 scheme colors.

@Russ, thanks for the help.

Bob
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 07:19 AM UTC
Just checked the Starfighter Decals web site, and they have the following with regard to Lexington CV2 in 1/700 scale

Lexington 1939 air group that also includes flight deck markings.

Lexington 1940 air group that also includes flight deck markings.

Lexington Mid 1941 to May 42 air group markings. Don't think that one includes any flight deck markings.

Also checked 1/72, 1/48. and 1/32 aircraft markings for Hellcats and found nothing.

Prewar, up until around the Spring of 1941 Lexington was in overall Standard Navy Gray, which is very light, and I know of no corresponding Tamiya paint. She had a Mahogany stained flight deck, with steel decks painted in deck gray.

All of the required paints for any period here discussed are available from Tru Color paints, which operates out of some place in Arizona, Phoenix I think, and they do mail orders as well as being available through a limited number of hobby shops in the States. Tru Color started out in the model railroad paint business, so you might also get them from hobby shops that specialize in model trains

She was then repainted in measure 1 which is an overall dark grey with pale gray in areas above the stacks. Her flight deck was probably stained blue, although that is open for some discussion.

Shortly after the Measure 1 repaint a bow wave (called Measure 5) was added.

That was soon followed by Measure 12 Ocean Gray over Sea Blue, very much like Yorktown was at Midway.

In 1942 she was painted overall Navy Blue with the blue stained flight deck (Measure 21). I believe this repaint job was done after Pearl Harbor but just before or during her April 1942 8" gun removal limited refit. This is the configuration when she was lost at Coral Sea.

I have a few things to do this afternoon, but when I return home I will check on exactly when the changeover was from Measure 12 to Measure 21, and report back.

Before I go though I might add that in my opinion Lexington in her pre-war colors was a very beautiful ship. Next in line though is Lex in Measure 12. Both of these color schemes show off the ships lines very well.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 07:50 AM UTC
I was revising my earlier post while reading a few references-- so some things have changed a just little-- but I did want to reiterate-- Lexington had a refit in 1936 to a wider bow, so it does matter what time frame we are referring to-- if your kit has the tapered bow, I would have an early color scheme of gray. She was sunk in her overall Navy Blue-Gray color though. Also, her gun turrets had been removed before she was sunk, to be used at Pearl Harbor as part of the Harbor defenses. I've found the best match for the Blue- Gray (Navy Blue) color is Model Master Intermediate Blue, darkened a little with black or lightened with white for shade differences, if that helps at all. Tamiya does make a similar shade. And I think Tamiya light gray is also a good match.
VR, Russ
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 07:59 AM UTC
Shell, Essex, Lexington and Yorktown were the first carriers to receive the TBF (not including Hornet's Torpedo 8 which was land based and most were lost at Midway, and were early TBFs). However, the Trumpeter kit comes in two flavors-- a TBF and aTBM. The early TBF1C kit is correct for those three ships as commissioned, the TBM would be for later in the war. I also have the Trumpeter kit-- but I recommend Eduard's "Big Ed" set for it. Trumpeter also makes a Hellcat in two flavors-- an F6F-3 and an F6F-5, but I'm disappointed in the fuselage outline, so I'm sticking with the old Hasegawa kit which is more correct (but has raised panel lines and rivets).
VR, Russ
Bigrip74
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 08:03 AM UTC
Ok! question re: the flight deck. Was it wood color or painted the same color as the structure?

Bob
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 08:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ok! question re: the flight deck. Was it wood color or painted the same color as the structure?

Bob



Bob-- again it depends on the timeframe-- the pre-war version would have had a "red-brown" flight deck with yellow stripes, but the wartime version would be stained "Navy blue" with black stripes when it was sunk- and would have had the squared off, modified bow. Pre- war Carriers almost always had the reddish colored decks, with light gray as the basic scheme. Lex and Saratoga where the only ships in thier class, so pre- war they had different schemes on the funnel-- the Saratoga had a wide vertical stripe to differentiate her form the Lex, the Lex had a wide band at the top of the funnel.
VR, Russ
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 08:11 AM UTC
Folks-- when I'm talking about the "bow" I mean the flight deck at the bow-- sorry for any confusion.
VR, Russ
brekinapez
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 08:13 AM UTC
I have Trumpeter's F6F-3N; chose it over the Hasegawa knowing the shape issues (which I'm too stupid to notice) because it was only $25 shipped. My Avenger is a TBM-3; would Lex have had those at any point? My understanding is there were still lots of -1's in service when the -3 arrived.
Bigrip74
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 08:20 AM UTC
Russ, sorry for not dating what I was looking for. Thanks for the information.

Bob
brekinapez
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 08:22 AM UTC
I see there is a CV-2 in 1/350. I can't find CV-16 in that scale; was one ever made?

I have been considering a large scale ship, and since CV-16 sat across the bay from me for about 25 years it seemed a good candidate to start.
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 09:48 AM UTC
I don't know what kit you have of Lexington. I have built a few over the years, and my most recent, and the one I still retain in 1/700 is the Ming Lexington, which is made to order for the late 1941 to April 1942 paint job of Measure 12, Ocean Gray over Sea Blue with the stained blue decks. The demarcation line for Measure 12 on carriers was supposed to be at hanger deck level as we see them on Yorktown CV5. On Lex it appears to be lower than that, and when I built my Ming Lex, I put the demarcation line slightly above the line of portholes on the hull.

Tamiya makes the Ocean Gray and Sea Blue Colors, as well as the early blue flight deck blue stain. I cannot give you those Tamiya paint numbers but if you can inquire of someone who has built the Tamiya Yorktown, those three colors are used in the instructions paint call outs.

I did check my material and Lex was in Measure 12 until here 8" guns were removed at Pearl Harbor. When the guns were removed the ship was still in 12, and I am presuming that was done before she was repainted in Measure 21, overall Navy Blue. When she left Pearl for the Coral Sea she was in Measure 21.

Saratoga CV3, Enterprise CV6, Wasp CV7, and Hornet CV8 all carried TBF's during the latter half of 1942. No one carried TBD's after Midway
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 09:58 AM UTC
Trumpeter makes several Essex Class carriers in 1/350, and the quality is quite good. You may want to look on the Intrepid thread on this site to get a feel for the kit.

Lexington was a short hull Essex built in Quincy, Mass, by Bethlehem. They had a few small differences from the short hull Essex's built by Newport News but nothing that is particularly hard to fix. My recommendation would be to start the same place the fellow building Intrepid with the Trumpeter Yorktown CV10. That has the ship post 1944, when she was rearmed from her original as commissioned configuration.

You will have to gather a lot of reference materials for that build, but what I will tell you is that Lexington was the only wartime Essex never to have a dazzel paint job. She was commissioned in Navy Blue (Measure 21) and remained so until mid 1945 when she was repainted in Measure 22.
brekinapez
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 10:31 AM UTC
Chuck,

Thanks for the info. I don't actually have a kit yet, as it is only a subject area I've recently thought about after seeing a 1/350 Bismarck done on another forum I was scanning. My primary focus is WWII German military vehicles that saw production and aircraft of any combatants during the same period, and all of that in 1/32 or 1/35. I tend to larger scales (eyesight) and I plan on only doing a few specific ships, hence I am considering 350 over 700. I have Tamiya covered top to bottom, so no worries there.
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 12:01 PM UTC
Each Essex was unique. The short hulls that came out early (except Essex) had a hanger deck catapult. These were removed when all the additional 40mm quads were added starting in mid 1944. Again Essex was an outlier, in that she never had that refit.

The point then is to first choose a time frame in which you want to model Lexington, and then start your research keying in on what she had and how she was configured during the time frame you choose. Generally speaking it is probably easier to model Lex late in the war, using Yorktown as a base. There are still differences, but they are minimal considering all the work that Intrepid builder on this site is having to do to backdate the Yorktown into an Intrepid of 43-44.

Wish you luck and I am ready to assist you with references should the need arise.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018 - 01:37 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I have Trumpeter's F6F-3N; chose it over the Hasegawa knowing the shape issues (which I'm too stupid to notice) because it was only $25 shipped. My Avenger is a TBM-3; would Lex have had those at any point? My understanding is there were still lots of -1's in service when the -3 arrived.



Lexington was originally equipped with TBF1s, but Grumman was phased out of TBF production in 1943, in favor of Hellcat production and supplanted by General Motors who produced the TBM. The big differences were in the engine, instruments, and hard points in the wings, the TBM being updated. Air wings were rotated on and off Carriers during the war, so you wouldn't have seen many TBFs aboard by late 44 or 45, they would have been TBMs. Conversely, there wouldn't have been any TBMs aboard in 1943. So Again, it depends on what period you are modeling. My Dad was a plankholder on the Essex in 1942-44, assigned to Torpedo 9, equipped with TBFs, but in April 1944 Essex put into San Francisco for refit, and Air Group 15 came aboard, equipped with all new aircraft. But I think Torpedo 15 still had TBFs at that point. The TBMs were just hitting the Carriers about then but by late 44 and early 45, most CV Torpedo squadrons in the Pacific had TBMs.
VR, Russ
TracyWhite
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Posted: Monday, June 25, 2018 - 06:00 AM UTC
OK - a number of comments in no particular order

- No bare wood decks on US Carriers ever unless we are talking about during overhaul and replanking.
- CV-2 Lexington's flight deck did not have black lines painted during her service - the would have been stained a color that matched 5-O Ocean Gray.
- Tamiya Ocean Gray and Sea Blue may share the same NAME as the USN WWII paints but they do not MATCH those paints. Consider that the Royal Air Force also had a paint they named "Ocean Gray."
The Trumpeter 1/350 CV-10 Yorktown or CV-13 Franklin kits are your best starting points for a late-war CV-16 Lexington. The Gallery CV-11 post-war Intrepid would need a lot of work to convert to an accurate CV-16 due to details such as elevator position.