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Armor/AFV: British Armor
Discuss all types of British Armor of all eras.
Hosted by Darren Baker
British SCC 15
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 04:27 AM UTC
This has been discussed several times before - the the use of SCC 15 as a substitute for US Olive Drab. But why did they have to use SCC 15 in the first place? Olive Drab already existed in British paint schemes. While doing research for painting the carrier Ark Royal I found the flight deck was painted "Bronze Gray" (not to be confused with "Bronze Green!). I made inquiries. A response from Sovereign Hobbies (Colourcoats) revealed that the formula for Bronze Gray was:
White Oxide - 28 lbs
Black Paint - 14 lbs
Ochre - 56 lbs
Plus various thinners and oils.
The result was a light Olive Drab - just slightly lighter and grayer than the US equivalent. This color was used on carrier flight decks. This was a paint color and had nothing to do with Semtex deck coatings.
So...since black and ochre was already available to the British, and was the same formula as US OD (minus the white), why didn't they (the British) just use this instead of inventing the new color SCC 15?
ReluctantRenegade
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Wien, Austria
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 04:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

But why did they have to use SCC 15 in the first place? Olive Drab already existed in British paint schemes.



Standard Olive Drab only existed on US sourced equipment. Since by early '44 these vastly outnumbered locally sourced ones (and the Brits had no standard OD in their inventory), they've decided to locally produce the color to avoid repainting lend/lease vehicles to British standards. I guess the base colors they used were slightly different from the US paints hence the different shade of the SCC15.
Biggles2
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 04:55 AM UTC
The point I was making (maybe you missed it) is that the British had the same colors that the US had so why not use them?
ReluctantRenegade
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Wien, Austria
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 05:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The point I was making (maybe you missed it) is that the British had the same colors that the US had so why not use them?



I apparently still am.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 11:00 AM UTC
So, how many different ways do I have to explain this?? The British already had (and were using) the same ingredients (ochre, and black) that the US were using (Olive Drab) on military vehicles. Most accounts state that the Brits couldn't (??) produce olive drab so they made SCC15 from a different formulation as a substitute for US OD. Why?
nsjohn
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 01:25 PM UTC
Mike Starmer is the guru on British paint

https://www.mafva.org/british-vehicle-camouflage-1939-45/
ALBOWIE
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New South Wales, Australia
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 05:00 PM UTC

Quoted Text

So, how many different ways do I have to explain this?? The British already had (and were using) the same ingredients (ochre, and black) that the US were using (Olive Drab) on military vehicles. Most accounts state that the Brits couldn't (??) produce olive drab so they made SCC15 from a different formulation as a substitute for US OD. Why?



How often do you paint an Aircraft Carrier Deck? My guess on this is that it was a pre war colour in limited qty and couldn't be produced later into the war when the need for a british OD was required. Somewhewre in an archive will be the answer but until someone finds it we will just have to have opinions
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020 - 05:07 PM UTC
Norman, Thanks for the resource. I have a Grant to do along with a Matilda.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 03:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text



How often do you paint an Aircraft Carrier Deck? My guess on this is that it was a pre war colour in limited qty and couldn't be produced later into the war when the need for a british OD was required.


Ark Royal was torpedoed November '41 and had Bronze Gray (OD) deck at that time.
long_tom
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Illinois, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 05:00 AM UTC
I imagine the simple reason the British used SCC15 in the first place instead of copying US Olive Drab was because it was what they could feasibly manufacture with the supplies they had on hand. They couldn't just get everything they needed from the USA.
nheather
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 08:56 PM UTC
Could it be that you are referring to historical information and at the time someone was asked to reproduce OD they didn’t have the recipe. So they matched as best as they could which resulted in a slightly different recipe. This then got registered as a standard colour and then like any big government organisation that became the colour that must be used.

Subsequently the true recipe was discovered and found to be very similar to SCC15 but by that time SCC15 had become enshrined in process and procedure.

And does it really matter. If you have to create paint locally, does it matter if it is slightly different that another country uses. It would only seem silly to me if the UK had the option to buy OD but chose to make their own version - I doubt they had the opportunity to buy paint from the US and even if they did it would be a waste of valuable atlantic convoy space. Better to make it locally and if you don’t get the exact shade it doesn’t really matter.

Is there any evidence that the UK received OD painted Shermans and then wasted valuable time and resources painting them an ever so slightly different shade of green.

Besides, if you randomly painted a selection of Cromwells in OD and SCC15 and drove them around in the sun for a month then gave them a good clean to remove the mud and grime, would any of them still exactly match OD or SCC15.

Cheers,

Nigel
tanknick22
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United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 11:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

This has been discussed several times before - the the use of SCC 15 as a substitute for US Olive Drab. But why did they have to use SCC 15 in the first place? Olive Drab already existed in British paint schemes. While doing research for painting the carrier Ark Royal I found the flight deck was painted "Bronze Gray" (not to be confused with "Bronze Green!). I made inquiries. A response from Sovereign Hobbies (Colourcoats) revealed that the formula for Bronze Gray was:
White Oxide - 28 lbs
Black Paint - 14 lbs
Ochre - 56 lbs
Plus various thinners and oils.
The result was a light Olive Drab - just slightly lighter and grayer than the US equivalent. This color was used on carrier flight decks. This was a paint color and had nothing to do with Semtex deck coatings.
So...since black and ochre was already available to the British, and was the same formula as US OD (minus the white), why didn't they (the British) just use this instead of inventing the new color SCC 15?



If you are looking for SCC.15 AK makes it RC017 is the AK number
jon_a_its
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 11:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I imagine the simple reason the British used SCC15 in the first place instead of copying US Olive Drab was because it was what they could feasibly manufacture with the supplies they had on hand. They couldn't just get everything they needed from the USA.



This is the Nub of it, US kit wasn't often repainted in UK colour schemes, (except desert camo), BUT where US kit had been reworked they were painted SCC15, as a "UK produced" substitute for US OD, which didn't have a strict official formulation until late in the war anyway, and varied according to the plant & mfr of paint.
SCC15 faded to a greener shade than US OD.

In modelling terms:
Hataka do A110 SCC15 Olive Drab
MIG-112 SSC15 (Brit. 1944-45 Olive Drab)
and other Mfrs are available.
RLlockie
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 01:36 AM UTC
I’d recommend looking at Mike Starmer’s comments about various manufacturers’attempts at SCC15 before buying. He’s less than impressed with some of them.

You might need to consult a few fora to find them - I know he uses ML but not sure which others.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 02:37 AM UTC
I should have posted this at the beginning, this is an excerpt from the 1937 Rate Book for the formulation of Bronze Gray:
http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/download/file.php?id=91477&mode=view
It was a commonly used military color (at least for the RN) and existed from before the war.
And I'm not questioning the color or formula for SCC15, but why bother making it at all!
JohnTapsell
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 08:36 AM UTC
You've answered your own question in your very first post - Bronze Gray did not match US Olive Drab. Therefore a new colour was developed that matched it more closely.

I suspect you'll also find that pigments used for army vehicles also had specific characteristics that were different from paints developed for the Royal Navy.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 11:08 AM UTC
Are you serious?? Did something get lost in translation? I said Bronze Gray was similar to OD because it contained two of the same ingredients - yellow ochre and black! If you omit the white from the Bronze Gray formula (yellow ochre/black/white) you're left with OD - the same OD used by US Army since 1917 and made from the same ingredients.
JohnTapsell
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, April 27, 2020 - 02:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Are you serious?? Did something get lost in translation? I said Bronze Gray was similar to OD because it contained two of the same ingredients - yellow ochre and black! If you omit the white from the Bronze Gray formula (yellow ochre/black/white) you're left with OD - the same OD used by US Army since 1917 and made from the same ingredients.



That's a very simplistic way of looking at a very complex subject. Paint technology at this time was changing rapidly and a lot of research was going in to the specific attributes of the pigments being used in paint.

The paints authorised for British vehicles during WWII were chosen as much for their chemical composition and performance as their actual shade. The formula for SCC15 would have been developed to ensure the paint not only matched the US Olive Drab shade closely, but also had the right chemical composition and performance charateristics to match the other requirements - something that an 'off the shelf' solution couldn't do.
Halaci
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Budapest, Hungary
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Posted: Monday, April 27, 2020 - 04:26 AM UTC
I honestly don't understand the question and the problem. Was the RN Bronze Grey the same colour as the SCC15? No, you yourself says that it was a different hue, because of the white. So why would they use it when they wanted the SAME hue as the US OD? Obviously they gave a new designation to it, as this colour has not been yet in the standard.

In addition I'm absolutely not sure whether at that time the inter-arms cooperation were on the level that the responsible Army department had known at all that there is a similar colour somewhere in a Navy storehouse. Branches usually dealt with their own supplies and didn't care about what the other had. Even in Sovereign Hobbies navy colour leaflets it is obvious that the Navy used their own colour naming and NOT colours from the even then existing BS381C range. How should an Army camouflage guy now - even if he ever heard it - that "Bronze Grey" which was a proprietary Navy colour, not in the British Colour Standard is similar to the US OD? There were no internet colour databases at that time.