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"Royal Artillery Colours" Topic

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Angel Barracks21 Mar 2010 1:21 p.m. PST

I am aware of the grey colour that the above painted the wood of their guns.
Did they paint ammunition wagons/caissons/etc the same grey?


aecurtis Fezian21 Mar 2010 1:46 p.m. PST

Franklin seems to imply so:

PDF link


Angel Barracks21 Mar 2010 1:49 p.m. PST

Very handy, thank you Allen.

summerfield21 Mar 2010 2:05 p.m. PST

Dear Allen
Franklin neglected to realised that Zinc Oxide as a pigment was not available until the mid 19th century. White lead was used instead. This is off-white to start with and not as tinctually strong so it is likely that the guns were nearer to the medium grey during the Napoleonic Wars.


aecurtis Fezian21 Mar 2010 2:34 p.m. PST

Dear Stepehn:

I'm not sure how you conclude that, when he wrote quite specifically:

"My research failed to locate any ingredients for the paint mixture used during the Napoleonic period but there was a list of later ingredients based upon the use of Lead oxide which did not exist in the period in question, aparently white oxide of zinc was a post 1830 invention.
I decided to use the ingredients of this later list but substituted white lead for white zinc."

If he recognized that zinc oxide was not available until later, and substituted lead oxide in the "recipe", wasn't he doing exactly as you say? Or please tell me what I am missing?



Angel Barracks21 Mar 2010 2:42 p.m. PST

I did wonder about that post too.

Either way grey was the way, yay!

summerfield21 Mar 2010 4:32 p.m. PST

Dear Allen
Sorry I should have read that again. It was a late addition when I pointed this out to him. I was remembering the earlier draft that he consulted me on.

Making up the paint without the correct ingredients made the colour that he described a little misleading.


nickinsomerset22 Mar 2010 1:27 a.m. PST

are the Guns!

Tally Ho!

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2010 3:37 a.m. PST

That link is fascinating.

So it's Humbrol Ocean Grey for carriages.

For the ironwork, areas where the paint would have rubbed were left bright and were oiled for protection. The paint mixture suggested for the ironwork contains a mix of pure black, yellow (the linseed oil), dark orange (the red lead) and "litharge". I didn't know what litharge was, so I Googled it and found this


which says it's a dark-orange colour.

So the formula calls, in effect, for the following by weight:

56 of black
100 of yellow
6 of dark orange

So the black on British artillery equipment must have had a noticeable brown tinge to it?

summerfield22 Mar 2010 5:30 a.m. PST

Dear Sir
That is a good summary. The problems today is that making lead based paints is prohibited due to health and safety grounds. It is something I need to do sometime to sort out the correct colour. Remember the Black was Lamp-black and not carbon black. Lamp-black has a tinge of brown in it.


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