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"1914 Mediterranean Colors" Topic

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22 Aug 2019 10:16 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "1914 Mediteranean Colors" to "1914 Mediterranean Colors"

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Panfilov Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2019 9:28 a.m. PST

Having read an earlier thread about the need for recognizing tone more than exact shade, where the Germans (Goeben and Breslau) lighter or darker than the British?

I am thinking of painting the ships for this (1st Cruiser Squadron, etc) in both 1/2400 and 1/6000'

Extra credit if anyone can identify the British Light Cruisers assigned to the Med in August 1914; Wikipedia identifies HMS Dublin (Chatham class) and HMS Gloucester (Bristol Class), I have another source that says Four Light Cruisers overall.

Also any suggestions for might have beens for the Germans.

Blucher on a Training Cruise?

21eRegt22 Aug 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

Royal Navy Deployment, Mediterranean 1914
This list of British ships, as of the outbreak of the war was contributed by Doug Thompson

Source: Conway's
All ships were based at Malta, I believe, unless otherwise noted.
BC: Inflexible

AC: Defense
Black Prince
Duke of Edinburgh

LC: Chatham

DD: Beagle, Bulldog, Foxhound, Pincher, Grasshopper, Mosquito, Scorpion, Scourge, Raccoon, Renard, Wolverine, Rattlesnake, Grampus, Savage, Basilisk, Harpy

TB: TB 90 through TB 97, TB 83, TB 88 and TB 89 (based at Gibralter)
TB 042, 044, 046, 063 and 70 (Malta)

Minesweeper (MS)

SS: B6 to B 11

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP22 Aug 2019 10:46 a.m. PST

You will have difficulty obtaining an objective answer to your "darker or lighter" question, as it would seem to require a wartime image showing ships of the 2 navies in close proximity. picture FWIW, I would go with a medium gray for the British, and use a similar shade for the German hulls. Given that the German superstructures were lighter than their hulls, that would give their ships an overall lighter look on your gaming table. Details follow:

SFAIK, the Germans used the same paint colors in the Mediterranean as in the North Sea, which were as indicated here. link B&W photos sometimes show this and sometimes don't, but I think that's a function of the lighting, film, etc. Among other places, I checked Gary Staff's new-ish book on German battlecruisers.

According to Mal Wright, British Mediterranean colors likewise were not usually different than elsewhere.

For reasons of painting simplicity, I am personally willing to go along with these interpretations, although I go with a "mid grey" even for 1914 British. :-)

For German "might-have-beens", I go with my favorite WW1 min-campaign, SPI's "Flight of the Goeben", which suggests Moltke and a CL arriving to replace Goeben and Breslau, and the war breaking out during the overlap.


Blutarski25 Aug 2019 1:47 p.m. PST

Go here –


- for a good web page covering IGN WW! color schemes.


hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2019 3:00 p.m. PST


That link has already been posted. A more useful contribution would be to use your extensive experience in this area to come up with an image showing a mid-to-late-war British ship in the same image as a German one, bearing on the OP's "lighter or darker" question. Perhaps something from the interned fleet at Scapa Flow?


Blutarski27 Aug 2019 9:30 a.m. PST

Hi hinds TMP,
Sorry about that missed the link.

You are correct regarding Staff's essential volume, "German Battlecruisers" The color plan/profile illustrations of Von der Tann and Mackensen on the front and back leafs are well done indeed. I only wish that John Roberts' fine book on British battlecruisers had included similar color illustrations.

One other resource that might prove helpful is Erich Groener's "German Warships 1815-1945 Volume 1". The introductory 'Notes and Abbreviations' section describes the various official color schemes by number and the entries for each ship will give the number of the relevant color scheme. For example, the entry for Moltke and Goeben show them as carrying color scheme 9, which is described as follows in the afore-mentioned introductory section:

quote -

(1896 grey) For ships in home waters, introduced 15 April 1896.

Grey hull up to the level of the main deck or main deck bulwark or forecastle outer edge and the extension of this line in way of the enclosed upper deck.

Light Grey upper deck, superstructure, funnels, ventilators, masts, etc., also guns turrets and shields.

Yellow-Gold bow and stern ornaments (with highlights) ….. probably not relevant in 1:2400 or 1:6000.

Torpedo boats covered by color scheme number 5 and dockyard, etc, vessels by scheme number 6 were excepted from scheme 9. Variations included funnels (usually those with narrow caps, but occasionally up to 1 meter wide) in black instead of light grey, also masts above the funnels, including crosstrees; main topmasts were also black for a short period.

- unquote.

I will have a look through my books and photos, but I'm not sure: (a) how reliable any judgment can be as to the exact degree of difference in shade and/or tint between British and German greys, and (b) how dramatic any difference in appearance will ultimately be when painting up small 1:2400 and 1:6000 models, where all colors really need to be "lightened up" a bit for visual purposes. Strictly my opinion of course.


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