The following is one of over 5,000 great modeling articles created through iModeler.

Help needed

September 3, 2016 in Diorama

I made two flight decks One painted blue because I read that in the early years of WWII the Navy painted their flight decks blue for camo because the sea is blue

The second one is what color is what I have seen later in the war.

Which deck should I use for a Hellcat.

The next problem is a WWII flight deck crew colors

The one I used for my crew is brown for maintence and red for armorers I also painted the pants and shirt blue

Also the gray line in the flight deck are deck drains

where have I gone wrong?

Thanks for any advice


5 additional images. Click to enlarge

People who liked this article:

11 responses to Help needed

  1. Tom, you’re right on both flight deck colors.
    There was a special stain in blue for carrier decks to supposedly blend with the sea as seen from overhead. I believe there was a paint, as well.
    The “tan” color for wooden decked carriers was probably also some kind of stain, given wear ‘n tear, oil and other spills and leaks.
    Floquil once had a series of marine paints, which included the blue. Gone with the company. I only saw them in one hobby shop hereabouts, also gone. After awhile, he remaindered his stock off, and I bought some, in case I got ambitious. Not the blue though, somebody beat me to that one.
    I don’t know the time frame for whether the deck is blue or “natural”. It might also be up to the Skipper, with or without BUships directives. That and op tempo. Too busy.
    I say you’re the Skipper, so do what you want. In the sail days, that was literally true. No “leash”, took months for news to travel back to Their Lordships or CINCWhatever.
    I’m torn on the figures. The WW II photos I see are tan flying suits for Officers, enlisted deck and aircrew in the chambray “blue shirt” and dungarees. Pilots in brown shoes, enlisted in black.
    I always wondered if they let enlisted aircrew wear the tan suit?
    Flight deck crew colors that I recall – and the modern and WW II sorta blur together- yellow are folks who launch and recover aircraft, Red are ordinance, not sure about the rest of WW II . Recent, brown are crew chiefs, purple fuel folks. Green?
    Others (Hi, Bob and Tom!) will know more. (Help an old Dogface out,

  2. I’m no expert on this subject ,but the sea can be any number of colours ,bright blue,dark blue, greens ,browns even almost black, I would have thought they would make the deck as easy to find as possible for returning aircrews, after all an aircraft carrier and it’s associated fleet aren’t going to disappear by painting the flight deck blue…. but like I said I’m no expert,it’s an interesting question though.

  3. Well….I’m not one to disagree with references, but I’ve never seen a carrier deck painted blue – ‘course that doesn’t mean someone didn’t do it one time or another. I’d go with the wooden deck if I were to create a diorama with a Hellcat. But that’s just me. Looking forward to your next ‘creation’, Tom.

  4. Hi Tom,

    In WWII wooden decks on US Navy ships were stained Deck Blue. There was also a corresponding paint for metal surfaces also known as Deck Blue. This is a very dark blue, similar to (but distinct from) the Non-Specular Sea Blue used on aircraft. The Deck Blue stain faded, taking on a slightly lighter and more grey-ish hue. It would also wear, allowing some of the wood tone to show through in high wear areas. Enter “Deck Blue aircraft carriers WWII” into your search engine and you will see numerous examples.

    The “flight deck drains” you mentioned are actually tie down strips. The aircraft would be chained to the deck to prevent movement, one end of the chain had a fitting which would engage slots in these strips, the other end would be hooked to fittings on the aircraft and the chains tightened. These strips were painted Deck Blue to match the stain on the decks.

    Before the war carrier decks were stained brown with yellow markings. Warships with wooden decks were left in their natural wooden color, bleached to a very light tone by the sun and “holy stoned” by the deck force.

    Deck crew would wear their issue Navy working uniforms, dungarees for enlisted (Navy Blue trousers and light blue shirts), Officers and Chiefs in khakis. Other protective clothing and specific task clothing seen on carrier flight decks covered a wide range. My advice is to model your figures based upon examples you find in photographs for the scene you wish to portray. Again, numerous examples can be seen on a quick search on your computer.

    Hope this helped.


  5. Flight deck crew jerseys generally speaking. brown shirts were plane captains, red- ordinance, yellow- plane directors, blue- plane handlers [ chocks& chains], green- catapults/arresting gear, today aircraft maintainer also wear green, and purple for fuelers. I’m not sure when thee color coded shirts started but I’ve seen color flight deck shots pre-war with said jerseys, As Jeff Groves says base it on the photos you find.

  6. Gents thanks for all of your advice.

    Jeff how do I make the deck drains?


  7. Tom –

    Your best bet is to purchase strips of photoetch tie downs. White Ensign made some in 1/72 and 1/48 but they would be hard to find today. Tom’s Modelworks makes some too, I thinks theirs go up to 1/32. There may be others as well. Verlinden makes WWII deck sections in resin with the tie downs molded in place. You could make some yourself, but the shape is intricate and repetitive so it would be a pain to replicate.

  8. You have your decks reversed, chronologicaly. The unpainted wood is pre-war (and post-war), while the Deck Blue is both darker and greyer. Tamiya “Field Blue” is a good starting point.

    WRT to the deck crew, brown jerseys are plane captains and leading petty officers; red are ordnancemen and emergency personnel; green are maintenance personnel; yellow is aircrfaft handling officers and plane directors; purple is fueling personnel; blue are plane pushers. These colors were established in the 1920s and have been used since.

    The uniforms would be faded dark blue dungaree pants and light faded blue shirts. If they’re wearoing covers, these were dipped in blue dye or coffee to get rid of the white “targets’ during the war.


  9. I seem to remember the last time I posted something in Headlines for help I got told off by the editor………
    hmmmm, I guess this is a query about aircraft so it’s acceptable, Martin, are you reading this?

  10. Thanks for all theuseful information that you gentlemen have given me

    Thanks again


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.