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Gary Stevenson
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FAA Grumman Wildcat AL426 being stripped, restored & preserved at Yeovilton, UK

February 8, 2017 · in Photo Collections · · 16 Comments

These few pics are from a visit we paid to the FAA Museum at Yeovilton in around 2006 when they were restoring their AL246.

I found it amazing that the colours inside had never been touched up or replaced and were a true depiction of paint used way back when the plane was taken on charge in the 1940s!

There was evidence of a repair under the starboard wingtip which was not documented on the aircraft logs and also showed the light blue colour first used by the FAA at the time before Sky type 'S' became the norm. The large type 'A' underwing roundel was interesting too.

I hope you find these interesting. There would have been more but the batteries gave out on the camera I was using at the time so we had to be content with climbing all over the airframe, sitting in the cockpit ...yada yada yada... It's a tough life!


9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Much appreciated, especially as a color reference.
    One can hardly get a better impression of the dark dull cockpit green and the engine block grey then from these pictures.

    • Yes you can Halvar, we asked if it was ok to take some photos of this plane as it was locked behind a glass partition in a workshop. The ex-RN guy then let us in and told we could climb on & IN it if we wished but obviously we had to be careful what we touched!
      They were very accomodating that day!
      Cheers mate

  2. As Halvar stated...good reference material - thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing these photos with us. The green looks like the green found in the cockpit of the early TBF-1 Avenger in Deland. I'm not 100 percent sure but I think it's called "bronze green".
    Amazing photos. Thanks again.

    • I tried to replicate that color on my Avenger which is posted in the Midway Group build. I found a similar color inside the Collings Foundation B-24 which is now painted as "Witchcraft". It was previously painted silver and was called "All American".

    • I think 34092 is a good match or US Medium green if you can get it. It's kinda like a dull bright green innit?

      • Gary, have you seen IPMS Stockholms online tome on U S Aircraft interiors?

        U S aircraft producers sometimes used commercially available paints, or made their own by adding black to yellow chromate.

        Grumman used Bronze Green, and I think 34092 is a close match.

        In 1943 cockpit/zinc chromate green was standardized for interiors. Amazingly, some manufacturers continued to use whatever they'd been using previously.

        The Stockholm 3 parter has color photos to illustrate what it looks like.

        My conclusion: take your best guess.

        Thanks for posting these. I heard that when they started to strip her down, they got some surprises.

        Shame "Winkie" Brown isn't around to add his input.

      • Sorry for the late reply Gary...

        I took my Accurate Miniatures TBF Avenger outside and tried to match it with the color chips in my FS colors book.

        Mine was a custom mix blend that I made from Model Master Imperial Japanese Navy Green and I think some US Dark Sea Blue. I think that I wrote down the ingredients for this custom ix on my build thread.

        Anyhow the model was taken inside the Colling's Foundation B-24 and matched up with the bronze green that was used by Consolidated. If memory serves me it looked to be the same shade (or very close to it) of the early Grumman TBF Avenger cockpit that I had access to several years ago.

        The color doesn't actually match up with anything in my Federal Standards book. I took the model and my book outside in the bright sunlight to try and compare them.

        However, it is pretty close to two different shades. The closest match to a FS number would be FS34058. However the 34058 looks to be a little lighter than my mix.

        The next best color match was FS 34092. Again this color did not match exactly. It was lighter and more green.

        I can't post pictures on your thread, but I will post them on my AM build thread which is now under the "Midway Group Build" thread located here:

        I'll send you a PM if you would like.

        Again, sorry for the late reply. Hope this helps to answer your questions.

        • PS: The Grumman "Bronze Green" doesn't match anything in the current FS book. It also changes colors somewhat if it is viewed in different light sources. Sometimes it looks a little darker and other times a little light. It also faded somewhat depending on the location and if it was exposed to direct sunlight. This exposure would change the appearance of the color too. You can see the examples I'm talking about on the next few pictures that I took inside the B-24.

    • Great picks and also sorry for the late reply. I use Humbrol 75 Bronze Green, very close

  4. Great pics of the landing gear bay, struts and landing gear also. Nice set of pics to use for future reference

  5. Great documentation of Grumman Bronze Green cockpit. The light blue is the original (French) color painted at the Grumman factory. The overall dark blue is a late war paint job.

    • It was surprising to the guys doing the resoration that the repair patch was in Sky type 'S' also Tom. There was nothing in the aircrafts very complete log to indicate a repair in this area.
      Thanks for clarifying the French light blue issue!

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