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Well folks at long last I am back home after a couple weeks touring the East Coast with the family and setting foot on as many ships and subs as possible up and down the coast LOL! My sincere apologies for taking so long with an update...but I do have a small one to post today.


After spending the better part of almost two months researching the camouflage of the Arizona in late 1941 at numerous online sites and via accumulated reference books and such I finally decided on what I think she probably looked like prior to December 7, 1941:


 Yes I know...it takes some getting used to because most of us see her as being a light grey as seen in movies like Tora Tora Tora and from previous models built of her since the end of World War II.   But based on research done over the last ten+ years but Arizona experts and enthusiasts many believe her to have been painted in 5-S Sea Blue (like a dark grey with subtle blue tint). In fact the National Park Service at the USS Arizona Memorial commissioned a new model to be  built for display at the visitors center (NOTE: The following photo is not mine nor is the model mine):




Anyways, I went with a Tamiya Sea Blue (XF-17) and altered it slightly to suit my needs:



The lower anti-corrosion red is my own mix that starts with Tamiya's Hull Red and adjusted again to suit my needs. I then alter the paint further to give the model various shades of red thus helping remove the overall same color look:



The boot top (black stripe at the waterline) was a nightmare to get just right! The stern of the Arizona is oddly shaped, making masking a straight and true boot top very tricky. It took me an entire evening to mask it off...for all of about 3 to 4 minutes airbrushing :doh::




Weathering will be minimal. All I did was alter the blue/grey camouflage subtly to break up the same color affect. It shows up in the pictures a little. Remember the United States wasn't at war when the Arizona was in service in 1941. That coupled with her being the queen of the Pacific, pride of the fleet, and fairly new out of a refit and she was very well maintained (if it was brass it was polished, if it was wood it was stained, and if it was metal/steel it was painted):




Much work to do yet but I am happy with her so far.


Thanks all for your patience, support, and comments. It is much appreciated! I hope to have another update within the week.


Kindest regards,


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Good to see you back on this

. It's looking great. It does take a while to get use to that color, but it came out great.


I have been working on mine, but failed to get some prebuild pics so I don't think it would qualify for the GB.  I may have to post a build thread anyway though.


Keep up the great work, look forward to seeing more.



Edited by niart17
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  • 2 weeks later...

An update!!! Yes Gentlemen I'm still here...S-L-O-W...but here. I started back teaching almost two weeks ago and my two kids are also back in school. So between work, their school, my son's fall baseball (that I help coach), my daughters volleyball and the never ending "honey-do" list my bench time has been drastically cut. But...we have progress...


Much masking to get at the blue/grey camouflaged sections sprayed above the wood decks:



That took about two hours.


The launches (lifeboats) have been primed, painted, assembled, and in need of a wash. General consensus is the launches/boats were painted the same blue/grey as the Arizona herself. What is unknown is if the insides were left wood or also painted camouflage. I went with a darker shade of deck just to break up the largely blue/grey and deck tan color (notice the cranes are ready for a light wash as well):




They do look a bit clunky and not 100% stellar, but they really aren't that far off the real things. Six boats (two groups of three) of what you see above get nestled together like a Russian nesting doll to look like this:




Here is the current state of my Arizona. Don't get excited folks what you see here is only dry fitted with many details missing (like the rear mast)...nothing is glued down...yet:



Notice the red Battleship Division 1 turret tops on #1, #2, and #4 turrets (Battleship Division's 2 were white, 3 blue, 4 black, and 5 yellow):




Notice the #3 and #4 turret barbette's still need to be masked and painted camouflage as do a few sections below and to the rear of the launches . Also note the bow anchor guards, anchor chains, and small lumps and bumps need masking and painting... yikes, another two+ hour masking job ahead of me! I also noticed that the blue/grey camouflage looks light in some sections of the pictures, to the point that when I was looking at the them I had a momentary panic attack that I didn't cover the hull well enough while airbrushing the camouflage. But it's fine when I look at it with my eyes so its just a trick of the light outside or something making sections look white-ish.




Anyways, that's all for now folks. Still much to do. Slow but steady progress is better then no progress at all I suppose.


Thanks all for taking the time to look and comment.


Kindest regards,


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On ‎8‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 3:03 PM, phantom said:

Looks good, they sure painted it dark!

Thanks Phantom! Surprisingly the dark blue/grey blended in better with the open (deeper) ocean then the older lighter grey camouflage. Hence the change over in mid-1941.




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Looks GREAT! I agree the boats do look much better once they are painted and stacked. Makes it harder to see the shape. As for the color, it does look really good, but is a lot darker than I'd imagined. Keep up the great work, look forward to seeing more.



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At what point during the war did USN begin staining wood decks blue (or dark grey?) for camouflage?

I used to have a couple of Dad's 1970-something Naval Institute Proceedings magazines with ship camouflage articles by Robert Sumrall where it said, but what it said and where they are is lost from my memory.

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Thanks fellas! Much appreciated.  As I posted in an earlier update, my Arizona's camouflage is not what you expect when you first look at her. Odds are, if you're like me, you were kind of like "oh my that's different". You probably were expecting something more like this:

Image result for USS Arizona painting


And depending on when you wanted to model your Arizona the above would be absolutely fine (heck its your model you can paint it whatever color you want if you're happy with it). I went with the Sea Blue (my terrible pictures come out slightly darker then what it looks like with the naked eye) because that's what I think she looked like on December 7, 1941 based on my readings. But its just my opinion formed from the opinions of others who have been researching her. So I could be waaay off.


I looked at her sister and lead ship in the class, the Pennsylvania...:

 Image result for USS Arizona painting


...as well as others builds like this great model (note: NOT my model nor is it my picture)...


Image result for USS Arizona painting


Link to the above build:



...and went with something similar.




In regards when decks were stained blue, it seems the carriers were probably camouflaged prior to Pearl Harbor:



For battleships, destroyers, cruisers etc some say late 1941 (20-B "Deck Blue") while others say early-to-mid 1942 (same 20-B color put on prior to Midway) . Apparently ship camouflage debates are no different then aircraft camouflage debates in that there are soooo many thoughts and opinions out there :doh:.


Regards all and enjoy the long weekend!


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have to laugh. I finished my 1/700 Arizona identically to the one you are showing above. When I entered it in the Ajax contest I overheard one gentleman (using the term generously) tell all who passed by that the paint finish was “all wrong” and so on and so on. 


Rude but he seemed to be enjoying his pseudo expertise - probably his only enjoyment for a long time - so I just walked away. 


The actual experts cant agree on the final colours. 


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NICE! That's basically the colors I had about 5 or 6 years ago before I gave

up on it. Should NEVER have given up, only difference is my deck was wood color.

Going to look into that, keep up the good work! Most EXCELLENT!---John

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  • 2 years later...

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