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F-4G Hill grey colors

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1 hour ago, ElectroSoldier said:

So its actual name is Egypt I but people call it Hill because it was applied there?


Actually neither scheme has an "actual" official name, but Hill Gray is probably much more common and technically more accurate.  The official "Hill Gray II" scheme is shown (but not labelled as such) in USAF Tech Order 1-1-4 (PDF here, page 116 for the Phantom).


The Hill Gray schemes were originally developed for the F-16 when it was in the Full Scale Development stage.  The FSD Vipers wore several different schemes before settling on 36118 ('gunship' gray) over 36375 ('light ghost' gray), with 36270 areas on the upper forward fuselage and upper part of the intake.  This was originally known at least semi-formally as the Hill Gray scheme, and was adapted on the Phantom fleet with a similar 3-gray countershaded pattern.  Since the multicolor gray/green camouflage for the European theater (orginally developed for the A-10) was known as "European I," the new gray scheme was nicknamed "Egyptian I" informally - most likely after F-16s and Phantoms in this scheme participated in the 'Bright Star' joint exercises in Egypt (Egypt would only operate secondhand US Phantoms in the scheme much later. Ironically their F-16s wear a slightly modified scheme with a lighter color for the darkest gray.  The Egyptian Mirage 2000s were also delivered in French colors very similar to the Hill scheme).


The scheme that became known as Hill Gray II originated with Phantoms as a simplified 2-color gray scheme of 26118 over 26270 (the 2- in both FS codes indicating semigloss vs 3- matte). In addition to deleting the lightest gray, the revised scheme extended the 26118 top color as an antiglare panel ahead of the cockpit (some units mirrored this on the underside as a quasi-false canopy). 


By Desert Storm in 1991 virtually all active-duty Phantoms were in Hill II (to the best of my knowledge none of the Weasel units ever wore Hill I, transitioning directly from Euro I to Hill II).  The F-16 fleet didn't transition to the 2-color scheme until much later (mid-late 90s), and most export countries that started with Hill I seem to have maintained it even after the USAF change.

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1 hour ago, jonwinn said:

Thanks, just the info I need to paint my F-4E. Wasn't it called "wrap around" ?


No.  The original “wrap around” USAF scheme was the Southeast Asia scheme that did away with the gray belly and ‘wrapped around’ the top side colors to the belly. That was changed to the Euro I scheme by substituting 36081 for the 30219 on the existing pattern. All Euro I F-4s were ‘wrap around’.


As noted above, ‘Hill Gray’ was never an official name.  USAF camo patterns don’t have any official names, just the T.O. pattern.  According to a friend who was with the 171st at Selfridge, it was their maintenance troops who protested to the Ogden ALC to get them to switch from flat to semi-gloss.  The gray paint gathered dirt and grime and was very prone to fading and turning chalky looking, and ANG guys tend to be pretty proud of their airplanes.  The flat paint made it hard to keep them pretty.  

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I know this doesn't address the G but felt this was on the same track. As a note, T.O. 114 is not the only reference on paint/corrosion. Each USAF aircraft has it’s own corrosion guidance. I saved this from TO 1-F-4C-3-1-6. I now wish I’d have saved the whole TO.IMG_3229.thumb.jpeg.10f98f0fe7f7fa51d59dbe0b9c554a57.jpeg


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19 hours ago, BillS said:

I know this doesn't address the G but felt this was on the same track. As a note, T.O. 114 is not the only reference on paint/corrosion. Each USAF aircraft has it’s own corrosion guidance.


Great addition to the discussion, even if not "Weasel-specific" 😄


I believe the airframe-specific T.O.s have actually replaced the 'generic' 1-1-4 in its entirety (the most recent I could find online was a 1998 edition).  And even before that, a lot of types - and specific schemes - were never included at all.  I recall reading that when @Dana Bell wrote USAF Colors & Markings in the 1990s he had to create new drawings for several types/schemes that were only issued as type-specific T.O.s. (if even that).

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On top of that, there were other pubs that had mil standards for interiors, components, etc. on top of that, there were/are corrosion conferences where guidance is given. I’ve got a conference note binder that discusses special interest areas. There are references to the Brits using paint rollers to save time and money!

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A tip when doing any of the "Hill grey" Phantoms is to match the paint color to the decals you are using.

 I found the light - dark spectrum of an FS grey from any brands bottle varies considerably (wha...?!) at least

this was discovered from earlier paints like MM, Aeromaster, Humbrol, etc. IDK of the newer brands.

For instance the dark grey (FS 26118) you apply should match the decal tail marking color as note 4 of T.O.

page posted above by BILLS.

Edited by phasephantomphixer
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