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Phil_Swift_With_Flextape

West Virgina and Other USN BBs Turret Colors Aren't Historical

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West Virgina, and many other Battleships in the US Navy, had there turrets painted. For reference, I will point to Arizona here:
See the source image

Yes. I know this is an old picture and since then Wargaming has removed the red off of Arizona's 3rd turret, as it should have been. This is just an example. Don't read too far deep into it.


NOW. In the end of the 1940 fiscal year, the US Navy came up with a system to identify ships for the sky, particularly Battleships and Cruisers. When you have a fleet formation, and you have alot of similar ship, as the navy noted, you have an issue in 3 categories:

1. If you are in formation, in battle or other scenarios, and another ship has an issue, and the ships in formation have switched positions; you can't tell what ship in distress should they not be able to communicate.

2. If you launch a spotting aircraft and they don't know which ship is theirs for them to return to, as there are ships of many classes, and many classes that look similar to each other, especially from the air.

3. If CV escort aircraft are to fly over and guard a task force for any reason, and there are multiple task forces, they can not radio to confirm in a situation where radio silence is necessary.

Now, in respect to point 2, I will point you to the classes of ship in the US Navy. The first, in spoilers due to size, is each class of US Battleship during WW2 of the "standard-type" battleship:

Colorado Class (3 ships):

Spoiler

1024px-USS_Colorado_%28BB-45%29_overhead_view_1932.jpg

Pennslyvania Class (2 ships):

Spoiler

USS Pennsylvania, 31 May 1934

 

Tennessee Class (2 ships):

Spoiler

The U.S. Navy battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43) underway on 12 May 1943. Tennessee was damaged in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941 and was afterwards given a very extensive reconstruction. This gave her the enormous beam apparent in this photograph.

Nevada Class (2 Ships):

Spoiler

800px-USS_Nevada_WWII.jpg

New Mexico Class (3 Ships): 

Spoiler

1024px-USS_Idaho_BB-42.jpg

The other 3 ships at the time were the 2 New York Class (New York and Texas), and Arkansas. So far, out of 15 in-duty battleships, 12 of them look really similar, and could be mistaken for each other when in the air. Some of the pictures here are Post-Pearl Harbor, some are Pre-Pearl Harbor. The gun layouts and turrets mainly stay the same. Also, this doesn't even begin to cover the similarities between the Pensacola, Portland, Northampton, and New Orleans class cruisers, and those get pretty bad as well from the sky in a far off distance, especially between Portland and Northampton.

So the US Navy started painting the tops of different ship turrets different colors to allow them to be more easily identified. However, they didn't just go slathering paint on top of each ship and calling it good. There was a reasoning to their new system. Now, for those of you willing to read through alot of historical documents, I have a few links in the spoiler below. For the rest of you, I have a short explanation, which I can assure you is shorter than these documents.

Historical References (the first document is really long as it is a fleet wide edict):

So each of the 15 battleships were put into squadrons of 3. Squadron 1 was Red, 2 was White, 3 was Blue, 4 was Black, 5 was Yellow. The first two turrets off the bow of a ship were painted this color for battleships. The Aftmost turret was painted Red for squadron flagship/ship 1, White for ship 2, and Blue for ship 3. (Literal summary of both those links in 3 sentences)

Now, by that math, looking at our lovely USS Arizona, guess what you can now tell? She is in Squadron 1 and the lead ship! Not all ships had the same 3 colors on each turret, only Arizona, California, and New Mexico had that distinction by way of how the cookie crumbled. This link here, which don't panic, it's actually a really simple chart, tells you the turret colors of all battleships. http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/S19-7/PearlHarborBatDivMarkings.html

Now, why any of this is relevant.

Arizona aside, the rest of the USN battleships under this same category don't have a camo option for these 1941 turrets colors. WG could add another camo option for West Virginia, Texas, New York, Colorado, and New Mexico in addition to the current options. If Wargaming ever gives us a non-beta tester version of Arkansas, I would hope they get her Yellow-Yellow-Blue turret colors. 

If you want more from the main website I linked, including alot of more official USN documents concerning US camoflogue during Pre through post ww2, check it here http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/S19-7/index.html .

Edited by Phil_Swift_With_Flextape
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9 minutes ago, FirestormMk3 said:

I didn't know all that.  Probably never be in game, but +1 for info!

I hope it does honestly. The whole point of WV 1941 is to have a Pearl Harbor BB to meet up with Arizona, because physically, as analyzed by Little White Mouse, is really a one-trick pony. I hope that WG actually makes a camo for WV that allows her to look like she did when the Japanese attacked.

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3 minutes ago, Phil_Swift_With_Flextape said:

I hope it does honestly. The whole point of WV 1941 is to have a Pearl Harbor BB to meet up with Arizona, because physically, as analyzed by Little White Mouse, is really a one-trick pony. I hope that WG actually makes a camo for WV that allows her to look like she did when the Japanese attacked.

I certainly support that idea and/or concept for what it's worth.

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Tracy (Researcher@Large) is a great guy. He's very involved in several communities, especially the model ship community. He'll try to go to archives and find interesting photos or documents for us.

 

He's also shared much about the debate on Arizona's color at the start of the war. On the "blue controversy" 

 

Quote

There's a lot of background info you're missing - there's a ton I don't even know as I wasn't part of the core blue crew.

Daniel Martinez, who was the head Ranger and lead publicity hound for the Arizona Memorial at the time, wanted the new model that Don was commissioned to build to be blue. From what I know, Tom Freeman (painter of The Last Mooring) was one of the first to decide that Arizona was blue along with Don Montgomery, who worked in the Naval Photographic Center. I'm fairly certain there was discussion between the three and that's how Martinez decided he wanted the NPS Arizona model to be 5-S instead of 5-D. This was more Martinez' decision than Don Preul's. I'm not saying he didn't agree with it, just that the customer contracted him to build to a certain appearance.

I was a researcher with access to Navy Yard Puget Sound (Arizona's "Home Yard") records through Seattle NARA and Ron Smith was researching for fun and profit at NARA II in College park and we were asked to look for records as acquaintances of Don Preul (in my case no compensation and I'm 90% sure that was the case for Ron as well). Don for sure had a deadline on the model as it was to be unveiled on December 7th, 2006, which was the 65th anniversary of the attack in which Arizona was lost. 

So, we looked. I found a little bit of camouflage information but nothing specific to Arizona in the NYPS records. Ron found a lot, but also nothing in textual records that 100% proved anything. What was the deciding factor as far as Martinez was concerned was a piece of CV-6 Enterprise that Ron Smith found in an envelope. It had broken off during repainting and was included in a report. The paint was a fresh coat of 5-D, and he was able to photograph it in natural light with a Calibrated color checker (the brand was X-Rite but the model he and I had were earlier ones). 

The fresh 5-D was darker than black.

So, the theory was that Arizona in drydock would be darker than she appeared if it was 5-D. Ergo, she was in 5-S (which itself was darker than "regular" appearance when fresh as it faded somewhat quickly). Daniel Martinez and the Blue Crew agreed on this conclusion and Don Preul finished painting his build in Sea Blue.

Ron kept digging though. There's a lot of interesting side notes and lessons in the Bureau of Ships and we didn't have a firm answer either way or directives for the rest of the fleet. He read a memo he had photographed to me off the phone, one that he said he later sent to me; unfortunately, Ron had shipped two boxes to me and we didn't realize for a bit that only one had arrived. I've gone back looking for this memo but haven't been able to re-locate it yet, so this is NOT fact and is an apocryphal story at this time. However, it does "explain" certain things if true, so I do want to mention it as a possibility.

Admiral Kimmel noted that stocks of 5-D were dwindling but that there was still a shortage of the new paints. So, he ordered that battleships were to keep enough 5-D for one complete repainting of the hull (waterline to main deck) of 5-D and turn the rest in. They were then ordered to paint *as needed* in either 5-O Ocean Gray or 5-S Sea Blue. This means that a ship could have painted just the one bulkhead section or the one turret and left the rest of the area in 5-D. As there was specifically no requirement to inform either CINCPAC or the type commanders (Commander Battleships in this case) of this repainting, we as modelers would be left with photo interpretation of ships the day of and after the attack as our only clue as to the true appearance. Personally, I believe if there actually was a shortage of the new paints (which were made from a tinting paste mixed with white) then 5-O would have been more likely as 5-O was simply the same paint as 5-S but with less tinting paste. This could certainly explain the #3 and #4 turret and barbette appearance.

One last note that isn't really ever discussed. I am reasonably sure that the Pacific fleet never painted in "pure" 5-D. The initial plan was to take existing stocks of the pre-war #5 Standard Navy Gray, and mix them with a conversion paste (paragraph 2) to come up with an equivilient to 5-D Dark Gray that would be issued and used until the new paint formulas came online. One of the necessary ingredients could not be delivered before July 20, 1941, and production of 5-D was ordered halted ten days after that projected date. Even if they had produced 5-D in the 10-20 days between (mailed correspondence took about a week in transit based on the receipts I've seen) there would not have been very much produced to ship out to the fleet. Adding a bunch of black and changing the formula could be one reason why Lexington's paint looks so nasty in October.

One correction for Rick - Arizona's Bureau of Ships records weren't destroyed; at least not completely. General Correspondence files still have some folders for Arizona, but it's essentially requisitions for lost or broken pieces of equipment (she lost at least two paravanes in September/October, from what I remember).

 

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44 minutes ago, JTninja said:

Tracy (Researcher@Large) is a great guy. He's very involved in several communities, especially the model ship community. He'll try to go to archives and find interesting photos or documents for us.

 

He's also shared much about the debate on Arizona's color at the start of the war. On the "blue controversy" 

 

 

There is also alot of problems finding color photos for the bbs as well, which he points to. One would think the USN would have, but it makes it so hard to see what colors the turrets are, or picture them. 

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When WG is able to present THIS↓ as historical camo...

dcWLSdX.png

You can clearly see that WG's philosophy is "models as accurate as possible, but paintjobs are when we let our imagination fly"

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At the very least It's be cool if premium ships got their turret colors, like Texas, since the idea of the tech tree is generally that you are playing that class of ship.  In fact, back in beta days, they were still saying all ships would be the lead class and therefore a representation of the class and so premium ships would still just be named for the class and be ships that didn't fit well in the trees (back when the game was in Alpha, which I was not a tester of, they FAQs were telling us that we may be allowed to select a ship name from a dropdown menu of ships of the class when battling, but that was back before many other lies like WoWS not being an exception to the unified account system and well before ones like the Missouri isn't going anywhere).  That's why some old premium ships like Atlanta didn't have hull numbers and the like back then, premium Atlanta wasn't meant to be THE USS Atlanta, but rather the stand in for the Atlanta-class cruiser.  Of course since then they have deviated (first by slipping in ships like Warspite and Tirpitz when their respective lines didn't exist yet), but the argument can still be made that in game New Mexico isn't THE USS New Mexico, but rather just the class.  The same of course no longer applies to premiums where I think these historical paints jobs should exist.

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35 minutes ago, FirestormMk3 said:

At the very least It's be cool if premium ships got their turret colors, like Texas, since the idea of the tech tree is generally that you are playing that class of ship.  In fact, back in beta days, they were still saying all ships would be the lead class and therefore a representation of the class and so premium ships would still just be named for the class and be ships that didn't fit well in the trees (back when the game was in Alpha, which I was not a tester of, they FAQs were telling us that we may be allowed to select a ship name from a dropdown menu of ships of the class when battling, but that was back before many other lies like WoWS not being an exception to the unified account system and well before ones like the Missouri isn't going anywhere).  That's why some old premium ships like Atlanta didn't have hull numbers and the like back then, premium Atlanta wasn't meant to be THE USS Atlanta, but rather the stand in for the Atlanta-class cruiser.  Of course since then they have deviated (first by slipping in ships like Warspite and Tirpitz when their respective lines didn't exist yet), but the argument can still be made that in game New Mexico isn't THE USS New Mexico, but rather just the class.  The same of course no longer applies to premiums where I think these historical paints jobs should exist.

I think when you get a premium, and you exhaust the number of other ships of a class, it becomes that ship. For example: New York becomes USS New York because we have USS Texas.

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1 minute ago, Phil_Swift_With_Flextape said:

I think when you get a premium, and you exhaust the number of other ships of a class, it becomes that ship. For example: New York becomes USS New York because we have USS Texas.

Hey, I'd like that to be the case, but the whole "tech tree represents the class" is why in that example New York doesn't have a hull number.

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1 hour ago, puxflacet said:

When WG is able to present THIS↓ as historical camo...

dcWLSdX.png

You can clearly see that WG's philosophy is "models as accurate as possible, but paintjobs are when we let our imagination fly"

I have no problem with nonhistorical paint jobs until they try to pass it off as historical. Then that's where the buck stops. That "Arizona" camo on Hood has always been strange to me.

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3 hours ago, Phil_Swift_With_Flextape said:

I hope it does honestly. The whole point of WV 1941 is to have a Pearl Harbor BB to meet up with Arizona, because physically, as analyzed by Little White Mouse, is really a one-trick pony. I hope that WG actually makes a camo for WV that allows her to look like she did when the Japanese attacked.

Concur. All of the battlewagons at PH wore BuShips 1941 Measure 1, which was "5-D" dark gray over-all with "5-L" light gray above the level of the funnel caps. Arizona in game looks great in Measure 1 and West Virginia would too.

Since "skins" are very easy to model, maybe we could suggest a mission to earn a Measure 1 skin for WV, Pensacola, Omaha and other pre-war ships. Maybe call the mission "The Way We Were" or some such.

US Navy Camouflage

@Gneisenau013

@Radar_X

 

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I wish they didn’t just slap on the 1944 camo onto the West Virginia and did make it blue, I did notice however that the alternate color scheme for the camo if you have the alt camos for american BBs it greys out a bunch of everything and the ship looks a lot more “bland”

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1 hour ago, embeddeddear97 said:

I wish they didn’t just slap on the 1944 camo onto the West Virginia and did make it blue, I did notice however that the alternate color scheme for the camo if you have the alt camos for american BBs it greys out a bunch of everything and the ship looks a lot more “bland”

Yeah, I agree, if it can be historical, then why not?

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It's not just the US, Sharn's turret markings are wrong as well, as can be seen in various photos of her channel dash.  There was a Ident marking on top Turret Bruno.

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2 hours ago, embeddeddear97 said:

I wish they didn’t just slap on the 1944 camo onto the West Virginia and did make it blue, I did notice however that the alternate color scheme for the camo if you have the alt camos for american BBs it greys out a bunch of everything and the ship looks a lot more “bland”

You should see how fast paint fades and shifts hue in a marine environment in real life. Generations of deck apes have made a fine art of not getting a splotchy look from the continuous chipping and re-painting that goes on aboard any warship.

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x4madd.jpg

Because of the fact that WV ‘41s Measure paint scheme is just wrong, I created this skin and will be posting it for download in my Graphical Mods thread.

Biggest problem we Modders face with this particular ship is the fact that the turret texture files are shared by West Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado, so correct turret top paint schemes just won’t work. Because these ships share so many texture files I’m going to create and release Ms  21 Sea Blue paint schemes for all of them, as well as Texas and New York. 

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1 hour ago, USNA_76 said:

20qymi1.jpgBecause of the fact that WV ‘41s Measure paint scheme is just wrong, I created this skin and will be posting it for download in my Graphical Mods thread.

Biggest problem we Modders face with this particular ship is the fact that the turret texture files are shared by West Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado, so correct turret top paint schemes just won’t work. Because these ships share so many texture files I’m going to create and release Ms  21 Sea Blue paint schemes for all of them, as well as Texas and New York. 

Are you able to color Texas and New Yorks turrets?

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correct me if im wrong, but isnt the camo WV41 has currently the EXACT camo WV44 had?

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2 hours ago, Phil_Swift_With_Flextape said:

Are you able to color Texas and New Yorks turrets?

I can definitely color them, but if they share turrets then both will have the same color turret roof. I’ll check it out and get back to you.

 

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42 minutes ago, tcbaker777 said:

correct me if im wrong, but isnt the camo WV41 has currently the EXACT camo WV44 had?

Yes. USS West Virginia was painted in Measure 32 Design 7D in 1944. There are some excellent photos of WeeVee in that scheme, here:

http://usndazzle.com/ship.php?id=119

This site is really awesome and I  have used it many times when I create custom, historical camo schemes. There are many erroneous images of ship camo schemes in ship model box art and instruction sheets. Artist conceptions and colorized photos are even worse. For that reason I always go with photographic evidence. 

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5 hours ago, thegreenbaron said:

It's not just the US, Sharn's turret markings are wrong as well, as can be seen in various photos of her channel dash.  There was a Ident marking on top Turret Bruno.

I don't know where you're getting your information from but I'm pretty certain that isn't true. For a start Scharnhorst ingame isn't even represented in her Operation Cerberus paint scheme. Scharnhorst's turret tops were painted light blue for the Channel Dash.

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3 minutes ago, zFireWyvern said:

I don't know where you're getting your information from but I'm pretty certain that isn't true. For a start Scharnhorst ingame isn't even represented in her Operation Cerberus paint scheme. Scharnhorst's turret tops were painted light blue for the Channel Dash.

Randall S. Shoker - Battleship Scharnhorst: The Crew Photo Album

With pictures, but I'm not going to scan his book.

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17 minutes ago, thegreenbaron said:

Randall S. Shoker - Battleship Scharnhorst: The Crew Photo Album

With pictures, but I'm not going to scan his book.

Well PM me a photo of said photo then rather than a whole page, I'd be interested to see it and I've never seen anything before that shows anything on the turret other than an overall colour or canvas.

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