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Engine colour - correct name?


Gordon_M
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This has come up on another forum, where someone called that horrible light green engine colour Rolls Royce green ( can't see RR being too chuffed by that ... )

 

What is the correct Sunday name for that hideous green colour that the UK painted its' engines ? Do they still use it?

 

Gordon

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Thanks Adrian, that's the name I was trying to get my ageing brain round. I know it is quite useful when working in a dark engine bay, but it was hideous.

 

Will cross post that to the other lot.

 

Gordon

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I'm sure Adrian's correct about the reference/MoD spec. and proper name. B and K range engines and associated bits built at Crewe had it applied in a small spray booth in the Despatch dept opposite the main gates at Crewe, it was known within the works as Duck Egg Blue. Commercial engine variants were painted darkish grey (rather elegant) and in later years were painted another bright blue (rather like the ad colour at the RH top of the page). Jerry

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Out of intrest, why those colours?

 

The MoD specified their colours (Duck egg blue/Eau de nil). Commercial engine colour was R-R's choice. At a guess, the grey was used prior to the Feb 1971 R-R bankruptcy and the blue was Rolls-Royce Motors Ltd corporate colour choice from 1971 there after.

 

R-RMC ltd was created by the Receiver Rupert Nicholson from the profitable remains of the R-R business after the Govt nationalised the aero engine business. Had the Govt not nationalised R-R then Lockheed, as I recall, would have taken over R-R for defaulting on the delivery programme of the RB211 engine for the Lockheed TriStar. The original RB211 had carbon fibre fan blades, which could not be made satisfactorily in time, ultimately having to revert to titanium. Jerry

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Eau de Nil was widely used an interior paint especially in certain offices, signal vehicles & ambulances.

 

It was also used on some radio equipment, presumably to go into the signal vehicles - though it may have been a REME workshop "special", I'm not sure.

 

There was a WS53 in that colour scheme in the R. Sigs museum back in the 1970s, and I have a WS19 Mk.II and RF Amplifier No.2 with the front panels in that shade. (I'm rebuilding a very rusty[1] supply unit and will almost certainly paint it that colour so I have a matching outfit.)

 

Eau de Nil (literally "Water of the Nile") was quite a popular colour for interior decorating, though once the Establishment got their hands on it it's become "Institutional Green" with a psychological aroma of boiled cabbage attached to it.:D

 

Chris.

[1] Not to mention "comprehensively knackered".

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That's why it was used for interiors, because it was more restful for the eyes. As for radios being painted that colour, I don't think that they came out that way, and were probably locally repainted when the appropiate colour was unavailable.

 

Most signals equipment, particularly in the radio-relay field was deep bronze green, with panels sometimes in other colours. ie

 

SR C70 - light grey

ACT1+4 No2 = grey casing with panels in a horrible shade of purple (hence the nickname Purple People Eater, why is another story!)

TTVF 4/12 - grey casing (can't remember the panel colour)

 

I seem to remember that WS62s were light grey.

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Quite a time since the Nile looked this colour. This inside my Cipher Office.

 

DSCF2482.jpg

 

 

Thanks Clive, that's it OK. I just need to get some and repaint the cab once I've replaced the engine etc, etc

 

Iain

 

Just realized! what colour do I then paint the engine, green or blue?

Edited by Mk3iain
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Iain some of that is the original paintwork & some I have touched in. It is the same colour but a matt finish as it was zinc chromate primer.

 

You used to see lots of it around for £10 for 5 litres, nobody seemed that bothered about having an authentic primer as it got covered up, so it was nice & cheap. But I found use for it in my ambulance & the cipher office :D

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Eau de Nil (literally "Water of the Nile") was quite a popular colour for interior decorating, though once the Establishment got their hands on it it's become "Institutional Green" with a psychological aroma of boiled cabbage attached to it.:D".[/quote

 

Also used in the cabs of British Railways Class 76 electric locos for its calming effect and of course could be seen at Whittingham Asylum and more modern general hospitals

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Having established the name and what it was used for, do we know when it was introduced and when it was superceded?

 

Obviously still in use in 1968 as per the date on that can, but when did it start and finish?

 

Gordon

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As far as availability goes "BS 381 Colours for ready mixed paints" of 1931 (pre-dating the 3-digit system of BSC 381 of 1948) gives the codes as:

 

1 Sky blue

16 Eau de Nil

 

Quite when these were used in Service applications I don't know. There is no mention of them at all in a FVDD Specification dated 1948. But as far as the original engine colour goes it says "The manufacturer's standard finish can be accepted for Power Units and Exhaust Systems for all classes of vehicles." So there is some scope for variation in colour for power units from different manufacturers but of the same era.

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When I cleaned my engine off I saw the original 1945 paint was a very much darker shade of green than Eau de Nil. The ancillaries were painted all sorts of shades but to get a pretty good match to them I used Dulux "Amazon Jungle 5" - water-based (yuk) can be bought anywhere and oil-based (paint that can be painted and then stays on) can be bought from trade outlets.

 

The practical point of painting machinery light colours is that you can see where leaks are coming from and see what you are doing working on them in poor light.

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