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Comment on Navy Color schemes in the late half of the 18th century.
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Navy Color schemes in the late half of the 18th century. . . In the following I will try to get around some of the most common color schemes used by navies in the late 18th century and around the Napoleonic wars. The vast amount of text is directed towards the historic background of the different color schemes, if you don't care about that, just look at the pictures. There was a development towards more and more standardized a color scheme for national navies in this period. Here I will focus on two types of ships: The large ships of the line and the small support vessels. As examples I am using color renderings of my previously posted LDD models of a 4th rate ship of the line and a brig. Decorations 1750's-1770's In the middle of the 18th century the color scheme of a warship was more or less up to the captain. This meant that ships were sometimes left unpainted except from some, often very elaborate, decoration on the bow and stern and the adding of a mostly white but sometimes brown or black coating below the waterline. This can be seen on the Australian HMB Endeavour However the lengthy periods of war in Europe meant that the vast amount of decorations used in the middle of the 18th century gave way to some more subtle designs. The LDD file attached to this posting is of these versions as it is the color scheme farthest from the one I have used on my original posting of these ships. The brig has also been changed so the armament is the 6 pdr long guns usual for this type of ship before the introduction of carronades and short guns. Coating-Sheathing 1780's-1800's The coating of the lower hull was intended as a protection of the ship from attacks of various woodworms and seaweeds but it was never quite sufficient and different sheathing methods was tried. In the 1708 Charles Perry suggested the use of copper. This was quickly dismissed by the British navy board due to expenses, but in the 1760’s as other sheathing materials failed and the threat from its enemies navies grew bigger experiments showed that copper was the way to go. This combined with a falling price of copper meant that copper sheathing was standard in most European navies by the end of the 1780’s. This is a version of how Royal navy ships would probably have looked in that period. While other nations also copper sheathed their ships, the rest of the color scheme could be quite different. Napoleonic wars and a little further Even though this posting is focused on the period prior to the Napoleonic wars the ships was pretty much the same so I couldn’t resist covering this period as well. In the Napoleonic wars it was fashionable in the navies to paint the hull with a colored line around the Gun ports. Around 1800 the yellow/black pattern became the most widespread color scheme. This can still be seen on the HMS Victory in Portsmouth UK in the distinct British variant “Nelson Mesh” LDD files of the ships in this color scheme can be found here HMS Portland class 4th rate ship of the line and Brig-of-war HDMS Lougen-class After the Napoleonic wars up to around the middle of the 19th century this was changed to an all black or a black and white pattern in most navies. This can be seen on the Danish frigate Jylland in Ebeltoft DK and the USS Constitution in Boston USA. Part of the -Color schemes- comments In the -Pre-steam topic of the group -Ship builders guide-

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