Titanic Paint and Color Reference

 

by Art Braunschweiger, TRMA

Titanic’s colors as listed on this site have been determined over time based on archival descriptions, period advertisements, and historians’ recommendations.   This page displays on-line color samples  for all of Titanic’s colors, along with model paint recommendations.   While there is not a general consensus among modelers for all the paints listed, if a color is in general use within the Titanic modeling community it has been included here.  Note that all colors on the actual ship were in gloss paint, but should be finished FLAT on your model. (See the link to the article on "Painting your model for the greatest realism", listed after the index below.) 

Click on any line in the table to jump down the page, or scroll down to view them in order.
More information and articles appear below the index

  Last updated August, 2010. 

Antifouling Ladders and Stairs
Canvas (hatch/lifeboat covers) Lifeboats
Cranes Masts
Concrete - see Vents & vent bases Misc. fittings and hardware
Deck chairs and benches Railings
Deck fittings, anchors etc - See "Hull (black)" Roofs and funnel casings
Decks (wood planking) Skylights
Docking Bridge Stays and shrouds
Doors and splats ("doormats") Vents and vent bases (concrete)
Funnels Waterways
Funnel casings - See "Roofs and funnel casings" Well Decks
Handrails White Star Buff
Hull (black) & other black areas Winches

Hull Stripe

Windows
Hull (white) & other white areas

 

 Additional paint and painting information for modelers:

Cross-reference paint tables and other color information:

Color charts for specific paint brands:
   
Note -   The charts should be used for general comparison only! - Not all colors accurately reproduce online. The manufacturer's color charts for Testors paints, which includes ModelMaster and Floquil, are notoriously off-color online

Sources for on-line ordering:
All paints can be ordered directly from the manufacturers' websites above. All can also be ordered from various model and craft suppliers. Where possible, though, please patronize your local hobby or model railroad shop!

 


 


Titanic Paint Colors and Model Paint Recommendations


About the colors recommended 

In most cases paints from only two manufacturers have been recommended, Testors in the United States (Floquil, ModelMaster and Testors brands) and Humbrol for the UK.  In their respective countries these brands have wide availability, including the internet. In some cases a color from another paint brand may work very well, but the purpose of this reference section is not to evaluate every paint on the market for its suitability – and from a practical standpoint, it wouldn’t be possible.  If you prefer a brand not listed, you can use the links to access the IPMS Stockholm website’s cross-reference charts.  However, there is no guarantee that a cross-referenced color will be an exact match; it may just be the closest available color in that brand. 

Not all paints recommended may be exactly the same shade as the color that appeared on the ship.   In most cases the closest available stock color has been recommended, and will work fine.  Color is inherently subjective and, in real life, the color you see will change based on distance, lighting, reflection off the water, etc.  For more information on this, read about scale effect in the page "Painting your model for the greatest realism."

Suggestions for additions or changes to this page are welcome.  Either contact the author, or post your idea on the TRMA Titanic Forum.

A word of caution on using these on-line colors for reference:  all are dependent on your monitor's ability to display color correctly, and no screen should be depended on for an exact color rendition.  For this reason, none of the color samples are intended to be portrayed as exact representations of the actual paint colors. When viewing colors, look at your screen from different angles:  the shade and intensity of the color will vary depending on your viewing angle, especially with flatscreen monitors.  Background lighting will also make a significant difference, and the darker the room, the more intense the colors will appear.  

Some of the thumbnail photos appearing below are from Olympic.  Any differences from Titanic are noted.


Antifouling (lower (underwater) red color on hull) –

The antifouling was a paint called Red Lead.  While the modeling color to use is one of the most common questions, it’s also a color on which there's the most agreement.  The recommended color and brand is the choice of Harland & Wolff, whose representatives provided historical consultation for James Cameron’s Titanic. 

 

 

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

Rust-Oleum (USA)
  (this is a hardware store household
   paint, not a model paint)

#1967 Metal Primer
caution, there are other primers close
in color but different numbers

flat

yes

 

Revell

#37 Matt Reddish Brown

flat

yes

 

Halford's (this is an automotive store brand in the UK)
Primer Red Spray
recommended by a number of modelers in the UK as the top color choice
flat


Floquil ATSF Mineral Brown flat yes  

Back to Index

 


Canvas (hatch and lifeboat covers) –  

Titanic used unpainted canvas on the hatch covers (the ones without lights), the lifeboats, and the rope reels on the poop deck.  According to Bruce Beveridge, it was common practice to cover the hatch covers at sea with two layers of canvas to ensure watertightness.  This was also required and specified by the builders. The color for this canvas is somewhat subjective, but they should not be a “clean looking” color.  While new canvas was very white, it quickly lost its bleached white appearance after being out in the weather – and this was especially likely in the Belfast environment, with all the coal smoke in the air.  The ideal shade should be a somewhat dirtier color, with a little bit of grey and tan to cut down the white.

There was also canvas on the reels on the poop deck, and on the compass platform on the Boat Deck.
 

The color below is the author's estimate only.

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

  Art Braunschweiger's version

 

10 drops Floquil Reefer White
2 drops Floquil Grey Primer
3 drops ModelMaster Sand

flat

yes

 

 Humbrol:  estimated equivalent
       to above:

 

10 drops #34 Matt White
2 drops #28 Camouflage Grey
2 drops #121 Matt Pale Stone

flat

yes

 

For a good black-and-white photograph showing the darker shade of the canvas color against the white lifeboat color, see p. 69 of Father Browne's Titanic.

Back to Index

 


Concrete - see "Vents and vent bases"


Cranes -

All the cranes were painted white (the same color as the Hull White.)  The round bases of all the cranes were also painted white, except the ones in the well deck.  The well deck cranes had their bottom halves painted the same color as the Lower Half of the Well Decks.  

The round tops of all the crane bases were painted a light grey, the same color as the light grey for the roofs

 

  Back to Index

 


Deck chairs and benches -

The wooden benches had slats of Teak wood, with side and center supports and armrests that were cast bronze.  It is unknown whether they were varnished or not. The bronze supports and armrests appear in photographs as approximately the same color as the wood, and may not have been black as often assumed.  (See the bench at far right, from a photo of Olympic's Poop Deck.)  There is also no forensic wreck evidence of the benches having been painted.  Whether the cast bronze was painted or appeared naturally dark is not known for certain, but either way the bronze sections appear the same color as the wood and both sections can painted the same color. 

The deck chairs were also teak, although the exact finish is unknown.  As they appear to have a sheen in the photographs (see above left), they were at least treated with a sealer and oiled.  Some information indicates that they may have been made from Burmese Teak, which has a golden brown color. They appear lighter than the windows, although darker than the rails.  The color for the deck chairs and the benches is estimated by the author as approximating the color of the natural teak treated to bring out the natural color, but not stained intentionally darker. 

The center section of the each chair was a rattan weave, and was a light tan in color (does not appear in the photo at left). 

Deck Chairs (Teak wood) - author's estimation of color:

recommended color for scale effect:

WOOD:  Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

  Humbrol

 

#26 Matt Khaki

flat

    yes

  ModelMaster #1701 Military Brown
FS 30117
semi yes

 

  Art Braunschweiger's version
    closest to scale color above.
4 drops Floquil #11073 Rust
2 drops Floquil 110170 Roof Brown 1 drop Scale White
 semi yes


Center weaved Rattan section of deck chairs:

RATTAN:  Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

  ModelMaster

 

#1709 Radome Tan
FS 33613

glossy

no

 

  Humbrol

 

#148 Matt Radome Tan

flat

no

 

 

  Back to Index

 


Decks (wood planking) and planked deckhouse roofs

After White Star Buff, this is a challenge, but for a different reason: the color of unfinished wood is difficult to replicate.  There is probably no color that's more subjective and subject to personal interpretation and preference.  To understand the challenge of finding a color match, take a pine board and let it fade in the sun a bit. Now try to find a modeling color that’s close. Many modelers search for and choose their own color different from anyone else, and are very satisfied with the results.  The bottom line is that it has to look good from the normal distance at which you view your model.  

Titanic’s decks were pine, and not 100% teak as is used today. Teak was only used around the edges of the deckhouses, concrete ventilator bases and other hardware, because of its much higher cost. Titanic used two types of pine, as described in the 1912 text Practical Shipbuilding:

"Yellow-pine deck planks . . . the best are quite free from knots, and make a beautiful white deck."

This material was used on all of Titanic’s decks except the well decks, forecastle deck, and poop deck.

"Pitch pine is harder and tougher, and can withstand more wear and tear than yellow pine, and for these reasons it is generally preferred for the decks of cargo vessels."

This was used on the well decks, forecastle deck, and poop deck, and probably had a slightly darker color.
It should be emphasized again that teak was not used for the general decking. Practical Shipbuilding states that

"Teak . . . costs about twice as much as pine . . . although the costliness of teak prohibits its general use, it is largely employed for those portions of high-class yellow pine decks where the prevailing conditions are apt to cause rapid decay or wear and tear. . . In a pine weather deck it is, therefore, usual to fit all around it, a margin, or waterway plank of teak wood. . . a boundary plank of teak wood is (also) generally fitted around all iron deck erections, houses, casings, ventilators, . . . etc.)"

The wood on Titanic’s decks may have been fairly weathered by the time she sailed on April 11. It had been exposed to the elements for months during her fitting out, in all kinds of weather, although not necessarily enough sun to bleach the deck to a pale shade.  Most  modelers do prefer a very pale shade of paint.  But some photos also seem to indicate that these new decks may not yet have whitened to the point described in the Shipbuilder excerpts above.   (See another photo at right.  This photo, and many others, indicate that the wood may still have been fairly green with a high resin content, and therefore somewhat darker than well-seasoned wood.)

Some modelers prefer to enhance the appearance of the deck color by applying thin washes of various colors or stains to give it a grainy look. This is an advanced painting technique and shouldn't be attempted without practice.  There are also references around to deck planking decals, but these are no longer available. Don’t be too concerned about this though.  For the most part the thin caulking lines between deck planks would not be visible from a great distance anyway. For the same reason, apply any washes very conservatively if attempting to simulate wood grain.

There are many colors that will work, providing they are within the general range of colors that includes light brownish grey, sand, yellowish tan and the like.  Remember that all wood decks and roofs were bordered with rain gutters.  These should be painted black.  (A thumbnail photo can be seen in the Roofs section.)

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & color(s)

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

Mix (ModelMaster paints)
this is a mix that has gained general acceptance as a deck color.

3 drops #1709 Radome Tan
1 drop #1706 Sand

semi

yes

 

Mix (Humbrol paints)

roughly the equivalent of the above
 

3 drops #148 Matt Radome Tan
1 drop #121 Matt Pale Stone
1 drop #34 Matt White
 

flat

yes

 

ModelMaster

#1706 Sand  / FS 33711
(only recommended for modelers who do not wish to get involve with mixing paint.)

glossy

no

 

Humbrol

#121 Matt Pale Stone
 (only recommended for modelers who do not wish to get involve with mixing paint)

flat

yes

 

At left is a photograph of the Boat Deck on Peter Davies-Garner's Titanic model.  Although this deck was made of wood veneer, it's a superb example of the overall color that the modeler should achieve.  Pine decks were very light in color.

The deck color is one of the most important colors on your model if you wish to achieve a realistic look.  It's one of the most visible, and the wrong color will throw off the appearance of the whole ship.  Paint a strip of scrap plastic the length and width of one of the Promenade Decks, let it dry, and hold it against the ship under different lighting conditions to check the overall effect.)

Note:  The Testors #1241 Wood color recommended in the 1:350 MiniCraft kit is not listed above as it is too light and tan in color and gives the model a toy appearance.


Docking Bridge –

Titanic's Docking Bridge and all stairs, supports, and vents were painted white except for the deck of the Docking Bridge, which was wood planked. The instruments were brass and the wheel was varnished teak, all of which were normally covered with canvas when not in use.

 

 

 

Back to Index


Doors and splats ("doormats")

The outsides of all doors were painted the same as all other white areas.  The exception was the large elongated oval section where the doorknob was located.  This can be painted the same as the Officers' Quarters Windows.

The door "mats" were not actually mats (they would have blown away) but were strips of teak wood called splats that were permanently fastened to the deck.  They should be painted the same as the deck chairs and benches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Index


Handrails –

(Note - this section applies to the bulkhead-mounted handrails only. For all other handrails, see the section on Railings and the section on Ladders and Stairs.)
The handrails mounted along the bulkheads of the various passenger decks were all black on Olympic, and most likely intended to be the same on Titanic. However, it does not appear that the painting was completed on some of Titanic's handrails. The handrails on the bulkheads of the deckhouses should be white; all others should be black.



Back to Index


Funnels –

The lower part of the funnels were painted a unique color that is well-known as “White Star Buff”.  See the White Star Buff section for information.

The upper part of the funnels was black.  The same paint can be used as for Hull Black.  However, unlike the hull – which must have a flat finish – some photographs do show a visible sheen to the black funnel sections (photo below) and some modelers may prefer a satin finish.  (Floquil Engine Black is a good choice, as it has a satin finish.  Humbrol users might try #85 Satin Coal Black.)  If this is your choice, remember that the funnel interiors and tops must be finished flat (soot wasn’t shiny). 

The flat roof surrounding the base of the funnels is part of the funnel casing.  This color is covered in the roof section.

Color of the stays (support wires) is covered in its own section. Back to Index

 


Hull (black) and all other black-painted hardware and fittings

Although black is about as basic a color as you can get, it should be toned down to give a better scale effect.

Much of the deck hardware, including the bollards, fairlead rollers, all parts of the steam winches, and the drums on the electric winches was also black (or, to use the builder's term, "blackened").   This shade of black differed from the hull in that it was much more of a graphite color. 

Hull color:

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & color(s)

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

Testors

#1249 Flat Black (SPRAY)

flat

no

Not avail

ModelMaster

#1949 Flat Black (SPRAY)
FS 37038

flat

no

Humbrol
 

#33 Matt Black
SPRAY PREFERRED
 

flat

no

 

Art Braunschweiger’s version
Matches hull on pages 65 and 67 of
Art of Titanic - good steel appearance

20 drops ModelMaster #1795 Gunmetal
4 drops Floquil #F110017 Weathered Blk
2 drops ModelMaster #1710 Dark Green

flat

yes

 

Deck fittings and hardware:

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & color(s)

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

Humbrol

#33 Matt Black
tint with light grey until correct color is
achieved.

flat

no

 

Floquil

#110013 Grimy Black
FS 37038
darken as necessary if too light

flat

yes

Back to Index

 


Hull stripe –

The hull stripe on White Star ships was a color called Yellow Chromate.  Considering the muted colors of the time, it was a surprisingly intense shade of deep yellow, tending a shade toward orange.  One of the best color references available is actually the stripe decals that come with the 1:350 MiniCraft kit.  They are considered to be very accurate in color and can be relied upon as a correct color sample for any paint matching.   It's also important to note that the hull stripe tapered (narrowed) as it reached the bow.  This is also accurately reflected in the MiniCraft decals.

The modeler’s big decision here is not what color to use, but whether or not to paint it.  For 1:350 modelers, another choice beyond the stripe decals in the kit is dry transfers.  The stripe decals, if used, should be applied over gloss paint. This means that the modeler needs to mask and spray a coat of gloss finish over the hull paint and apply the decals when dry. (Gloss finish is available in hobby shops that carry a good paint selection.) The use of MicroSoft and MicroSol is also essential to ensure that the hull stripe conforms to the hull plating and rivets. When the decals are dry, the same area previously masked should be re-sprayed with a lusterless flat finish to remove the gloss, and to protect the decals from cracking with age.

A second choice is dry transfers. See the following link:  http://titanic-model.com/howto/stripe/stripe.htm

Painting the stripe should only be attempted by experienced modelers. The scale width is very, very narrow and a challenge even to someone skilled with an airbrush. For those confident enough to attempt it, Scotch plastic tape (available in 1/8" and ¼" widths) is a excellent striping tape to use that conforms very well to the hull plating and rivet detail without harming the paint. The hull stripe was 10 ½" actual width, which translates to only .76 mm .030" in 1:350 scale. For reference, in 1:350 scale this is approximately the width of a #68 a drill bit. The decals that come with the deluxe MiniCraft kit are accurate width and can readily be used as a guide.

The base color under the stripe is important. Decals or dry transfers should be applied to the black hull color. (You should plan to paint the black color as high as the top of the stripe.) If using paint, the stripe color shows best over white. (Plan to paint the black only as high as the bottom of the stripe.)

The color used for the hull stripe - more properly referred to as a "sheer stripe" - was also the same as the color used for the lettering of the ship’s name and home port.

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & color(s)

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

ModelMaster

#1708 Insignia Yellow
FS 13538

glossy

yes

Humbrol

#154 Insignia Yellow
FS 33538
 

flat

yes

 

Back to Index

 


Hull (white), superstructure and all other areas and hardware painted white

Like black, white is about as basic as you can get.  However, a better visual effect can be achieved by using a white that's not a pure white.  A brilliant white looks artificial and scale effect is definitely important here.  Fortunately, the Floquil brand is ready-to-use for those modelers who don't want to bother tinting.  For those who want to achieve an even more superior scale effect, it can be tinted by adding 2 full eyedroppers of Floquil grey primer to a full bottle of paint.

See the section on cranes for the white color used on the cranes.

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

  ModelMaster

 

#2142 Flat White

#1258 Flat White  (spraycan)

flat

no

 

  Testors

 

#1168 Flat White

#1258 Flat White (spraycan)

flat

no

 

  Humbrol

 

#34 Matt White

flat

no

 

  Floquil

#F110011 Reefer White

flat

partial

 

 

Back to Index

 

 


Ladders and Stairs –

The stair treads were unvarnished teak, and were the same color as the Deck ChairsEach stair tread had two brass traction plates screwed to them, side-by-side.  For extra detail these can be finished the same as the weathered brass on the ship.   The railings were finished the same as the other Railings in the passenger areas, with the exception of the top bar (handrail).  The handrails were covered with a woven grip along its entire length.  This should be painted the same color as the canvas .

On Olympic all the vertical bulkhead-mounted ladders were painted black. Titanic's were the same, with the exception of most of the ladders on the Boat Deck which apparently had not been painted black at sailing time and remained white.

Back to Index


Lifeboats -

The davits and hulls were painted white.  The same color can be used as for the hull and superstructure.  (Note for those who are tinting to achieve scale effect – consider using a very slightly darker tint for the lifeboat hulls.  The lifeboat hulls would have been in more shadow (facing down) and will give a more natural appearance if not painted as “bright white” as the superstructure.   

The insides of the lifeboats were painted a tan color called Stone.  This was a standard color of the time; the superstructures of P&O liners were also painted with a color of the same name, and it may have been the same color.   The gunwales (uppermost strake) of the lifeboats were painted dark brown, and appear in the well-known Jacques Futrelle photo taken outside the Titanic's first-class Gymnasium.  (Note that the brown gunwales do not show in the photo of Olympic's lifeboats at right.)  Also, for a good black-and-white photograph showing the width of the gunwales, see p. 69 of Father Browne's Titanic

The only two boats that may have been uncovered were Lifeboats A and B.  These were the two boats closest to the bow, and they were normally kept swung out for emergency use.  Unless you’re modeling these two boats uncovered, the interior color wouldn’t be visible on any of the lifeboats.

The falls were very dark hemp rope, and appear to be the same shade as the gunwales.  Both can be painted the same color as the deck chairs.  The "grab ropes" along the side were much lighter hemp.  The same color can be used as for the interiors. 

For the color of the canvas covers, see the canvas section.

The color below is for the lifeboat interiors:

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

  ModelMaster

 

#1706 Sand
FS 33711

glossy

n/a

 

  Humbrol

 

#121 Matt Pale Stone

flat

yes

 

Back to Index

 

 


Masts and lower halves of well decks –

No definitive information has survived as to the exact color used to paint the steel masts on Titanic, but what is believed to be color is best illustrated in the later paintings of Ken Marschall. Some good examples can be found on page 54 of Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic. It is also believed that the same color was used on the lower halves (dadoes) of the well decks, including the lower halves of the well deck crane bases and well deck hatch bases.

When James Cameron's movie Titanic was made, the color was thought to be a terra cotta red with a hint of orange, as shown in the movie. This is now known to be incorrect. The lower well deck colors should be the same as the masts.

This color was also used on other areas within the well decks. It was also used on the lower well deck crane bases and well deck hatch bases.

The color of the mast stays and shrouds is covered in its own section.
 


Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

  Floquil

 

#11073 Rust

Flat

yes

 

  Art Braunschweiger's version

 

10 drops Floquil #11073 Rust
1 drop Testors 1166 Flat Brown
this is very close to Floquil Rust, but a superior color more closely matching the mast color in Ken Marschall's paintings

flat

yes

 

  Humbrol

 

#34 Rust

flat

yes

 

Back to Index

 

 


Miscellaneous fittings and hardware –

As small as these objects are, some can detract from the realism of your model if not painted appropriately.  The hydrants, for example, shouldn't stand out like polished jewels on your model.   Muting them with a little black is recommended.  The capstan covers should be muted too - they were most likely bronze, which had a duller shine than brass.  Use brass paint and dull it down:  Humbrol users can try gunmetal very sparingly; for ModelMaster or Testors users Jet Exhaust works very well.

The running lights should be very dark.  These lights when not illuminated were not bright colors.  The glass itself was very dark, like a wine bottle.  The open "boxes" against which the lights were mounted can be painted a lighter version of the same color. 

Item

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Color REQUIRED

Portholes, whistles, and telephone boxes (brass)

Testors

Humbrol

#1182 Brass (untinted)

#54 Brass (untinted)

metallic N/A - metallic colors do not reproduce well.

Propellers and Capstan Covers (Bronze), and Weathered Brass Expansion Joints

Testors

Humbrol

Brass dulled w/MM Jet Exhaust

Brass dulled w/Humbrol Gunmetal

metallic

N/A - metallic colors do not reproduce well.

Port running light

 

same as hydrants

Since only a drop of paint will be required, mix a few drops of black with a drop of the red used for the hydrants to achieve desired shade.

flat

 

Starboard running light

 

same as hydrants

Since only a drop of paint will be required, mix a few drops of black with a drop of the green used for the winches to achieve desired shade.

flat

 

Hydrants

 

Floquil

#110176 ATSF Red
this paint looks too light in the bottle, but achieves a superior scale effect on very small hydrant pieces.

Other brands -
use a standard red paint and tint with white until a very light shade of red (but not pink) is achieved.

glossy

 

Back to Index

 


Railings and Leadsman's platform

Except for the top teak rail caps, the railings and stanchions on the passenger decks, Poop Deck and Forecastle Deck were painted white, the same color as the white on the hull and superstructure. The same applies to the railings on the roof of the Tank Room. The stanchions (posts) along the roof of the Officers' Quarters deckhouse (on either side of the funnel) were also white, although the wire would have appeared a burnished silver-grey. The handrails for the steps (the top bar of the railing that ran along the steps) were covered with a woven grip along its entire length.  This should be painted the same color as the canvas.  For the handrails mounted along the bulkheads, see the Handrails section.

The top rail caps on most but not all decks accessible to passengers were teak. There were also teak caps along the tops of the bulwarks of the superstructure. None of this

was varnished - it was most likely treated periodically with oil to maintain its condition and color. The teak used was most likely Burmese Teak and was most likely probably a faded golden-brown color. Photographs show the teak rail caps on the ship to be very light in color - much lighter than all the other woods. For a good photograph, see the Countess of Rothes photo that appears on p. 38 of Don Lynch's Illustrated History. Other photographs, such as the one at top right, show the rails to be slightly darker. The composite photograph below shows teak of the same color believed to have been used for Titanic, with a color match shown for the lightest and darkest shades within each photograph. The center color is the author's paint color recommendation, taking scale effect into consideration It is the same as the large color bar shown above the table of paint recommendations, and is intended to approximate the shade in the Countess of Rothes photo. For those who prefer a darker shade to match the railings in the photo at top right, an alternate mix is given.

The Leadsman's platform on either side below the bridge wing cabs would have also been oiled teak, and can be finished the same color.

Paint brand or mix

Paint number & colors

Finish

Accurate for scale effect

Color Sample

ModelMaster

#1706 Sand  / FS 33711

 

  glossy

    yes

Humbrol

 

#71 Satin Oak
 

   semi 

    yes

Art Braunschweiger's version
note - thie difference between this color and Sand is very subtle - but a superior scale color.
  5 drops ModelMaster 1706 Sand
  3 drops Floquil 110011 Reefer White
flat yes

 

Alternate version - for those preferring a slightly darker color 1 drop Floquil 11084 Foundation
1 drop Scale White
flat yes  

 

As with any other wood  on the ship, there are no absolutes as to what color is best.  Attempting to use a paint color to simulate
wood  is very subjective and there are a number  of perfectly acceptable choices. 

Back to Index


Roofs and funnel casings –

There were several different types of roofs on Titanic. Their construction and color was as follows. (Refer to the diagram here for a color guide)

1. Sheathed with wooden deck planks: This includes the two raised roofs on the Boat Deck and the entire Officer's Quarters' deckhouse (but not including the two funnel casings in the middle of this deckhouse, and not including the roof over the Wheelhouse and Navigating Bridge). These roofs were planked, like the main decks, although with narrower planks. These should be finished the same as the main deck planking.

2. Steel: This was used for the boiler and engine casings and the roofs of several of the deckhouses that did not have passenger accommodations within. In some cases the roof was an extension of the funnel casings. This includes the following:

 
  • The turbine engine casing and roof over the No. 4 funnel deckhouse
  • The tank room roofs on either side of the reciprocating engine casing
  • The Nos. 1 & 2 boiler casing surrounding the No. 3 funnel, and the roof over the No. 3 funnel deckhouse
  • The Nos. 3 & 4 boiler casing surrounding the No. 2 funnel
  • The Nos. 4 and 5 boiler casings surrounding the No. 1 funnel

  • These casings and roofs were painted dark grey, with at least one exception

     

    1. The roof over the Officers' Mess and Pantry on the starboard side of the No. 3 funnel - Board of Trade regulations required that steel roofs over compartments used by the crew and passengers had to be sheathed with wood. Consequently, this roof section (seen in the larger photo at right) was covered with teak wood and painted a light grey. (The light grey may have been used to reflect the heat to keep the wood from warping.)

    2. The roof over the Engineers' Smoke Room in the starboard side Tank Room deckhouse-while it's not known for certain, most likely this roof was subject to the same requirements as the Officers' Mess above and was similarly treated. If the modeler agrees with this possibility, this section of the roof should be painted light grey. (Alternatively, some believe that the roof of both Tank Rooms should be painted light grey - modeler's choice.)

    3. The aft end of the No. 4 funnel deckhouse (from just behind the funnel to the aft edge of the roof)- Olympic was originally designed to have a galley store in this area. It is possible if not likely that Titanic was designed the same way, in which case the steel roof above this area would have been required to have a wood sheathing. Modeler's choice - if going with this possibility, paint this area light grey.

    4. Canvas-covered wood: Where it was desirable to avoid sweating and condensation, canvas was stretched tightly over light pine tongue-and-groove wood and weatherproofed with light grey paint. This was used in two areas: the roof of the elevator machinery room above the 2nd Class entrance deckhouse at the aft end of the Boat Deck, and the roof above the Wheelhouse and Navigating Bridge. (Over the latter area, the use of a wood roof also avoided the problems that would have been caused by a steel roof over the steering compasses in this area.) Note that some early models and artists' renditions show the Bridge roof with a planked roof - this is now known to be incorrect.

    The exact shades of the grey paint used are unknown since all photographic evidence is black and white, with lighter shades especially susceptible to misinterpretation. It has been suggested that Titanic used the same greys that eventually entered the British Standard Colour chart as Light Admiralty Grey and Dark Admiralty grey. Both were widely used for naval ships in later years and, as with many British military colors, may have predated the color standard itself. These are only educated guesses. Note that the Light Admiralty Grey has a noticeable blue tint to it; for those modelers who prefer a more neutral grey, an alternative color is offered.


    Light grey: wood-covered steel and and canvas-covered wood roof areas - Light Admiralty Grey

    Paint brand or mix

    Paint number & colors

    Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

      ModelMaster

     

    #1722 Duck Egg Blue
          (old name:  Israeli Light Blue)
    FS 35622

    flat

    no

     

      Humbrol

     

    #23 Duck Egg Blue

     

    flat

    no

     
      Note - both of the above paints may have a bluer tint than shown, in which case tinting to grey will be required.      

    Alternate choice for light grey:  Medium Sea Grey

    Paint brand or mix

    Paint number & colors

    Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

      ModelMaster

     

    #1728 Light Ghost Grey
    FS36375

    flat

    no

     

      Humbrol

     

    #165 Medium Sea Grey

    flat

    no

     

    Dark grey:  steel funnel casings - Dark Admiralty Grey

    Dark grey:  steel funnel casings - Dark Sea Grey

    Note: there is very little difference between the above colors.  The following are intended as matches for both.

    Paint brand or mix

    Paint number & colors

    Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

      ModelMaster

     

    #1723 Gunship Grey
    FS 36118

    flat

    no

     

      Humbrol

    #164 Matt Dark Sea Grey

    flat

    no

     

     

     

    Back to Index

     

     

    Skylights –

    There were a number of skylights and skylight dome covers on Titanic. All were painted white, except the skylights to the Marconi Operating Room and the Officers' Lavatory on the roof of the Officers' Quarters Deckhouse. These should be painted the same color as the deck benches.

    Back to Index

     

    Stays and shrouds –

    The stays and shrouds for the masts and funnels were galvanized steel and had a burnished silver-grey color.  The best way to replicate these is to use thread of the appropriate size and color, as this will give a superior appearance to anything painted.  See the Stays and Rigging reference table for more info and the correct size to use. 

    Even with thread, though, the bottom of the funnel shrouds to about 8 feet off the deck (on the Boat Deck, about the height of the railings on the raised roofs) should be painted black.  The bottom part of the cable was spliced around an eye, whipped (wrapped) with small line for protection, and then coated with a weatherproofing material.  For this reason it’s OK to apply the black paint rather heavily to give the line some additional (but not excessive) thickness. 

     

    Back to Index

     


    Vents and concrete vent bases –

    The vents were painted white, the same as the superstructure. (For those tinting the white to achieve scale effect, consider tinting the vents just a slight bit darker, like the lifeboats. The small vents, when painted the same color as the superstructure, tend to look brighter in color, possibly because they're upraised and catch the light more.) Note that the photo at near right shows the vents on Olympic, which had black bases early on. This was not the case on Titanic, whose cowl vents were all white including the bases.

    Some models and early artists' illustrations show the cowl vents with red interiors. This is incorrect - the funnels were painted white inside. They appeared darker from being in shadow and because all the cowl vents except the two on the roof of the reciprocating engine casing, and possibly the one to starboard of the #4 funnel deckhouse, had protective mesh screens over the openings. Modelers who have drilled out their cowls may wish to paint the interior with a grey-tinted white, or even a light grey, to achieve a shadow effect. This also applies if you haven't drilled out your vents, providing you have the skill and patience to paint the flat round surface where the opening would be. Swan-neck vents can be painted with black openings, whose openings appeared darker. Stokehold vents are best improved upon with photoetched grills painted white, with the plastic vent surface behind them painted a light grey..

    The concrete vent base is barely visible in the photo at top right. For two closeup photos of the concrete bases, see p. 23 of Tom McCluskie's Anatomy of the Titanic. Finding a color for concrete is only a little less difficult than finding a color for wood, but two recommendations are listed below.

    The color below is the author's estimate only for newer concrete:

    Paint brand or mix

    Paint number & colors

    Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

      Floquil

     

    #110016 Aged Concrete

    flat

    no

     

      Humbrol

     

    #28 Camouflage Grey

    flat no  

    Back to Index



    Waterways -

    Along the edges of some of the decks were rain gutters called waterways. Adding this detail should only be attempted by skilled modelers. For those wishing to add this fine detail, these should be painted dark black. These were found along the outer edges of the Boat Deck, A Deck and the outside areas of B Deck, the inside edges of the Boat Deck where the Boat Deck met the walls of the raised roofs, and along the outer bulwarks of both Well Decks. In Southampton photos, though, the waterways along the well deck bulwarks are shown to be covered by limber boards, and should be painted in an off-white color the same as canvas.



    White Star Buff (lower funnel color) -

    Historically, this is the Titanic color that’s been the subject of the most debate.   Titanic modelers are, at present, divided among several different colors as best representing White Star Buff. 

    Artist Ken Marschall, who has spent a lifetime researching Titanic and her colors, favors the browner hue shown below.  The majority of the evidence suggests that the actual color when new, as it would have appeared up close on the ship itself, was a color in this range, but that when weathered, faded and/or seen in bright sunlight, it had the appearance of being paler and yellower.  Some evidence does record this color in the latter range, but this may be due to the factors mentioned.  Some modelers favor a paint with a paler, yellower tint, believing that it's a better choice based on how the the color often appeared.  At any rate no definitive color sample has ever been recovered from the wreck and the choice of model paint to use may depend in large part on how the modeler wishes his or her ship to appear.  Personal preference does play a large part here. 

    For photographs, illustrations and additional detailed information about White Star Buff, see the page "Weighing the Evidence of White Star Buff"

    The following color was matched as closely as possible to the color of the funnels the paintings on pages
      54, 60-61, and 67 of Art of Titanic, those illustrations having been recommended by artist Ken Marschall
    as  the most accurate depictions and reproductions currently in print of White Star Buff.

    The following range of colors is estimated by the author as representing the range of lighter, paler colors with a
    yellow tint that is sometimes seen in color postcards, advertisements and color photographs showing White Star
    line funnels. This range is intended to portray White Star Buff as it may have appeared from a
    distance under the conditions noted above.

    Note- No specific color based on exact RGB values has ever been agreed on by TRMA historians or others.  No color is intended to be put forth as a TRMA recommendation or a definitive sample of the exact color.  White Star Buff varies noticeably based on minor changes in lighting and RGB values and it is impossible to select a color that will display as intended on all monitors under all lighting conditions. 

    Paint Brand or mix Paint number & color(s) and
    Federal/British standard # if available
    Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

    Morten Jensen's Humbrol mix:

    50 drops Humbrol #61 Flesh
    5 drops Humbrol #113 Rust
    23 drops Humbrol #7 Light Buff
    6 drops Humbrol #63 Sand
    4 drops Humbrol #34 White
    Semi

    yes

     
    ModelMaster
    Favored by by some expert modelers as a good color match for White Star Buff as it may have appeared in a paler shade with a yellow quality.
    #2137 British Gulf Armor Light Stone

     

    Flat

     

    yes

     
    Art Braunschweiger's version

    a modified version of the Testor's mix, slightly browner.  A fairly good match to the Marschall color.

    8 drops Floquil Reefer White
    2 drops Testors #1170 Light Tan
    1 drop Testors #1167 Tan
    2 drops ModelMaster Chrome Yellow
    1 drop ModelMaster Insignia  White
    Semi

    yes

     
    Andrew Mac's acrylic equivalent to Art's mix: 3 / 4 bottle ModelMaster
    # 20400 Tan
    8 drops ModelMaster
    Skin Tone Warm Tint
    Gloss

    yes

     

    Note: in some early versions of the Minicraft model instruction manual there were two earlier versions of White Star Buff known as Marschall General versions 1 and 2.
    They have not been included here as they produce essentially the same shade of color as the Testors' mix above.

    Back to Index

     


    Winches –

    There were two types of winches on Titanic, steam and electric.  All the winches on except the ones on the Forecastle Deck were electric.  These were painted a color called Green Chromate, except for the drums which were painted black.   The cargo winches on the Forecastle Deck were steam winches, and were all black.

    The black for the winches can be the same as the black deck fittings.   The green for the electric winches (except the drums) is shown below.

    Paint brand or mix Paint number & colors Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

      ModelMaster

     

    #1710 Dark Green
    FS 34079
    flat no  
      Humbrol

     

    #75 Matt Bronze Green flat no  
    Art Braunschweiger's version 3 drops ModelMaster #1713 Field Green
    2 drops ModelMaster #1719 Insignia Blue
    4 drops Floquil Reefer White
    flat
    yes  

    Back to Index

     


    Windows -

    The windows on Titanic were of three were made of steel, brass, and Teak, depending on their location. With only two exceptions, all the windows on Titanic were made of varnished teak.  The windows that were not made of Teak were the Officers' Quarters, which were steel; and the forward-facing windows on A-deck (overlooking the bow), which were brass.

    The teak windows were finished to a dark red-brown color.  This is supported by photographs of Olympic, in which the teak windows appear very dark.  As red was known to cause an artificial darkening effect in early black-and-white photos, the finish must have had a strong red component to the stain.  The non-teak windows were most likely painted to match the varnished teak, and so no distinction has been made between the colors of these different window types.

    (Note: this photo is from Olympic, and shows the 1st Class Gymnasium with black handrails. Titanic's gymnasium handrails were white - see the Handrails section.)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    recommended color for scale effect:

     

    Paint brand or mix Paint number & colors Finish

    Accurate for scale effect

    Color Sample

      Floquil

     

    #10025 Tuscan
     Caution - there is also a color named "Tuscan Red".  The two are not the same.
    flat

    yes

      Humbrol

     

    #160 German Camouflage Red Brown flat yes
      Art Braunschweiger's version
    note - the difference between this color and Tuscan is very subtle - but a superior scale color
    5 drops Floquil 10025 Tuscan
    3 drops ModelMaster 1701 Military Brown
    1 drop ModelMaster 1706 Sand
    1 drop Floquil 110070 Roof Brown
    flat yes


    As with any other wood  on the ship, there are no absolutes as to what color is best.  Attempting to use a paint color to simulate
    wood  is very subjective and there are a number  of perfectly acceptable choices. 

      Back to Index

     


           

     
    Colorized image copyright Stuart Williamson & Robert Hahn.  Used by permission.