Saturday, November 21, 2020

chalk lines used to mark out ship camouflage designs

USS Falmouth (camouflage unfinished)
Within earlier blog posts, including some in recent days, we’ve talked about the process by which World War I ships were “marked out’ with boundary lines to indicate color changes (using white or yellow chalk on a long stick, or, if within reach, a paint brush). The areas to be colored were then labeled with various letters to designate the paint colors to be applied.

We know this in part because a few of the people who painted camouflage on ships published accounts of the methods they used. There are also wartime photographs of ships, in the process of being painted, in which the linear boundary markings are clearly visible. There were times when ships departed from the docks while only partly painted.

USS Falmouth (detail)


Shown here, for example, are WWI government photographs of the USS Falmouth, showing the vessel's port side (two views with a close-up detail), with clear evidence of its markings and the unfinished painted design (Type 10 Design H).

USS Falmouth (alternate view)


Related Links
The Ubiquity of Camouflage in Human Experience
Perspective Distortion in World War I Camouflage
Other online sources

Marking out and painting ship