Deck colours

16th September 2005, 12:50
Greetings everyone. I have been a ship modelmaker for some years now and often have trouble with colour schemes. The main colours such as hull, funnel & accommodation is usually quite easy to find, but not so the steel decks.

Was the colour of the steel decks in E.D. ships standard, or did it vary according to what the mate's preferences were? If it was a standard colour, what was it? I would also be interested to hear of the colour of steel decks of individual E.D. ships to add to the notes & facts that I am complining about ships in general.

Incidentally, if anyone from other companies reads this, I am interested in deck colours of all companies both British & foreign. It is not always clear from the plans whether the cargo decks were wood sheathed and information such as this is also welcome.

Bob Wilson (M.N. 19610 -1992)

16th September 2005, 17:08
Brocklebank Maihar (I) and Manipur were black, but note that some of later ships were green.

16th September 2005, 17:18
Thanks, I will make a note of that. I usually build models of ships "as built" because I normally work from original plans. At present I am considering what to build next. I really want to build a black-hulled cargo liner, hence my enquiries about E.D. colours. Also have a number of Federal plans which I always thought were smart ships.

16th September 2005, 17:22
Brocklebank Maihar (I) and Manipur were black, but note that some of later ships were green.
I think the "Cunard Green" for decks was just becoming the norm when I started in '64. Mahout built '63 was certainly green from the beginning, see Stuart Smith's library of pics. Was there a period when decks were red?

21st September 2005, 16:20
If my memory serves me right Elder Dempster steel deck colour was red oxide when I sailed with them in mid 50's and 60's. Paddy Henderson's were oiled, not painted.

21st September 2005, 18:30
Thanks Purserjuk. I have made a note of that, also Hendersons decks. When I sailed in Furness Withy's ore carrier SAGAMORE, the decks were painted with fuel oil. It looked good, but was a bit sticky to walk on.

14th January 2006, 00:05
All the cargo ships were red and the mailboats (Aureol, Accra and Apapa) were green.


15th January 2006, 16:36
when I was at gravesend our ships visit took us to the Shonga and I remember her decke were red oxide that was in 78 at Tilbury. Tony

michael james
15th January 2006, 17:25
If you go to "Search forums" type in Deck Colours, there was quite a thread on this subject last year.

15th January 2006, 18:37
During my time at sea I made a model in a bottle, usually a Johnny Walker whisky bottle (after someone else had drunk the contents as I wasn't into whisky at that time) of every ship on which I sailed for any length of time. The request for deck colour sent me searching for the one of the "Chandler" on which I went twice to W. African ports. Sure enough, the deck was red oxide in colour, as I believe most of the ships in the E.D. fleet were painted. The cargo ships of the NZSCo were painted the same colour, but the decks of the tankers were painted dark green to match the boot topping and the hulls light grey.

15th January 2006, 21:12
I guess a lot of decks were wooden laid, Many an hour of fun we had with a holystone and a bucket of soogi. but working decks paint varied from company to company. I know of Non skid Grey, Olive Green, Red Oxide and Burgundy. also the Bosun's favourite....Rusty colour.(a working ship!)

Jan Hendrik
16th January 2006, 00:05
Michael James is right, I also went back to the old thread which by the way was also started by Shipbuilder (Bob) and similar info is there with some suggestions. However, this thread also starts with same date, cannot follow it, but hopefully Bob has got some additional information now which may be useful for him and good luck Bob.