Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The Zero Colour Conundrum ~ Part 3


These are the measured Munsell values from extant Nakajima built Zero artifacts in Japan kindly provided by Japanese researcher Katsushi Owaki.

For the early Zero a good impression of a possible batch variation from neutral grey through light grey to greenish grey is demonstrated. Whilst allowing for the effects of weathering, exposure and age discoloration the appearance of the colours is generally consistent with contemporaneous eyewitness reports and the descriptions contained within the Zero Maintenance Manual and the YoKu No.0266 report. These are the only officially documented references for the colour of the early Zero and are therefore highly significant:-

  1. Hai nezumi iro (ash or grey rat colour)
  2. J3 Hai iro (ash or grey colour) (but) slightly towards ame iro (amber or caramel colour)

Regarding the description "ame iro", the Sanseido Dictionary states:- "ame: wheat (millet) gluten; glutinous rice jelly. ame iro: light brown; amber; yellow."

Bear in mind that the YoKu report does not describe the current Zeros (in February 1942) as ame iro per se but as a grey tinted with amber.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing the hard work, Nick.
Your posting of these color swatches showing the range of cited A6M relic colors (all together) is a great help in visualizing the information.

Ken Glass

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Thanks Ken, but thanks are also due to Owaki-san for generously providing the primary data and to your good self for assisting in calculating the sRGB values for the fractional Munsell notations. A team effort.

I just wish we had measured values for all the artifacts in the USA too!

Dave Wadman said...

Nic,
I echo Ken's comments and thank you and Owaki-San for making this information available.
Please keep up the great work.

Kind regards

Dave Wadman

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Thanks very much for your feedback Dave - much appreciated here.