And you tout historical accuracy, then admit it was variable:
"and came up what the pigments the USN actually intended to be painted upon the ship. Keyword here is intended. For a sailor or shipyard mixing buckets of paint could certainly not always be perfect."
So, what--exactly--is this "historical accuracy" you are telling us about?
S&S did research the colors. They also know, understand, and follow the Munsell system standard used by the US Navy at the time. That is how they know what the proper colors are, and that they arrived at them. They were pioneers in this, and have passed it on for the benefit of all in the hobby.
And now, a company like True North can benefit. They can follow the standards and also come out with historically accurate colors. What you get from the bottle may vary some, but as you have admitted, that is historically accurate to the real world of the time.
That you, and other hobbyists, have taken the time to find out that Polly Scale Enchantment Blue is a good match for 5N is also good. As my original post in this thread said, not all paint lines put out ship-specific lines, labeled the proper colors. The internet is full of charts matching official colors to the colors carried by the common popular brands. And that is good. It is necessary. I am not arguing against this kind of thing at all.
You are saying you trust respected historical researchers, and then used their work to painstakingly compare different brands to it to find matches. You are (rightfully) saying you trust your own research. All I am saying is that I also trust the original historical researchers, that I know the standards they used, and that--since I know those--I don't feel I have to go do painstaking research. From that, I feel that any other competent hobby paint company which claims to be following those same standards is getting good enough results, considering there is some inherent "built in" variation to begin with. I am also saying that I trust those standards more than I trust general internet conversations about colors. You trust your own research. You should. Since I know you some, I would tend to as well. But, "Joe Blow" on "Hobby Forum Z" says blah-blah is wonderful, but True North puts out a paint they matched to the historical standard. Who do I trust/recommend...True North, or the thread on "Forum Z"? Discussions of what people see and think are free-for-alls. That's all I am saying. You said we have to trust respected researchers to pursue historical accuracy. I said that I trust the standards they discovered and shared.
All that clarified, what of the original question? As first posted, it looked just like a case of "Polly Scale Enchantment Blue is 5N." It looked to me like he had been told 5H, but also told you use some other color name for it, and that confused him. Then he clarified that he has True North's paint by that color name, but has seen other models he likes more, and been told those modelers used Light Gull Gray. That's what's confusing him. Well...if that's the case, then the historically accurate color, as researched by respected sources, is 5-H Haze Gray. His True North paint is a pretty good approximation of that. The Light Gull Gray he's seen others use is exactly a case of "my eyes like this better," and not founded upon historical research nor the color standards of the period. Which is why I posted what I did about standards versus what people see. Not an attack on you or your research. I was not debating you, actually. But, Light Gull Gray is simply not the correct color, whatever anyone sees.
That said, if he likes it more, and wants to go that route, you told him exactly the right advice...he should be comfortable. It won't be historically accurate, but it is his model, and the hobby should be fun.
Anybody with proper vision can match a paint chip. If you read your statement it turns in on itself. You tout the standards but then admit it may not be what you get out of the paint jar. And?
With that said S & S researched the colors, mixed them to the USN instructions and presto came up with what the historic color should be in a perfect world.
Now I being a lazy historic modeler that I am and wed to certain paint manufacturer took it a step further and matched the S&S chip cards to not so available anymore pigments from Polly Scale. Now I am happy. What the Federal Standard was and is I could care less.
Nobody really cares how I paint my models in what pigment but I. Because it matters to me I put aside arguments and debates and follow the research. You don’t have to and nobody will care.
Now when somebody asks me what did historic 5N look like, in all honesty I can say Enchantment Blue by Polly Scale as newly applied.
Debate over and you can celebrate your difference.
Quote: "At some point you have to trust some researched references if you at least at heart wish to paint and build with historical accuracy."
What I know, and trust, are the standards the colors are based upon. I know Federal Standard, understand the basics of CIELAB, and have a rough grasp of the Munsell system. Depending on the brand and era intended, hobby paint makers of specific US military colors are generally working with these. How successfully they adhere to them, and how rigid their quality control is, results in all the discrepancies encountered. There are standards. Following them is another matter.
Then--after whatever effort any company goes through to produce colors to the standards--the average modeler uses their eyesight in the end, and all the standards go out the window. Human eyesight is variable by individual, and the light conditions they use vary widely. Chip sets help, but individuals don't all see those colors uniformly. What you think is a match to your chip set, I might not.
So, we're back to the standards. And I know them (at least for the subjects I model) and trust them. And I am then a bit more inclined to trust the manufacturer's claim that their paint matches the standard than any individual's claim that it does or does not. People see whatever they want. The standards are fixed.
So, when a person asks a paint question here, I can/will tell them the standard. After that, it's a free-for-all, and people are perfectly free to paint their models in anything that suits them. The standard in this case is 5-H Haze Gray, and that is based on Munsell system values. True North looks to have gotten pretty close from examples I see online. But, the gentleman still does not feel that is right, and wants to go with a color based on the Federal Standard system. Entirely his call!
The pursuit of historically accurate hobby colors will--by its very nature--always be elusive, because it is tied to a given individual's quest, and every individual is different. Some will find it fun. Vive les différences!
Those two PS pigments could not be more different. Polly Scale Light Gull Gray can not be used as Light Gull Gray. Way too dark. This supports your point about what paint is labeled and what comes out the bottle, I recently purchased Polly Scale 5N. What came out of the bottles was Testors Marine Color 5N. Again two different pigments.
At some point you have to trust some researched references if you at least at heart wish to paint and build with historical accuracy. I trust Alan Raven and S&S who devoted their own time and unselfishly shared their research .
Much of what you said is so true but the fun is really the perceived hunt for the historical accuracy.
5-H (not S-H) Haze Gray is the official WWII US Navy paint color, used in all its painting manuals, instructions, etc. of the time. It had a specific color, composition, and so forth, as would be expected.
Various brands of hobby paint makers all make different paint lines. Many are not aimed at model ships, specifically. They may be geared towards railroads, cars, armor, or aircraft, or might just put out a general range of colors that they feel will cover a wide range of topics.
They then also do not use consistent names for their colors. Things like "rust red," or "eggshell blue" are fanciful descriptive terms, but do not match anything official. The same generic color in one paint brand might be called something else by another brand. Sky blue, eggshell blue, light blue... Adding to this chaos is the fact that different brands often have different standards, such that--even when two brands are trying to produce the same official color--they might both end up slightly different from each other.
So... In this specific case, "light gull gray" is a common aircraft range paint color, and even then, it could be slightly different looking depending on if it was made by Vallejo, Polly Scale, or whomever.
Whoever told you to use it probably also gave you a specific brand, like..."I like Polly Scale light gull gray. I think it's a good match for 5-H."
There are a handful of paint brands that do produce specific paint lines for model ships, and in those lines, they will use the actual name of the color that the Navy used for it. For example, White Ensign Models Colourcoats paint line (one of the earliest/first brands to make lines specifically for ship modelers) will sell you a paint actually labeled 5-H Haze Gray, and it will have been matched by them to the official Navy color.
Otherwise, if you are buying your paints from a store shelf, and using one of the major brand lines, you probably will not find a paint in their range labeled specifically 5-H. They may well have the color you want, but it will be called something else (like, "light gull gray.")
This is what makes the subject of painting model ships very complicated. It is not straightforward. You will find as you get more into this hobby that there are websites with charts that will give an official color (like 5-H) then list all the possible matches for it in various different popular paint lines from different brands.
So... Your cammo book is accurate. The official US Navy color to use is 5-H Haze Gray with MS-22. However, finding a bottle of that color, labeled that way, will be challenging. If you prefer a certain brand, you were probably told that what the best match for the official color in that brand is their paint labeled "light gull gray." (And other brands might either call it something else, or possibly not even offer the right color at all.)
Hope this has helped.
I am currently trying to paint the MS-22 camo scheme on my South Dakota class Battleship model but am confused. according to my camo book it says to use S-H haze grey on the superstructure and gun mounts. yet I was told that is not accurate to use light gull grey instead. Can anyone please tell me which is the right color?
I would appreciate any advise on this, and I thank you for your time.