Author Topic: The changing colours of QE2  (Read 22386 times)

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Offline Andrew Collier

The changing colours of QE2
« on: Apr 02, 2009, 12:13 PM »
Hi Everybody,

As we all know QE2's colours changed subtly several times throughout its life, more so probally than most of us realised just at a casual glance.

There was a website called debrisfield which used to have an amazing colour changes table on it, charting all the different changes to everypart of the ship, it was quite details and very useful.

Sadly debrisfield seems to have closed down, and I never downloaded the colour chart :-(

Don't suppose anyone did?

If not, I'm gonna try put together my own, if it comes to that might have to call on folks to help ;-)

Cheers  8)

The Virtual Staff Captain

Offline Avariel

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #1 on: Apr 02, 2009, 01:54 PM »
The debrisfield website moved - sometime in 2007, as far as I can recall. Though I can't remember what the new URL is/was.

Time to do some hunting.

EDIT:

The site has been closed down due to financial problems. more info here. And there is a "shelter" forum for members of the old debrisfield website here. Maybe you can ask around there and see if anyone has the colour chart.
« Last Edit: Apr 02, 2009, 02:00 PM by Avariel »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #2 on: Apr 02, 2009, 03:51 PM »

The site has been closed down due to financial problems.


See, that's what happens when people don't click on the ads!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Avariel

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #3 on: Apr 02, 2009, 04:05 PM »

The site has been closed down due to financial problems.


See, that's what happens when people don't click on the ads!

I shall have to click on ads then. I don't know what I'll do if this site gets shut down.

KEV

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Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #4 on: Apr 02, 2009, 08:19 PM »
Think there have been a few shades of black/blue on the hull over the years. Didn't like the grey one much (like primer) I saw an advert somewhere (Robs link?) about International paints doing the coatings 87? I worked in a shop as a Sat boy years ago selling their stuff amongst others. A chocolate Brown colour was popular at the time but an over order resulted in a few pallets spare which couldn't easily be returned and overnight the fashion changed to blue anyway. Good job Cunard didn't take up the offer of the discounted spares.

Offline Andy F

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #5 on: Apr 02, 2009, 11:31 PM »
Didn't like the grey one much (like primer)

I'm with you on that one Kev!  It was hardly practical as showed up every rust streak and impact mark from tugs/moorings and soon started wearing off, showing the traditional dark hull colour beneath.  Thankfully it was shortlived and replaced after just a year or so but on a positive note, at least she sported the famous Cunard red and black funnel colours for the first time.

I also hated the speedstripe of the mid to late 90s (very boy racer), although the addition of the Golden Lion above the CUNARD name softened things slightly and who can forget the blue anti foul / boot-topping?
Start every day with a smile and get it over with

Online Bob C.

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #6 on: Apr 03, 2009, 01:08 AM »
There was a website called debrisfield which used to have an amazing colour changes table on it, charting all the different changes to everypart of the ship, it was quite details and very useful.

Sadly debrisfield seems to have closed down, and I never downloaded the colour chart :-(

I know exactly the chart you refer too.  I also never downloaded it and have been kicking myself ever since.  The most subtle changes were the Cunard orange to Cunard red boot topping.  Cunard red is the color of the stack and boot topping today.  The original boot topping was the original Cunard orange like QM's smoke stack color but much more durable than Britannia's buttermilk paint.  This quote is taken from the queenmary.com site:

"The "Cunard Red" color has an interesting history. In the 1830s, Robert Napier, a British shipping engineer who improved and developed the steamships that would become the first of the Cunard line, was faced with a dilemma. The heat in the smokestacks reached such high temperatures that conventional paints of the day would bubble and peal off. The painters developed a clever solution. A mixture of bright ochre and buttermilk was applied. With the heat of the smokestacks, the paint mixture literally "cooked" onto the stacks and stayed put. The resulting orange/red color, accented with a broad black band at the top of each stack and black lines on the flanges, was to become Napier's trademark and, later, the identifying mark of all Cunard liners. The tradition remained, even though paint manufacturers had discovered a way to delete the buttermilk from the formula long before the Queen Mary was launched!"


Hated the blue boot topping even more than the pebble gray hull...but I would still sail on her in any of her color configurations. 

If anyone finds the chart, be sure to post it here!!!   

Offline Andy F

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #7 on: Apr 03, 2009, 02:07 AM »
Hated the blue boot topping even more than the pebble gray hull...but I would still sail on her in any of her color configurations. 

Fair point Bob and like you, I would be very happy just to have the opportunity to sail on her once more whatever colour she was!
Start every day with a smile and get it over with

Offline Chris Frame

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #8 on: Apr 03, 2009, 02:24 AM »
Thought you'd like this little retrospective:

Originally:


Post Falklands:


Back to Normal:


New Funnel:


Royal Blue with Speed Stripe:


Final Appearance:


See more at the brilliant Simplon Post Card Website here: http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/
« Last Edit: Apr 03, 2009, 02:26 AM by Chris »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #9 on: Apr 03, 2009, 08:31 AM »
Can I just say that in those photos Chris just posted, she looks absolutely stupendous in every single photo.

Thats when she looks her best - at speed at sea - in her element - completely sexy - sleek - sporty- glamorous.

I have to say that despite having a spcial affinity with the fat funnel (having been to the shipyard just after it was fitted), I now much, much prefer the original look.  I think her 1983?-1986 look is my favourite of all.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Chris Frame

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #10 on: Apr 03, 2009, 12:06 PM »
I'm the opposite there Rob - I think QE2 from 1987 onwards and especially 1999 - 2008 was in her best appearance. The fat funnel with completed Signal and Sun decks IMO balanced her profile wonderfully, giving her absolute power while still retaining those graceful lines and speedy look.

I always feel she looked somewhat awkward between 1972 - 1986 with the incomplete penthouse accommodation... but that said she was still the best looking ship then too :) 
« Last Edit: Apr 03, 2009, 12:10 PM by Chris »

Offline Andrew Collier

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #11 on: Apr 03, 2009, 02:09 PM »
I'm so torn, I think I just have to conclude that I love the ship in virtually all its phases, I even loved the magrodome and the alpha and beta launches!

have often thought she was at her best either after the 1983 refit or the 1987 one, fact is, she was great all the time from launch till 1994, and then again after the speed stripe was removed until now! The speed stripe, blue hull, lion above the word Cunard and gold line instead of white above the boot topping where the only features I really objected too!

Not a fan of the lion crest under the bridge, but its small enough not to be an issue, unlike almost everyone else it seems, I didn't dislike the blue boot topping!

What a ship.

I have searched high and low for the colour changes table, and failed, so this afternoon I am going to start making my own.

Will keep you all posted as to progress, am armed with many books and website to help, but might have to come begging for help!

Cheers  8)
The Virtual Staff Captain

KEV

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Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #12 on: Apr 03, 2009, 03:28 PM »
Interesting history on the funnel painting Bob-a novel way of stove enamelling!
Fantastic group of photos Chris
I will always love the original form (Concorde of the seas) and thin funnel best (white first then red) After that in her final form I guess as thats when I last saw her

Online Bob C.

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #13 on: Apr 03, 2009, 04:08 PM »
She truly was revolutionary at her birth and is now a standard by which all others are measured.

Offline Andrew Collier

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #14 on: Apr 03, 2009, 06:34 PM »
Ok, so the basic table is now drawn up. and most of the colour changed marked, all the major ones, and a few minors, still more to go.

Am adding the the table the dates of the changes, not jsut the year as on the previous table I saw.

At this stage have a couple of queries:

1, Regarding the blue anti fouling and bottom paint, it was applied at the request of the Admiralty for experiemental purposes in November 1978, blue was the only colour of this new pain available.

The boot topping section was repainted red as soon as suitable red paint became available a few months later, but I havnt been able to teel exactly when, am assuming from photos late 1979?

The bottom paint remain blue for a while longer, several years, but I cannot find out when it was reverted to its traditional red/brown colour.

Any ideas?

2, The small section of deck outside forward, which would have originally been accessed from the lookout, was built with teak decking, anyone know when this was removed? Am wondering if in Oct/Nov 1972 when the lookout was removed and the galley and its forward extension built out into this area?

Thats all for now....

Cheers 8)
The Virtual Staff Captain

Online Bob C.

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #15 on: Apr 03, 2009, 08:04 PM »
Andy,
   This matrix may help you a bit on the blue paint and stack colors. 

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/vmorley/QE2data.htm

As far as the teak decking on Upper Deck forward being removed, I can only guess that it was removed when the galley extension was built.  Logically speaking, the fire hazard presented by the decking during welding operations would necessitate it's removal and I can't see them only removing part of it or laying it back down.   Will look at my photos to see if there is anything there.

Online Rob Lightbody

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The QE2 Dating Guide
« Reply #16 on: Apr 03, 2009, 08:38 PM »
The QE2 Dating Guide - Fantastic! - Love it!!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #17 on: Apr 03, 2009, 09:03 PM »
The most subtle changes were the Cunard orange to Cunard red boot topping.  Cunard red is the color of the stack and boot topping today.  The original boot topping was the original Cunard orange like QM's smoke stack color but much more durable than Britannia's buttermilk paint.     

I had different understanding about "Cunard Red".  I had read that "Cunard Red" was alway the reddish-orange color that resulted from the buttermilk ochre mixture that was applied to early Cunarders.  In later years it was created by paint (without buttermilk) and appeared on the funnels of QM and QE (among all Cunarders) and then for QE2 originally only  in the scoop of funnel (and later on the main part of QE2's funnel).  The boot of QE2 always appeared "true-red" to me and the funnel "Cunard Red".  I didnt' think they were the same value.  I also heard (but don't know this to be true for sure) that color of the funnels on QM in long beach were not the correct "Cunard Red" for a number of years until very recently.  And I believe this was because she wasn't owned by Cunard any longer and they didn't have the exact formula to make the red-orange color.  I think recently they were repaint Cunard Red (red-orange).

Online Bob C.

Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #18 on: Apr 03, 2009, 10:59 PM »
Scott,
    I heard the same thing about QM and I believe it is true.  I know the QM funnels were painted within the last 2 years and they were supposed to return to the original color although I have not been up there recently to see for myself.  A few times I've been up there, the paint was just faded due to improper upkeep and the color was hard to determine.

    As far as the QE2 colors go, Cunard red is Cunard red and that color is the red-orange color created in the buttermilk formula.  I do know that the original boot topping was more orange than today's red and that the boot topping back then did not match the Cunard red in the wind scoop which is why I call it Cunard orange.  Not sure all the ins and out s of the changing paint shades and would love to come across the color chart that used to be posted on thedebrisfield.com again.  That chart difinitively showed the color variations side by side.   Wishing Andy success.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The changing colours of QE2
« Reply #19 on: Apr 04, 2009, 01:31 PM »
Going off-topic myself here... but QM's funnels were recently repainted, for the first time in a LONG time.



Great shot here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/lightandimages/3354109371/



Read this - apparently they matched the colour with a paint chip from the 1907 Mauretania!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/40368089@N00/3088007463/

Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

 

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