"A rainbow of Blues, Grays and Whites"

My Neptune profiles are an outgrowth of Neptune research that I started many years ago. As my photo collection grew, I began to realize the great variety of schemes the Neptune wore during its long career. Before I began my own research, I had relied on readily available references regarding the P-2’s colors. Using these few tools, I went about happily creating a host of Neptune profiles. About a year into the project, I decided that I wanted a chronology of patrol aircraft color schemes to help fix my photos and profiles in time. I began digging through various texts including the excellent series of books by John M. Elliott. I had even obtained actual painting blueprints used at NARF Alameda. Imagine my surprise when I could find no official mention of a Blue/Insignia White Neptune! What I did find was that Patrol Squadron Neptunes wore four major schemes: Sea Blue, Seaplane Grey, Seaplane Grey/Insignia White and Light Gull Grey/Insignia White.

Salt air and sunshine can do funny things to paint. What left the factory as seaplane gray may very well end up looking like blue. Many of the "Blue/Insignia White" Neptunes must surely fall into this category. Unfortunately I never got to see first hand what color factory fresh Seaplane gray is save for a few color paint chips. I am forced to rely on what few color photographs that I do have and the official color guides.

My decision to post this weeks profile was not without a bit of internal debate. I found the subject compelling and I wanted to depict this particular aircraft. In the end I decided to complete this aircraft as it may have appeared fresh from the factory, seaplane gray paint intact and un-weathered.

I welcome any comments or feedback you might have regarding this subject in particular or paint schemes in general. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Jeff Cultice


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