From: El Paso, TX
1944 Aircraft Carrier Camouflage
"Although plain silver grey* was considered adequate for other combat types, special research was carried out on aircraft carriers", and accordingly a "special committee composed of twenty naval officers" met in March-July 1944 to consider camouflage for aircraft carriers. The findings of this group (which looked at ways to camouflage both decks and sides) are included in the US Naval Team's report, and feature a number of drawings showing the different patterns. Most of these are interesting, but of no concern in WitP-AE since the game does not use overhead views. Nevertheless, the top two figures on the attachment below (CVL Zuiho under attack in Oct 1944 and a colored drawing of her deck) show the complexity of the camouflage, apparently intended to make the carrier look like a battleship when seen from above.
Of interest to us, however, are the two profile drawings. The first ("No. 6 Profile") might be from the model testing as it doesn't have a lot of details. However the second ("Enclosure A") is probably one of the "plans for painting that were issued from the Navy Technical Department to the Navy Yard at Yokosuka". Those plans called for “the sides of the carriers to be painted with the Number Two color system in a pattern which was intended to resemble the bridge and superstructure of a merchant vessel." I've included four color examples pulled off the internet (Zuikaku, Zuiho, Junyo & Shinano), all of which use the "Enclosure A" pattern to some degree (although the specific colors aren't always accurate). By the way, it's worth noting that although the "Enclosure A" color chart calls for a mix of "Color 21" and "Dark Blue", the latter is clearly a mistake as it was never part of the aforementioned "Number Two color system".
Putting this to use in WitP-AE, that means all CV and CVL class aircraft carriers (and probably CVEs) should transition to the "Number Two color system" starting in July or August 1944. That would include non-historical "survivors", such as CV Kaga (seen at the bottom of the attachment, sporting a somewhat number-two-ish scheme). That means a merchant ship profile in dark No.2 paint with the rest of the profile done in the lighter No.21, perhaps with aerials and other appendages in the even lighter No.22, as per the merchant ship plan.
An artist working on this project should not feel constrained to follow the "Enclosure A" pattern exactly, as the report also notes that while "the general plans for carrier camouflage remained unchanged until the end of the war, minor details varied from time to time with individual ships." (emphasis added)
* We know this wasn't the color used by the 4 major shipyards, but by war's end it's likely that many surviving ships hadn't been painted in a long time, and this is the visual result of weathering on the grayer late war paint.
< Message edited by Kull -- 9/17/2019 5:27:18 PM >