Colour Scheme for HMS Victory
The following information has been disclosed to assist you in providing authenticity to your model of HMS Victory as she appeared at the Battle of Trafalgar 21st October 1805.
The Ship's Sides:
To be painted a dull matt finish black from the upper edge of the copper line upwards to the top of the side, divided with three broad bands of dull/matt finish yellow ochre.
1. The bands of yellow ochre do not correspond to the various wales (heavy bands of planking) or conform exactly to the lines of the gun ports.
2. The yellow bands do not remain the same width throughout their length but diminish towards the head and stern of the ship.
3. Each yellow band does vary in width, If you study the broadside of the ship on a suitable drawing/photograph you will note that the upper edge of each yellow band (with exception to the upper gun deck) generally follows the top edge of the gun ports whereas the lower edge is well below the ports at the midship area and rises with a slight sheer' to diminish in width afore and abaft.
Gun Port Lids:
Outer surface to be dull Black, inner surface and edges be a dull/matt finish Red Ochre. Those on Beakhead Bulkhead to be French Blue on outer surface.
Head Rails and Cheeks:
Outer surfaces to be Yellow Ochre, inner surfaces dull Black. Flutings and mouldings to be a dull finish French Blue.
Cherubs - to be a soft White. That fitted starboard to have a blue sash that fitted to port side to have a red sash.
Scrollwork - French Blue and Gold.
Royal Arms - Heraldic colours - French Blue, Bright Red, White & Gold.
Ground to be a dull French Blue with mouldings, pillars etc. in Yellow Ochre.
Stern and Quarter Galleries:
All carved work to be Yellow Ochre on a dull Black ground
Window mouldings and muilions etc. to be Yellow Ochre.
Upper Finishings - Dull Black.
Lower Finishings - Yellow Ochre on a Black ground.
Prince of Wales Plume and carved work - Heraldic colours. Lanterns - Yellow Ochre
Items to be painted a dull Black:
Rails, Belfry, Galley Flue Cowl, Skid Beams, all Eyebolts and Ring Bolts (including those on gun carriages), Gun Barrels. All Ironwork - brackets, plate knees, etc. Transom Knees on Poop Deck.
Tops, Caps and Crosstrees. Heads of all Masts, Bowsprit Cap and Head. Lower part of Jibboom. All Yards, Gaff and Boom, Lower Studdingsail Booms. Signal Lockers. Tips of Upper Studdingsail Booms.
Items to be painted a dull Yellow Ochre:
Gun Carriages, Lower Masts and Bowsprit including the Mast Hoops (originally black but painted over in yellow just prior to the Battle of Trafalgar on all ships in the fleet. This action, given under order by Nelson, was carried out to distinguish friend from foe during action).
Items to be painted a dull Red Ochre:
Gun Tompions, and facings of gun muzzles, Deck surface and battens of the Cable Tiers on the Orlop Deck. Alternative colour for the Binnacle.
Inboard surfaces of bulwarks on the Poop Deck, Quarter Deck, Forecastle and Upper Gun Deck to be Yellow Ochre with black mouldings and fittings (Kevels, Cleats, Pinrails etc.)
Inboard surfaces of bulwarks on the Middle Gun Deck, Lower Gun Deck * and Orlop
Deck - to be a matt dull White to represent whitewash.
* NB: Ship's side on the Middle and Lower Gun Decks not to be painted yellow ochre
as previously believed - new evidence supports this amendment.
Ships Boats: (excluding the Admiral's Barge)
Interior - to be Yellow Ochre or `sad colour' (Yellow-Brown). Thwarts and Sternsheets
to be natural varnish.
Exterior - Dull White up to Gunwale.
Gunwale - Yellow Ochre *
Wash Strake above gunwale - Black*
Transom - as the sides.
* Although the specific colours and quantities used are known, records do not disclose
actual areas of application. In effect there were no hard and fast rules regarding the painting of ship's boats therefore these two bands of colours can be alternated. i.e. Black gunwale, Yellow washstrake.
Interior - to be Olive Green - Thwarts and Sternsheets to be natural varnish.
Inner paneling around stern - Olive Green
picked out in Prussian Blue and Gold.
Dull White up to Gunwale
Gunwale - Olive green with Gold mouldings.
Washstrake above Gunwale - Dull White.
Transom - Olive Green with Gold mouldings