A new paint job for the ship

After the little robots scraped all the paint off the ship they are replacing it with new paint.

Robotic paint scraper attached to the side of the ship. Bare metal on the right and old paint on the left.

First they put big towers up next to the ship and then men in things that look like space suits got up on the towers and sprayed paint on the ship.  Right now it looks like a checkerboard with two colors of paint.

Primer paint on the ship. An extra coat was applied to the seams between the plates and over the rivets. Note the anchors have been removed to allow the paint to be applied.

I wonder if they are going to leave it like this or if they are going to put on different colors ? The men on the towers are very brave to be that far off the ground, but they are also dangerous because they have long sticks that shoots the paint onto the sides of the ship. I think that if they got a chance they would probably try to squirt me with the paint.

They are also doing some work on the top of the ship and they have a little machine that lifts the men up and lets them paint and fix things on the deck and the upper parts of the ship.

They have also covered portions of the ship with plastic to prevent the new paint from getting on the cannons and other parts of the upper deck.

The deck guns have been covered to protect them from stray paint during the repair work.

Man lift in use to allow painting and repairs on the upper portions of the bridge.

Editor’s Note:  The robotic scrapers made quick work of the old paint and the new coats are being applied. A plan is being considered to re-float the ship and move it a few feet forward or backward to allow the bottom of the hull to be painted in the area where the support blocks currently are positioned.  The BAE shipyard workers are painting the hull and the volunteers are painting the upper portions of the ship using a lift and ladders.  Portions of the upper deck are covered with plastic sheeting to protect them from the spray paint. For more pictures and information about the  ship please visit our web site at SS Jeremiah O’Brien. 


2 comments on “A new paint job for the ship

  1. I can get a little anal when it comes to realism of my model ships. The instructions for my Dragon 1:700 CV-16 Lexington model gives me some unsure painting instructions.For one, there is no black waterline belt mentioned in the instructions and I’m sure that every ship in that era had them. I also don’t know what to paint the island, was it grey, gunmetal grey or light grey? Was the landing deck black or grey? I know that the Lexington was nicknamed ‘Blue ghost’ for it’s blue hull paint job but other than seeing black and white photos of the real CV-16 and poor quality images of other model CV-16’s with unconvincing paint jobs, I’m getting more and more anxious to find a model or picture that would help me get my model as possible as possible to the real thing back in ’44.
    Thanks in advance
    P.S. Don’t really want to spend an extra $20 bucks paying for a picture book of the CV-16 after buying the $45 plastic model kit. (I’m a college student)

    • Bob C. Gull says:

      Sorry for the delay, Efrain. I was so busy following the ship during dry dock that I didn’t get to any of my hobbies either. But your Lexington model sounded like so much fun that I thought I could help you out. I had to ask our resident historian, volunteer Chris Friedenbach for some assistance. Here is the info you are looking for:

      This website linked has a listing of camouflage patterns used on aircraft carriers in WWII, and the site in general has a lot of info on WWII naval camouflage. http://www.shipcamouflage.com/usn_cv.htm

      This shows the Lexington being painted in Measure 21. Like all US Navy ships she would have had a black waterline stripe. Above that all vertical surfaces (including the hull and island) would be painted Navy Blue 5-N, and horizontal surfaces would be Deck Blue 20-B with the exception of the wooden flight deck, which would have been stained a blue/gray shade.

      This link has a good color chart with all of the WWII camouflage colors including both 5-N and 20-B and several flight deck stains: http://www.pt103.com/Ships_2_Colors.html

      Lastly, the Lexington page at navsource.org has a few photos and a color profile that should be helpful: http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/16.htm

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