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Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please #567903
10/16/14 9:31 am
10/16/14 9:31 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 313
Bowral NSW Australia
John Goodwin Offline OP
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John Goodwin  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 313
Bowral NSW Australia
I'm a little confused and puzzled at the lack of and contradictory info on the colours used for the MK II and MK III Spitfires. I know, I know, none of the colours are going to be accurate, however, it would be helpful to have at least some sort of consensus on some sort of starting point and what was appropriate at the time.

I've spent hours on Google trying to come up with some info which has been sketchy at best. I've gone through Roy Bacon's book, various on line catalogs, checked both the parts manual and workshop manuals but there's nothing really helpful.

I've spent a good few hours going through all the 69 pages of bike pics in the "Photo of your Bike" topic which was very interesting and enjoyable and a bit distracting at times looking for other Spitfire examples.

What I've come up with are the following alternatives which are complicated as to what was used on the 2 gallon US export style tank and what was then available on the UK lager 4 gallon tanks.

There appear to be 5 possible reds to use from my preliminary searches being

According to Burtons web site "Signal Red" a Spitfire colour as used for their tanks and side covers of which I now have 2 side covers.
According to Twins and Triples "Flamboyant Red" and Ivory lined with gold pin stripe for the MK II's changing to "Royal Red" for the MK III's, it doesn't mention though if these are export or home market colours or if they are the 2 or 4 gallon tanks.
I take on board Trevor's caution about the advertising material being totally unreliable but there's mention of a "Cherokee Red" and Ivory
Then when you go to the RS BSA Spitfire paint selector you get an extra early year for 1965 listed as "Royal Red" for 1966 it lists "Peony Red" and cream. For 67 it lists both "Royal Red" & "Peony Red" and cream plus "Yellow"? For 1968 it just lists the "Royal Red" or "Yellow"
I've also come across a picture of what appears to be a 4 gallon tank version where the knee cut aways are painted Ivory or Cream. Is this a fiction, or did any get into circulation with this colour scheme.

I've just received a fairly good genuine glass tank from the UK that I think is the "Peony Red"

I found the very detailed Firebird Scrambler thread for the Flamboyant Red but as that isn't a gelcoat finish did Roy get this one wrong or were some of the glass tanks painted?

I have to say I don't really like the bluish reds that I think are the Peony reds. But are they then as it appears on a couple of different MK III's actually in Royal Red?

Can you see my dilemma?
So, Is the Burton Signal RED an accurate MK 11 colour?
I've also got a MK III and would like to know what's an appropriate colour for that.
I'd sooner be closer to original than just an arbitrary non specific red if that makes any sense.

Have to say I really am surprised at the lack of information about BSA colours what with the vast amount of other highly detailed info there is out there.
Any help and input appreciated.

Here's some pics.
I think this is a "Signal Red" model

Here's a Burton "Signal Red" tank as per their web site.

Here are what I believe to be "Peony Red" parts from 3 separate sources

This is the MK III I bought after buying the MK II and below that is the tank that just arrived. It looks to be in very good condition though it will have to be treated with the Casewell tank seal.


This MK II appears to me to also be "Peony Red" that's been rubbed out and well polished but I'm no colour matcher and wouldn't mind knowing which red it is.

Then finally there's this export tank model which as the quicker ones will note isn't a Spit, but a Firebird, or has Firebird decals anyway! This is a similar red and ivory that I saw on a 4 gallon UK tank model


Current: 2 x 1966 A65S, 1 x 1967 A65SA, 1 x 69/70? A65LA space Y, 1 X D14/4 & 1 x B175
Past: 4 x 1976 T160V, 1 74/5 T150V, 83 model GSX 750 ESD, Z650, Katana 1100(Bathurst Model), 79 T140V, 70's TR6, 2 x 1971 BSA 250 Gold Stars, 50's 350 Goldie, A65 Spitfire semi basket case, 1965/6? A65 LC, Tiger 21 350 & a D14/4 Bantam, 175 Bridgestone Twin with Zimmerman discs!
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Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: John Goodwin] #567920
10/16/14 11:18 am
10/16/14 11:18 am
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,723
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Magnetoman  Online Content

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Originally Posted By: John Goodwin
I've spent a good few hours going through all the 69 pages of bike pics...
I think this is a "Signal Red" model...
Here's a Burton "Signal Red" tank as per their web site...
Here are what I believe to be "Peony Red" parts from 3 separate sources...
Without going into the very important "details" of metallic vs. candy, you simply cannot judge the subtleties of colors like this by looking at pictures on the web or in books.

Taking just the web, no matter if you are looking at the pictures using an older CRT or a newer LCD monitor (of which there are many variations), all of these are limited by their phosphors in their ability to accurately display color. That is, none can display the full range of hues discernible to the human eye. People whose jobs still require them to match colors reasonably well (e.g. magazine photo editors) have to calibrate their monitors regularly to do as well as possible given the intrinsic limitations of the phosphors in the displays.

Beyond that, consider the photo on the Burton web site. Even if the red they used on the tank was a 100% perfect match to an original BSA hue, and even if the camera used to take the photograph itself had been calibrated, the digital image from the camera would not have retained that perfect match. The web designer very likely then tweaked that image to look as good as possible on his own monitor, which quite likely was not calibrated anyway. And, he was trying to make it look good on the web, not to reproduce the original hue of the red. Then you view it on your uncalibrated monitor. The red you see is definitely not the red that was on that tank.

As for other photographs, it's probably even worse for many of them. They may have been printed first, and no set of ink pigments completely reproduces the entire range we can see. Then the prints were scanned (again, that calibration issue, this time with the scanner), then had their contrast boosted so they look better (either deliberately by the person doing the scanning, or automatically by the scanner software).

Glossing over, so to speak, the problematic issue of candy and iridescent paints, instruments exist to accurately match samples of pigment (e.g. the original, unfaded red covered by a tank badge). KonicaMinolta makes a line of "chroma meters" (of which I own several), that have sufficient resolution to match the hue to within what we can perceive. Once knowing the hue a batch of paint can then be mixed to match it.

But, to summarize, you can't judge a color from a photo.

Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: John Goodwin] #567924
10/16/14 11:58 am
10/16/14 11:58 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,543
Scotland
kommando Online content
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kommando  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2004
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Scotland
I have a theory, and its only a theory as I have never studied it properly, that the Glass fibre tanks where made with a gel coat, eg not sprayed, would have been made using British Standard colours or RAL colours. This is based on the current supplies for Gel coats all being RAL colours, but back in the 60's BS may have been the prefered standard to use.

The best BS candidate would be unsurprisingly Signal Red BS381 537

http://e-paint.co.uk/BS381%20Colourchart.asp



Ral would be Signal Red RAL 3001

http://www.ralcolours.co.uk/acatalog/RAL_3001_Signal_Red_Paint.html


Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: John Goodwin] #567929
10/16/14 1:04 pm
10/16/14 1:04 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,342
Medford, Oregon
Gary E Offline
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Medford, Oregon
I'm with Magnetoman, in that red is one of the hardest colors to reproduce on the internet or any where. I have found about the only way to compare reds is with several items side-by-side in the same image.

I have a done a lot of comparisons of the reds, since I have 4 red machines. I don't think the color names will ever get straightened out.

My interpretation of the 3 years of the Spitfire is that the '66 & '67 are the same color red. Both '66 & '67 catalogs name it Cherokee Red for the '66/'67 Spitfires and '67 Hornet. I've always called it Cherokee Red. It is a medium colored red. The '66 & '67 Spares manuals name it Peony Red.

Here is where it get interesting. The '68 Spifire and '68 Firebird Scrambler, both the same color red, is a darker red (almost maroon) than the '66/'67 Cherokee Red (Peony Red), but the '68 Spares manual also names them Peony Red. Go figure. The '68 catalog doesn't name the red.

My two Hornets are in Cherokee Red (the medium red), my '68 Spifire and Firebird Scrambler are in the darker red (Peony Red?), the Spitfire having the correct two-tone colored tank and the Firebird having the correct single color tank.

Attached is an image of three fiberglass side covers side-by-side taken in the shade. The left cover is Cherokee Red ('67 Hornet), the middle cover is original gelcoat '68 Spitfire/'68 Firebird Red (Peony Red?), the right cover is "who knows what" red, a very light red (original gelcoat) I've never been able to match up with any thing else. I know that it is late '67 as it has the bottom hole for the rubber pad mounting.

It is noted, that these same side covers were also photographed in the sun, and the colors came out a little bit different.



1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: Gary E] #567945
10/16/14 2:26 pm
10/16/14 2:26 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,723
U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

BritBike Forum member
Magnetoman  Online Content

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Posts: 4,723
U.S.
The top diagram in the following Wikipedia article is as good a place as any to see the limitation in displaying accurate colors:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamut

The overall diagram shows the range of colors we can see, as contrasted to the much smaller range within the triangle that are displayed on a CRT monitor (details of various LCD monitors differ, but the issue is the same). Deviation for greens are the worst, but still there is considerable difference between what we can see in the red and what can be displayed on a monitor.

An additional factor to images you see on your computer screen is the brightness range. In the photo in the previous post the white on the decal has a reflectivity of ~95% and if there had been any blacks they would have been ~5%. That's a ~20:1 brightness range you would have seen had you been looking at the original objects. However, because it is back-illuminated, the dynamic range of a computer screen is such that a white is ~1000x brighter than a black.

What these things mean in practice is that if you gave a painter a bucket of the precise "Signal Red" paint used by SRM for the tank on their web site, and a bucket of paint that perfectly matched your computer's display of the photograph on their web site, you would be able to see the difference in colors of two tanks the painter then produced using those two buckets.

An eye-opening experiment anyone can do for himself is to go through an exhibition at an art museum. Paintings that are familiar from having seen them in books before likely will look just like you remembered them. After going through the exhibition pick up a catalog and look through it. Again, the reproductions in it will look just like the originals you just saw. Then carry that catalog back into the exhibition and see how different the actual colors look than how they are reproduced in the catalog.

Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: Magnetoman] #568025
10/16/14 10:35 pm
10/16/14 10:35 pm
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,856
Sydney Australia
B
BSA_WM20 Offline
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B

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,856
Sydney Australia
And not to overlook that male retenas are predominantly rods which only see black & white so we can identify preditators moving in very low light situations.
So a male perception of colour is nothing like a females perception of colour being that their eyes have mainly cones which diagnose colour,
Very few males can "see" much more than 2000 colours.
Most women can see better than 100,000.
I had several designers in my client list + specalist colour printers + high end digital printers and got a first hand education about transient colour really was.
ie;- three different commercial epson printers, all using the same pigment inks printing an image from the same file onto the same medium using the same softwear produced 3 different coloured images

Next the names that BSA used have no meaning other than to appeal to the market the bikes were being sold in. They were invented by the marketing goons and are not BS / RAL standard colours. Add to that many colours were called different names in different places of different names on different bikes.

Polly palmer did an excellent job in colour matching BSA colours back min the 70's when most of them were relatively fresh & unfaded but bans on sending paint through the mail killed off this part of the tiny BSA section of his shop.
So send a stamped SAE to Polly Plamer @ Bri-Tie Motorcycles and he will usually send you back the closest know standard British Automotive paint match.

Now if you have some original fibreglass parts and are happy to make a very heavy cut then you will get as close to the original golour of the gel coat as possible as the gel coat is good at adsorbing UV and the colours tend to be chemically stable.
However the finer you finish the surface the darker the colour will appear to your eyes. Thus sanded down to 1000 grit will look lighter than sanded to 1600 grit which in turn will look lighter than sanded to 2000 grit which will look lighter than ground down to 50 micron which will look lighter than ground down to 20 micron and that is before any polish is applied.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: Magnetoman] #568041
10/17/14 1:42 am
10/17/14 1:42 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 313
Bowral NSW Australia
John Goodwin Offline OP
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John Goodwin  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 313
Bowral NSW Australia
Okay.
Let's start again wink

The pictures were for those that would ask, where's a picture.
As an amateur photographer myself I'm well aware of the problems associated with hues, lighting, screen calibration etc.
They were to give an idea only, there are far more red colours that are listed than pictures I've shown.
I'm trying to get a consensus on what the model colour was as stated in the parts book of the time and if it was for a 2 Gallon or 4 Gallon tank for either home or export markets.

The reds are very different, the signal red being more of an orange red. The Peony red seems to me and I may be wrong seems to be the one used on the 2 Gallon US market models. This from research on other non bike related forums seems to be heading more to a burgundy shade
I have no idea what the Royal Red shade was used on, or what the Cherokee Red shade was used on but both of these have been listed somewhere as being used.

There are a number of paint colours that have been allocated to various models of Spitfire in varying books, paint charts, advertising material and a very loose suggestion of colours in the parts catalogue where there should be an addendum to the part numbers to depict the colour specified, ie /202 Mandarin Red & chrome, /201 Mandarin Red, /170 Flamboyant Red, /176 Flamboyant Red and chrome, /177 Flamboyant Red & single White Line. However none of these useful codes appear anywhere in the parts book which is also a compilation of many parts books as it also has details on MK III and IV Spitfires not available in 1966 !?!

There is quite a bit of information on duplicating Flamboyant Red here on this site, but I agree it's not a colour that I'd have thought they'd have used as it involves another proccess, but I have no idea if this is the case or not.

Does this make a bit more sense now?

Here's a set of colour cards or swatches I'm working on.
I am not claiming any of these are right and have been taken off various pictures to get something that may be close or way wrong.

The color pictures on the board are of some help and can ultimately be used to get a closer swatch with care and as has been said many times before, they were mixed on an add hoc basis as were the gel coats.
Oh, I do appreciate everyone's screens are different and what I'm seeing isn't going to be the same for everyone else but they are going to be close enough for what I'm looking to find out.
And no, I'm not a color matcher, but it won't stop me from trying and appealing for help to anyone that can provide some constructive input.
I have two original tanks that will need painting and I'd just like them to be close for the year.
How else do I go about it other than asking here?






Last edited by John Goodwin; 10/17/14 1:57 am.

Current: 2 x 1966 A65S, 1 x 1967 A65SA, 1 x 69/70? A65LA space Y, 1 X D14/4 & 1 x B175
Past: 4 x 1976 T160V, 1 74/5 T150V, 83 model GSX 750 ESD, Z650, Katana 1100(Bathurst Model), 79 T140V, 70's TR6, 2 x 1971 BSA 250 Gold Stars, 50's 350 Goldie, A65 Spitfire semi basket case, 1965/6? A65 LC, Tiger 21 350 & a D14/4 Bantam, 175 Bridgestone Twin with Zimmerman discs!
Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: John Goodwin] #568045
10/17/14 2:53 am
10/17/14 2:53 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
G
Ger B Offline
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NL
If the basic question is: "What color would you choose?", I would say: "Signal red from the Duplicolor spay can".

If the question is: "Would you accept the color as per the patch taken from the tank you just received?", I would say "yes".


Ger B

Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: Ger B] #568053
10/17/14 5:08 am
10/17/14 5:08 am
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 52
UK
K
Keith Miller Offline
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Keith Miller  Offline
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K

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 52
UK
John,
We have three Spitfires (UK tanks) in the North East branch of the BSA owners club, mine (MK11) a MK111 and a MK1V. There are a couple of others in a collection in York (MK11's). The MK1V is a Peony Red similar to the tank you have just received. The others all vary slightly but are very close to the Burton Bike colour, I've got one of their tanks and it is only slightly lighter than my original (infact unless you put both side by side you probably wouldn't notice the difference).
The tanks and side panels at the time would be made in batches and the Gel coat for each batch would have varied slightly. Just go with a similar red as Burtons for the tank and side panels and noone will know the difference (if they say they do they're lying). I don't know about export tanks I'm afraid. (If you have access to the BSA Magazine, The Star, my bike was on the front cover a couple of months ago, there is another photo inside with my MK11 and the MK111 side by side at Lindisfarne).

Hope you get it all sorted the way you want.

Keith.

Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: Keith Miller] #568063
10/17/14 7:30 am
10/17/14 7:30 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 313
Bowral NSW Australia
John Goodwin Offline OP
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John Goodwin  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 313
Bowral NSW Australia
Brilliant Keith, that's just what I wanted to know.
I did order and received a couple of the glass side covers from Burton's and will match my colour with that of the side covers with confidence now.

Job done.


Current: 2 x 1966 A65S, 1 x 1967 A65SA, 1 x 69/70? A65LA space Y, 1 X D14/4 & 1 x B175
Past: 4 x 1976 T160V, 1 74/5 T150V, 83 model GSX 750 ESD, Z650, Katana 1100(Bathurst Model), 79 T140V, 70's TR6, 2 x 1971 BSA 250 Gold Stars, 50's 350 Goldie, A65 Spitfire semi basket case, 1965/6? A65 LC, Tiger 21 350 & a D14/4 Bantam, 175 Bridgestone Twin with Zimmerman discs!
Re: Gentle advice required on Spitfire Reds please [Re: John Goodwin] #568129
10/17/14 4:11 pm
10/17/14 4:11 pm
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 163
Lake Macquarie NSW Oz
ChrisX Offline
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ChrisX  Offline
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Lake Macquarie NSW Oz
I'm going down this path with my A65 basket as well so have followed this discussion with interest. I've seen an original tank in the shade of the one you purchased but I prefer the "Signal Red" whatever that is! While the Burtons sidepanels are half a shade too orange for what my mind's eye thought might have been the colour of my memory I'll just be matching that when I get my tank or varying it slightly to suit. Its easiest to just paint it the shade you like and worry about the important things.

It cooks the brain though -going through the same process currently with a T160 tank. In the end my painter concocted a version of "Sunflower Yellow" that appealed and that will do.

Good luck with it all.


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