ABSD-2 Floating Dry Dock Colors

I had this posted on another forum but got really nothing in the way of help. So I am trying this here.

Can anyone help me out with what colors I am seeing here on the ABSD-2?

Here is another photo of ABSD-2.

They don’t seem to correlate to this color photo of a different Absd-? Plus I have watched the color film footage of ABSD-1 and it is nowhere close to what this must actually look like in color.

I have the Takom painting guide for the ABSD-1 Which lists the Ocean gray as part of the standard paint scheme. However The pictures I am showing are not the standard paint scheme. The only section of ABSD-2 that is in the standard scheme is section D (4th from the bottom in the top picture, 4th from right in second). My interest is in the dark paint, both interior walls and exterior. The light gray on the outside is most likely 5-P Pale gray or 5-L Light Gray, based on other color photos of other ABSDs I have found.

For example:

What I can’t find are any other original color photos of any ABSD with as dark of paint as ABSD-2. Even in black and white photos it is unique.

Based on the 2 color videos of ABSD-1 on Youtube the deck on the tops of the wall on the walkways are like a red oxide primer color, even some evidence of red oxide on the exterior walls where the topcoat is coming off. The top of the decks on the floats (work area) appear to me to be in a natural metal, and surface rust abounds on all often submerged flat surfaces, as seen also on 3rd photo above also. It is possible that is just very dirty red oxide on the deck as well.



Also based on the 3rd photo above there is also possibly a yellow zinc chromate primer used under the Ocean Gray (on the wall just behind bow, again on right under 3rd floodlight).

So with the colors I think I am confident in or pretty close to, what is the really dark color on those walls of ABSD-2 ? There is a distinct demarcation line in the 2nd photo on the interior wall as well on the 4-5 sections at the top right of the dock. The top color could definitely be 5-O but the darker color is still a mystery. If it was a red oxide wouldn’t it be similar shade as the hull tops or walkways? Is it possible its Dark Sea blue or maybe even black? Looking at the freighter in picture 2 it looks like a good tonal match to whhatever color it is.

Also are there any references that show what particular tug and other yard equipment were assigned to a particular dry dock? I’ve looked through navsource a bit but haven’t found much of what specifics I am looking for.

Open to ideas here anyone.

All images courtesy of navsource.org I think


So no help here either. Anyone have any idea where I can post this to get some help?


I’m commenting here without any knowledge or authority… but based on the sample evidence you presented here it would seem that you could use quite a few variations and still be in the ball park. “Correct” painting of the ABSDs was probably not a priority in a busy war zone; my guess is that they were painted primarily not for camouflage but for corrosion protectant and so the exact colors used may not have been standard, perhaps using whatever was at hand at the time.

Also, the parts were sectional, so they might have varied from each other not only in color but in degree of weathering… Lots of cool modeling possibilities here!

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I fully agree and concur with Tim’s comment. This is probably a wide open field, and any color serving the purpose, be it some kind of camouflage or corrosion protection, would have been used.
I have not the slightest idea about the particular dock you are asking about - however, the German floating dry docks that I know - in peacetime without any shortage on pain - do not have any particular look or color. (Well, there was the prominent Hamburg dry dock facing the Elbe river, that for some years hat an art painting - but that’s been overpainted long since- blackish-grey dirty look).
So I do not know if that is at all helpful for you - probably not. But it might explain why you are not getting any answers in this otherwise extremely competent, responsive and helpful form.
Sorry to be not of any more help myself.

I’d got with Tim here again - lots of cool possibilities.



Thanks for the help.


Here is a video of drone footage of USS Texas in a floating drydock this Summer which may help you with painting/weathering ideas:




Yes it’s perfect for weathering ideas especially the working deck.Thank you for sharing it. I saw it my feed just hadn’t looked at it yet. Have been following the work on the Texas, I find it very interesting.
Some day I will figure out the colors I need to paint the dry dock. Project is on hold until I do.