Thanks for your comments about the FDC track. That was my home in the field for the year that I was the Battery FDO.
I arrived at 2nd FA in October of 1972 and at that time all our vehicles were solid OD. We received the directive in June or so of 1973 to pattern paint our vehicles.
The template that was provided with those regulations had ACTUALLY been created back in 1966 as part of a previous concept to pattern paint vehicles which was never actually implemented.
The original 4 colors for that scheme called for Color 1 to be a Brown (FS 30045) and cover 34% of the vehicle, Color 2 to be ALTERNATED seasonally between a Light Brown (FS30219) in Fall/Winter or a Forest Green (FS 34127) in Spring/Summer covering 37% of the vehicle, Color 3 to be a Dark Green (Either FS 34052 or FS 34102) to cover 20% of the vehicle, and Color 4 to be Black covering the remaining 9%.
But by the time the regulations were published in 1973, Color 1 was modified to be Earth Brown (FS 30117), not a big change, BUT Color 2 was changed to the Sand Color (FS 30227) that everyone is familiar with. Color 3 was slightly modified to be a Green (FS 34079) and Color 4 remained Black.
Why the decision was made to replace Color 2 with Sand is a mystery, and there were all sorts of rumors flying around of being sent to fight in the desert! It may be that the original Fall/Winter color was slightly modified and the decision made to keep only ONE color for Color 2 and not change every 6 months. If so I think that was a GOOD call.
And after the vehicles were out in the field and got dirty, it sure worked. That color which is so identified with the MASSTER scheme really did work.
As you recalled, the edges for MASSTER were hard, because the way it was applied was that the patterns which were originally created in December of 1966 were re-issued with the new colors and we all went to the motor pool, chalked off the patterns on the vehicles by hand, entered the number in the areas as appropriate, and applied the paint, by hand with regular paint brushes. There may have been a few units which may have sprayed the paint on but that was NOT typical. There wasn’t the time nor equipment available in units to get that done, but plenty of manual labor. And as the vehicles got wear and tear touch up was also done by hand.
It MAY be that in the later stages, when vehicles were rebuilt and sent out from depots, that the colors were sprayed on resulting in softer edges, but that is NOT how the original scheme looked for the first 3-4 years.