Last month (December 2022), there was a discussion on Facebook regarding the Chambermaid. The modeler was asking what color was acceptable for the Chambermaid. Being the helpful sort (?), I piped in and said that the Chambermaid is often modeled with coloring ranging from white to cub yellow and that “records” state is was a cream color.
James Vliet (an authority on F1 racers) provided an image as proof of color – and we should likely accept it as gospel:
As we can see, this is more yellow than we traditionally think of “cream”. James also showed a Berryloid color brochure that showed a light lemon yellow called “Diana Cream” – so we should expand our thoughts of cream color to include light yellow. After all, butter used to be more yellow (not margarine) and cream probably was, too (since butter is made from cream). In fact, more natural and organic egg yolks are much richer in color (orange) than the yellow that we are accustomed to. Our mega-processing of food has changed things for us.
All of this talk of the Chambermaid and its original fabric swatch made me remember back in the dawn of the internet (1997), there had been an online discussion regarding the Pearson-Williams “Mr Smoothie” and “what color was it, really?” I cannot recall the hows and whys of the discussion, but I dug around in my archives and found some details. The discussion was on the old Free Flight Mailing List. I saved the image and pertinent details and here they are:
Keep in mind that colors change in photographs, scanning, and reproduction on the web.
Lastly, not so much of a color definition (as this plane is not much in question), is a swatch I have in my personal collection that I obtained from the estate of an air racing historian:
These are photos, swatches, and the face of the fuel gauge from the crash of Johnny Livingston’s Cessna CR-3. He bailed out of this plane somewhere near Columbus, Ohio in August 1933. The plane was only six months old and had never lost a race (about half a dozen races). He couldn’t fully extend the landing gear and jumped (who know why he didn’t land the plane – maybe the gear was partially extended and would have tripped a belly landing?) Regardless, a life-saving decision was made and that was that.
So there you have it – three fabric swatches from long-gone racers.