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Thread: Olive drab paint

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Tokyo, JAPAN
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    197

    Exclamation Olive drab paint

    Dear all - again a question...

    These are many about painting!

    I will restore an 1917 HD bicycle and I am being told that only were available in olive drab paint - exactly the same color used in the HD motorcycles at that time.

    a) I wish to buy the color in the closest possible tone to the original! I need some advice about where I can buy this paint and which is the number/code for the proper color.

    b) I would also appreciate a recommendation regarding how much to buy (we are talking about a bicycle frame and fenders). Do I need to thinner it and if yes in which proportion?

    c) Also wondering if this is a professional job only or today there are good quality sprays that would allow me with zero equipment to do this by myself.

    d) How about the preparations? Sand blasting yes or no? Sand paper yes or no? Is a "base layer" (anti corrosion I guess, I do not know the name in English) mandatory? If yes which are good?

    e) How many layers of paint are necessary for a good paint job?

    f) Is necessary at the end some transparent lacquer layer or similar?

    g) The last one: the bicycle should feature very thin black strip lines everywhere! What a challenge! Can I do this with two tape bands and painting on them? If yes which tape are good to avoid fresh paint to flow underneath the tape but can be also easily removed without damaging the green base color? If not, it is hand painting the only way???

    I hope I can call the attention of somebody!

    Many thanks and kind regards.

    Chris.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
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    Default

    Chris, the color is Olive Green, not Olive Drab. Olive drab is a flat finish used on military vehicles. Antique cycle supply has the color chips.
    Robbie
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    Default

    You can buy the paint from Antique Cycle Supply http://antiquecyclesupply.com/paint.htm
    or from John Pierce. http://www.freewebs.com/colorwrite/index.html
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Tokyo, JAPAN
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    Aha! I thought military and civilian models were using the same "green"! I understood properly? "Drab" for military, I guess not glossy and maybe more clear. "Olive" for civilians (mostly since I heard that at he beginning some civilian painted ones went to serve Oncle Sam), I guess glossy and darker?

    I think these bicycles used then the civilian version: a glossy "olive"... Just guessing.

    And what happened to the later green painting for export? My 47F is green... Should this be an "olive" or "drab"? I think Palmer says something of "drab" for export... Somebody knows this?

    Many thanks and kind regards.

    Chris.

    PS - Chris. Many thanks for the links- Which of both should I priorize? Some preference between both?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Olive Drab is the color name. Military models were painted flat, not glossy Olive Drab.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tokyo, JAPAN
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    Wait a minute, Chris... Now my limited english is going to its limits...

    Allow me to sumarize a color/application chart to check my level of understanding...

    Olive green glossy -> Civilian models, maybe also my famous HD bicycle...
    Olive green matte -> no applications
    Olive drab glossy -> Export color for 1947 (among other years, I guess) models?
    Olive drab matte -> Military models

    Did I got it right now?

    Kind regards,

    Chris.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
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    Dear Chris, the glossy olive drab was used on US military bikes in the 1930s and early 1940s. The olive green was used extensively on early Harleys, and as an export colour in 1934-36 at least. The best match I've found for olive green is the Rover car colour called 'Seaweed' which you might still just find. The ICI paint code is 10C39/P420-0857.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2009
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    Thanks, Steve.

    I understand from your information that no "matte" colors were used - only "glossy". Even for military applications. Right?

    And what about the export color of the 1947 OHV? I read once these were "green"... But which green? Olive green or olive drab?

    Kind regards,

    Chris.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    In Harley speek Olive Green is Olive Drab. The WWI models and expoet models were glossy while the WWII stuff was flat.
    Indian seemed to use both glossy and flat during WWII.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  10. #10
    Smarty Guest

    Default

    The PPG paint code for it is "1001" which is "Olive" Green in the
    Harley range, this is the paint my painter has painted my bike with and its an almost exact match for the BS 10C39 Steve mentions above which I also checked by having an original paint part spectrum analysed.

    My bike is painted in 1001 and is gorgeous looking

    Regards,

    Martin

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