The Coleman and American 520 single-burner stove, used by the US Military during WWII, sometimes called the M1941, was manufactured between 1941 and 1945. The M1950 single-burner stove was manufactured from 1951 through 1987, was made by several companies, and was painted several different colors over the years. I’d prefer to repaint some of my stoves the original color, or at least a very close match, and this led to a search for correct colors. Of course, it’s a bit difficult to match the original exactly, because I have no idea how much fading has occurred in the last 60 years or so. Close will likely be as good as I can get. For other stoves, I plan to experiment with various colors or schemes using my unmatched left-overs. I’ve read a lot of chat room posts about paint brands and colors and it seemed that the Aervoe brand of paints was being recommended. The local army surplus store (Glenn’s Army Surplus, Colorado Springs, and Jax in Ft. Collins) carried Aervoe so, I bought several cans of colors. The first two were advertised as Olive Drab for the WWII period and Olive Drab for the Korean War period, while the last three, Forest Green, Light Green and Dark Green were just colors I hoped would match something. (Note: I plan to try Woodland Green, but haven’t received it, yet) The Aervoe Olive Drab (Aervoe makes several), from the Korean War era, matched the Rogers stoves pretty well, but none of the others matched either the early WWII era 520, late WWII 520 or the Coleman M1950, 1951 stoves. So, I kept looking. I received a partially used can of the Wal-Mart Hunter Green from canon-joe and got a suggestion from lanternking to try a very specific Rust-Oleum (V2137, Dark Green) for the Coleman M1950, 1951 stove. I also bought a couple of cans of Rust-Oleum Hunter Green while shopping at hardware stores. The paint finishes by any of these companies can be flat (a.k.a. satin), semi-gloss and gloss, so I added some clear Dupli-Color Clear, automotive, 500 degree engine enamel on part of the paint samples. Using some old cookie sheets, which I first sanded and cleaned with paint prep, I painted samples to give me a good idea of the end result when painted over steel. Some of the paints are flat so part of the sample will be flat, while the other part is where I sprayed the glossy engine enamel. You can see the results in the photos.
Here is a list paints I tried, and my opinion about matching original colors:
- Aervoe, #34151, Light Green: No match.
- Aervoe, #24087, Olive Drab, Korean War era: Seems to be the right color for Rogers, M1950 Stoves.
- Aervoe, #34087, Olive Drab, late WWII: No match. I thought this would match my 1944 520, but it does not. I think it would make a good base color for painting a camo-pattern tank.
- Aervoe, #34094, Woodland Green: Not actually tested, yet. But, plan to try it before I decide on the 1944 520 paint.
- Aervoe, #34079, Forest Green: [Updated 19NOV14]
This one is a close match for the late WWII 520s, but I want to see the Woodland Green before I decide.I received a 1944 Coleman 520 and this does not match. See test paint 12.
- Aervoe, #34102, Dark Green: No match.
- Rust-Oleum, Hunter Green (Gloss), #249111: This one looks to be a close match for the early war Coleman 520 stoves.
- Rust-Oleum, Hunter Green (Semi-Gloss), #249853: This one looks to be a close match for the early war 520 stoves.
- Rust-Oleum, Dark Green, #V2137 (I bought this through Grainger): This one looks like the right color for the Coleman M1950, 1951 stove. The following year, it appears that the color was changed to the Korean War era Olive Drab paint color. I determined this by comparing my 1951 Coleman stove to my 1952 Rogers stove.
- Wal-Mart, Hunter Green: Similar to the other Hunter Green colors in the test group.
- Dupli-Color Engine Enamel, #DE1636, Clear: I’ll use this over any flat paints.
- Krylon Camouflage, Olive #4293, I painted a sample (photo added 07AUG2015) and this one is the best match so far for a late WWII 520 stove when compared to my 1944 Coleman 520. I tried it on a M1950 tank with gloss clear coat, and while it looks close to the original in this photo, I painted a tank and it doesn’t look as close. I wet-sanded it and it looks better. Tough call for me.
- Rust-Oleum Satin Hunt Club Green, 249074. This is a good match for an AGM WWII 3927 lantern, but I also believe it is the M-1941/520 AGM stove color. [added 23JAN2018]
So far, I’ve painted two M1950 tanks. I painted the Coleman 1951 tank using the Dark Green, V2137 color without clear top-coat, and a Rogers 1963 tank using the Korean War era Olive Drab with the Clear topcoat. See photo for results. I also painted a WWII era AGM 3927 lantern with paint #13. You can see photos of it on my AGM3927 Lantern Blog post. [updated 23JAN2018]
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