Gday Chris ,
When QE2 left for her maiden voyage she had the traditional *black hull.The funnel was all white with just a black tip.
In latter years after returning from the Falkands war , Cunard decided to paint her hull grey.It was a horrible looking colour which did not prove popular.Soon all the tugs and docks left scrapes and scratches along the side which on a grey hull stood out clearly and made the Liner look dirty.Latter on she was repainted back to a *black hull.In her hugh 1986 refit (including her re-engined power plant) Cunard also replaced the funnel with a new thicker and larger funnel , this funnel was then painted in the true Cunard colours for the 1st time in her career.
*In regards to her hull colours most people will say its black but it seems a very very dark blue that borders onto black.
"When QE2 left for her maiden voyage ....The funnel was all white with just a black tip."
I seem to recall that the funnel - uptake would be a better word - was all black and it was springing from what seemed to be a wind deflector or updraft inducer. This latter structure was painted 'superstructure' white on the outside, black on the deflecting surface.
Perhaps someone could kindly post a contemporaneous photograph to confirm ((my powers of recall have been called into question recently on this board).
I do not pretend to be an expert on the QE2 but, when searching through some old magazines for information on another vessel, I found a photograph in the October 1982 edition of Ships Monthly. This was taken after the post-Falklands refit, and it shows the liner with a "pebble grey" hull and red-and-black Cunard funnel.
An earlier photograph taken in May or June 1982 shows that the inside of the "smoke deflector" had earlier been painted red (although the funnel was still black and white. A further reference in February 1984 refers to the "new charcoal grey hull".
That picture was probably taken just before the Falklands War. You can see the red bit at the base of the funnel, which is not yet in the traditional Cunard livery. There are no helicopter landing pads, and so the picture must be pre-war.