What if

Hot Research Topics => Camouflage, Colors, and Markings => Topic started by: kitbasher on April 06, 2020, 01:44:01 pm

Title: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: kitbasher on April 06, 2020, 01:44:01 pm
When did the FAA change it's standard camo scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey/Sky to just Extra Dark Sea Grey/Sky?  I'm guessing 1946 but don't know.

Asking for a friend  ;)
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 06, 2020, 03:39:33 pm
I'm sure (well, 75%ish) that it was 1946.  The change between low and high demarcation is about 1948.  I think.
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: NARSES2 on April 07, 2020, 06:08:03 am
Beginning of 1947, although that wasn't hard and fast. Some may still have had Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey uppers in 47 to use up some old paint stocks. Eric Brown in one of his books mentions Seafire 47's being painted in the two tone uppers as late as 1947.
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: kitbasher on April 07, 2020, 09:09:19 am
Thanks chaps.

The move from low to high demarcation seems easier to determine than the dropping of Dark Slate Grey.  Not aware of Seafire 47s in the three-colour scheme, 46s in two- and three-colours schemes yes.
My Sea Fury sources hint at 1947 for the camo scheme change but it could have been sooner.  Firebrand colour changes are inconclusive, will check out Fireflies.
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: PR19_Kit on April 07, 2020, 10:00:33 am
At some stage Firebrands were in overall Midnight Blue. The very last one in the FAA, serving as a 'mascot' for the Southern Air Wing RNVR, was at RAF Benson when I lived there in the 50s, and it was in that Midnight Blue scheme.

The RNVR(A) was disbanded in 1957 and they towed the Firebrand up the hill to their HQ building with a Land Rover!
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 07, 2020, 12:27:15 pm
Beginning of 1947, although that wasn't hard and fast. Some may still have had Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey uppers in 47 to use up some old paint stocks. Eric Brown in one of his books mentions Seafire 47's being painted in the two tone uppers as late as 1947.

Except Winkle says in his book "Firebrand: From the Cockpit", and possibly another, that the two colour scheme is a myth based on photos with low contrasting leading the observer to conclude that the two upper colours are one.

Personally, I think he's talking bollocks.
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: kitbasher on April 09, 2020, 11:18:13 pm
Speaking of Eric Brown, I suddenly remembered the Sea Vampire deck landing trials.  So....

Two colours (although the grey of the restored aircraft may be Dark Sea Grey not EDSG).  Trials occurred December 1945.

The aircraft was built in 1944; subsequently damaged, it was at Hatfield for repairs between June and November 1945.  So could the two-colour scheme have been introduced during that period?
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: NARSES2 on April 19, 2020, 06:30:34 am
Didn't want to open a new thread so as a variation of the original question.

When did the FAA move from matt to gloss surface finishes ? I've looked but can't find anything that gives a date when the instructions were issued.
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: PR19_Kit on April 19, 2020, 06:35:22 am
The Sea Hawks and Attackers of the Southern Air Wing RNVR at Benson in 1958 were gloss.

Oh boy, were they GLOSS! They had the Reserve matelots polishing them every Sat and Sun morning, come rain or shine!  :o
Title: Re: Fleet Air Arm colours
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 19, 2020, 07:17:51 am
RNVR stuff would always be immaculate, ditto RAuxAF.

I remember someone putting an Airfix Seafire 46 up on Britmodeller.  Nicely built but really weathered.  Well, everyone on there was well and truly jacking themselves off over the finish and how good the weathering  was.  Then I said "No, it's wrong, that's the squadron commander's aircraft and it would never have looked that filthy."  And the howls of protest, you'd think I'd stabbed their mothers.