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Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. Edgar

    Malta blue spitfires

    The designated colour was Dark Mediterranean Blue (Malta referred to it as "sea scheme," hence the years of confusion,) going back as far as some Hurricane deliveries; some of the first Wasp delivery were painted "correctly," with the rest painted on board, which would explain the use of Wasp's own blue paint.
  2. The enquiry:- The response:- Perhaps I can now point out that no researcher, worthy of the name, will base his writings on a single source (like a photo,) but will try to find confirmation in other sources. Since the war, dozens of books, and hundreds of articles, have been written on the subject of aircraft colours, many by men who were there, and physically inspected airframes. If you don't have their books, I recommend getting as many as you can; I still have some by Bruce Roberton, Michael Bowyer, Alan Hall, Ted Hooton, James Goulding, Bob Jones (first IPMS President,) the RAF Museum, and not one of them contains a single reference to wrongly painted aircraft. Ian Huntley visited our club, many years ago, and brought his collection of fragments collected from crashed aircraft; he never mentioned seeing any "wrongly painted" aircraft. I don't claim to have any definitive answers (definitely not a wise way to go,) but you might like to consider a few facts. Spares were ordered to be delivered in primer, but unpainted; at the start of the war this meant silver doped, but, at some stage, the silver was dropped, and only red was used. If the spare wing, on that Wellington, was still silver, what difference would it make to the top coats in bright sunshine? In Autumn 1942, Supermarine found the ideal (at the time) paint (a synthetic type) which was smooth and matt, so Spitfires were painted with it, swiftly followed by Hawker (Typhoon) and Bristol (Beaufighter,) then bombers. Post-war, it was quickly dropped, in favour of other synthetic paints, due to its propensity to chalk and fade badly (giving rise to the daft idea that Spitfire were painted in two greens and two greys on their top surfaces.) Regarding the Light Green/Light Earth/Ocean Grey on the Grand Slam Lancasters, I feel that there is a likelihood that, somewhere, there is correspondence on it, but I've yet to find it. I do have copies of 617's request to repaint the undersides of Tallboy aircraft, and the response allowing them to use Sea Grey Medium. Finally, I would like to point out that I've also spent 50+ years talking to groundcrew and factory workers, and not one has said that they disobeyed orders, and used whatever paint they fancied.
  3. The Hurricane four-spoke wheel is the same part number as the four-spoke Spitfire wheel (AH10019) introduced in 1944, which rather hints they were the same diameter.
  4. It also doesn't help that there was no such colour as "Royal Blue" in the official lists.
  5. Nobody knows, for sure, but Malta asked for aircraft to be painted Dark Mediterranean Blue on their upper surfaces, so that might be a reasonable place to start.
  6. Being metal, it would have been relatively easy; in 1943/4, when the Spitfire straps needed to be moved, the plastic seat had to have minimum thickness, specially-strengthened material.
  7. 1/. Not before April 1938. 2/. Flat (curved had been found to cause distortions.) 3/. True 4/. True; note that "walkway forward" & "walkway inboard" were positioned so that they were readable from the aileron position, not from the leading edge or cockpit.
  8. The headrest was always there, until July 1942, when it was finally deleted, but no armour plate before 1940. I know nothing of any "balance arms," but it's not the first time that I've heard of the guard being misnamed (and misplaced.) The guard was fitted to the fin, and designed to deflect the wire from the anti-spin parachute (never fitted,) so that it didn't interfere with the rudder's operation. I only have Ted Hooton's illustration, but he normally knew what he was talking about:-
  9. A modification "To render electrical system suitable for V.H.F. and to include a carbon pile regulator" was introduced from 7-11-39. I wouldn't over-think the change of roundels; there's a good photo showing 19 Squadron with various combinations of roundel, which makes it seem more likely that the old ones would be washed down with thinners (or painted out,) and the new ones painted afresh. These are the bulges as drawn by G.A.Cox, whose drawings were generally recognised as among the best:- P.S. ignore the over-wing stiffeners, which were a 1942 addition.
  10. The early seat had no lozenge-shaped depression in the base; this is probably because there was no expectation of flying over the sea, so no dinghy, complete with its inflation bottle, was anticipated. The early Sutton was not fitted to the seat like those in the photo, either; they were attached to the seat supports under the pilot's thighs. As well as the early retraction system, there were no I.F.F. destructor buttons on the starboard wall, since I.F.F. wasn't fitted until the end of 1940. Early rudder pedals had only a single bar plus canvas loop. No oxygen hose either; it was attached to the pilot's mask, and he plugged it into a bayonet fitting in the top right-hand corner. No head armour until early 1940, and no seat armour until mid-1940. The flash eliminators probably disappeared at the start of the war, since a faster-firing Browning was fitted at that stage, and the muzzle holes had "covers" fitted; fabric patches didn't appear until mid-to-late 1940. A two-blade prop would have had only the single throttle lever.
  11. My "dogma" comes from reading, and research, which I recommend that you try, instead of bleating about others' responses; there are 150-200 files, in the National Archives, on the subject of wartime paint and camouflage, and you really should try reading them. I have read them (several more than once,) and have never found any evidence to back up your theories (because that's all they are.) Perhaps I should also remind you that these threads are Britmodellers', not yours, and, as such, are supposed to be open to all members to respond as they wish; if you think that I will be subject to your attempt at censorship, you have a lot to learn. Your remark about "no one sane" shows that you really have no idea on how research must be carried out; you cannot pick what suits your agenda, and reject the rest, just because you don't like it, yet that is precisely what you want to do.
  12. It seems you are absolutely determined to ignore what you're told, so this is aimed at those with a genuine interest in listening to those of us old enough to remember how things were done years ago:- In the 1940s-1960s, printing direct from a transparency was not possible, so a copy negative had to be made, and its quality was entirely dependent on the skill of the laboratory technician. The negative had to be exposed through a series of coloured filters, and the timing of each exposure was dependent on the skill of the person operating the analyser and enlarger. Below are two prints of the same negative; one appeared on the cover of a book by one of the foremost researchers of this era, and the other appeared inside a book by Douglas Bader. Likewise the following pair of photos appeared in Japanese and Polish publications:- And that's why we don't necessarily accept even a colour photo as the Holy Grail.
  13. Note how the line of countersunk holes deviates round the exit hole; this remained for a time, even after the flare tubes were deleted, and explains the odd-looking kink in the line of the wingroot fairing on early drawings.
  14. This is the cover for the flare tube (sorry about the bod in the background, but he was working, while I wasn't.):- And this is the hole it covered:- The ASR Spitfires also carried a rack inboard of the oil cooler, but I've never seen a drawing, or illustration, of it.
  15. No, it wouldn't; I am continually being told that I'm obsessed with the "holy writ" of Air Ministry orders, but nobody ever explains why these aircraft were (allegedly) painted in the wrong colours. Dark Green and Dark Earth were chosen because they gave the best camouflage when parked in the open, on an airfield in daylight, and the orders quoted those two colours, and made no mention of the Light variations, but we are expected to believe they were painted in colours which would make them stick out like sore thumbs. Dark Green was also found to be the ideal colour to break up the surface of an aircraft at night, instead of black. We are expected to believe (in a time of war) that a factory, having received those orders, complete with the colours marked on the relevant Air Diagram, put up two fingers to the Air Ministry, the Ministry-appointed Resident Technical Officer, the Local Technical Committee, and the Factory Overseer (usually of Wing Commander rank,) and proceeded to paint their aircraft (all, not just singly) with paints they were unlikely to have in stock in their stores (unless they were also building biplanes - unlikely in the case of Handley-Page,) just because a photograph, which could be printed in any of a dozen ways, just happens to look wrong 70 years later. We've already had the daft theory (comprehensively torn apart by Wojtech Matusiak) that Spitfires were painted in four different colours, and this is no different.
  16. It's a pity, too, that accusations about the way I do my research had to be tossed into the mix, without the courtesy of asking if I might actually have found something relevant. Far from being obsessed with the "holy writ" of Air Ministry orders, I do read other files, especially inter-departmental types; at some stage Malta asked for their high-altitude Spitfires (Mk.VI?) to be over-painted blue, but received a Henry Ford-type reply from Middle East Command, saying they could have only green and brown, since they were the only colours they had. So you have Malta still "obsessed" with having their fighters blue on top, but with the extra possibility that some might have been repainted with the "wrong" colours, rather than being delivered that way.
  17. The prototype cowling was "made to fit," and was more rounded, on top, than production types. In photos, it's possible to see lines, on the side pieces, where odd parts were assembled. One original fairly major difference was also the carburettor intake, which was smaller, and didn't protrude like later versions. The prototype and Mk.I used the same series of engineering drawings, numbered 300XX, so it's fairly safe to assume that the engine mounts would have been the same; frame 5 (the main bulkhead) would not have had any armour fitted, though.
  18. This has been a hot debate for years, and the Patrick Stevens book, on Airfix's 1/24 Mk.I, does not show the straps going through the seat; a friend of mine works for an aircraft rebuilder, and he's adamant that the plastic seat was unlikely to take the strain, while metal seats could. It isn't easy to see, but the line of the straps, in the Spitfire manual (right,) runs straight up behind the back of the seat; the Hurricane manual (left) (as did the Typhoon, later) shows a definite "kink" in the straps where they did go through the seat backrest. The backrest cover seems to have been black, possibly because it was made from Basil leather (sheep.) It wrapped round the back, about 3", and had series of eyelets, through which a length of cord was laced, in order to pull it tight.
  19. Miles was part of the Civil Repair Organisation, as well as an aircraft manufacturer; the "visit" could have been when the conversion to E wing happened.
  20. Ah, yes, the patronising pat on the head, to be followed by, "Now run along, because the adults have things to discuss."
  21. If you have a copy of an instruction that fighters, bound for the Mediterranean in 1942, were to be painted in Temperate Land Scheme, I'd certainly like to see it, since I've never found one. As far as I'm aware the South African Air Force did not fly Spitfires from Gibraltar to Malta at any time.
  22. Just a minute, the Dark Earth was replaced, in the Temperate Land Scheme, by Ocean Grey, in August 1941, turning it into the Day Fighter scheme. There is no way that a Vc, heading to Malta, should be in TLS; orders were that they should be either overall blue, in mid-1942, or, later, Day Fighter Scheme with Light Mediterranean Blue undersides.
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