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  1. It will have been dark grey synthetic resin paint Pattern 4942.
  2. @Ngantek Great. We seem to be in a fair amount of agreement. @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies has worked his magic and kindly produced this which shows what I currently think we can be fairly sure of so far. We may want to fine tune the exact shape of the pattern on the island below the funnel when we add the carley rafts later, but can we leave that and the positioning, shape and size of the carley rafts for now? As you have highlighted, in the Japanese aerial photo the rafts have been taken down and are on the flight deck so we get an impression of what is on the island itself. The key point where I diverge from you is that to my mind the Japanese aerial photo clearly shows paint extension G as linking back to pattern below the funnel. This is not incompatible with what is in the Morgan photo as the forwardmost carley raft hides a proper view of the link-up area. But I think that I can just about make out paint demarcations on the raft itself that support this link-up also. On the question of the lower dark down towards the flight deck visible in the Morgan photo and also perhaps in the Japanese photo, I have marked up how I see this linking in at M: I agree with you about uncertainty re the possible branch extension J seen in the Japanese photo versus it being the transverse bridge with its bottom end (your ‘A’) for some reason not being really visible in the Japanese photo due to photographic fuzz due to the quality of the image. All I can say is that a branch like this would be an unusual sort of shape for the designers at Leamington to have used. Hermes was Leamington Job No. 42. You can see their general design style at that time in other schemes they were producing then such as Eagle (Job No. 41) and Roberts (Job No. 46). So I’d be inclined to leave J out pending further photographic evidence? On the question of the possible bit of pattern E/F. I agree with you that it does not work as shadow from fighting top above. The sun/shadow angle is wrong with the ‘dark’ being well forward of the fighting top side protrusions. You could also perhaps argue (indeed I think you are suggesting this) that the small triangle of ‘double’ darkness at X visible in the Morgan photo is a ‘dark’ further darkened by shadow from the bridge wind deflectors. The shadowed 507C just aft of this ‘triangle’ is less dark: E/F has a flat bottom edge and curved forward and lower right edges in the Morgan photo. There is a dark dark in exactly that position in the Japanese photo. One could even speculate that this patch E/F was MS1, in the designer’s eye coming down from the fighting top above. Although it doesn’t feel like a fit to the general Leamington design style of the time, pending further photographic evidence I think I’d be inclined to speculatively include a patch E/F and indeed make it MS1? Up at ‘B’, having had another hard stare at my photos, I now see that the original 1926 small stump extension that the transverse bridge was hinged onto was extended almost as far aft as the cable/services trunking running up to the fighting top. The signal deck surrounds were brought out to its edge so creating an oblong ‘blister’ in that area. It is hard to pin down exactly when this work was carried out. It was not there at the time of the 1937 Coronation Fleet Review but was there by mid 1940. This explains the extra large shadow immediately beneath it in the Morgan photo. I think that neither Aoshima or Flyhawk (properly) model this feature. And in anticipation of Jamie adding the carley rafts, a question. Do we think that the 4th, aftmost and slightly smaller, carley raft was in position on 9th April 1942 and in Morgan’s sinking photo has already been taken down? Perhaps it is what crewmen are gathering around in the obscured bit of the photo beneath where it hung? Are the things dangling down above the strops that secured it? What do we think we see behind Morgan’s right elbow in the earlier flight deck photo?
  3. @Ngantek Andy, I’ve looked at the port side of the island question first. Having gone through all my photos I think I now see that we were misled. Two dark verticals were visible on the island in the 1940 photo of Hermes with Dorsetshire. They are more clearly visible in this 1941 photo: Going back through all my photos the aftmost and faintest of the two (A) seems to have been boxlike trunking up to the fighting top presumably housing some cabling/services. It is there in the very first photos of Hermes back in 1923. I don’t think that this features in the Aoshima kit. This is a 1925 image: The more prominent dark (B) runs from the signal deck’s deck level down to a point just above the flight deck between two bulkhead doorways (C). To my great surprise this is the ‘transverse bridge’. This was deployed when in harbour to enable bridge personnel to see more clearly over the port side of the ship: I have come across this on other RN carriers folding back horizontally, alongside the funnel, but surprisingly on Hermes it hinged vertically at H as shown in this photo of it in its stowed position: I don’t think that it features in the Aoshima kit and in my Flyhawk (1942) kit it is an optional piece to glue on in its deployed position but with no indication/option of it in its stowed position. The As Fitted’s show that it was added at Malta in 1926. Because the transverse bridge is hinged on a protrusion out from the side of the bridge it angles inwards towards its lower end in its stowed position. This has implications for the shadow it casts giving rise to triangular shaped affairs in some photos. The photo of the cover of Morgan’s book that you provided is, despite the writing, a sharper image than the version we were working from as in my earlier posting: Bearing in mind what can be seen in the Japanese version of the sinking photo that I shared, I now believe that the various darks can be interpreted as follows: A - the trunking up to the fighting top. B - the transverse bridge itself in its stowed position. C - shadow of signal deck protrusion that the transverse bridge hinges from. D - shadows from the curved overhanging wind deflecting top edges of the surrounds to the compass platform/signal deck. E & F - unsure. Horizonal bottom edge so not fire damage. Maybe shadow of the port protrusion of the fighting top above? G - forward extension of camouflage paint panel coming down from the funnel/across from behind the carley floats. H - is this somehow the shadow of the transverse bridge? J - or is this an upwards branch offshoot of the camouflage extension G as perhaps suggested in the Japanese photo (or a bit of both!)? I've dropped the idea of bomb/fire/smoke damage. Jamie @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies is kindly working on a revised illustration of what I think we can be sure of as an aid our further discussion. Best wishes, Richard
  4. @Ngantek I don't think I had that Japanese version photo at the time we did the illustration and you make a good spot about the camouflage on the port side of the island there. I'm now beginning to wonder if another explanation for part of what we see at my B at the end of the lower arm of my Y shape is a bomb entry hole and the superstructure above blackened by fire and smoke?! Do we know exactly where all the bomb hits on Hermes were? Also, was the fighting top hit which would account for any off squareness of the roof up there? You make lots of good points and raise a number questions all of which I want to take a bit of time to consider before replying to. I'm going to go through all the photos I have of Hermes again as I have more now than I did then. I can already see a partial answer re the rectangular darks on the flight deck. But one immediate quickie. The IWM date on that photo of Hermes with Dorsetshire is indeed wrong, very wrong. Note no homing beacon on Hermes. True date was June 1940 off West Africa. (She is uncamouflaged but it is interesting to see that vertical 'dark' shadow (?) on the port side of the island forward of the carley raft just where we are debating 'B'!)
  5. @NgantekInteresting coming back at this after an interval of a few years. My thoughts on your comments are: A. If this is the dark band at the top of the funnel that you are referring to then I think that this is shadow of the funnel cap. (I don’t agree fully with the sun angle you mention in the next bullet point. I read the sun as very slightly ahead and to port of the ship, but the ship being down by the bow and listing to port, the funnel is pointing more or less directly at the sun. ) B. As I recall we debated this dark endlessly. Various interpretations are possible. It’s very tricky given no clear photos of this area. We were going from what can be seen in Morgan’s photo from well aft of the island. Clearly there was something forward of what Raven drew in his WP illustration and we tried to make sense of what we saw. It’s much smaller than the bulky fighting top above and the 507C either side of it is clearly in sunlight hence we did not think it was shadow. C. You could be right. It would be helpful if @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies could draw the carley rafts on as I think that the inner elbow is somewhere in the region of the gap between the first and second raft. D. Yes, but with a bit of shadow at the top of it. Re the director on the fighting top: I don’t think that X is a round shape. It seems to have various angles to its edge? I’ve never been able to make sense of the flat Y at the front in this photo. Is it a flaw in the original photo or has something been blown onto the fighting top from below? It even seems to touch up to the homing beacon, but then why do we not see it doing so in the photo taken from the flight deck below? It is interesting how a Japanese version of this photo, which may be closer to the original, shows a big, dark circular something there! Finally a curveball. Looking at some versions of the photo I do sometimes wonder if there might have been a bit of patterning on the flight deck, for example the dark from the starboard hull being brought across diagonally at Z? Or is it just discolouration caused by fires below?! We shall probably never know.
  6. OK, I think I have it sorted. The upper edge of the boot topping was halfway between the XXX & XXXI marks from launching up to and including the photos taken from Kelvin in November 1940. By the time of the photos taken from Sheffield April & May 1941 the upper edge of the boot topping cut through the midpoint of the XXXIII mark. So the boot topping was 2' 6" wider then. The top of the boot topping remained at this level at the time of her sinking that November. One hazard encountered is that the full range of the draught marks was not always painted white, the uppermost ones sometimes being left HFG. Furthermore, how many were left HFG varied at different times! And finally an apology. It was the bottom edge of a draught mark numeral that indicated the vertical distance from the keel, not the midpoint, so a measurement in my earlier post above was 3" out! (Edit: As this thread has become something of a go-to Ark Royal reference I have now deleted the erroneous measurement.)
  7. EJ, I read the lowest draught mark on the ship in your photo (PoW) as XV The lowest draught mark on HMS Ark Royal at launch was XII. I have no image later than that from which to judge if this was ever altered but I suggest that this would have been unlikely.
  8. Crispin, if a may, good to see you back on task. Just to clarify and amplify a bit re what @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies has posted re the boot topping. My first comment to him was a general one, that some full hull modelers are not depicting the width of boot toppings nearly wide enough. The origin of the problem may well be erroneous kit painting instructions and/or modern illustrations and/or looking at photos of ships afloat and not realising that the thin black line visible at the waterline is merely the uppermost part of a much wider band most of which is hidden below. You can also be seriously misled by photos of a ship fresh into drydock where water friction has worn away most of the boot topping below the waterline but left relatively undamaged an upper strip that was above the waterline. My second comment to Jamie was that he needed to significantly increase the width of the boot topping in his first draft drawings. This he has now done based on some eyeballed judgement from photos and hence the above. But note that this depicts the level of the top edge (close to the lower scuttles) at the time of Ark Royal's sinking. I had since started doing a bit more digging to try to get some exact draught mark number information both for Jamie's drawings of Ark Royal at various stages of her life and also in anticipation of the obvious question you would want an answer to: What was the width at the time of the Bismarck action? The bottom edge of the boot topping was, as far as I can tell, always at the bottom edge of the XXI draught mark. However I had noticed that the width of the boot topping increased during Ark Royal's life, the level of the top edge moving upwards. I'm not sure yet whether or not Jamie's depiction above, which is as at the time of sinking, is correct for the time you are interested in six months earlier. This is therefore a sort of holding posting suggesting that you do nothing until I come back hopefully with a suggested upper edge number. Given that the draught marks are marked on the As Fitteds you will hopefully be able be to transpose the readings onto your drawing.
  9. Sorry Jeff but, as that appears on my screen, that is way off - much too pink. This will be closer: But Campbeltown may have used a mix that was both slightly less red and slightly darker.
  10. Given the date (pre CAFO 784/42) and the appearance (perhaps lighter than HFG but darker than FSG) Mountbatten's mix maybe?
  11. You can be sure that is not G45. At a glance it looks too dark and the degree of contrast with the draught marks and pendant number is too great. Moreover, given the orders then in force (see CB 3098R/43) white pendant numbers were to be painted where G20 and B30 were the background colour. On G45 the pendant numbers were to be G20 ie darker than the background. Yes, a canvas cover like this:
  12. I think that this was some form of local initiative, non-structural, canvas over metal frame, 'airlock' between the open deck and the access to the mess decks. They (as in practice they were both sides) are there in some photos, not in others so presumably could be erected and dismantled as required. I speculate that they were fitted when on winter arctic convoy work to try to keep the mess decks warm. In the clearer second photo below you can see what looks like it might be a canvas curtain rolled up at the top of the open opening: (They don't seem to have yet painted the canvas around the searchlight platform either in the original photo.)
  13. I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest that this is just a two colour scheme. I am working from a better quality image than the one at the link above: I see no difference in tone between the hull side's central panel (the one with the pendant number on it) and the panels at each end. Towards the stern it is the direction of the sunlight that is causing the lightness. The 'light' paint strip at the top edge of the bridge looks the same tone as the lighter hull panels, not lighter still. The more forward facing bit of the funnel is the same. The lightness of the rest of the funnel is down to the strong sunlight shining on and reflecting off it. The side of the B mounting 4.7" shield is the same. The small light panel with the curved bottom on the deckhouse below B 4.7" appears slightly lighter than the hull panel below but the deckhouse side is vertical whereas the hull side below is perhaps sloping slightly inwards so will naturally be darker due to slight shadowing effect even if painted the same colour. I also think that the more aft facing area of the curved splinter shield beside B mounting shining brightly as it catches the sunlight tricks the eye creating a false impression of how light the paint really is in this panel. (I should perhaps add that I have other (private) photos of Offa in this scheme, not of very good quality, but they also suggest just two colours.)
  14. That's an easy one @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies ! : 30th December 1943 Fresh out of refit at a UK shipyard so B&G series paints no doubt. Given the light/white draught marks on the forwardmost and aft most hull panels, and given that the stern pendant number (not visible in this photo) was also light/white, I think these have to have been a paint darker than G45 so, say, B30...
  15. Hmm. I not sure that I agree with the 1941-42 dating for those photos from Ron Bell. This is Eyebright in 1941. No radar lantern, two masts and tall bridgehouse: This is Eyebright in January 1942 after her first refit. Note the mast is still forward of the bridge and the old-style angular-sided lantern for the radar: This is Eyebright emerging from her second refit 15 August 1943 with the mast now aft of the bridge and a new-style radar lantern. This is the configuration in Ron Bell's photos. Note the large black pendant numbers: I suspect that Ron Bell's photos actually show her sometime much later in 1943 or into 1944 given that the pendant numbers on the hull sides are now smaller sized and light-toned. In this photo (taken on the Foyle) the light-toned overpainting of the previously black stern pendant number appears to be wearing away revealing the original black underneath: A late 1943-1944 timeframe probably doesn’t have great implications for the potential colours discussed by @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies back in 2018 as the Canadians carried on with their versions of the MS&B series colours after the RN dropped them. But if any of the paint in the photos is still that applied at Baltimore it does open up additional exciting, if theoretical, possibilities!
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