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Mike Starmer

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  1. MEGO 1273 has nothing to do with painting of vehicles. The order number is 1272 which requires all vehicles to be a single colour of Light Stone No.61. Regional Commands may, with GHQ assent, apply one other suitable colour for their region. The patterning type on the artwork Crusader is similar to a local unofficial brigade applied scheme like that of the 22nd Armd. Brig. GHQ Cairo issued a new MEGO No.1650 in December 1942 ratifying the October instructions for a new basic colour of Desert Pink with Dark Green disruptive patterning. This order included a set of disruptive diagrams for particular types of AFVs and certain classes of other vehicles. Small vehicles, rear echelon and ACVs need only be the new basic colour. ACVs will continue to be disguised as heavy lorries. The Crusader artwork is close to drawing No. A/141/1 but misses the patterning on the rear of the turret and incomplete on the rear hull areas. Post May 1943 Valentine artwork is pure guesswork, since Valentines were not used as gun tanks in Italy. The drawing is loosely based on images on those versions used in Tunisia by 8th Army. The type of patterning is similar to the unofficial style used on Valentine IIs and IIIs of 23rd Armd. Brig. in mid 1942, well before the Alamein battle. The Grant in question is in Italy in 1944 so forget any BS.381 colours. It looks to me to be Light Mud and black, these being the common colours handy and in general use.
  2. I cannot comment on any of those versions of Light Stone as I haven't seen any. Sovereign Hobbies is a bout the best based on my mix done against an original 1930 swatch in 1980.
  3. The Light Mud colour is not identical to SCC.5, it is a locally produced colour based on SCC. 5 as MESCC. No.3. These 23 MESCC colours were a separate range all for use in the Middle East for camouflage purposes. Some of these had BS.381 equivalents or matches whilst others were matched or based on the BS.987 range. None of those colours were named and so far no document has been found to correlate both sets of colours. The 145 RAC Churchills with those rough stripes usually believed to be local mud may actually be daubed with Light Mud paint. The photographs were taken at about the time it was introduced in theatre without access to instructions for application or drawings. The new Shermans of 26th A.B. are finished in random fashion with this light colour as spots, streaks or patches over US Olive Drab. It is noticeable that the Churchill in background of the parade are all one colour and very nicely finished, even the ends of the barrels are polished. War notwithstanding, bullshit reigned. The new Shermans are all shiny. probably oiled over Olive Drab. The new patterns were issued in April 1943. These were for Shermans, Grants, Crusaders, Valentines, Priest and armoured cars (in the drawing an Otter) Carriers and several softskins. Photographs I have show that the Valentines and Crusaders in this pattern were only used by units training in Egypt and Palestine as were Grants too but Grants used as Scorpions and command tanks in Italy did carry the pattern. Stuarts are noticeably missing from the set of drawings but photographs show that early on they carried the cancelled 1942 pattern in new colours. Those recce versions used by the South African armoured division in late 1943-44 carried a version of the Sherman pattern as did the Polish M10s in 1945. This adaptation of scheme was specified in the MEGO. This order also allowed that vehicles from USA or Canada in dark colours could have the appropriate pattern applied using Light Mud thus leaving Olive Drab or possibly SCC.2 on Canadian vehicles as the disrupter. Vehicles in dark colours from UK i.e. SCC.2/1A or SCC.14 need not be repainted. Churchills were not deployed to Italy until late spring 1944 when they were all overall green, presumably new from UK in SCC.15. They did not have disruptive patterning. The Grant named'Monty' is not in either of the prescribed patterns for the type. It has probably been tarted up for a media session in the middle east colours, commonly done for publication, being obsolete anyway. It is not commonly known among publishers and artwork artists for decal companies that two distinct disruptive pattern existed for Shermans, thus you will see combinations of both patterns plus some imaginative guesswork too. There are a number of photographs of AFVs in some publications with misleading captions indicating use at or about the Alamein period which actually carry the 1943 pattern. In fact the Italy campaign colours are something of a dog's breakfast. Just recently Canadian orders for 1st Canadian Army Corps of June 1943 surfaced about a scheme for use in Sicily which I had never previously heard of. Now I am searching for images to verify its use.
  4. I hope the the artwork for the Firefly is not what Airfix are recommending the modeller to finish the model as. It is totally fictitious, seems to be based on some vague notion of the scheme used in Italy in 1943. Fireflys were finished in plain SCC.15 Olive Drab, British shade that is. Don't these companies do any proper research?
  5. Australian Matildas were overall ASC 'J' Khaki Green. This is similar to the British colour but slightly lighter and more green. Humbrol Mix: 5 x H150 + 1 x H100 + touch H33. In Revells; 3 x R361 + 1 x R360 + 1 x R84. Do not be tempted to to substitute the equivalents of the se colours into a mix. It doesn't work. trust me.
  6. The serials on Manchesters, Stirlings, early Lancasters and other bombers were Sky Grey. There is a paragraph in the Defiant section of 'Camouflage and Markings' by Jones and Goulding which states this. This is backed up by signal X.798 11 November 1940 regarding the night finish on Defiant fighters. This order required the serials and codes to be painted with Sky Grey in line with night bombers of the period. I have seen an order to this effect long ago that about the time that bombers began to have their black undersurfaces continued to the higher demarcation, about July and August 1940, Sky Grey was to be used for codes and serials. it may have been in one of Ian Huntley's articles. which I must dig out. Take a look at Wellington, Whitley and Hampdens dated mid 1940, they appear to have off-white codes although some codes look darker, likely Medium Sea Grey.
  7. As stated Airfix has differing recommendations for colours but this is often down to the release date of the kit. What was correct and when governs the colour chosen. The basic colour used in Nth Africa was RAL 8000 Gelbbraun. There isn't a Humbrol colour which is even close to that. A mix 50-50 H83 and H84 is close enough. In Tamiya 2 x XF59 + 1 x F2 is nearest. There is a tendency of modellers to paint the desert colours too dark, generally they weren't. Humbrol 93 desert yellow was originally called 8th Army desert yellow, but in fact it wasn't that either. H93 is the postwar Light Stone for British vehicles so for DAK it was very wrong. The Me 109 colour is RLM 79 which is a pinkish tan, H118 with a touch of white is nearest to that. There were designated colours for desert use by all nations. These were laid down in theatre orders and the correct paints could only be drawn from stores and vehicles were painted in base workshops by tradesmen, not vehicle crews, there was no alternative source. German vehicles were desert painted in Sicily before dispatch although original 1941 deployments were still in Dunkelgrau RAL 7201. Hence British intelligence reports of 'black' German tanks.
  8. The side marking seems to be a simple unit ID badge. Dark base colour with white or yellow 244 then 34 in centre with wing at bottom. The 34 might indicate the squadron or the vehicle number.
  9. Be careful with US Olive Drabs. The 1943 JAC decided to adopt another Olive Drab for ongoing use on vehicles which is lighter than the No.9. This is designated class 204/#319. From what I can gather this only became more general use on late built M4A4E8 Shermans, M18 Hellcat and M26 Pershing. Humbrol 155 is too dark and brown for US vehicles. My best mixes for No.9 are 2 x H116 + 2 x H155 and 4 x H225 + 1 x H33. There is of course a slight differences between these colours. That is not important since 100,000 gallons from multiple companies were produced and as long as the final colour was within acceptable limits colourwise colour precision was not a problem.
  10. Eau-de-Nil is a postwar colour for cab interiors. Restorers keep making this mistake time and again. Wartime cab interiors were the same as the external colour. Closed office bodies were gloss Pale Cream No.52 on ceiling and upper side walls. The lower side walls up to about 3 or 4 feet were covered with brown or dull green scuff-proof linoleum material whilst the floors had the same type of material often with an anti-skid surface.
  11. It is quite possible that the Jeep is still in Light Stone from desert use in 1943. There was no requirement to repaint all vehicles in the new scheme and colours. Second line, LOC and support vehicles were allowed to remain in their original colours until repainting was due or necessary. This is set out in the 1943 MEGO of June. By the same ruling, vehicles deployed from UK and supplied from Canada in UK colours, need not be repainted unless they were issued to fighting units or required to directly supply those units.
  12. Images of Churchill AVRE in British Armour in North-West Europe' Vol.1 show these with only the trackguard rounded front removed. It was only later when the the autumn rains created mud that the centre sections were removed.
  13. For what it it is worth, I mixed the late 1930s Light Blue 23 and Yellow No. 4 thus; No.23 is 4 x Humbrol 48 +1 x H120 + 1 x H89. No.4 4 x Humbrol 46 +4 x H69 + 1 x H225. These are very close to the swatches in Archer, the Official Monogram Army Air Service & Air Corps Aircraft Color Guide;
  14. Why don't you buy the Humbrol RLM colours, RLM 74 No.245, RLM 75 no.246 and RLM47 no.247 for underneath?
  15. So digging through my files, R3637 is from block 3590 - 3639. I found a picture of R3600 in A pattern. Presuming this fits the expected run of allocations then this suggests that R3637 is in B pattern.
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