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Troffa

Spitfire FR Mk18 camouflage question..

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Ok, I go out of the room for one minute and when I get back someone has discovered another late marque spitfire camo scheme, namely the post war "desert scheme" of Dark Earth and light slate grey uppers over medium sea grey undersides. See this freightdog decal sheet over at the big "H":

http://www.hannants.co.uk/pics/FSD48003_3.JPG

I have seen the photographs (black and white of course) of other 208 sqn aircraft and I am not so sure that these a/c aren't in the standard day fighter scheme of Ocean grey and Dark green over medium sea grey.

http://www.spyflight.co.uk/images/JPGS/iafvraf/fr18s.jpg

can anyone shed any light on this desert scheme and its development?

cheers,

Troffa

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You need to get Paul Lucas' Post War Fighters Overseas book from SAM to see where the scheme developed from, but basically it was introduced following clashes between RAF fighters and Israeli Spitfoires in similar camouflage - both Spitfires and Tempests used it.

Key to id'ing it from the Day Fighter Scheme is the lack of Sky band.

And after Lucas' book was published (5 or 6 years ago now IIRC) there was evidence emerged from the 70s in the form of some panels from mk 18 Spits recovered form the Middle East:

46-Cowlings-01-001.jpg

Cowls include parts from TZ210, TP385, TP278 . Pic from Mark 12 on the Flypast forum

Edited by Dave Fleming

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hi Troffa - the scheme is legit, and one of the most attractive IMHO too.

My refs are all boxed up for decorating at the moment, but if memory serves The RAF Sqns in Palestine in the late 40s wanted something to differentiate their machines from the Egyptian and nascent Israeli AFs hodge podge of WW2 aircraft. The feeling was that the LSG/DE over MSG scheme would give good camo over the semi desert conditions and make them less like the 2 opposing airforces they were increasingly sitting in the middle of.

The RAF also reverted to the red spinner on these schemes - harking back to the WW2 desert airforce scheme - again as an easy ID aid.

My Tempest Mk VI wears similar markings -

tempmain.jpg

Do a Spit Mk XVIII - it'll look great!

Cheers

jonKT

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You need to get Paul Lucas' Post War Fighters Overseas book from SAM to see where the scheme developed from, but basically it was introduced following clashes between RAF fighters and Israeli Spitfoires in similar camouflage - both Spitfires and Tempests used it.

Key to id'ing it from the Day Fighter Scheme is the lack of Sky band.

Thanks for that Dave, I have the sister title -UK Based 1945 to 50 but not the overseas one.

I clocked the lack of Sky band, but was convinced by the (yellow?) leading edges in the pic I linked to earlier.

I presume then that initially some aircraft would be in the day fighter scheme before the transition to the new desert scheme?

I will track down a copy of the book.

by the way, That is quite a picture, took me a minute to notice that its sitting on someones front lawn and blocking half the road !

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hi Troffa - the scheme is legit, and one of the most attractive IMHO too.

My refs are all boxed up for decorating at the moment, but if memory serves The RAF Sqns in Palestine in the late 40s wanted something to differentiate their machines from the Egyptian and nascent Israeli AFs hodge podge of WW2 aircraft. The feeling was that the LSG/DE over MSG scheme would give good camo over the semi desert conditions and make them less like the 2 opposing airforces they were increasingly sitting in the middle of.

Do a Spit Mk XVIII - it'll look great!

Cheers

jonKT

Thanks for that Jon, will dig out the slate grey then, think i have an old tin of xtracolor knocking about somewhere!

nice tempest!

cheers,

Troffa

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