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PRU Beaufighters


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I got my copy of the new "Wingleader Photo Archive" book on the Beaufighter yesterday, and it has yet another photo of one of these aircraft (apparently T3301 or T4705 were both modified). They also speculate the camo color was a locally-mixed dark blue, applied at 102 MU at Abu Sueir, Egypt.

 

An interesting detail is that the tire bulges on the undercarriage doors are cut away, i.e., the mainwheels are partially exposed when retracted.

 

Another thing I've learned from Wingleader's books, is that colored lens filters can produce downright startling changes in how color contrasts appear in black-and-white photos (their recent Hurricane book has several fascinating examples of the same view being shot with different filters).

 

 

Edited by MDriskill
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10 minutes ago, tonyot said:

No worries Mark,..... I would say that T3301 was later re painted into a lighter colour, as per many other PR aircraft in the Middle East,..... for dawn or twilight ops. Looks like a dirty off white or pink to me,..... it has also had later DH props fitted too. 

Thanks, Tony, that makes perfect sense - I hadn't got as far as comparing the differences in the actual airframe, but that would be logical.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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4 minutes ago, MDriskill said:

I got my copy of the new "Wingleader" book on the Beaufighter yesterday, and it has yet another photo of one of these aircraft (apparently T3301 or T4705 were both modified). They also speculate the camo color was a locally-mixed dark blue, applied at 102 MU at Abu Sueir, Egypt.

 

An interesting detail is that the tire bulges on the undercarriage doors are cut away, i.e., the mainwheels are partially exposed when retracted.

 

Another thing I've learned from Wingleader's books, is that colored lens filters can produce tremendous changes in how color contrasts appear in black-and-white photos (their recent Hurricane book has several examples of the same view being shot with different filters, very interesting).

 

 

Brilliant, thanks! Looks like another book order is imminent (don't tell my better half! :)) - I've got the WL Hurricane book I can say I am enormously impressed with the standard of publication, so it's not going to be a hardship!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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The upper of Tony's photos show the lightening effect of ortho film on blue, the medium/dark overall colour is probably a dark blue as described in several places for 2 PRU.  The Malta-based photos give probably a better idea of the tone.  It is distinguishable from a nightfighter by the lack of radar and having B type roundels on the fuselage.  It also lacks the squadron and individual codes that would be expected of a squadron aircraft.  I also suspect that in this period a nightfighter would be in Special Night and thus much scruffier.

 

The lighter one is most interesting.  Not least because the PRU Pink was a low-level scheme so not ideal for a PR Beaufighter. yet other options appear unconvincing.  White for a Coastal role?   Stripped down to a light grey primer ready for repainting?  Meh...

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24 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

The upper of Tony's photos show the lightening effect of ortho film on blue, the medium/dark overall colour is probably a dark blue as described in several places for 2 PRU.  The Malta-based photos give probably a better idea of the tone.  It is distinguishable from a nightfighter by the lack of radar and having B type roundels on the fuselage.  It also lacks the squadron and individual codes that would be expected of a squadron aircraft.  I also suspect that in this period a nightfighter would be in Special Night and thus much scruffier.

 

The lighter one is most interesting.  Not least because the PRU Pink was a low-level scheme so not ideal for a PR Beaufighter. yet other options appear unconvincing.  White for a Coastal role?   Stripped down to a light grey primer ready for repainting?  Meh...

Hi Graham,

 

thanks for your post: that makes perfect sense regarding the camo colour and this in respect to the concurrent night-fighter scheme.

 

I did wonder, for the lighter scheme, whether a repaint in standard PRU had taken place and that this had been heavily sun-faded. The tones of the camo schemes relative to the roundel blues in the two different sets of photos if noteworthy, which is why I wondered about film type used. I think I recall reading in one of Paul Lucas' articles in SAM concerning Malta camouflage, that a lighter roundel blue had been used on occasion where the camo scheme had been a dark blue to provide a contrast for the national markings.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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7 hours ago, MDriskill said:

Another thing I've learned from Wingleader's books, is that colored lens filters can produce downright startling changes in how color contrasts appear in black-and-white photos (their recent Hurricane book has several fascinating examples of the same view being shot with different filters).

 

 

Another probability, based on my photographic experience (Both USAF & personal), is that they used Orthochromatic Film, which was more prevalent in WW2. It showed colors in different shades of gray than the now standard Panchromatic Film.

https://thedarkroom.com/orthochromatic-vs-panchromatic-film-a-photo-comparison/

Larry

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12 minutes ago, ReccePhreak said:

Another probability, based on my photographic experience (Both USAF & personal), is that they used Orthochromatic Film, which was more prevalent in WW2. It showed colors in different shades of gray than the now standard Panchromatic Film.

https://thedarkroom.com/orthochromatic-vs-panchromatic-film-a-photo-comparison/

Larry

Hi Larry,

 

Many thanks for your post and the link - I have never been able to remember which way around Ortho and Pan films work, but it's quite obvious after reading the linked article!

 

Looking again at the photos Tony posted on page one, the first three are difficult to gauge, but I would guess at Pan as the red centres to the roundels are grey toned and not that dark.

 

On the last two photos, the red and blue of the roundels are both very dark and indistinguishable. That the roundel red centres are so dark suggests Ortho film. Presumably also, Ortho film would render a blue fuselage lighter as it is blue sensitive, if I read the article correctly?

 

Would you agree? I have no experience in photo interpretation, so any thoughts would be welcomed!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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12 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

Hi Larry,

 

Many thanks for your post and the link - I have never been able to remember which way around Ortho and Pan films work, but it's quite obvious after reading the linked article!

 

Looking again at the photos Tony posted on page one, the first three are difficult to gauge, but I would guess at Pan as the red centres to the roundels are grey toned and not that dark.

 

On the last two photos, the red and blue of the roundels are both very dark and indistinguishable. That the roundel red centres are so dark suggests Ortho film. Presumably also, Ortho film would render a blue fuselage lighter as it is blue sensitive, if I read the article correctly?

 

Would you agree? I have no experience in photo interpretation, so any thoughts would be welcomed!

 

Cheers,

Mark

Hi Mark,

That sounds about right. The fact that Orthochromatic film was so widely used during the WW2 time frame, is why it's so hard to figure out colors of camouflage & markings. And don't get me started on "Colorized" B+W photos. :angrysoapbox.sml:

I had my USAF Photo Sensor Systems Technician training back in 1971, which is where I learned about it. But that was a LOOOONG time ago, and all the 35MM B+W film I personally used over the years was either some form of Panchromatic film or Infrared film. With IR film, it's pretty much impossible to figure out what the real colors are.

Larry

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The film/filter cannot have affected the overall blue but not the blue of the roundel.  Nor have I ever seen PRU blue that faded.  It is also very uniform, and quite clean.  Nothing like a well-used paint finish.  My money is on a repaint to a lighter colour, but not on any particular one.

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On 23/07/2021 at 08:47, Graham Boak said:

The film/filter cannot have affected the overall blue but not the blue of the roundel.

Thanks, Graham,

 

that's the flaw in the hypothesis, of course :D but it strikes me as very odd just how dark the entire roundel is - it looks almost like a hinomaru - which I think you'll agree is unusual for both Ortho and Pan film types? Anyway, I'll leave it to those better qualified than me to judge!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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1 hour ago, MACALAIN said:

a2d96d5fe5e9b952cc6402a5dfb23db8.jpgspacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.png

 

My PRU Beaufigther MTO, kit Airfix, Alley Cat conversuion and DK decals

 

Alain 

Wow, Alain, now that is niiiiiiiiiiice!!! Have you got any more photos of the build? And which AlleyCat conversion was it that you used?

 

DK Decals seem to have completely revised that particular sheet, as the more recent version has mainly different aircraft.

 

Thank you very much for sharing!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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1 hour ago, 2996 Victor said:

Wow, Alain, now that is niiiiiiiiiiice!!! Have you got any more photos of the build? And which AlleyCat conversion was it that you used?

 

DK Decals seem to have completely revised that particular sheet, as the more recent version has mainly different aircraft.

 

Thank you very much for sharing!

 

Cheers,

Mark

Hello Mark, I have no other picture of this plane. For the Alley Cat set, it is  the AC 72041 c, and the DK set is the 72024.

 

Alain

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25 minutes ago, MACALAIN said:

Hello Mark, I have no other picture of this plane. For the Alley Cat set, it is  the AC 72041 c, and the DK set is the 72024.

 

Alain

Thanks for the additional info, Alain, it's hugely appreciated!

 

I've got the High Planes Models equivalent set for horizontal tail planes, plus their fin/rudder correction set.

 

Yours is a great model, Alain, one that I'll be emulating at some point. One more question: how did you determine number and positioning of the camera ports?

 

Cheers,

Mark

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On 22/07/2021 at 14:26, MDriskill said:

I got my copy of the new "Wingleader Photo Archive" book on the Beaufighter yesterday,

Happy to say I've placed a sneaky order for a copy of this yesterday - very much looking forward to it's arriving, especially if its as good as the Hurricane volume!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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4 hours ago, 2996 Victor said:

Thanks for the additional info, Alain, it's hugely appreciated!

 

I've got the High Planes Models equivalent set for horizontal tail planes, plus their fin/rudder correction set.

 

Yours is a great model, Alain, one that I'll be emulating at some point. One more question: how did you determine number and positioning of the camera ports?

 

Cheers,

Mark

I don't remember where I had find where to post the camera. But it is certainly somewhere in this blog. Perhaps an article from Tonyot??

 

Alain

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On 22/07/2021 at 13:56, tonyot said:

Not sure if these will help,....

 

These have been obtained from various public sources and shared here for info purposes to help people out,...... as usual,.... any problems and I will simply delete them;  

 

2 PRU,.....

 

You`ve already seen this one thanks to Glenn;

 

 

Here are some others,.....

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers

          Tony

 

The second one (from airliners.net) will cause issues, if you change it to a link then all shoulde be fine with it

 

see this post

 

 

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1 hour ago, MACALAIN said:

I don't remember where I had find where to post the camera. But it is certainly somewhere in this blog. Perhaps an article from Tonyot??

 

Alain

Thanks again, Alain, that's brilliant! @tonyot, do you have any pointers?

 

Cheers,

Mark

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6 minutes ago, Circloy said:

The second one (from airliners.net) will cause issues, if you change it to a link then all shoulde be fine with it

 

see this post

 

 

Hi @Circloy, many thanks for this - we wouldn't want to fall foul of Airliners.net! @tonyot, could you please edit in a link?

 

Cheers,

Mark

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1 hour ago, 2996 Victor said:

Hi @Circloy, many thanks for this - we wouldn't want to fall foul of Airliners.net! @tonyot, could you please edit in a link?

 

Cheers,

Mark

I knew there would be a problem,.... I`ll delete the lot Mark...... just trying to help!

 

Edited by tonyot
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2 hours ago, tonyot said:

I knew there would be a problem,.... I`ll delete the lot Mark...... just trying to help!

Hi Tony - You didn't need to delete them all. Airliners.net is a bit precious about their photos (for good commercial reasons) so all you had to do was to replace that particular Airliners .net photo with a link to it on their site, which they are fine with, and we could all enjoy the benefit of your excellent communication. You are truly a font of useful info and pictures so please keep it up!

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8 hours ago, tonyot said:

I knew there would be a problem,.... I`ll delete the lot Mark...... just trying to help!

 

 

5 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

Hi Tony - You didn't need to delete them all. Airliners.net is a bit precious about their photos (for good commercial reasons) so all you had to do was to replace that particular Airliners .net photo with a link to it on their site, which they are fine with, and we could all enjoy the benefit of your excellent communication. You are truly a font of useful info and pictures so please keep it up!

Hi Tony,

 

Ed is exactly right! You're always a font of information and happy to help with any questions, so please don't think I was being difficult! 

 

I'd read the thread linked by @Circloy and didn't want you or the forum to fall foul of Airliners.net! As Ed says, they seem to be very protective of their material to the point of litigation.

 

Is there any chance you could replace the photos in your post, please, and just insert a link to the Airliners.net image?

 

Thanks again for the information you posted, Tony, it's enormously helpful and hugely appreciated.

 

Kind regards,

Mark

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Hi Tony,

 

I hope you don't mind that I've re-posted the photos you so kindly provided, and added a link to the Airliners.net photo. So, hopefully in the order that you added them:

 

On 22/07/2021 at 13:56, tonyot said:

Not sure if these will help,....

 

These have been obtained from various public sources and shared here for info purposes to help people out,...... as usual,.... any problems and I will simply delete them;  

 

2 PRU,.....

 

You`ve already seen this one thanks to Glenn;

1. http://PrBeau.jpg

 

On 22/07/2021 at 13:56, tonyot said:

Here are some others,.....

2. Link to PR Beau Mk.Ic photo

 

3. http://pr-beau-2.jpg

 

On 22/07/2021 at 13:56, tonyot said:

T3301 seen later....in a lighttr colour scheme,....note the later propellers too.  

It served with 2 PRU, 272. 252, 201 Gp CF,AHQ E Med. CF.

4. http://Beaufighter-Mk-I-2-PRU-272-252-201-Gp-CF

5. http://Beaufighter-Mk-I-2-PRU-272-252-201-Gp-CF

 

On 22/07/2021 at 13:56, tonyot said:

EDIT,.... I don`t know why I bother trying to help,..... I`ve had to delete them,..... again,..... sorry. 

Tony, please don't be disheartened - your knowledge and help is appreciated by your fellow BM members and everyone would be so much the poorer without your brilliant input.

 

Thanks again and kind regards,

Mark

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