Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Test Graham

Hurricane "spaghetti" scheme: I said it was blue!

Recommended Posts

Quote function not working, but the linked photo of the 3 sq RAAF Hurricane, not only is the demarcation well shown, but note the similarity of tone of wing leading edge base colour and UC door.

HurricaneS.jpg

great pic.

T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps shedding some light, and depending on the length of memories of senior staff in the Middle East, there's a 1937 report in Kew, from Aden, on comparative trials between two schemes, in which, while choosing a six-colour scheme, the author recommends that the leading edge should have irregular patches of the green painted on it, to break up the stark demarcation between the upper and lower colours.

It goes on to recommend that aircraft should always be parked facing in the direction from which the enemy reconnaissance could be expected, since the edge-on aspect made them more difficult to see, because observers tend to look ahead, not at what they are flying over.

Edgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's very interesting, and worth adding that this was what was done by the Italians, wrapping their upper-surface camouflage around the leading edge onto the lower surfaces. As an aerodynamicist, I'd point out that there is a good reason not to have a paint seam directly at the leading edge, as it was likely to trip the laminar flow. However, this does not seem to have been a consideration in this case.

What we see on these Hurricanes is the reverse of the recommendation, with the lighter undersurface wrapped around the upper. The predominant colour on the leading edge is the light underside not the darker green/brown which would be the case had this recommendation been followed. This strongly suggests that it was not a defensive measure against low-flying attackers/recce.

I also find it doubtful that a competent recce pilot would have a preferred direction of approach, but that's an operational matter.

I've returned to the book that started this thread, Chris Shores new A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945.The photo there is not specifically dated but placed on January 25 1941, the text referring to the collection of these aircraft from Abu Sueir on the 23rd. However, on an earlier page dated 4th November 1940 is the personal mount of the C.O. of 274 Sq. This is P2643/YK. No individual code but the Sq Ldr pennant under the cockpit. The aircraft appears to be in TLS but the underside/a light colour is swept well up the nose - the leading edge of the wing is not visible. This does appear to be an earlier, perhaps the earliest, appearance of this effect on a North African Hurricane, and it appears to lack the mottle effect of dashes of darker colour, suggesting that this could have been a slightly later variation. The precise dating of the photograph, if known, is not stated.

Edited by Graham Boak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read the entire thread with interest and a growing sense of wonder.

As a newbie here I have to ask; Do any of you actually finish painting a model or do you just argue about the colour scheme that it will eventually be painted in?

I asked a simple question (I thought) about the VVS camo schemes during the GPW in a different thread and, interesting as all the replies were, it did make me wonder if any models were ever finished or whether the builders were rendered incapable of continuing through sheer indecision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've finished five models this month, four of them Spitfires, two of them actually started this month (or very nearly so). Whereas not typical of a month's activity, it shows that it can be done. That one of them was bought in 1984 and another in 1991 is representative of my normal hobby work attitudes, not delayed by arguing about the (in these cases quite normal) colour schemes. Incidentally, or not so, the other one was an Li2.

i do have to thank to other members of this board for assistance this month with details of the Spitfire Mk.Va, but this was about radio fits and markings, not colours. Others are helping me to correct my misuse of the transfers on another. It is the strong interchange of information - if at times heated! - that makes this board and others like it worthwhile. Yes it takes time - everything takes time. Yes you could do more modelling without it, if time spent on the computer was entirely interchangeable with time at the modelling board (when these are distant), but less well-informed modelling. You came to the board looking for assistance with research: you aren't going to get it from people who don't spend their time looking at conflicting sources and trying to find conclusions.

PS in the field of aviation history, there is rarely such a thing as a "simple" question. Or perhaps a simple answer to it, anyway.

Edited by Graham Boak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw mention of the RNFS Hurricane Mk.I`s earlier in the thread and for what it is worth here is my model of one of these (Hasegawa 48th Mk.I kit), in what I thought at the time was a decent reproduction of the colours using Light Stone as a base coat for the leading edges as per ground vehicles and tanks, although I`ve always thought that some also had a painted aluminium base colour too;

hs-1.jpg

Having tried to follow the thread I`m very confused now!

Cheers

Tony O

Edited by tonyot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read the entire thread with interest and a growing sense of wonder.

As a newbie here I have to ask; Do any of you actually finish painting a model or do you just argue about the colour scheme that it will eventually be painted in?

I asked a simple question (I thought) about the VVS camo schemes during the GPW in a different thread and, interesting as all the replies were, it did make me wonder if any models were ever finished or whether the builders were rendered incapable of continuing through sheer indecision.

Guilty as charged I'm afraid. I'm one of those whose responses to comments about colours tends only to confuse and complicate matters.

The problem is that it is difficult to separate the discussion of which hobby paints to use from discussion about the original colours which they are supposed to represent. Even were the site to provide a dedicated historical section for 'real' colours - as opposed to hobby paint colours - the inevitable overlap would arise, and vice versa. And also, paint colours are almost always an integral part of any modelling project which happens to be the topic of queries and replies. Even where colour is not the primary purpose of the thread it often comes up during it.

Therefore in the responses to questions about paint colours you are likely to get the whole diversity of modelling approaches which range from "I use x and it looks great", through "No-one really knows anyway so as long as it looks about right" and "It's your model do what you want", to an obsessive need for absolute accuracy or to make sure the model conforms to the dreaded, but often mythical, "consensus". Then there is the question of 'scale colour' which no-one agrees on anyway, neither the requirement nor the best means to achieve it.

All I can do is apologise for contributing to making life difficult and promise myself - again - to stay away from contentious threads.

Regards

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guilty as charged I'm afraid. I'm one of those whose responses to comments about colours tends only to confuse and complicate matters.

The problem is that it is difficult to separate the discussion of which hobby paints to use from discussion about the original colours which they are supposed to represent. Even were the site to provide a dedicated historical section for 'real' colours - as opposed to hobby paint colours - the inevitable overlap would arise, and vice versa. And also, paint colours are almost always an integral part of any modelling project which happens to be the topic of queries and replies. Even where colour is not the primary purpose of the thread it often comes up during it.

Therefore in the responses to questions about paint colours you are likely to get the whole diversity of modelling approaches which range from "I use x and it looks great", through "No-one really knows anyway so as long as it looks about right" and "It's your model do what you want", to an obsessive need for absolute accuracy or to make sure the model conforms to the dreaded, but often mythical, "consensus". Then there is the question of 'scale colour' which no-one agrees on anyway, neither the requirement nor the best means to achieve it.

All I can do is apologise for contributing to making life difficult and promise myself - again - to stay away from contentious threads.

Regards

Nick

No apologies necessary Nick, yes we can all be a bit guilty of becoming obsessed with various modeling issues, but your comments, as well as those of others, add to the historical discourse (debates?) in a very important way. I, and I am sure others, have always found your input to be very valuable. It is up to the individual modeler to not get too caught up in the minutiae of historical information and choose the path where they are most comfortable with their modeling. The bottom line is, and has always been IMHO, the individual modeler must build for themselves and not others. For those of us who enjoy the discussions, and just "want to do it right" as much as that can be reasonably done, feel free to continue sharing your expertise with those of us who find it valuable and interesting. People like you, and other contributors to numerous to mention, are why I enjoy this site so much.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guilty as charged I'm afraid. I'm one of those whose responses to comments about colours tends only to confuse and complicate matters.

The problem is that it is difficult to separate the discussion of which hobby paints to use from discussion about the original colours which they are supposed to represent. Even were the site to provide a dedicated historical section for 'real' colours - as opposed to hobby paint colours - the inevitable overlap would arise, and vice versa. And also, paint colours are almost always an integral part of any modelling project which happens to be the topic of queries and replies. Even where colour is not the primary purpose of the thread it often comes up during it.

Therefore in the responses to questions about paint colours you are likely to get the whole diversity of modelling approaches which range from "I use x and it looks great", through "No-one really knows anyway so as long as it looks about right" and "It's your model do what you want", to an obsessive need for absolute accuracy or to make sure the model conforms to the dreaded, but often mythical, "consensus". Then there is the question of 'scale colour' which no-one agrees on anyway, neither the requirement nor the best means to achieve it.

All I can do is apologise for contributing to making life difficult and promise myself - again - to stay away from contentious threads.

Regards

Nick

You are only 'guilty', Sir, of being helpful in the extreme, and your expertise, and willingness to share it, are much appreciated. Even those of us often willing to revert to a 'looks about right to me' standard benefit from getting a better idea of what 'right' ought to be.

"Research is not complete till your confusion is."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll chip in here & say that if it wasn't for the comtribution of Nick in the main but also others who've taken part in the frequently informative, occasionally "spirited" ;) threads on colours in these pages, I'd feel a lot less well informed than I feel now. I don't claim experten status but I'm happier in my own mind that I' am coming from the position of being able to make a reasonably informed colour choice now. I guess I've distilled out of the discussions what I feel I need & while some of the more techical stuff still goes over my head, some seeps in too & contributes to my knowledge, so Nick, please keep it up, it adds to the whole in a very tangible way imho.

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read the entire thread with interest and a growing sense of wonder.

As a newbie here I have to ask; Do any of you actually finish painting a model or do you just argue about the colour scheme that it will eventually be painted in?

I asked a simple question (I thought) about the VVS camo schemes during the GPW in a different thread and, interesting as all the replies were, it did make me wonder if any models were ever finished or whether the builders were rendered incapable of continuing through sheer indecision.

Speaking purely for myself, there is some truth to your allegation. Research and learning about the subject has always been an integral part of "modelling" for me. I've even suggested that really the model was just an excuse (or a catalyst) for more study. Have I put something aside because I wanted to know more about the subject I was wanting to model? Yep! Am I totally unable to build a model because I'm wracked with indecision? I would say no, but then again I don't have much evidence to support my claim! Do others somehow manage to build models? Go look at the "Work in Progress" page and the "Ready for Inspection" page, for starters.

Welcome aboard, by the way- you might find Britmodeller a somewhat corruptive influence, but considering you came here asking questions, you're probably doomed anyway- have you heard of a thing called "AMS" yet?

bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob pretty much nailed that one. As far as "modeling paralysis" goes, yes you can get so caught up in technicalities to the point that you won't build a model until "everything is just perfect" like having the right resin and PE parts, paints etc. and even ten you might find something else that strikes your fancy. The last model I completed was three months ago, an RAF P-47. I have a Me/Bf 109-f on deck, interior all done up, and I haven't touched it in a month, yet I spend more time on this site than I do at the modeling bench. It's all good, every modeler has their own approach. We who spend a seemingly inordinate amount of time on this site love modeling, but we also love military aviation, particularly that of the WWII period. Sometimes the interest in one of the topics on this site helps to motivate us towards building a kit. Once again, it is all up to the individual modeler. Happy modeling.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one am very happy that members like Nick (& many others) are so willing to share their expertise.....I may not understand it all, but it is appreciated nevertheless.

Oh.....And the bun-fights are good fun too! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!

There are other good threads about Spaghetti camo at Britmodeller ( see for example:

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234931280-documentation-on-desert-hurricane-spaghetti-middle-east-blue/?hl=%2Bspaghetti+%2Bhurricane ) but thought this observation might fit better here.

Recently at TOCH forum (http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/) "edwest" posted links to E-Bay photos. Amongst them this link for a personal photo album:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Hammer-Fotoalbum-Luftwaffe-DAK-Afrikakorps-Technik-einheimische-etc-Hammer-/161081907180

Scrolling down there is a Hurricane wreck which seems to have starboard wing with the spaghetti camo. But if the photo has been taken in "Ain el Gazala" area it is quite late, like 1942? Or is there some other explanation? My knowledge of the Northern Africa operations is minimal. There is also photo of a trimotor wreck (Italian ?) presumably at the same airfield, too. Is it possible to verifiably identify the location and time?

Cheers,

Kari

Edited by Kari Lumppio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trimotor wreck is a Savoia Marchetti S.79 and in another photo a Breda Ba.65 wreck is also visible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horning in on the last text by JMChaldek, this seems to make sense. This probably was not a factory applied finish, but a field modification. Someone had to have gotten creative out in the field to come up with this. So if you use the premise it was to initially confuse your opponent from a front on view, using captured Italian paints seems like a logical stepping stone. This really seems like a good idea generated from a night before bit of drinking and convincing a crew chief he really should try it out. Reminds me of the brilliant idea to do a tiger scheme on a Huey because it works for tigers in the jungle doesn't it. And, it looked really cool sitting on the pad. However, in practice, a green and black helicopter really doesn't blend into the sky making a very attractive target for the people looking up and shooting.

Okay, I'm bad. Note to self, in the future, make sure you have gone all the way to the bottom of the posts, not just the 3rd page before you chime in. My post above seems a bit late and now off topic. Sorry.

Edited by georgeusa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was neither factory nor field - it was applied at the Maintenance Unit in the Nile Delta to a wide range of Hurricanes, and even at least a couple of Fulmars. There would be no reason to use Italian paints.

I don't go with the premise about confusing the enemy anyway: it doesn't make sense because enemy aircraft didn't look like that. The Italians had, if anything, the uppersurface colours wrapping down around the leading edge, and not the lowersurface colours wrapping up. I see it as reducing visibility head-on. You can argue whether this was for air-to-air or ground-to-air visibility, but ground-to-air doesn't make a lot of sense either on carrier-borne Fulmars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if the colours used were silver/light blue with purple blue or green (or whatever contrasting colourswere used) the intention would have been to disrupt the aircraft front view when attacking either airborne or ground targets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

just catching up with this thread especially as I fancy doing a Fulmar after the Swordfish presently being prettified with paint.

Only speculation but the blue-grey-purple combination is perfect for both a cloudscape background and the colour recession effect on distant landscape/hills, where soft grey-blues/purples dominate - "the blue remembered hills... " etc. Purples and mauves were very common camouflage colours on German WW1 aircraft from 1917 onwards, possibly as response to smoke-affected backdrops.

Easy to knock up from available stocks of grey (Medium Sea Grey, Sky Grey), insignia red and blue, and white.

Cheers,

GrahamB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×