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Rick Brown

Light Slate Grey or Dark Green? 1949 "Desert" scheme.

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Chaps

Just finishing off a FR MKXVIIIe Spit (TZ203. 208 SQN, Fayid, Egypt 1949) and the Freightdog decal sheet suggests Dark Earth, Light Slate Grey and Medium Sea Grey.

I've googled around and read a few of my books but I can't see any reference to using Light Slate Grey instead of Dark Green for this scheme.

Freightdog quote a reference source of "p.52 RAF Fighters 1945-1950 (overseas based), Paul Lucas. Guideline Publications"

Can anyone help?

Cheers,

Rick.

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The best reference would be the one quoted by the decal sheet, where extracts from 208 Sqn ORB and an Air Ministry document are mentioned.

The former mentions aircrafts repainted in "light brown and light green with sea grey undersides" between august and october 1949.

The latter states that MEAF was given permission to use a scheme with uppersurfaces in dark earth and light grey with undersurfaces in medium sea grey.

Lucas concludes that the light grey mentioned is light slate grey, a colour that fits well with the description in the 208 Sqn ORB (light green) and that was easily available from stores.

The same information is contained in a couple of articles that appeared in Model Aircraft Monthly, one about the Tempests and one about the Spitfire XVIII.

Light slate grey was later used on the top surfaces of another camo scheme with medium sea grey, so its use as part of a camouflage scheme is not that strange.

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Believe it. This is the postwar Desert Scheme not Temperate Land. Also seen on Tempests. If you need a more thorough description, it's in the book.

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Thanks for clearing that up chaps!

I would love to look it up in the book , if I had it.........

Cheers,

Rick.

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IMHO that is a book that's worth trying to find. It deals with a short period that however is very interesting in terms of changes in camouflage while at the same time being lesser known than others.

I think the book can still be found relatively easily, a quick check on google showed a couple of online bookshop that have it.

It should be said that part of the content of this book has been used to write a number of articles on MAM. so some information is available through a number of issues of this magazine.

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Yep thats the book, I got mine 2nd hand for a fiver.

Nick

Sounds like my kinda price!

Cheers all,

Rick.

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Pick up the others as well if you can. I can't speak for the Israeli volumes, and the "Bridgewater" books require caution in some areas, but the other ones in the series, including the second Mosquito one and Britain Alone (not shown), really have to be in the collection of anyone interested in RAF WW2 camouflage.

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HI Rick

the "Camouflage & Markings 5: RAF Fighters 1945-1950 Overseas Based" is interesting, but regarding the Spit 18's specifically in the desrt Scheme, it has 2 or 3 Spitfire 18 profiles without photos, but the photos appear in Alfred Price - The Spitfire Story IIRC, [sorry books not to hand] if you want to see the photos they are drawn from.

I always like to see the photo if possible ;)

HTH

T

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Sounds like my kinda price!

Cheers all,

Rick.

You can pick them up cheaper if you trawl evil bay and look on 2nd hand kit sites like the one I got both this book and the BoB volume again for a fiver ( Kits for cash aka Heritage models). I want the 'home' volume to go with it.

Nick

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.. the "Bridgewater" books require caution in some areas, ...

Yes, definitely the weak links in the series. Agree with you about the various Lucas books.

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but does the book explain how/why the fairly obscure Light Slate Grey came into use in the first place, also on the short-lived (?) LSlateG/MSG/PRU Blue scheme ? Apart from FAA shadow shading (which I've just learned may have continued a lot longer than I thought), the only RAF use I readily see would have been the shadow shading of Coastal Cd. biplanes like the Walrus, therefore I do not quite see why it would have been readily available from depots as Giorgio states.

If some colour pictures (even with the ususal caveats) of Canberras I've seen that have been claimed to be in the scheme incoorporating LSlateG (Op. Musketeer) and others in B&W are anything to go by, the LSlateG as it presents itself there wasn't particularly light. I'm not disputing, but the whys and if at alls of LSlateG in post-war RAF camo scheme use have puzzled me since I first read about its use in the Delve et al Canberra book.

Edited by tempestfan

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According to Paul Lucas and Vasko Barbic, the colour scheme was employed as a way to differentiate the airframes from those of the Israeli air force, which (presumably) would have been mainly in Day Fighter Scheme.

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Thanks Edgar, but that would only explain the localized adoption in the region, and leave me none the wiser re the reported use on Canberras, Venoms and (?) Vampires.

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Light Slate Grey was also used for the codes on Coastal Command types and as such was still in use in the immediate postwar years.

The scheme you refer to was discussed in the April 2007 issue of Model Aircraft Monthly. It was used on Canberras, Meteor FR.9s, Vampires and probably Hornets. It was supposed to be used on Venoms too but in the end it was superceded by a later scheme and I believe no operational Venom ever carried late slate grey.

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When I built my Meteor in the LSG/ MSG/ PRU Blue scheme seen below;

finished2_zpsd2cbfbc5.jpg

I used a well known colour photo of Vampires finished in the same scheme as my main colour reference but after using Xtracolor Light Slate Grey at first,... it looked far too insipid alongside Med. Sea Grey,... so I darkened the LSG colour progressively until I arrived at the above which is the best match for the photo that I could manage.

However,....when building a Tempest in the post war desert scheme I used LSG straight from the tin and came up with this;

26_zps5e4a33e1.jpg

Which would seem to be a good match,....but only based on black and white photos and colour side views,.....I believe that there are photos of a Spit 18 recovered from a Kibbutts in Isreal which show the original desert coloured paint on the cowlings?

I don`t know if this will help anybody but this was my take on the same colour in two different schemes, maybe it had weathered darker on the jets or maybe it was a different batch of paint,..who knows but the colour on the Vampire`s would appear to be half way between Xtracolor LSG & Dark Slate Grey,...could it be plain `Slate Grey'?

All the best

Tony

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