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Lord Riot

RAF Sabre F.4

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At some point I'm planning on building my Airfix Sabre F.4, but I must say I'm rather underwhelmed by the decals. Apart from the shark mouth, they're a little boring in my opinion and an odd choice given that in the 50s there were a few Sabre squadrons with lovely garish unit markings!

 

Fortunately, when I bought the kit from eBay, it very nicely included an Xtradecal set with markings for a few different Sabres (though frustratingly no serials!!) I'm thinking of doing a 92 sqn one, with a preference for an XB... serial and silver undersides.

 

I was wondering if anyone may be able to help with the following questions:

 

Did XB772 (or XB727) ever fly with 92 sqn?

Were any XB serialled Sabres silver underneath, or all that awful (imo) 'PRU blue'?

 

 

Edited by Lord Riot

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The general rule is that only aircrafts in the XD range had silver undersides, however there is phtografic evidence of aircrafts with XB serial and silver undersurfaces, although with the higher demarcation typical of PRU Blue painted machines. One such machines was XB542/Z of 66 Sqn, there may have been others but in any case it would have been a rare thing

Neither of the aircrafts you mention ever flew with 92 Sqn, aircrafts in the XB range known to have flown with this unit are XB677/H, XB694/N, XB757/R, XB837/K, XB982/B, XB998/H.

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I've built the Academy kit as RAF Sabre F.4 using the Modeldecals sheet. The sheet includes a wealth of info & pictures together with modelling comment. It has markings for almost all RAF Sabre sqns - but you have to fix the serials & cockades the size of which is the instructions. B)

 

I was about to buy the letters & numbers Modeldecal sheet... and then I found several RAF fonts! Since I often do my own decals I decided to print my own. The cockades... after carefully surveying my decal stash I found exactly the right roundels (well printed & centered too!) on Hannant's-reprinted FROG decals! :D

 

I can show some (stinky) pictures of said model if you wish - I would not want to hijack your thread :dalek1:

 

Cheers, Moggy

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Most if not all the sabres in rafg had pru blue undersides, the 2 UK based squadrons had natural metal undersides.

 

Phil

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Would the natural metal be the same as I used on a Swift (Humbrol 56 'aluminium') or is it silver (H11)? The aluminium is actually darker than I expected.

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12 minutes ago, shatters said:

Most if not all the sabres in rafg had pru blue undersides, the 2 UK based squadrons had natural metal undersides.

 

Phil

No RAF sabres had natural metal undersides , they were High Speed Silver ie. painted aluminium

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1 hour ago, Lord Riot said:

Sure Moggy, let's see it!

Sorry for the delay!

I built it 2014 Here it is:

 

VVri3O4.jpg

 

HeLrfUi.jpg

 

wKcPlyr.jpg

 

c48rWur.jpg

 

YfKjYUK.jpg

 

Cheers, Moggy

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A bit late to the party but I hope I can clarify. RAF Sabres wore three basic schemes, but with a couple of exceptions:

 

1. 'delivery' scheme - overall NMF (high visibility insignia red wingtips and tailplanes fro delivery) - retained by a number of non-squadron units (A&AEE, CFE etc)

2. Fighter Command colour scheme (UK-based XD-serial a/c) - undersides were painted silver, not NMF.

3. 2ATAF 'Germany' colour scheme (XB-serial a/c) - higher underside demarcation which was cerulean blue (often referred to as PRU blue).

 

But there were a couple of exceptions. XB542/Z of 66 Sqn was, as far as I can ascertain, the only XB-serialled RAF Sabre to have silver undersides, but retained the 2ATAF 'high' demarcation:

 

XB542

 

Here are a few other Fighter Command (92 Sqn this time) 'XB' Sabres, which show that they retained their full 2ATAF schemes, despite now being under Fighter Command:

 

XB757/R:

XB757

 

XB694/N:

XB694

 

Though some XB-serial 2ATAF Sabres ended up with Fighter Command squadrons, for political reasons the reverse was not the case. However if you want something different, how about XB543? It was the first camouflaged Sabre in Europe (before Canada began camouflaging its Sabres) and had the lower demarcation but with cerulean blue undersides and NMF drop tanks & pylons:

 

XB543

 

But if you want to go a bit further, XB930 of 'A' Flight 130 Sqn is my favourite. I think it's the only RAF Sabre with nose art: in this case 'Zeke' (named after the cartoon character Zeke Midas Wolf). Code letter 'B' on a red disc. As far as I know it hasn't been modelled or decalled before.

 

XB930b

 

XB930

 

XB930c

 

Colour image is a still from a contemporary cine film taken at Bruggen. It is based on this, but with flying boots, bone dome, parachute etc:

 

XB930d

 

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1 hour ago, Andrew Jones said:

No RAF sabres had natural metal undersides , they were High Speed Silver ie. painted aluminium

If you can find them older tins of Humbrol Metalcote matt aluminium aren't too baud a match for High Speed Silver; newer ones seem to be a bit grey.  Alternatively your local motor accessories shop might be able to supply something like the famed Nissan Silver which is also reputed to be a reasonable likeness.

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SJ,

 

You ARE da man! Great schemes! Thanks so much for taking the time to find and share them, as always! (BTW, is there paint on your FJ2?)

Mike

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Another thing to look out for is the Sabre wing configuration. I have the 'Model Decal' decal set for RAF Sabres and it shows XB Sabres with slatted and 6-3 wings. So I would say, check photo references for your aircraft.

 

Stuart

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Looks like I'm late to the dance again, hope the following helps,

XB727 Went to 422Sq RCAF,then to 234 Sq as Y,then to italy.This aircraft flew with both types of wing.

XB772 Went to 112 Sq as P,to USAF May 1957,then to Yugoslavia.Only flew wit the 6-3 wing.

XB837 K and XB694 N were both with 92 Sq and had the high demarcation PRU blue undersides and flew with both types of wings, there may be other 92 Sq machine with blue undersides.

As far as I am aware most 92 aircraft had HSS undersurfaces, as always a photo is the best form of ref.

 

Cheers

Ian

 

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This is brilliant, thanks so much for the info! Especially those images Sabrejet!

 

Moggy, your rendition of XB956 is absolutely superb! If mine ends up anywhere close to that I'll be delighted.

 

I'm thinking I might go for an XD serial, silver undersides, possibly 92 sqn, but would need the decals for the serial numbers. 

Edited by Lord Riot

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21 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

 

I'm thinking I might go for an XD serial, silver undersides, possibly 92 sqn, but would need the decals for the serial numbers. 

XD727/D of 92 Squadron is often illustrated and is covered on the Modeldecal sheet.  She had 6-3 wings and High Speed Silver undersides with a low demarcation.  There's a nice photo of her on (I think) very short finals that suggests that the initially gloss paintwork had weathered to just short of mattf.  The paint also appears to have faded somewhat, but uniformly, without the darker boundaries around panel edges often depicted on models: the most obvious panel joints are along the upper fuselage, the front and rear spars and the gun access doors but they are not heavily delineated.

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The only things I can add to this is that there was no colour called cerulean blue in the RAF inventory, it's nomenclature (inventory name) is PRU Blue (probably Blue, Photographic Reconnaissance Unit knowing the perverse naming convention of the MoD) , cerulean blue is a description, also all RAF Sabre cockpits and seats were black.

Edited by Wez

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7 hours ago, stever219 said:

There's a nice photo of her on (I think) very short finals that suggests that the initially gloss paintwork had weathered to just short of mattf.  The paint also appears to have faded somewhat, but uniformly, without the darker boundaries around panel edges often depicted on models

Thanks Steve!  I wish more people would actually look at how a real aircraft weathers.

 

Sabrejet, thanks again for your generous contribution with lots of photos, click and save has been going into overdrive.

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8 hours ago, stever219 said:

XD727/D of 92 Squadron is often illustrated and is covered on the Modeldecal sheet.  She had 6-3 wings and High Speed Silver undersides with a low demarcation.  There's a nice photo of her on (I think) very short finals that suggests that the initially gloss paintwork had weathered to just short of mattf.  The paint also appears to have faded somewhat, but uniformly, without the darker boundaries around panel edges often depicted on models: the most obvious panel joints are along the upper fuselage, the front and rear spars and the gun access doors but they are not heavily delineated.

 

Thanks Steve, that's brilliant info. I may well go for 727 then. Cutting up the kit serial I'd only need a letter D decal from somewhere too!

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10 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

 

Thanks Steve, that's brilliant info. I may well go for 727 then. Cutting up the kit serial I'd only need a letter D decal from somewhere too!

I may have 2 copies of the Modeldecal sheet: if I have you can have the Ds from the second sheet.  I'll check when I get back from work this afternoon and let you know.

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1 hour ago, stever219 said:

I may have 2 copies of the Modeldecal sheet: if I have you can have the Ds from the second sheet.  I'll check when I get back from work this afternoon and let you know.

Fantastic, thanks Steve!

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Got a pair of Ds,o,   for you!  Modeldecal allow you to do XD727,  XB837/K and, IIRC, XB934/N, the latter pair with PRU Blue undersides.  PM me your address and I'll get your bit in the post for you.

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On 2/12/2017 at 8:38 PM, Lord Riot said:

Would the natural metal be the same as I used on a Swift (Humbrol 56 'aluminium') or is it silver (H11)? The aluminium is actually darker than I expected.

 

General comment: I don't know why Airfix insists on suggesting Humbrol 56... it's quite a dark colour and while it's very useful for a lot of other things, IMHO doesn't really represent well the paint used on postwar British aircrafts.

The suggested Humbrol matt aluminum is a very good paint for this scheme the old Cytadel Mythril Silver acrylic was great but unfortunately it's OOP. There are of course plenty of other options in the many paint ranges available, in any case you want something lighter than H56

Edited by Giorgio N

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Thanks Giorgio. That Humbrol 56 does look dark. 

 

I’ve since got a spray can of metallic silver, which should do for RAF 1950s undersides and for an early USAF Starfighter hopefully!

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