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Malta Spitfire Colour Scheme


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Hi,

 

I am currently building the Italeri Spitfire Vb and intend to paint it in the colour scheme of the 229 Squadron Spitfire Vb EP606 'X-P' flown by F/O. Ryan Gosling RCAF, Spring 1943.

 

The research is from Steve Nichols 'Malta Spitfire Aces' which suggests the scheme is dark earth and extra dark sea grey with azure blue undersides, would I be correct in interpreting this as

 

Extra dark sea area - humbrol 123; dark earth humbrol 29 and azure blue humbrol 157 (or is it humbrol 89)?

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

Russ

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Humbrol 157 is wrong for Azure Blue, being too dark in hue, and is a better representation of Light Mediterranean Blue.  Colourcoats does a better Azure Blue  (and for that matter better versions of the other colours too).  If you are stuck with Humbrol then perhaps 89 or even 65 will be a closer representation.

 

There is room for some doubt whether the Extra Dark Sea Grey was actually Dark Mediterranean Blue, which we now know was used on earlier Spitfires on Malta.  EDSG does appear significantly bluer in period colour photos so perhaps the difference in real life was less than that which comes from the tins today.  If I was modelling a similar aircraft today, I'd stick a little light blue into the EDSG to simultaneously tone it down a little and appear bluer.  However these later deliveries have yet to have the deep research recently given to the earlier ones, so no-one can be definitive.

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Humbrol reformulated 157 to be a closer match so if you have a recent tin it'll be right. There's a thread here that contains a photo of colour chips for Azure Blue and Light Mediterranean Blue so you can check.

 

John.

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Seriously? F/O Ryan Gosling? I don't doubt you at all, but interesting considering the Canadian actor from London, Ontario. I wonder if there's a family connection.

 

Richard

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3 hours ago, RussG said:

I am currently building the Italeri Spitfire Vb and intend to paint it in the colour scheme of the 229 Squadron Spitfire Vb EP606 'X-P' flown by F/O. Ryan Gosling RCAF, Spring 1943.

 

The research is from Steve Nichols 'Malta Spitfire Aces'

may not even be EP606

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=32993

Quote

I have one question to Spitfire Vb EP606. Canadian Ace Les Gosling had shot down minimal 2 planes on first half 1943. Colour profile of this plane is in Osprey Malta Spitfire Aces with code X-P. In this book is one poor quality photo of Spit with X-P code. The serial is not visible but according to caption it is EP606.
But on web http://www.spitfires.ukf.net/p039.htm is:

EP606 VbT CBAF M46 6MU 5-7-42 52MU 9-7-42 Empire Clive 19-7-42 aircraft abandoned after takeoff HMS Furious in Med Sgt McDougal safe 17-8-42

the same info is in book Spitfires over Malta.

Some idea what serial could have Spit X-P? Or could be EP606 repaired?

 

 

Can't see anything in the Malta Spitfire Vs - 1942  camo and  markings. (though this is early 43)

@tonyot  maybe able to add more information,   but much about Malta Camo is educated guesswork,  so often it's best guess,  and as such if your happy with your scheme....

I'm not finding any images online so can't comment on the suggested scheme.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, johnd said:

Humbrol reformulated 157 to be a closer match so if you have a recent tin it'll be right. There's a thread here that contains a photo of colour chips for Azure Blue and Light Mediterranean Blue so you can check.

 

John.

 

Is that correct John? So 157 has now been changed to match Azure Blue? That's awesome news. The only thing I'd found with the old 157 was it appeared to be a near perfect match for the blue bands on training missiles (TGM-65 and training AIM-9Ls) used by the RNZAF Strike Wing!

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Yes, I believe at least one of the BMers petitioned Humbrol and they changed it. It was a year or two ago (I think it may be documented in the thread I linked to) so it should be readily available by now. I bought one about six months ago. Not all modellers found it to be good news though, as 157 was replaced with the new recipe rather than add it as a new number. Therefore, we lost Light Mediterranean Blue which I don't think is available elsewhere.

 

John.

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I'll pick some up on my next paint run as I'm a Humbrol man. In the past I've used 89 mixed with a minuscule amount of red which wasn't bad at all but lovely if there's an out of the tin colour now.

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9 minutes ago, rod mcq said:

They stopped making it about 18 months ago.

Words fail me.

 

However, there's still stock out there and there are good alternatives (Colourcoats and Xtracolour) so it's not a disaster.

 

John.

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12 minutes ago, rod mcq said:

Only problem is that, having corrected 157 Azure Blue, Humbrol decided to stop production of the colour.  They stopped making it about 18 months ago.

 

Oh well back to the old 89 and the red then!

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My local shop still has it so don't give up just yet.

 

I just checked the tin, it has the same colour of lid as the old one, i.e. matched to Light Mediterranean Blue so don't disregard it on that score. The only difference I could find between old and new pots was on the sticky label on the bottom, the old one said A1701, the new one AA1701. I don't know if this is significant.

 

John.

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No John that sort of info is really useful so many thanks for that. I'll have a look when I next pick up some paint. I've got a Tomahawk planned shortly (just have to do the 100th anniversary RAF group build first and also a Sabre) so this is great stuff. Thanks once again.

 

Tim

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43 minutes ago, johnd said:

[...] we lost Light Mediterranean Blue which I don't think is available elsewhere.

Sovereign Hobbies do a Light Mediterranean Blue... https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats-sea-british/products/acrn23-light-mediterranean-blue

7 minutes ago, johnd said:

My local shop still has it so don't give up just yet.

 

I just checked the tin, it has the same colour of lid as the old one, i.e. matched to Light Mediterranean Blue so don't disregard it on that score. The only difference I could find between old and new pots was on the sticky label on the bottom, the old one said A1701, the new one AA1701. I don't know if this is significant.

 

John.

I think the Humbrol Azure Blue that matches RAF Azure Blue has a Union Flag on the tin.

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11 minutes ago, johnd said:

My tin doesn't have a Union Flag on it...

I have a two tins, one with and one without a Union Flag: the one without is more like Light Mediterranean Blue, the one with is a good match for Azure Blue. Perhaps the tins have been changed since I bought one.

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Well I just went over to my regular model shop's site and alas no 157 anymore, as Rod above mentioned the fact that they've stopped making it means it seems to have hit here.

 

TBH, I'm not too fussed, I think we can sometimes get a bit silly about perfect shades of colours and definitely for those in environments which would quickly change due to sun exposure/dust/weathering/etc. I've actually been pretty happy in the past using 89 mixed with very small amounts of various reds and sometimes a little white.

 

I don't think I'll bother looking for the perfect Azure Blue anymore because I have a sneaking suspicion that it probably didn't exist exactly in the field.

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It's almost like we didn't do all that work on Azure Blue a while back :D

 

To summarise about Humbrol enamel:

 

If it's this type of tin, it's the new shade:

 

P1000463_zpsf0qrd9rd.jpg

 

Don't get hung up on the colour of the lid, it has never been changed:

 

P1000464_zpsospkzmlc.jpg

 

If you have an older style of tin, the final Humbrol/first Hornby design like this:

 

1571_zps652f3c73.jpg

 

 you need to look at the label on the bottom to decipher what's in the tin without actually opening it:

 

31886749-3cb8-440b-afd8-ce428d2da324_zps

 

The key piece of information is the 6-digit code at the bottom of the label. If it's there then it's a Rustins produced paint and will be the new shade. If it isn't there it's a ColArt produced shade and will be the old colour.  This has proved to be the case in every tin examined so far so it seems to be a robust standard. This is the inside of the tin in the photo above:

 

1574_zpsa8b2bc34.jpg

 

For what it's worth the revised colour got Nick Millman's seal of approval and that's plenty good enough for me. Hopefully Rustins will spray up a new batch of lids in the correct colour the next time 157 gets to the top of the production schedule. There's still plenty of it about meantime.

 

By the by, *old* 157 isn't that good a match for Light Mediterranean Blue. Humbrol 96 is closer. Old 157 is apparently a good choice for USN Blue Grey for your Wildcats and Devastators.

 

HTH

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

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