Jump to content

Wheel-well colours - BoB Spitfire, Hurricane, & Defiant


Recommended Posts

Greetings All,

 

Undoubtedly this question has been asked before, but could those more knowing than myself advise on the correct colour for the wheel-wells of in-service Spitfires, Hurricanes, and Defiants during the Battle of Britain? I have one each of the excellent new Airfix 48th scale kits, but find the colour instructions for details such as this to be a little lacking.

 

Many Thanks in advance,

 

Chris Preston,

Victoria, BC,

Canada

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hurricane - painted aluminum

Defiant - painted aluminium

Spitfire -  inner leg part, ie inside wing,  painted aluminium.

the outer part with the wheel, underwing colour.

This last statement will cause some controversy,  as this has been discussed,  and it depends on if you consider Supermarine considered it inside or out.

I have not seen  a photo where when this is CLEARY visible (as often  in shadow)  it is anything but the underside colour.

 

I have posted a lengthy  series of images  before showing this.....lets see if I can find the post.

 

It should also be noted that  APART from the Spitfire cockpit to the seat bulkhead, and the Hurricane cockpit upper side walls and rear bulkhead,  the rest of the internals are painted aluminum.

There was a switch later in the  war,   but BoB era.

I assume the same goes for the Defiant.

 

Off to hunt the Spitfire images...

 

HTH

found it....

 

On 28/11/2017 at 02:34, Troy Smith said:

 

 

On 27/11/2017 at 19:52, Graham Boak said:

I suggest that early Spitfires would have Aluminium wells - probably black/white inside to the doors.

 

On 07/01/2015 at 20:52, Edgar said:

It rather needs a little lateral thinking, since Supermarine drawings advocated interior areas (except the cockpit and engine bearers) should be silver, but it's a rather moot point if you consider the wheel wells to be interior areas, or not. Oleo legs and door interiors started off silver, but anything could (and did) happen in the first two years of war.

Given that the Defiant, Hurricane and Typhoon wells were all silver, I tend to go with the idea that the Spitfire would have been the same (cue photo of Spitfire with black & white wells,) but the block and noose are now obsolete, so it's really your choice.

 

 

the few photos where the outer wheel part of the well are visible suggest otherwise.

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234974004-question-for-wwii-aircraft-manufacturing-experts/&do=findComment&comment=1851442

spitfire.jpg

 

Spitfire1602a.jpg

 

There is a press vist to 602 sq at Drem in winter 39/40, with a series of clear pics

this is interesting and I've seen more shots from this series bigger, note the leg portion has a light edge, so is catching the light, but the wheel part is dark,

RAF-Drem-004.jpg

Other black winged Spitfires show blacklegs/wheel hubs

Spitfire-RAF-602Sqn-LO-Cpl-Mcfarlane-A%2

 

 

other photos in the link show the wheel part of the well to be the underside colour,  which make sense if it becomes classified as an 'external area'  

 

No one has yet produced a photo clearly showing a difference between the underside and outer well section.     

 

these show Black/white underside with aluminium gear legs, but white outer well (compare to rad side)

 

Spitfire-MkI-RAF-65Sqn-YTN-photo-taken-b

 

Spitfire-MkI-RAF-65Sqn-YTL-K9906-photo-t

 

this looks to be all aluminium underneath, again well is same as underside

Spitfire-MkI-RAF-65Sqn-with-damaged-righ

 

this Mk.II appears as to have Sky legs as well as well

658ea4e3ed87dc2ea37f092d6c4b536d--wwi-vi

 

There might be a shot of a part burnt out Spitfire on a French beach showing the wells?   

 

just found this

9d2c3dbc0e58abce7050969802b3162b--superm

 

 

PS  - film of a Spitfire daily inspection,   for training.

note at 4.50 the very clear view of the wheel wells, watch to 6.00.

wells are clearly white or black.

Also, from camouflage and markings, this look to be May 1940,  note yellow ring, but FACTORY standard underside in  Night/White/Aluminium.

 

and

here at 4.35,  mechanic cleaning port wheel well.  

 

 

At 7.20 there is another Spitfire,  and at this has "sky" undersides.  (making film at crossover from B/W to sky, early June 1940) 

note this is again the port side,  and well looks to be underside colour.

 

 

Final point, at 7.17 "Q" can be seen to have a name on the starboard side.

 

 

 

 

Shots later on show the same....

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

Shots later on show the same....

 

from @Etiennedup  invaluable Flickr

 

 

11119962003_7feac13528_o.jpgEngine overhaul   c1943. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

3269412203_34071282fc_o.jpgSpitfire P R Mk. XI by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

2527522690_910bba0d4e_o.jpgSeafire by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Now this:

 

 

... is a very interesting photograph for a variety of reasons! I may "borrow" that...

 

If you like that, you may also like this!

large_000000.jpg

Edited by Dave Fleming
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd absolutely LOVE to know the date that pair were taken. It's almost certainly the same aircraft, and whilst the colour of the chin is worthy of a muse in itself as it clearly isn't Sky, I really want to know if this photograph was taken prior to May 1943 because if it is, then the set taken by the photographer including this one:

 

967864fa-85c8-4bf5-841b-f9049a53c682.jpg

 

... are the only colour photographs I know of which capture the RN camouflage colour "B6", the light blue on the island. Looking for images of the ships doesn't help much. It will be very valuable to my naval work if photographs of Seafires captured what nobody bothered to record of the ships themselves.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There were a number of photographs of Seafires taken on HMS Indomitable when she was working up following her return from the US (after damage on Op Pedestal).  This would be very early in 1943.

 

As you say, three of the photos show Seafires (or the same one?) with Sky Blue under the nose, whereas the one behind in the last photo has Sky.  There has been a suggestion that this is linked to the removal of chin filters, but this isn't totally convincing.  However the actual air intake does appear dark on both Sky Blue and Sky aircraft, so something has been going on in this area.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

are the only colour photographs I know of which capture the RN camouflage colour "B6", the light blue on the island. Looking for images of the ships doesn't help much. It will be very valuable to my naval work if photographs of Seafires captured what nobody bothered to record of the ships themselves.

I got them off @Etiennedup  Flickr

so there maybe more,  'hidden' behind planes.

these are the Seafires

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=seafire

this looks to be from the same sequence

15676589572_14c798427c_o.jpgSeafire IIc,  c1942. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

16636868203_42d1298153_o.jpgSeafires , 1942. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

this maybe, but am posting up as has a good shot of the carrier in the background in an interesting scheme. (?)  I know almost nothing about ships.  

There is another photo from this sequence on the cover of Seafire, the Spitfire that went to  sea

the primer or bakelite base to the aerial mast is of note as well.

 

Note,  I found trying to search on flickr frustrating,  but had success on Etienne's pictures by  using the link above and then changing the last word,   ie 'hellcat' instead of Seafire.  

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=hellcat    

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=martlet

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=barracuda

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=swordfish

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=carrier

 

this is an Avenger

3375795516_feb8552afc_o.jpgLoading bombs. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

You might want  to PM Etienne as he may have others inn different  categories.

HTH

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/fleet-air-arm-during-the-second-world-war. There is a caption with this photo but take with a pinch of salt..  HMS Indomitable May '43.

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205143522. HMS Victorious 5-12 May '42 but the Island structure is different to you photo in post #6.

 

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205145992. This one looks more promising but the photo is a mirror image (unless the back of the Island is the same as the front).  The island looks similar in structure to the picture in post #6.  This is captioned as HMS Victorious September '42..

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205146317. Seafires on Victorious again.  Op Torch Nov 42..

 

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Troy, for your dazzle camouflaged carrier you might try www.naval-history.net. It looks to me like an escort carrier, probably US-built Ruler Class.

As for the original poster's question, I would tend to go with all silver, or silver leg portion and underside colour wheel portion for the Spitfire.

Edited by JosephLalor
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I'd absolutely LOVE to know the date that pair were taken. It's almost certainly the same aircraft, and whilst the colour of the chin is worthy of a muse in itself as it clearly isn't Sky, I really want to know if this photograph was taken prior to May 1943 because if it is, then the set taken by the photographer including this one:

 

967864fa-85c8-4bf5-841b-f9049a53c682.jpg

 

... are the only colour photographs I know of which capture the RN camouflage colour "B6", the light blue on the island. Looking for images of the ships doesn't help much. It will be very valuable to my naval work if photographs of Seafires captured what nobody bothered to record of the ships themselves.

 

They are usually dated as early 1943 - one artucle postulated that the Seafire cowls may be that same B2.......

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JosephLalor said:

Hi Troy, for your dazzle camouflaged carrier you might try www.naval-history.net. It looks to me like an escort carrier, probably US-built Ruler Class.

From comparison of the camouflage pattern with photos in David Hobbs' Royal Navy Escort Carriers, I think it is HMS Biter (Archer Class).  She arrived in UK in June 42 and was allocated to the Home Fleet.  On 22 Oct 42 she sailed for the Med and Operation TORCH.  On return to the UK she allocated to Western Approaches Command in April 43 and spent the rest of the war operating with Escort and Support Groups.  From this the most likely date would appear to be June-Oct 42. 

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

From comparison of the camouflage pattern with photos in David Hobbs' Royal Navy Escort Carriers, I think it is HMS Biter (Archer Class).  She arrived in UK in June 42 and was allocated to the Home Fleet.  On 22 Oct 42 she sailed for the Med and Operation TORCH.  On return to the UK she allocated to Western Approaches Command in April 43 and spent the rest of the war operating with Escort and Support Groups.  From this the most likely date would appear to be June-Oct 42. 

 

good spot!

large_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=photograph THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. © IWM (A 16879) IWM Non Commercial License

(A 16879) IWM Non Commercial License

HMS BITER moored at Greenock after a successful operation against German U-Boats.

 

16636868203_42d1298153_o.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Troy Smith said:

HMS BITER moored at Greenock after a successful operation against German U-Boats.

On the assumption that it is correct, this caption is important: the reference to operations against U-boats moves the date out into the period with Western Approaches Command.  Depending on the weight we can attach to the word "successful", it may have been taken after 25 April 43 when Biter's aircraft and depth charges from the destroyer Pathfinder and Biter herself (yes, you read that bit right!) sank U-203.  Or after 11 May 43 when her aircraft participated in the sinking of U-89.

Edited by Seahawk
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming that the sideview of Biter was taken at the same time as that of the fleet carrier with Biter in the background.

 

If the fleet carrier is Indomitable, then the photo has to be before Operation Husky.  Indomitable was torpedoed on the 16th July and returned to the US for repairs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Assuming that the sideview of Biter was taken at the same time as that of the fleet carrier with Biter in the background.

Yes, indeed.  I'm sorry: I thought that caption applied to the colour photo - should have clicked on the links to check.  

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
×
×
  • Create New...