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Blue / White / Red or Red / White / Blue?


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So this should be the perfect forum for this question:


Soon I will be marking & painting the fin flash on my Short Crusader. I’m looking for an authoritative reference to confirm what order the colours should be in - front to back - R/W/B or B/W/R?


The reason I ask is because I recall seeing some discussion on this issue pass me by some time ago on BM (unfortunately I am having no luck w search function) in which I seem to recall that someone stated that at some point in the inter-war years (mid to late ‘20s?! the RAF reversed the order ...


The Crusader was painted up ready for Venice in 1927.  I thought I might look to its more famous teammates that year - the Supermarine S5 - for guidance ... but unfortunately I seem to return coloured profiles of the exact same machines with the colours in opposite order to each other!


Any assistance much appreciated!




p.s the kit decal has red at the front, but I’m reluctant to take their word for it.


p.p.s could I be right that the 1927 S5’s have blue at the front, which was then reversed to red at the front for the 1929 S6’s?

Edited by greggles.w
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Robertson's "Bombing Colours: British Bomber Camouflage and Markings 1914-1937" quotes the date of the colour reversal as being ordered on 15 July 1930. To save us all dragging it off the shelf, a helpful person has quoted it here



So on that basis, blue first, red at the back in 1927.

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10 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

So on that basis, blue first, red at the back in 1927.

This is terrific - thanks for taking to time to clarify that for me & for the link.


So it seems I wasn’t far off re the Supermarine.  To correct the record:


- 1927, S5, Venice, red at the back;

- 1931, S6B, Calshot, red at the front.


And for me, as you say, 1927, Short Crusader, red at the back ... the opposite to the decal supplied with the kit!!


Certainly has proven to me that inferring the colour from the tone in B&W photos is of little use!


 Thanks again,



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On 6/22/2019 at 5:35 PM, Work In Progress said:

That's some serious work you're doing!

.. yes, but I really don’t take it too seriously - it’s my timeout.  I have a rule to only work on it when I feel like it, no matter how rare such an opportunity may be I won’t push myself to labour on it.  Similarly I have a rule to stop - at whatever stage - if I feel anything other than ‘in the moment’ contentment.

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  • 4 months later...

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