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WV908

Falklands Sea Harrier paint question

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Can anyone shed some light as to the details surrounding the paint schemes that were present on deployed sea harriers during the Falklands war? Specifically regarding changes during the conflict?

 

I understand that on departure from the UK, not all the harriers were present on Invincible and Hermes. Those that were wore the EDSG over white scheme. The ones that arrived via 'merchant ships' were in the low-viz scheme. 

 

There then later seems to be a mix of low-viz and pure EDSG SHAR's on the carriers, with very little evidence of the EDSG over White scheme. 

 

Any photos after this show the 'post war' versions of the low Viz and EDSG schemes with full stencilling. 

 

I'm mainly interested in when / how the SHAR's were repainted during the conflict, which harriers were on the initial deployment and to what extent were markings applied. Most of the issue is tracking down dates for the available photos online. A lot of the carriers and SHARs seem to be post '82

 

Thanks in advance,

  WV908

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

The white undersides were painted over en route with EDSG.

Thanks Graham - just the undersides repainted then. Is it likely the paint would be a close enough match, would it have been brush painted and what was the deal with the codes painted on the nose?

 

I've also seen contest over what is counted as EDSG, with references to the low Viz scheme being LSG and the darker SHAR's only being MSG, with 'modern' EDSG not fully coming in to play until after the war. 

 

Sorry it's a lot of questions, but I'd like to do a diorama of a SHAR being repainted on the deck of Hermes.

 

Cheers,

  WV908

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I have a good friend who was aboard Hermes.  They painted the bellies of the EDSG/white airplanes with fresh EDSG (it was the actual paint, not some “close enough” mix - it was standard EDSG out of the tin).  Likewise they painted out the whites of the roundels with out of the tin Roundel Blue.  

 

Not sure what you mean by “what’s the deal” with the nose codes.  What is your question?

 

Sadly, Ian passed on a couple of years ago, far too young (younger than me!).  I wish I had talked more to him about his time in the Falklands.

Edited by NorthBayKid

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7 minutes ago, WV908 said:

I've also seen contest over what is counted as EDSG, with references to the low Viz scheme being LSG and the darker SHAR's only being MSG, with 'modern' EDSG not fully coming in to play until after the war. 

 

 

That's drivel.  EDSG has been a standard FAA paint since the late 30s.  There's no such thing as LSG.  I don't recall clearly, but think the Low-viz scheme was Medium Sea Grey.  If there were lighter undersides they will have been Light Aircraft Grey, but I really can't be sure they weren't just overall MSG.

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23 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

That's drivel.  EDSG has been a standard FAA paint since the late 30s.  There's no such thing as LSG.  I don't recall clearly, but think the Low-viz scheme was Medium Sea Grey.  If there were lighter undersides they will have been Light Aircraft Grey, but I really can't be sure they weren't just overall MSG.

The lo-vis SHARs were, IIRC, Barley Grey overall with Light Aircraft Grey below wings and tailplane.  If anyone has the relevant Modeldecal sheet the answer is there.

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Hi all,

  Thanks for the answers. Regarding the nose codes, they have their first digits painted out, the remainder are then overpainted black or in some cases blue. The question in the main was directed to the reserve harriers which as far as I can gather did not follow this.

 

Regarding paint designations, I can only go off of listed paint names from various sources, some of which conflict with each other. 

 

I think the references to DSG (not MSG) and EDSG actually refer to some aircraft being repainted post Falklands and others left in the patchwork markings. It's all very confusing when comparing sources.

 

Cheers,

  WV908

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My understanding is that the already shipborne SHars had the white undersides overpainted to become Extra Dark Sea Grey all over, the ones sent out from Yeovilton were finished in Medium Sea Grey (same colour as the FA.2s) with Barley Grey under wings/tailplane.  From later that year the all over Dark Sea Grey scheme was introduced across the fleet.

Codes on the MSG SHars seem to have been in black and white.

 

 

I'm sure @NG899Nick will be along soon to put us all right!

Edited by 71chally

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Hello WV908,

 

The repainting process for each Air Group (Hermes and Invincible) is outlined in the SAM Publications/Modellers Datafile 11 book by Andy Evans on the Sea Harrier; Chapter 3 refers and the description of going lo-viz starts on page 18. Andy goes into great detail and there are accompanying photos, which might serve as useful inspiration...

 

regards,

 

Andrew.

 

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3 hours ago, Andrew said:

Hello WV908,

 

The repainting process for each Air Group (Hermes and Invincible) is outlined in the SAM Publications/Modellers Datafile 11 book by Andy Evans on the Sea Harrier; Chapter 3 refers and the description of going lo-viz starts on page 18. Andy goes into great detail and there are accompanying photos, which might serve as useful inspiration...

 

regards,

 

Andrew.

 

What he said.

 

Plus:

  • The air intake was also painted grey all the way up to the intake compressor, so no white intakes.
  • The LAU-7 missile rails varied, some were left gloss white and some were painted grey, use reference pics of the actual aircraft if this will bother you
  • From my reading, the Hermes over paint of the white undersides was a little better as they had some spray facilities on board, whilst the crew on Invincible were limited to paint brushes and rollers, additionally, most of the stencils on the white portions were not replaced, I think the tailplane incidence and nozzle position markings were but apart from roundels, the smaller stencils were just overpainted
  • The demarcation of the white underside portion is discernible in some pictures and not others, so this is a matter of personal taste, but it was subtle. The same goes for the tail fin markings which were also overpainted, they are discernible as a slight 'shadow'  under the EDSG over paint

cheers,

 

Pappy

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There is a photo in 'Falklands, the Air War' of the white portions of rounders being painted over by brush. Can't remember if this was Hermes or Invincible

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It would help to know if you want a general answer - there isn’t one as both ships treated the SHARs on them slightly differently; or if you want to know about a specific aircraft - much easier, or the air group on a specific carrier - more complex but not as bad as looking at the whole force. Once I know the answer I should be able to help more.

 

As with many things Harrier there are several more than 50 shades of grey...

 

Pappy, Hermes brush painted the changes (no below decks air extractors) while on Invincible they could spray. So close on your 50:50! 😃

 

Cheers 
 

Nick 

 

(I provided Andy Evans with much of the Falklands SHAR data in the MDF which, is now out of date because new information has become available since it was published.)

Edited by NG899

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Hi Nick,

I haven't picked a particular aircraft at this stage, beyond it being an overall EDSG airframe on Hermes. I'm looking for one which had the tail fin pennant still visible behind the paint and with oddities like mismatched panels.

 

Cheers,

WV908 

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Not really totally on topic but...

 

You have read "Sharkey" Ward´s "Sea Harrier Over the Falklands: A Maverick at War" and/or "Hostile Skies" by David Morgan?

 

Sounds like they might be for you if you have not. Can´t remember if there is much about the painting but I seem to recall Ward mentions it.. i might be wrong though. Both books are great but, shall we say, a bit different and focus on slightly different aspects sometimes. ;)

Good reads though.

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“Light grey” SHARs were MSG upper surfaces and fuselage overall and Barley Grey under the wings and tailplanes, with an MSG overlap as EDSG used to do on the white leading edges of those surfaces.

 

WV908 - send me a PM with your email included and I’ll send you something of interest which will help answer your Hermes SHAR questions. For the Hermes AG point if view, read David Morgan’s book first!
 

The oddities on mismatched panels/rudders/gunpods only really occurred late in the war or after the fighting ended from the research I have done. As usual always refer to the best available photos of the airframe in question! Simples.

 

Well, not always!

 

Cheers

 

Nick

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On 11/22/2019 at 8:42 AM, NG899 said:

It would help to know if you want a general answer - there isn’t one as both ships treated the SHARs on them slightly differently; or if you want to know about a specific aircraft - much easier, or the air group on a specific carrier - more complex but not as bad as looking at the whole force. Once I know the answer I should be able to help more.

 

As with many things Harrier there are several more than 50 shades of grey...

 

Pappy, Hermes brush painted the changes (no below decks air extractors) while on Invincible they could spray. So close on your 50:50! 😃

 

Cheers 
 

Nick 

 

(I provided Andy Evans with much of the Falklands SHAR data in the MDF which, is now out of date because new information has become available since it was published.)

I bow to you oh great one!

 

Pappy

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A Side Note.

 

In the years prior to the Falkland conflict Royal Navy carriers would pay an annual (there a bouts) port visit at Naval Base Norfolk, VA.  Prior to docking the Airwing would ‘fly-off’ and land at NAS Oceana, where they were parked on the ’Attack’ A-6 ramp.  On the nest visit shortly after the Falklands the Harriers were parked on the ‘Fighter’ F-4 / F-14 ramp at NAS Oceana. Apparently, having air-to-air kills painted on some of the aircraft improved their standing in the neighborhood.

 

 

Michael A.

 

 

Edited by Michael A.

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That is pretty cool. I know, roughly, the pilot´s "kills". but did any of the airframes make ace?

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