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Jon Bryon

St Merryn Seafires

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Next month I will start Airfix's 1/48 Seafire F.XVII, which I intend to finish in this kit-supplied scheme for SX273 from 1947:

 

sx273.png?w=1200&h=

 

sx273-2.png?w=1200&h=

Airfix would have the modeller paint the wingtips in the same yellow as the ailerons and elevators. Am I alone in thinking that doesn't look right? The wingtips to me seem clearly to be a different shade to the horizontal control surfaces, although also distinct from the camouflage scheme. If anything, the wingtips look like they might be roundel red, as the tone is similar to the roundel centres. One suggestion on Hyperscale was that the wingtips have faded because of the way the wing folds.

Does anyone know of any other photos besides these two? Does anyone know on what basis the wingtips (and, for that matter, the flying surfaces) are believed to be yellow?

As an aside, Aeromaster and CMK would have the modeller paint the outer wing leading edge panels yellow as well, which seems unwarranted, and the spinner yellow. Airfix suggest Sky for the latter. 

Any guidance greatly appreciated. I don't much about Seafires/Spitfires...

Thanks

Jon

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There's nothing too surprising about a training unit having some aircraft bits painted in yellow, but I agree with you that the wingtips don't look like that.  I would suggest that they are both in Dark Slate Grey, which on this side compares with the EDSG adjacent.  Or perhaps a primer.  I don't think I've ever seen a fading effect on other folded-wing Seafires (maybe just not the right photo, of course) but given that this is a postwar land-based unit, I wonder just how often those wingtips ever got folded?

 

Clearly not Fighter Command's yellow leading edge strips, look at the leading edge near the cannon  (unhoused Mk.V - see other thread!)  This wasn't common on wartime FAA aircraft, although it did appear sometimes.

 

Unpainted sliding canopy framing.?  Or Yellow again?

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I think I am with Graham. On the date(s) when those photos were taken only one of the wingtips shows a clear demarcation line along the joint, and neither wingtip is yellow.  Dark Slate Grey is probably as good a bet as any.

 

On what basis might the tips and other wing parts be believed to be yellow? Date: things change, they might have been yellow on a different occasion, and there may be photos which aren't online. The aeroplane obviously didn't come out of the factory with yellow ailerons and rudder: someone decided it was a good idea to start adding hi-vis colours to it later in its life, so it's quite reasonable that they might have added more yellow later.

 

Canopy framing: from those pics either yellow or unfinished (primer) look defensible to me. Quite possibly a spare parts canopy. I don't know how they were supplied but primed seems a reasonable supposition.

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Thanks for the responses - definitely food for thought!

 

What do people think about the possibility of red wingtips? In B&W the red markings look very similar in tone to the Dark Slate Grey - the red part of the tail fin flash is hard to make out against the camouflage colour. It's just that if they've gone for bright yellow control surfaces, maybe the wingtips were a bright colour too?

 

I'm tending towards yellow for the canopy frame, but what colour would the primer have been? I'm assuming that might be the colour of the panel on starboard wing over the roundel.

 

And I would love to know what colour the little patches on the wing leading edges are, where they encroach on the roundels.

 

Jon

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10 minutes ago, Jon Bryon said:

What do people think about the possibility of red wingtips? In B&W the red markings look very similar in tone to the Dark Slate Grey - the red part of the tail fin flash is hard to make out against the camouflage colour. It's just that if they've gone for bright yellow control surfaces, maybe the wingtips were a bright colour too?

 

It's your model but you really do need some kind of positive evidential reason to introduce unnecessary complications into a story, and I see none. Occam's razor. Plus: red isn't very bright, and why only do one wingtip?

 

10 minutes ago, Jon Bryon said:

And I would love to know what colour the little patches on the wing leading edges are, where they encroach on the roundels.

 

As for the gun port covering material, I can't really see any reason to diverge from the standard dull red self-adhesive stuff.

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Good points. I've played around with the contrast and brightness quite a lot, and I'm convinced both wingtips are painted the same way. I guess I'm leaning towards Dark Slate Grey in the absence of any better options.

 

Thanks

 

Jon

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I think that canopy frame is TSS, but with dashed Yellow "cut here" lines as seen on some post war aircraft.  Also on the front edge of the canopy/rear edge of windscreen.

 

There is a good clear photo of SX277 S5M at St Merryn in the Crowood Seafire book (p.109.  See, I told you that book was not entirely useless!).  No date given but clearly prior to transfer to Lossiemouth in Jan 49 (source: Sturtivant).  No wingtips are visible at all.  There's a pretty good view of the port one and I can't discern any clipped wing fairing.  Two explanations occur to me: 1. aircraft is under maintenance.  However another, undated head-on view of this aircraft in Seafire From The Cockpit (p.34) also shows clipped wings. 2.  741 Sq occasionally flew its Seafires without wingtips to improve rate of roll (it was an Operational Flying Training Unit).  If wingtips were not invariably fitted, some variation in wear/fading from the rest of the airframe might be expected.  Otherwise, S5M clearly shows no special colouring of ailerons or elevators.  "Cut here" canopy dashed line not visible owing to reflections.  And, especially for Graham, it has faired cannon.

Edited by Seahawk

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33 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

I think that canopy frame is TSS, but with dashed Yellow "cut here" lines as seen on some post war aircraft.  Also on the front edge of the canopy/rear edge of windscreen.

 

There is a good clear photo of SX277 S5M at St Merryn in the Crowood Seafire book (p.109.  See, I told you that book was not entirely useless!).  No date given but clearly prior to transfer to Lossiemouth in Jan 49 (source: Sturtivant).  No wingtips are visible at all.  There's a pretty good view of the port one and I can't discern any clipped wing fairing.  Two explanations occur to me: 1. aircraft is under maintenance.  However another, undated head-on view of this aircraft in Seafire From The Cockpit (p.34) also shows clipped wings. 2.  741 Sq occasionally flew its Seafires without wingtips to improve rate of roll (it was an Operational Flying Training Unit).  If wingtips were not invariably fitted, some variation in wear/fading from the rest of the airframe might be expected.  Otherwise, S5M clearly shows no special colouring of ailerons or elevators.  "Cut here" canopy dashed line not visible owing to reflections.  And, especially for Graham, it has faired cannon.

Thanks. I have the Crowood book and have seen that image of SX277.

 

What is TSS?

 

Jon

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2 hours ago, Jon Bryon said:

What is TSS?

Temperate Sea Scheme: Extra Dark Sea Grey, Dark Slate Grey and Sky.

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12 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

Temperate Sea Scheme: Extra Dark Sea Grey, Dark Slate Grey and Sky.

Ah, thanks.

 

Jon

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