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Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

HMS Nelson - 1941 through 1945 camouflage

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We have been working behind the scenes with our friend Richard Dennis for some time to map out how HMS Nelson's camouflage scheme evolved from the beginning of WW2 through to the end of the war.


We are fairly comfortable we have these mostly right, and indeed various snippets of colour cinefilm help us pin down certain starting points to work away from (e.g. B5 and MS4 on the port side of B-turret as shown in the screen capture below). There is always room for uncertainty of course, and there's always a chance we're mistaken in some areas. We have mapped here the camouflage changes and time windows as best we are able to. We hope these are useful to model makers.


Happy modelling folks!


With the Home Fleet until being torpedoed in September 1941:



After refit she was painted in a new Admiralty Disruptive pattern scheme through to late 1942:




By spring 1943 she had received some detail changes, including deletion of the MS4 "slash" on the starboard quarter and the starboard side of the funnel being painted mostly B5 similar to the port side:



The 1941 era "MS & B" paints were, as many now know, replaced with the simplified "G&B" series paints as of May 1943. We don't know when HMS Nelson would have started to repaint after the new paints came into use, but photographs of her into 1944 still show tidy paintwork so reason suggests that her MS4 was replaced with the tonal equivalent B30, giving the ship a new overall bluish appearance:



She headed to the east coast of the USA for refit in late 1944 and emerged in January 1945 sporting new Bofors AA gun mounts on equally new platforms. She left the dockyard wearing the new Admiralty standard "Scheme A":



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