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Beaufighter`s,..... did they really wear desert camouflage?


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4 hours ago, tonyot said:

If there were any wearing desert colours,..... then this must be the `era' Claudio,...... and BT-B is indeed an aircraft that I would like to model in 1/48th scale,......it certainly looks like desert colours to me,.....indeed I have built a model in desert colours from this unit and `era' but just wondered,..... I`ve always had a nagging doubt that we have always just `presumed' they were desert colours.

My Hasegawa Mk.I has been waiting for years... I'd like to build a Mk. IC with spinners like BT-B (or XK-?), but I have not yet made up my mind.

 

The profile of BT-B by Rick Kent caught my imagination when it appeared on the IPMS Stockholm web site.

I'd question the interpretation of the slightly darker lower rear fuselage as a replacement part, instead of  yellow markings, but in the picture of post #18 the very light undersides do suggest Sky to me.

Orthocromatic film was supposedly used (darker grey for the yellow outer roundel ring) for the picture of BT-B below, but contrast between tonal values for the upper surfaces remains about the same.

Does this lean more towards Mid Stone/Dark Earth, or Dark Green/Dark Earth?

 

spacer.png
 

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Normally, TLS would have only a small contrast using ortho film, because of the red content in Dark Earth.  However Extra Dark Sea Grey would look lighter because of the blue content - also Azure Blue would look lighter for the same reason.  Yet would Dark Slate Grey ever appear as dark?    The two colours of TSS are usually very difficult to distinguish on ortho film.  Following this logic - and logic is not proof - this looks more like Desert scheme than either of the others.  But if the TLS had been well-weathered, DE fades to a much lighter colour so maybe it really is TLS?  Does the position of the dark areas of the camouflage match the Dark Green of TLS?

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7 hours ago, Jochen Barett said:

Differing from other TTS pics, we see dark code letters (maybe if not probably red) here but I don't see the yellow ring around the fuselage roundel

Do I see sand (mid stone or some RLM 79 "type B" found in Tobruk) and dark earth? Green and brown? Grey and another (slate) grey? Who knows

The colour of the code letters matches the forward element of the fin flash. The fuselage ring could be light flare or a yellow ring.

I always go for the most likely answer on the balance of probabilities, which tends to rule out RLM79 (!).

 

Looking at that picture again, it seems the most convincing one to be a desert scheme. Full marks to the profile artist for putting the picture with his profile.

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Hi

    Thinking, didn't revell release their 1:32 beaufighter in this desert scheme at one time  ?

   cheers 

      jerry

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5 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Define reasonable: one person's idea of "reasonable" is unlikely to match another's.  Given the number of Beaufighters in the ME, it would be rather difficult to disprove any of these particular colour schemes by "a photo".  Or rather, impossible.  In truth, it is equally impossible to prove any colour scheme from a b&w photo anyway.  You can only argue from probabilities, to which you cannot attach values, so we are back at the beginning of defining "reasonable".

 

However, allowing (I hope) for all the adjustments that printers can make to even the finest colour photos, that looks like Desert scheme on a Beaufighter to me, which is all that Tony wanted.  Now he wants a serial...

I didn`t say anything about a serial Graham?

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Posted (edited)

Here are a few pics,....... 

These two are widely said to have been painted in desert colours before departing for the Middle East,..... mmm?

6525148103-fa31d3f05a-b.jpg11986343-1172549372761062-96056057633997

Beaufighter-Mk-IF-PN-B-R2158-of-No-252-S

Standard scheme in the UK;

4530727780-658x298.jpg

And once in the Middle East;

bristol-beaufighter-250-pn-a.jpg

 

One of the first dets to the theatre went to Malta;

Beaufigther-T3317-2.pngbeaue.jpg

 

Jumping the gun a bit,.... but returning to `those' Malta photos,..... this is a close up;

272Sqdn1.jpg

272-sqn-beaus.jpglarge-000000-4.jpg

13043616-10206955415460225-5531701918758

And a B&W pic of the above;

13100824-10206955415220219-4301742397762Bristol-Beaufighters-of-No-272-Squadron-

Beaufighter-of-No-227-Squadron-which-was

 

Another comparison of a colour pic to b&w,....  admittedly a UK based aircraft;

09f1e8814191d4d8b2e5e202b9a41c48.jpg144-SQN-LEUCHARS.jpg144-SQN.jpg

 

Two versions of the same photo of an early Coastal Command Beau in the UK;

5088694423-cd37c0c4fe.jpgBeau-from-235-Sqn-serial-number-T4916.jp

 

Back to the early arrivals in the Middle East,.... 252 & 272 Sqns at some times pooled their aircraft.This is the period I am most interested in and when the desert scheme MAY have been adopted? ;

Beaufighter-Mk-IC-RAF-252-Sqn-J-T3246-EdBeaufighter-Mk-IC-RAF-252-Sqn-PNA-T3250-

Beaufighter-Mark-IC-T3316-M-of-No-272-Sqbeaufighter-tony-otoole-photo.jpgBeaufighter-Mk-IF-RAF-272-Sqn-TJZ-T4882-

beaufighter-med.jpgBeaufighter-Mark-IC-T3314-O-of-No-272-Sq

Beaufighter-Mk-IC-RAF-252-Sqn-BTY-T4989-

beau-photo-4-beaufighter-med.jpg

beaufighter-ic-252-Sqn-BT-code-Dec-41-I-

BEufighter-crash.jpgbeaufiigter-bt-t-252-sqn.jpg

 

T3329,....Captured by the Vichy French

t3229-captured-by-vichy-french.jpg

 

Moving into late 1942-43,.....with C1 Type roundels,.... a well known colour photo;

large-000000-8.jpg

beaufighter252sqn-105.jpg

 

235 Sqn detached to Malta;

Bristol-Beaufighter-Mk-IC-No-235-Squadro

 252 Sqn aircraft at Idku 1942;

Beaufighter-Mk-IC-RAF-252-Sqn-F-T5137-taBeaufighter-Mk-IC-RAF-252-Sqn-F-T5137-ta

 

Mk.VI seen in Sicily;

Beaufighter-Mk-VIC-Coastal-Command-White

 

227 Sqn Mk.VI,.... desert scheme? I`m not convinced?

Beaufighter-Mk-VIC-RAF-227-Sqn-P-JL519-F

 

And as it was mentioned,.... a few night fighters;

800px-crashed-beau-hr-640.jpg

Beaufighter-Mark-VIF-X8166-E-catel-benit

46 Sqn NF,...below;

BEAUFIGHTER-NF-46-SQN-N-AFRICA.jpg

255 Sqn Algeria;

Beaufighter-Mk-VIF-RAF-255-Sqn-V8819-ove

Night Fighter? Seen in Italy;

beaufighter-italy-1944.jpg

 

So that is a fair selection of Middle East based Beau`s up to 1943,

Cheers

          Tony

Edited by tonyot
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Here is a colour image converted to B/W of two Baltimore's.          Although it does not solve the problem of this thread it illustrates the difficulty of interpreting colour from black and white photos.

 

Cheers,

Etienne.

 

Baltimores

 

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1 hour ago, Etiennedup said:

Here is a colour image converted to B/W of two Baltimore's.          Although it does not solve the problem of this thread it illustrates the difficulty of interpreting colour from black and white photos.

 

Cheers,

Etienne.

 

Baltimores

 

That is a new one on me,..... superb photo and it depicts the Baltimore schemes wonderfully,..... cheers for sharing it mate.

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1 hour ago, Etiennedup said:

Tony, it's been sitting in my flickr site for five years ..................🙂

 

Martin Baltimores near Milan, Italy, c1945.

 

LOL,.... well there you go,...... it is always nice to see something `new' from you mate!

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I have been using those two Baltimore pics to disprove the idea of pattern A and B on Boston's , Baltimore's and Kittyhawk's in the Med for awhile now there was only one pattern (apart from the odd one off) and you can ID desert or TLS scheme by the shades matched to the camouflage pattern DE is light in the TLS scheme but dark in the Desert scheme but in the same place in each scheme , the fixation on desert scheme on on these three aircraft is one of my pet hates , this thread opens it up to the Beaufighter as well, as the Ic's and VIc's were primarily anti shipping I think they were in TLS to start with then TSS, there is proof of Night fighter Beaus in a Desert over Black scheme but the Coastal Beaus it has just been "assumed" they are desert scheme, like the 3 US supplied aircraft I mentioned, and look at the Marauder, proven by Tony to be primarily in TSS scheme repainted from Desert scheme. 

Edited by Sydhuey
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Cheers Syd,.... yeah know what you mean about the Baltimore, Boston and Kittyhawk.

 

This is a Beau that I would like to model,..... T5273 named 'Benghazi Bus' and as far as I know flown by Flt Lt E J Ledwidge and his navigator on 46 Sqn. In other pics in books the captions say that it was used to fly Christmas prezzies and grub to the unit at Idku, Egypt on the  24th December 1942. Now 46 Sqn was a night fighter unit, but also flew daytime ops including convoy protection,..... this Beau doesn`t appear to be wearing a night scheme and it is a `coastal' aircraft with the DF antennae,...... but what is the scheme? It is often depicted as being painted in a desert scheme,...... but for the life of me it looks to be a faded TSS scheme?

 benghazi-bus.jpgbenghazi-bus-2.jpg

 

Cheers

            Tony

 

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On 8/22/2020 at 1:22 AM, tonyot said:

Back to the early arrivals in the Middle East,.... 252 & 272 Sqns at some times pooled their aircraft. This is the period I am most interested in and when the desert scheme MAY have been adopted?

A faint trace.

"Beaufighter Squadrons in Focus", by Simon Parry, page 61. Photo of T5040 being serviced, squadron code 'BT' partly visible.

Serial over a slightly darker patch, possibly following repaint in a lighter colour of the surrounding part of the fuselage. No underwing roundels, maybe due to repaint of undersides too. Yellow recognition markings on the rear fuselage undersides appear to be there. "Type A1" fuselage roundel.

"Mediterranean Air War", vol. 2 lists T5040 as 'Y' flown on 3 September 1942 by Flt. Sgt. Kernaghan/Sgt. Andrews. Unit given as 272 Sqn., but might be an error, since Kernaghan is reported with 252 Sqn. throughout the book. Other 252 Sqn. aircraft flown: T4987 'P' and T5036.

 

Although No. 252 Squadron initially received Mk. IFs, it seems to have re-equipped with Mk. ICs before being detached to Malta. All the serials recorded during early actions from Malta in May 1941 are in the T3xxx range, that is, from the first batch of Mk. ICs produced at Filton. Until late 1941, aircraft of No. 272 Squadron also seem to come from this serial range. They might have all been finished in the Temperate Land Scheme?

 

Photos of Beaufighters carrying the squadron code 'BT' show later Fairey-built Mk. IC machines, having serials in the T4xxx/T5xxx range. As they are usually dated 1942, I'd assume these to be later replacements/reinforcements flown out from Britain. At this point, I'd expect them to come out of production lines in the Temperate Sea Scheme? The photo of T4882:TY-Z seems to suggest this.

If T5040 was repainted, which colour would the darker patch under the serial be? In either case, both colours would need replacement (that is, unless one fancies a Mid Stone/Dark Slate Grey or Mid Stone/Extra Dark Sea Grey finish...).

 

 

Edited by ClaudioN
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On 8/24/2020 at 7:20 AM, ClaudioN said:

A faint trace.

"Beaufighter Squadrons in Focus", by Simon Parry, page 61. Photo of T5040 being serviced, squadron code 'BT' partly visible.

Serial over a slightly darker patch, possibly following repaint in a lighter colour of the surrounding part of the fuselage. No underwing roundels, maybe due to repaint of undersides too. Yellow recognition markings on the rear fuselage undersides appear to be there. "Type A1" fuselage roundel.

"Mediterranean Air War", vol. 2 lists T5040 as 'Y' flown on 3 September 1942 by Flt. Sgt. Kernaghan/Sgt. Andrews. Unit given as 272 Sqn., but might be an error, since Kernaghan is reported with 252 Sqn. throughout the book. Other 252 Sqn. aircraft flown: T4987 'P' and T5036.

 

Although No. 252 Squadron initially received Mk. IFs, it seems to have re-equipped with Mk. ICs before being detached to Malta. All the serials recorded during early actions from Malta in May 1941 are in the T3xxx range, that is, from the first batch of Mk. ICs produced at Filton. Until late 1941, aircraft of No. 272 Squadron also seem to come from this serial range. They might have all been finished in the Temperate Land Scheme?

 

Photos of Beaufighters carrying the squadron code 'BT' show later Fairey-built Mk. IC machines, having serials in the T4xxx/T5xxx range. As they are usually dated 1942, I'd assume these to be later replacements/reinforcements flown out from Britain. At this point, I'd expect them to come out of production lines in the Temperate Sea Scheme? The photo of T4882:TY-Z seems to suggest this.

If T5040 was repainted, which colour would the darker patch under the serial be? In either case, both colours would need replacement (that is, unless one fancies a Mid Stone/Dark Slate Grey or Mid Stone/Extra Dark Sea Grey finish...).

 

 

Superb info Claudio,..... thanks mate,...... brilliant detective work!

Cheers

           Tony

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As it's my first post I thought I'd bring something useful.

Tonyot in particular should enjoy watching this film from 06.08 onwards:

 

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-worker-and-war-front-no-5-1943-online

 

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1 hour ago, V Line said:

As it's my first post I thought I'd bring something useful.

Tonyot in particular should enjoy watching this film from 06.08 onwards:

 

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-worker-and-war-front-no-5-1943-online

 

 

Your link doesn't work. Let me try: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-worker-and-war-front-no-5-1943-online

 

 

Unfortunately, you need to login to see the video.

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

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3 hours ago, V Line said:

As it's my first post I thought I'd bring something useful.

Tonyot in particular should enjoy watching this film from 06.08 onwards:

 

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-worker-and-war-front-no-5-1943-online

 

What a superb film,..... thanks very much indeed mate,...... I would say some definite candidates fo desert scheme there,.... especially BT-Y.

Cheers,

           Tony

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-worker-and-war-front-no-5-1943-online

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2 hours ago, ClaudioN said:

Not allowed to view either... 😢

 

Oh yeah! I just checked and it's UK only.

 

 

 

Chris

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Non UK members,  go to the IWM film section ..........I have just now viewed it there.

Looks like some candidates there .......................😯

Edited by Etiennedup
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2 hours ago, dogsbody said:

 

Oh yeah! I just checked and it's UK only.

 

 

 

Chris

Sorry Chris and Claudio,

it is indeed UK only but see post below (above by Ettiene du P).

I don't know which browsers you use. I use Epic Privacy Browser which has an very easy to use Proxy extension which in theory should enable you to access the site via the UK server. There are others which again, in theory would do the same.

 

I suspect the majority of the BFI 'free' library is not available elsewhere and browsing same throws up many, many, gems. 

Edited by V Line
factual correction
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4 hours ago, Etiennedup said:

Non UK members,  go to the IWM film section ..........I have just now viewed it there.

Thanks a lot Etienne!

From what I can see, BT-Y:T5040 is there, with the serial seen over a patch of darker colour also on the port side of the rear fuselage.

B for Birdie, BT-B, is seemingly not the same as T4828: the one seen in the film lacks the DF loop bulge over the fuselage top and fuselage codes appear to have smaller size

To me, there appears to be a mix of possibly TSS and possibly DS finishes... well, honestly: I see some darker ones and some lighter ones.

Edited by ClaudioN
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This SAAF example looks more like a sea scheme to my old eyes (from here: http://saafww2pilots2.yolasite.com/don-tilley-photographs.php - caption states "Force landed SAAF 19 Squadron Beaufighter")

 

dt38.jpg.opt836x653o0,0s836x653.jpg

 

 

And yet another night fighter (from here: http://saafww2photographs.yolasite.com/ian-sturgeon-photographs.php)

 

beaufighter.jpg.opt836x411o0,0s836x411.j

 

 

 

From herehttps://saafww2pilots3.yolasite.com/robbie-robinson-photographs.php

 

087rob.jpg.opt836x549o0,0s836x549.jpg

 

 

 

From here: http://saafww2photographs.yolasite.com/peter-metelerkamp-3.php

 

met143.jpg.opt1262x625o0,0s1262x625.jpg

 

 

 

From here: http://saafww2photographs.yolasite.com/tom-meek-2.php (the caption with this photo states "Night fighting Beaus did stand by at El Gamil - this one was flown by Wing Co George Stainforth...")

 

scan0074.jpg.opt1260x832o0,0s1260x832.jp

 

 

 

From here: http://saafww2photographs.yolasite.com/labistour-italy-1944-45-album-3.php

 

Image%20test0241.JPG.opt852x669o0,0s852x

 

 

 

I have no idea about this one (from here: http://saafww2photographs.yolasite.com/colin-sinclair.php)

 

63cs81.JPG.opt836x550o0,0s836x550.JPG

 

From the same site as the photo above, this Mosquito (I thought it too interesting a shot not to add to this thread)!

 

96cs83.JPG.opt836x470o0,0s836x470.JPG

Edited by Blimpyboy
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