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Another Round of Typhoon MP126 ZY-Y Questions


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Hello everyone, I am working through my Airfix Typhoon/Fw190 Dog Fight Double and I am getting ready to prepare for the. Typhoon.  For references I am using Richard A Franks Air Frame and Miniature The Hawker Typhoon & Chris Thomas's Typhoon Wings of the 2nd TAF.  I have also been coming the forum/web for answers, but a few areas per plex me.  1st here is the thread I found most helpful.

 

 

    My questions are as follows--(I understand that a lot may end up to the best of our knowledge--where this the case, I have given which way I am leaning)

 

1) Cockpit colors--would they be primarily mat black above the waist and aluminum below the waist/aluminum frames for MP126?  I noted the pedal troughs on the museum aircraft in Frank's book looked gunmetal, but I understand this aircraft was heavily rebuilt in the 1960s to not the best historical standards

 

2) Wheel wells--it seems like a 3 way between 1) underside color, 2) RAF interior green, & 3) Aluminum (painted)--I am leaning toward painted aluminum for the bays and gear doors, but I am not confident

 

3) Cowling radiator intake color--I believe this was the overall aircraft color with camouflage wrapped in to the intake

 

4) Cuckoo Doors or not--Airfix's art work/decals seem to be based on the photos of the downed aircraft in December 1944--my understanding is cuckoo doors would have been removed in the Dec 1944 time period--or were they a permanent fixture?  I purchased the Bergun photo etch for the part so am keen to hear what others have to say

 

One other question, not so much on building but on the history of MP126--it seems improbable that it faced off with Priller's A-8 in June 1944 as I suspect it went to an operational unit in the Aug timeframe--is my thin understanding of Typhoons incorrect?

 

Thank you all for making time to answer/consider my questions

 

Best,

 

Erwin 

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32 minutes ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

2) Wheel wells--it seems like a 3 way between 1) underside color, 2) RAF interior green, & 3) Aluminum (painted)--I am leaning toward painted aluminum for the bays and gear doors, but I am not confident

AFAIK 3 is the answer.  Painted aluminium often looks like Medium Sea Grey in photos, but the use of aluminium paints on the internal areas was standard on Hurricanes and Spitfires apart from cockpits until mid war.  The 

 

I'll @Chris Thomas as, well, he wrote the books...

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@Troy Smith, thank you for this informative reply--would be honored to hear from @Chris Thomas given his books and obviously PhD level knowledge on the Typhoon.  To just show my elementary knowledge of the subject, I am no longer definitive on the cockpit color--Valiant Wing's review of Airfix's 1/72 Typhoon states that the cockpit should be RAF interior green above the waist/aluminum below, but I believe this comment is for RB281 vice MP126--then the photos show of the restored cockpit show black above the waist & grey green below vice aluminum--this restored scheme makes very little sense to me, but that does not mean I have the correct answer and I understand the dangers of going off restorations for color guides without at least trusted commentary or period photos--thanks for the assist and the opportunity to learn.  Best, Erwin 

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17 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

AFAIK 3 is the answer.  Painted aluminium often looks like Medium Sea Grey in photos, but the use of aluminium paints on the internal areas was standard on Hurricanes and Spitfires apart from cockpits until mid war. 

 

I agree, and would merely add (in case any new Spitfire builders wander this way) that for Spitfires the pan-shaped recess into which the wheel fits was not regarded as an internal area, but as part of the exterior of the lower wing. The rule of thumb as expressed by Troy is thus preserved. 

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18 hours ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

 

    My questions are as follows--(I understand that a lot may end up to the best of our knowledge--where this the case, I have given which way I am leaning)

 

1) Cockpit colors--would they be primarily mat black above the waist and aluminum below the waist/aluminum frames for MP126?  I noted the pedal troughs on the museum aircraft in Frank's book looked gunmetal, but I understand this aircraft was heavily rebuilt in the 1960s to not the best historical standards

 

2) Wheel wells--it seems like a 3 way between 1) underside color, 2) RAF interior green, & 3) Aluminum (painted)--I am leaning toward painted aluminum for the bays and gear doors, but I am not confident

 

3) Cowling radiator intake color--I believe this was the overall aircraft color with camouflage wrapped in to the intake

 

4) Cuckoo Doors or not--Airfix's art work/decals seem to be based on the photos of the downed aircraft in December 1944--my understanding is cuckoo doors would have been removed in the Dec 1944 time period--or were they a permanent fixture?  I purchased the Bergun photo etch for the part so am keen to hear what others have to say

 

One other question, not so much on building but on the history of MP126--it seems improbable that it faced off with Priller's A-8 in June 1944 as I suspect it went to an operational unit in the Aug timeframe--is my thin understanding of Typhoons incorrect?

 

Thank you all for making time to answer/consider my questions

 

Best,

 

Erwin 

 

Hi Irwin

As you suspected, there are not definitive answers to all your questions.

 

1) Certainly black above the the tubular structure (which was anodised silver) but below that I think it was cockpit grey/green.  No documentation to prove this but my conclusions come from photos and artefacts. NB. the area behind the head armour was black.  All this black was to reduce reflections on the canopy and dates from spring 1943 when Typhoons were sometimes used on night operations..

 

2) As above posts - Aluminium (painted)

 

3) Correct as above.

 

4)  The cuckoo door filter was removable and again I have found no documentary evidence but there are a number of photos that show they were removed during the winter period - Nov 44 to Feb 45.  They did reduce performance so in non-dusty conditions it made sense to remove them.  Mostly it seems that the concentric vanes in the centre of the radiator were replaced, although there a a few photos which show Typhoons without vanes or filter.

 

I do not know how long Priller's A-8 was in use but Stapleton's MP126 arrived with 247 Sqn at the end of August 1944 and was shot down on 5 Dec 44 when flown by another pilot.  The red spinners seem to have been introduced late September or early October - the whole of 124 Wing had them (137, 181, 182, 247 Sqns) by 2nd week of October at the latest.  Probably applied at Eindhoven to help ATC and waiting ground crews differentiate between the Typhoons of 124 and 143 Wings.

 

Incidentally, Typhoon pilots claimed some 50 enemy aircraft after the invasion - at a quick count 16 were Fw 190s - but such clashes were a rarity and to give some measure of that I like to quote Kit North-Lewis.   From April 1944 to March 1945 he flew 175 operational sorties as a flight commander (182 Sqn), squadron commander (181 Sqn) and Wing Commander (124 Wing) and never saw a Luftwaffe fighter in the air, except on New Years Day 1945 - and he was on the ground!

CT

 

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Posted (edited)

@Chris Thomas--I am deeply honored by your response--I learned a lot and will move forward into my build with a degree of confidence I did not have before.   I reviewed the answers above and your comments/articles below and had few follow up confirmation questions. I believe research photo evidence leads us to believe all main landing gear doors were painted aluminum.   I also believe the tail wheel well, tail wheel hub & strut would be aluminum.  Finally, I understand you believe the concentric vanes were installed (I believe I have photo etch) but there were no cuckoo doors.  I look forward to sharing my progress when I start my build in about a month--the crews who bravely operated the Typhoon are under sung heroes who contributed significantly to Allied victory in WW2.   Right now I am finalizing research and materials--thank you again for honoring me with your time and for all you have done to  recognize the contributions of the RAF's TAF.  Best, Erwin

 

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/hawker-typhoon

      

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

@Chris Thomas, thank you for your help so far.  If willing, I  have 2 follow up questions for you

 

1) Earlier you said the cuckoo door was likely not installed on MP126 due to the winter weather conditions this aircraft operated in, but the concentric vanes were likely replaced.  Does this mean the can like cylinder Airfix provides for the center of the radiator should be installed? (I believe it is part c-34). I thought I saw one wartime photo without this circle structure in Frank’s Airframe and Miniature book—but most other wartime photos have this circular structure.  Thank you for confirming one way or the other—I understand that in the case MP 126 we may never know for sure, so I am just looking for a rule of thumb for winter 1944/45.

 

2). I believe the unit which flew MP126 (No 247 Squadron) was a unit expert at using rockets, so it would best to arm my Typhoon with rockets instead of bombs.  From what I gather in your book, while the Typhoon aircraft itself could switch between bombs and rockets, units seemed to specialize in using either rockets or bombs.

 

Thank you in advance for making time to help my build.  Thanks to you I started to apply colors with confidence today

 

Best,

 

Erwin

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Two reasons for that.  The time taken and work involved switching between roles, and the difference in the respective training for the pilots.

 

There's an interesting comment in the book on 351 (Yugoslav) Squadron, that when involved in fighter- bomber missions they were jealous of their partner Hurricane squadron, firing rockets,  because the bombers had to get closer to their targets and so were more vulnerable to flak.  It would be interesting to know if the loss rates differed between Typhoon units in the different roles, but perhaps the flak was simply more intense on Normandy so it made little difference.

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8 hours ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

1) Earlier you said the cuckoo door was likely not installed on MP126 due to the winter weather conditions this aircraft operated in, but the concentric vanes were likely replaced.  Does this mean the can like cylinder Airfix provides for the center of the radiator should be installed? (I believe it is part c-34). I thought I saw one wartime photo without this circle structure in Frank’s Airframe and Miniature book—but most other wartime photos have this circular structure.  Thank you for confirming one way or the other—I understand that in the case MP 126 we may never know for sure, so I am just looking for a rule of thumb for winter 1944/45.

 

2). I believe the unit which flew MP126 (No 247 Squadron) was a unit expert at using rockets, so it would best to arm my Typhoon with rockets instead of bombs.  From what I gather in your book, while the Typhoon aircraft itself could switch between bombs and rockets, units seemed to specialize in using either rockets or bombs.

 

Thank you in advance for making time to help my build.  Thanks to you I started to apply colors with confidence today

 

Best,

 

Erwin

Hi Erwin 

1) Yes the cuckoo door filters came off in the winter of 44/45 and, purely on photo-evidence, I would say the majority had the concentric rings replaced. 

 

2) In spring 1944 the 2nd TAF's 18 Typhoon squadrons specialised in RP or bombs for reasons outlined above by Graham.  Most kept that specialisation until they disbanded after the war but a few (183 and 266) had periods with one or the other. 247 used RP throughout that period.

 

I look forward to seeing the completed model (Excreta Thermo, as 'Stapme' called it).

 

Chris

 

 

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@Graham Boak--thank you for making time to provide me of the why behind the armament... really appreciate both your help on this build and your time to help me better understand RAF air to ground operations in the winter of 1944/45.. best, Erwin

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@Chris Thomas or any other experts,

 

I am moving at a good pace on my cockpit—pics to follow soon.  As I plan crewing my aircraft I have noticed that while the color of the flying helmet (brown), life vest (yellow) and straps (off white) seems to be consistent across multiple manufacturers, the overall flight suit or tunic color is not ( RAF blue or a khaki color)—looking through pics on line and in the books leads me to a back and forth conclusion—ie I believe RAF bomber command’s warm flights suits were khaki but most RAF fighter pilot model kit painting instructions are blue —if you were me, which color would choose for the suit?  Also I am thinking the boots and gloves would be brown, but Airfix’s 1/24 instructions have the boots a black color.

 

Thank you any vectors—pls don’t hesitate to let me know if I am on off on any of my other 2 TAF flying kit color assumptions

 

Best to all, 

 

Erwin

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I don't know if flying altitude (cold air) would be a factor since Typhoons are usually ground strikes missions, but during cold season they likely wear the additional  Irvine leather jacket - otherwise prescribed wear is just the Aircrew jacket.

 

large_orig_raf_irvine.jpg

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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Chris Thomas to the rescue again (maybe), if you are talking about 2nd TAF then in one of Chris's post he mentions that RAF aircrew switched to brown so that aircrew would not be mistaken for Germans when they passed through lines, so count brown in as well.

Here's a link.

Cheers

 

Dennis

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Chris Thomas and forum, I am rounding the corner of attaching photo etch fins the rockets on my Typhoon, which means painting the rockets is right around the corner.  Based on the thread below I had a few questions on finishing the rockets.

 

1st, the pig tails—my assumption based on photos was these were plugged into aircraft before flight—of course I will find out that I am totally off & will find out something new.

 

The second part of the question revolves around colors.  I have read a lot about late war RAF ordnance being painted Bronze Green—it this Bronze Green similar to what British armor was painted vice the bronze green found in cockpits?  Also the rocket Chris points as a Typhoon rocket appears to have a dark green warhead (bronze green) and what I assume to be an olive drab rocket body?

 

Finally, would Typhoons have carried a standard load out of all high explosive or a mix? (Ie HE& anti-personnel etc.) My understanding is a high explosive rockets would have white/red bands just after the nose cup and a light green band in the middle of the warhead body.

 

Thank you all for your help,

 

Best,

 

Erwin

 

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48 minutes ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

The second part of the question revolves around colors.  I have read a lot about late war RAF ordnance being painted Bronze Green—it this Bronze Green similar to what British armor was painted vice the bronze green found in cockpits?

There are different British Bronze Greens,  the chap for this is @Selwyn

"The "operational" colour used by the RAF in WW2 on all its munitions was Medium Bronze Green BS 223 and was the overall base colour seen on all British bombs/aircraft munitions manufactured post 41ish (thats an ballpark estimate! the changover was gradual)"

 

IIRC the armour colour is Deep Bronze Green BS 224 (that pre and post war British armour, not WW2 )

 

48 minutes ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

 Also the rocket Chris points as a Typhoon rocket appears to have a dark green warhead (bronze green) and what I assume to be an olive drab rocket body?

No, all Bronze Green. 

0152.jpg

 

 But the rocket body and head were separate parts, so they often looked different depending on how they were stored.

 

6088495170_415b3add0f_h.jpgHawker Typhoon. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

great image with masses of detail (if you go to the link, it will enlarge) 

Note the dirty appearance of the rockets heads,  these are 60 LB HE type.

Also the replacement cowl panel,  the pilot (note helmet) in khaki battle dress and the erk in the background with what i presume is a fire extinguisher. 

 

More Typhoon colour here

Flickr Search

 

form @Etiennedup

 

48 minutes ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

 

Finally, would Typhoons have carried a standard load out of all high explosive or a mix? (Ie HE& anti-personnel etc.) My understanding is a high explosive rockets would have white/red bands just after the nose cup and a light green band in the middle of the warhead body.

British rockets had 3 types,  HE , Armour Piercing, and practice (concrete) but more types,  (detail in the thread you linked)

Chris would know more, but only one type would be standard,  as AFAIK while you could fire pairs or a salvo of rockets, they were not selectable as to what rail.

1 hour ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

1st, the pig tails—my assumption based on photos was these were plugged into aircraft before flight

Just before flight, one of the final pre flight jobs.   They are orange BTW

tail_section.jpg

 

from the thread you linked.  

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Have this saved to the hard drive, can't recall from where it was found, but it does confirm the colour code for Bronze Green as 224:spacer.pngspacer.png

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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@Troy Smith & @JackG--thank you for the cash money help!  One last question since your knowledge.  Would you consider Humbrol 75, Matt Bronze Green a respectable match?  It looks close to my eye, but I obviously do not have your bench of knowledge on RAF weapon colors.  Thank you for all your help so far.  Best, Erwin

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10 minutes ago, JackG said:

colour code for Bronze Green as 224

DEEP Bronze Green is 224, MEDIUM Bronze Green is 223.    

5 minutes ago, VT Red Sox Fan said:

Would you consider Humbrol 75, Matt Bronze Green a respectable match?

Hmm, if he see this @Mike Starmer  he would be able to give matches.  

this is his mix for Deep Bronze Green

 

"Deep Bronze Green BS.24 

Mix: 6 x Humbrol 3 + 3 x Humbrol 10 + 1 x Humbrol 2. 

Tamiya: 8 x XF5 + 5 X XF63 satin over.

In use: 1934-39 then post-war from 1948.

Description:  Very dark yellow green – a rich black green."

 

This is for Deep Bronze Green, (same colour pre and post war) so I presume Medium Bronze Green is a lighter version of the same colour.  

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Intersting, so the period document I linked is either wrong or incomplete as it has no medium Bronze Green 223 listed?

 

regards,

Jack

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11 minutes ago, JackG said:

Intersting, so the period document I linked is either wrong or incomplete as it has no medium Bronze Green 223 listed?

 

regards,

Jack

Just says "approved marking colours" which implies detail marking, as opposed to say the main body colour? .     

 

The specification of Medium Bronze Green BS233 come from @Selwyn in the Hurricane rocket colour thread.   He is or was in the RAF, and has as the posts in the linked thread show,  is very knowledgeable on this.  

 

in this case I'm just reposting information already on the forum.

 

HTH

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