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Bristol Beaufighter, 603. squadron, color scheme


Touvdal
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Before i start on the paint job on this model i want to be sure, or as close as i can get to the correct scheme.

 

As far as i can find, the scheme would be TSS (ESG/DSG over Sky)

 

My plan is to do this a/c LZ 127 "A" 

 

Bristol_Beaufighter_TF_Mk_X_of_No_603_Squadron_RAF_running_up_their_engines_at_Gambut_3_Libya_1943 Udklip2

 

 

Cheers

Jes

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11 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I would agree, although perhaps Azure Blue undersides as they would be much more common in this theatre. 

The undersides come out fairly light, usually AB looks darker in pics, and I'd rather not indulge into colour guessing from b&w pics - but then - I'm unfamiliar with markings regulations in the Med -, the lack of underwing roundels may indicate a repaint.

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Azure Blue is somewhat less reflective/darker than Sky, but Sky was considered unacceptably light for Mediterranean skies.  A local substitute called Middle East Light Blue (sometimes referred to as Iraqi Blue) was initially used in 1940 but this was matched in the UK and by early 1941 the close-equivalent Azure Blue was standardised.  An acceptable alternative was Mediterranean Light Blue, which was a distinctly darker colour and I think this is what is often taken for AB in b&w photos.  However, the indicated date of the photograph, from the log and the roundels, suggests a date well after the rejection of Sky.

 

Coastal Beaufighters in the UK were certainly operated in TSS over Sky. but ones intended for the Middle East would have been fitted for tropical operations and this would have normally included a repaint where required, in this case the underside.  If this was missed then they would normally be repainted in theatre, although as the Beaufighters were normally flown out directly by squadron crews this may well have been omitted.  So in this case Sky cannot be completely ruled out, and I didn't.  These qualifications aside, there is at least one colour photo on Malta showing Azure Blue undersides.

 

Lacking more specific accounts, guessing about the colours was exactly what Touvdal was asking for.  Or rather, helpful suggestions based on what they looked as though they could be and what was usual in the theatre.   Yes, being dogmatic about what colours were present on the original airframe with only b&w photos being available as evidence, is fraught and possibly even foolish.  However sensible assumptions based on available evidence can be made, to a fair probability.

 

Probably, the undersides were AB.  Possibly, they were Sky.  Other options have a very low probability.

 

 

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The IWM collections have several colour photos of Beau’s in the MTO, for example this one from Libya 1943, and is azure blue.

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205188546

 

And these based on Malta in ‘43

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205188638

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

... So in this case Sky cannot be completely ruled out, and I didn't.  ...

 

Lacking more specific accounts, guessing about the colours was exactly what Touvdal was asking for.  Or rather, helpful suggestions based on what they looked as though they could be and what was usual in the theatre.   Yes, being dogmatic about what colours were present on the original airframe with only b&w photos being available as evidence, is fraught and possibly even foolish.  However sensible assumptions based on available evidence can be made, to a fair probability.

 

Probably, the undersides were AB.  Possibly, they were Sky.  Other options have a very low probability.

 

Fully understood from the outset.

My "I'd rather not indulge" comment was directed entirely at me, as even if I have looked at a lot of (printed) photos in my time, I feel insufficiently qualified to be more than just in the ballpark, especially as I may have missed a thing or two in recent years, and the rather lilac-y Humbrol interpretation of AB may still influence me.

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16 hours ago, tempestfan said:

and the rather lilac-y Humbrol interpretation of AB may still influence me.

 

No, Lilac was only used in cases where PRU Mauve was deemed unsuitable.

 

(sorry, couldn't resist the extremely esoteric humour [sic])

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