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11 Squadron Spitfire FR.XIVs at Miho, Japan - colours?


David Womby
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I'm not sure if this should go here or WW2 but since it's post VJ...................................................

 

I have seen a couple places stating that these FR.XIVs were Medium Sea Grey/Green with natural metal undersides and spinners.   Very unusual.  Can anyone point me to a picture that clearly shows the undersides were unpainted, please?  I have the Paul Lucas book "RAF Fighters 1945-1950 Overseas Based' but the photos don't make the bare metal undersides obvious to me. Thanks.


David

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I need to look through my references, but I'm sure I have seen a photo with an explanation to the following effect;

 

These XIV's were painted in the usual day fighter scheme, however at some point, they were stripped to bare metal (not painted high speed silver). There were some images showing them with various panels stripped and others not stripped.

 

I shall have a look through my books.

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Do you really mean Miho?

This place is well known to me.

Had no idea that Spits where there at all.

How many, how ling?

Was there at an airshow and was there by bicycle.

Close to Matsue and the ferry harbour to Korea.

 

Happy modelling

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17 Sq RAF and one of the RTAF squadrons, as part of the post-war Occupation forces.  EDIT  Hmm, 11 Sq comes to mind too.  END EDIT

 

I think the book to look in is by Paul Lucas, and is his Postwar RAF fighters Overseas volume for Guideline.  As I recall, the problem was the shortage of thinner and other supplies so a scheme had to be hurriedly sorted from what they could do..  I'll try to get a look for it tonight.

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The Aviation Workshop On Target Profile 8 has a drawing of Spitfire FR.XIVe (NH844) based at Miho, Japan, 1947.

The reference that they give for this is page 76 of 'RAF Fighters 1945 - 1950 Overseas Based, Camouflage and Markings No.5' by Paul Lucas, Guideline Publications.

I have an Airfix FR.XIVe in the stash that I want to do in this scheme, sometime.

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1 hour ago, wellsprop said:

I need to look through my references, but I'm sure I have seen a photo with an explanation to the following effect;

 

These XIV's were painted in the usual day fighter scheme, however at some point, they were stripped to bare metal (not painted high speed silver). There were some images showing them with various panels stripped and others not stripped.

 

I shall have a look through my books.

Thanks.   I have 'RAF Fighters 1945 - 1950 Overseas Based, Camouflage and Markings No.5' by Paul Lucas that has one pic but it's not great for my purpose.

37 minutes ago, dov said:

Do you really mean Miho?

This place is well known to me.

Had no idea that Spits where there at all.

How many, how ling?

Was there at an airshow and was there by bicycle.

Close to Matsue and the ferry harbour to Korea.

 

Happy modelling

Yes, 17 and 11 squadrons RAF and 4 squadron Royal Indian Airforce - all with F.XIV or FR.XIVs.

27 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

17 Sq RAF and one of the RTAF squadrons, as part of the post-war Occupation forces.  EDIT  Hmm, 11 Sq comes to mind too.  END EDIT

 

I think the book to look in is by Paul Lucas, and is his Postwar RAF fighters Overseas volume for Guideline.  As I recall, the problem was the shortage of thinner and other supplies so a scheme had to be hurriedly sorted from what they could do..  I'll try to get a look for it tonight.

As I said, I have that book.   There's text and a profile (MV357) and one photo (NH844) but that  isn't making the natural metal undersides obvious to me.

25 minutes ago, Welkin said:

The Aviation Workshop On Target Profile 8 has a drawing of Spitfire FR.XIVe (NH844) based at Miho, Japan, 1947.

The reference that they give for this is page 76 of 'RAF Fighters 1945 - 1950 Overseas Based, Camouflage and Markings No.5' by Paul Lucas, Guideline Publications.

I have an Airfix FR.XIVe in the stash that I want to do in this scheme, sometime.

Yes that's the only photo but it's not obviously natural metal.  Profiles are all well and good but I really like to check them with a photo or eyewitness description.

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3 hours ago, David Womby said:

I have seen a couple places stating that these FR.XIVs were Medium Sea Grey/Green with natural metal undersides and spinners.   Very unusual.  Can anyone point me to a picture that clearly shows the undersides were unpainted, please?

There was a link to some colour film shot in Japan posted here and/or Hyperscale,  which had footage of these Spitfires.  I can't find the threads now,  

ah, got it, OK this is a link to time

 

very brief, spinners look silver or NMF, as for the underside,  the little bit of carb intake visible does look lighter than the upper MSG.

 

also which is longer and has a NMF or aluminium painted Spitfire, which 

https://youtu.be/fuFhA6ETkgY?t=175

 

which may help, and certainly has some interesting shots, RAAF P-51, RNZAF F-4U 

 

HTH

 

 

 

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Brief precis of the article based on Air Min correspondence and 11 & 17 Squadron records 

The Deputy Allied Air Commander in Chief of ACSEA wanted the Spitfires looking in best possible appearance before deployment to Japan, preferably polished metal or overall silver doped.

S Eng SO advised this would be difficult to achieve, but was told to make it so.

Difficulties encountered stripping  due to inadequate chemicals and insufficient labour

DAACinC visited Seletar whilst this was in progress, acknowledged the problems and instructed a uniform camo scheme be applied

A scheme in dark green and med sea grey applied to all aircraft in both squadrons, 17 squadron applied MSG undersurfaces, some or all of 11 sqn undersurfaces retained natural metal undersurfaces and spinners.

As David Womby notes above, the photo reproduction of the 11 sqn spitfire captioned as bare metal undersides and spinner isn't good enough in the book to be conclusive. Whether this is visible on the original photo and other unpublished photos of 11 sqn spitfires I don't know, but Paul Lucas obviously feels that at least some of them retained bare metal undersides and spinners.

 

Edit - the footage Troy has just posted does appear to show a difference between the medium sea grey on the cowling side panel and the under cowling panel, this could be natural metal as well as the spinner, so I'd be comfortable with Paul Lucas conclusion, at least for some airframes.

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There are some pictures of Japan-based 11 Sqn Spitfires in Alfred Price's "Spitfire at War" and "Spitfire at War 3". They look like MSG/DG (at least the grey looks very light) and they carry white serials which might indicate that they were repainted in the field. But I am not sure if these photos help with the undersurface.

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36 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

There was a link to some colour film shot in Japan posted here and/or Hyp>

>

very brief, spinners look silver or NMF, as for the underside,  the little bit of carb intake visible does look lighter than the upper MSG.

 

also which is longer and has a NMF or aluminium painted Spitfire, which 

https://youtu.be/fuFhA6ETkgY?t=175

 

which may help, and certainly has some interesting shots, RAAF P-51, RNZAF F-4U 

 

HTH

 

 

 

Thanks so much for that.  Really helps.

34 minutes ago, Dave Swindell said:

Brief precis of the article based on Air Min correspondence and 11 & 17 Squadron records 

The Deputy Allied Air Commander in Chief of ACSEA wanted the Spitfires looking in best possible appearance before deployment to Japan, preferably polished metal or overall silver doped.

S Eng SO advised this would be difficult to achieve, but was told to make it so.

Difficulties encountered stripping  due to inadequate chemicals and insufficient labour

DAACinC visited Seletar whilst this was in progress, acknowledged the problems and instructed a uniform camo scheme be applied

A scheme in dark green and med sea grey applied to all aircraft in both squadrons, 17 squadron applied MSG undersurfaces, some or all of 11 sqn undersurfaces retained natural metal undersurfaces and spinners.

As David Womby notes above, the photo reproduction of the 11 sqn spitfire captioned as bare metal undersides and spinner isn't good enough in the book to be conclusive. Whether this is visible on the original photo and other unpublished photos of 11 sqn spitfires I don't know, but Paul Lucas obviously feels that at least some of them retained bare metal undersides and spinners.

 

Edit - the footage Troy has just posted does appear to show a difference between the medium sea grey on the cowling side panel and the under cowling panel, this could be natural metal as well as the spinner, so I'd be comfortable with Paul Lucas conclusion, at least for some airframes.

Thank you.   The evidence does seem pretty firm that at least some were bare metal undersides.   Isn't this site wonderful for getting answers to obscure stuff!


David

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9 minutes ago, canberra kid said:

This is probably doesn't add much but this is a photo my dad took in between flying.

q3LjUs.jpg

John

Brilliant, John!    I think I can see the difference between the MSG topsides and the underside which must be bare metal.  THANK YOU.


David

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17 minutes ago, David Womby said:

Brilliant, John!    I think I can see the difference between the MSG topsides and the underside which must be bare metal.  THANK YOU.


David

I know the pitfalls of interpreting colour from B&W photos, but I had similar thoughts David. There is another photo of a line of Spits that he took but I can't find it, but I don't think it would add much more anyway.

John

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14 hours ago, dov said:

Do you really mean Miho?

This place is well known to me.

Had no idea that Spits where there at all.

How many, how ling?

Was there at an airshow and was there by bicycle.

Close to Matsue and the ferry harbour to Korea.

 

Happy modelling

 

All part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force sent to Japan in early 1946.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Commonwealth_Occupation_Force

 

 

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Thank you EvenS.

Beside all my Japanese knowledge, this was new to me.

This are in Shimane is very famous for the iron and steel industry.

I will give you an idea:

Today: https://www.hitachi-metals.co.jp/e/yss/

Yesterday: https://japanahome.com/journal/yasugi-steel-makes-great/

All the area I went by bicycle. And climbing in the alps. Corona stopped all.

Thank you!

Happy modelling

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