Jump to content

HMS Duke of York 1941 Matchbox kit colours


rossm
 Share

Recommended Posts

spacer.png

 

HMS Duke of York seems to have worn an experimental scheme when launched and reproduced on the Matchbox kit. I have a boxing with the instructions in Chinese so no colour references at all, just the colour drawing on the back of the box showing 3 greys and wood main deck, dark grey other decks. The books I have differ - Shipcraft 2 says AP507A,B & C with the lighter C confined to the superstructure whereas Elite 1 shows 3 greys with the lighter one stated to be Light Mediterranean Grey on the hull as well. The clearer photos in the Elite booklet seem to support this but the other two greys aren't given names.

 

Please can anyone help with what they might be and what are the best Tamiya (easy to get) colours to use?

 

Alternatively I could do the second scheme of an overall grey with wood main deck and dark grey other decks - again does anyone know the overall grey applied in late 1941 please? 

 

TIA,

Ross

Edited by rossm
more detail
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pop across to Sovereign Hobbies for a description of the correct colour names and matching for RN warships.  I don't think that Jamie has specifically covered Duke of York but it may be in one of Alan Raven's books.  Please be VERY careful with such older works as there have been some incorrect colour judgements because of ageing problems with the surviving records.  Jamie has gone back to the quoted original colour recipes to get better  matches with the original.  It's all on the site... and Colourcoats provides all the colours.

 

However as a starter, begin with 507A for the darkest grey and 507C for the lightest, otherwise termed Home Fleet Grey and Mediterranean Fleet Grey.  There was a medium grey which was a mix of the two, which is what the older references called 507B.  .  But once you get into the war there are other options and other colour names with simple schemes replaced for individual ships by individual Admiralty designs.  It would then require matching the armament and radar fit you get in the kit with the period and hence colours scheme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Pop across to Sovereign Hobbies for a description of the correct colour names and matching for RN warships.  I don't think that Jamie has specifically covered Duke of York but it may be in one of Alan Raven's books.  Please be VERY careful with such older works as there have been some incorrect colour judgements because of ageing problems with the surviving records.  Jamie has gone back to the quoted original colour recipes to get better  matches with the original.  It's all on the site... and Colourcoats provides all the colours.

 

However as a starter, begin with 507A for the darkest grey and 507C for the lightest, otherwise termed Home Fleet Grey and Mediterranean Fleet Grey.  There was a medium grey which was a mix of the two, which is what the older references called 507B.  .  But once you get into the war there are other options and other colour names with simple schemes replaced for individual ships by individual Admiralty designs.  It would then require matching the armament and radar fit you get in the kit with the period and hence colours scheme.

Thanks Graham, Alan Raven wrote the Elite booklet I have and that gives the Matchbox scheme but doesn't name the greys other than the lightest. It's the medium one that's most difficult, I can't get much of a clue from the Sovereign Hobbies page on RN colours and the page on DofY only shows the 1943 scheme.

 

Looking at the photos in the Raven booklet I could start feeling speculative and go for MS4A, MS3 & MS2 but I just found this photo on the IWM site which shows a sort of medium grey overall on 17th October 1941 which conflicts with photos showing the camouflage scheme in the Raven booklet dated 4th September and November 1941. There are other detail photos around the same date, none show evidence of camouflage but one of them does show the deck as dark - although obviously wet, from rain I assume.

 

So was the camouflage scheme put on sometime before fitting out was complete and removed before the ship went into service? Was the deck painted by then? It must be time to tag @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

 

Maybe I just go for overall 507C with 507A decks - it'll be much easier to paint although not the kit scheme which I'd like to use as it's for the Matchbox 50th anniversary GB.

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs

HMS DUKE OF YORK NEARING COMPLETION. 17 OCTOBER 1941, ROSYTH. THE BATTLESHIP AS IT NEARED COMPLETION, WAS TAKEN FORM THE DRY DOCK TO THE FITTING OUT BASIN, WHERE SHE WILL BE COMPLETED.. © IWM (A 5917) IWM Non Commercial License

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having been through 297 photos of DofY on the IWM site including fitting out, sea trials and taking Churchill to the US in December 1941 there's not one showing the camouflage scheme on the Matchbox kit box. The only ones are the two in the Elite booklet and if we allow the possibility of one being incorrectly captioned then I begin to doubt that she ever went to sea in that "experimental" scheme.

 

At least one IWM photo in dry weather showed the main deck as I would expect to see wood in a monochrome photo so I think it's AP507C hull and superstructure with AP507A decks bar the wooden main deck for early service, the camo having been overpainted during fitting out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are photographs of DoY fitting out at John Brown Clydebank and then being towed down the Clyde wearing camouflage. So that is before 9 Sept 1941. She then went to Rosyth where she arrived the next day.

 

The above photo in post #3 was, I'm pretty certain, taken at Rosyth judging by the dock layout, background etc. She sailed from Rosyth on 2nd Nov in company with the cruiser Berwick. And the cruiser in the background is.....Berwick! The giveaway beingbthe camouflage scheme. So I think that the date given of 17 Oct is pretty accurate.

 

The next time the pair were at Rosyth together was in 1943 when DoY was wearing camouflage again.

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, EwenS said:

There are photographs of DoY fitting out at John Brown Clydebank and then being towed down the Clyde wearing camouflage. So that is before 9 Sept 1941. She then went to Rosyth where she arrived the next day.

 

The above photo in post #3 was, I'm pretty certain, taken at Rosyth judging by the dock layout, background etc. She sailed from Rosyth on 2nd Nov in company with the cruiser Berwick. And the cruiser in the background is.....Berwick! The giveaway beingbthe camouflage scheme. So I think that the date given of 17 Oct is pretty accurate.

 

 

Supporting my theory the camouflage was removed before she went to sea, thank you for the help in removing my confusion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, rossm said:

Supporting my theory the camouflage was removed before she went to sea, thank you for the help in removing my confusion.

Well to get from the Clyde to Rosyth she had to sail all the way round the north of Scotland so she was "at sea".😉

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Our Ned said:

Is Alan Raven's "Elite booklet" the same as Alan Raven Ensign 1: King George the Fifth Class Battleships (London: Bivouac Books, 1972)?

Yes, I have the Ensign booklet, senior moment :oops:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, EwenS said:

Well to get from the Clyde to Rosyth she had to sail all the way round the north of Scotland so she was "at sea".😉

So she was launched in 1940, towed down the Clyde in September 1941 and made a sea voyage to be fitted out at Rosyth. I'm not familiar with ships, nor with the geography of anywhere north of Exeter 😁, I just assumed fitting out had to occur before she went to sea.

 

Therefore the camouflage was used for just the one voyage before she started active service. A good excuse for just going overall grey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard overall grey scheme at home in 1941 was overall 507A - Dark Grey, Home Fleet Shade, often somewhat abbreviated to just "Home Fleet Grey".

 

Where older references get messy, as Graham pointed out, is that 3-4 decades ago someone with a very incomplete set of records and a lot of anecdotal material collected tried to use "common sense" to fill in some gaps and made a significant error which was then foundational in lots of derivative work of his own and heavily copied and repeated in numerous books since. This error is the fallacy that since 507A = Dark Grey and 507C = Light Grey, then 507B must be Medium Grey between the two. In truth 507A and 507B were identical in colour and only the matt or semi-gloss finish respectively differentiated them. This expectation to see 3 distinct tones has corrupted all sorts of things. There are 3 tone schemes featuring black, 507A and 507C. There are others which feature 507A, 507C and a mixed grey between. Both are described by Raven and others since as 507A, B and C. One 3-tone scheme that springs to mind described as 507A, B and C by Raven is actually believed to have been MS1, B5 and 507C. There are ships of the Home Fleet which were painted 507A with their decks painted a darker tone from menu of non-slip paints (Not from the 507 linseed oil paint family) and a very dark stain for wooden decks made from thinned Japan Black. These are described by Raven and others as 507B hull with 507A decks and turret tops etc. In short, all the colour callouts derived from not actually knowing what the paints were called or what they looked like need to be treated with extreme caution as they're all derived from a fundamental mistake.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, rossm said:

So she was launched in 1940, towed down the Clyde in September 1941 and made a sea voyage to be fitted out at Rosyth. I'm not familiar with ships, nor with the geography of anywhere north of Exeter 😁, I just assumed fitting out had to occur before she went to sea.

 

Therefore the camouflage was used for just the one voyage before she started active service. A good excuse for just going overall grey.

 

Not quite. Most of the fitting out was carried out at the builders yard, John Brown at Clydebank, between launch in Feb 1940 and Sept 1941. Clydebank is on the River Clyde between Glasgow and Greenock and the channel down River was and is relatively narrow. So tugs were generally employed to see ships, particularly large ships, safely down River to the broader waters of the Firth of Clyde where they could run trials.

 

She then went to the RN Dockyard at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth, on the Scottish east coast, for the final bits and pieces to be done. That included fitting the radars (note the aerials had been fitted at John Brown but probably not the large cabinets containing the electronics which would have been top secret in those days). Rosyth also had a dry dock big enough to take her. Can’t remember offhand if there was one on the Clyde big enough to take her at that time. She then got the last of her crew, took on stores, ran some more trials before heading for Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands to begin her work up.

 

The same thing happened with her sister ship Howe, built at the Fairfield yard on the Clyde (now BAe Systems yard at Govan). King George V and Prince of Wales also spent time at Rosyth before working up, having been built on the Tyne and Mersey rivers respectively.

 

This didn’t necessarily happen with all ships, but it did with the Battleships and the carriers Implacable and Indefatigable built in those same yards.

 

photo of her under tow here.

http://www.clydeships.co.uk/view.php?ref=3422#v

 

Edited by EwenS
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, EwenS said:

Rosyth also had a dry dock big enough to take her. Can’t remember offhand if there was one on the Clyde big enough to take her at that time. She then got the last of her crew, took on stores, ran some more trials before heading for Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands to begin her work up.

 

 

As we've learned quite recently thanks to Richard Dennis, she probably was dispatched from the Clyde wearing only her Protective coatings on the bottom of the hull, but would have had her hull cleaned and her first Anti-Fouling coat applied in Rosyth, as seemed to be normal practise for builders and the RN at the time. This is probably because the Anti-Fouling lasted about 1 year in the water whether the ship was in active duty or not, and it was expensive. It seems it made sense not to bother with it until the ship was ready to Commission.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The patterned scheme was applied to DoY about mid-June 1941. The scheme lasted until it was painted out with an overall coat of Home Fleet Grey at Rosyth whilst completing later that year. No colour records of this camouflage have survived. The colours were bespoke, agreed on site by the Directorate of Camouflage’s expert and John Brown’s foreman of painters. Given that the scheme was designed to disguise the ship against air attack whilst in John Brown’s fitting out basin it is more than likely that colours were matched to the immediate shipyard surroundings and buildings with consideration of how the shipyard might look from the air. This implies grey and grey-brown colours with the addition of black or a very dark shade of grey-brown. Have a look at colour aerial photos or film of the John Brown yard for the sort of colours. The pattern itself suggests industrial buildings, with saw-tooth roof lines, and shares some characteristics with the scheme applied to King George V when fitting-out on the Tyne in 1940.

Edited by dickrd
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Clydeside shipyards were closely surrounded by tall tenement buildings (blocks of flats or apartments for those living outside Scotland!) in which the workforce lived. While constructed from sandstone they were virtually black in appearance due to the pollution prevalent at the time. The cleanup began in the 1970s to sandblast the survivors to reveal the original sandstone colours.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although a few years later, the essential colours of the shipyard buildings and surfaces near the fitting out basin (at the bottom of the photos) will not have changed much:

 

Clyde John Browns b

 

 

Clyde John Browns a

 

See also:

 

John Brown Shipyard on the Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland (1926) - YouTube

 

Visit to a Shipbuilding Yard (1951) | BFI National Archive - YouTube

 

John Brown's Shipyard (1971) - YouTube

 

 

 

 

Edited by dickrd
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...