Jump to content

Camouflage colors for HMS Offa?


Richard502
 Share

Recommended Posts

@dickrd may be able to positively identify the date the photograph was taken, but I think we can as a minimum discount 1941 as she wore Home Fleet Grey then, and she seemed to have worn a 507A hull and 507C upperworks scheme for at least part of 1942. Later in the war she's been photographed in an Admiralty standard scheme which leaves a bracket of some of 1942 through most of 1944 when this could have been taken. I've never looked into this ship previously...

 

That scheme though was well used on destroyers and with 3 main variations. The bow and stern of the hull along with the upperworks are a light grey background. The darkest sweeping curve is almost always dark grey. The mid tone on the hull contained within the dark grey swoop is (from 1943 onwards at least) normally B15, G20 or B30. Given the relative closeness of the tones of the mid colour and the light grey on bow and stern, I'd have to go with B30, making the set from darkest to lightest G10, B30 and G45. If the photograph dates to 1942 or early 1943 prior to the G&B series paints then the good news is the G10=507A and G45=507C. B6 is very similar in appearance to its successor B30, so it shouldn't be as critical in this case that the date of the photograph is absolutely right.

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

That's an easy one @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies ! : 30th December 1943 

 

Fresh out of refit at a UK shipyard so B&G series paints no doubt.  

 

Given the light/white draught marks on the forwardmost and aft most hull panels, and given that the stern pendant number (not visible in this photo) was also light/white, I think these have to have been a paint darker than G45 so, say, B30...

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

Jamie@SovereignHobbies and dickrd, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

As usual, an answer raises two new questions:

1)Jamie suggests "from darkest to lightest G10, B30 and G45", and dickrd suggests B30 as the bow and stern color. If so, what would be a logical paint for the central panel? 

2) The stack appears to be very light, lighter than the central panel: is that a fourth color, or just a trick of light, dried salt spray on the stack....?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest that this is just a two colour scheme. I am working from a better quality image than the one at the link above: 

Offa 1943 12 30 a3

 

 

I see no difference in tone between the hull side's central panel (the one with the pendant number on it) and the panels at each end. Towards the stern it is the direction of the sunlight that is causing the lightness.

 

The 'light' paint strip at the top edge of the bridge looks the same tone as the lighter hull panels, not lighter still. The more forward facing bit of the funnel is the same. The lightness of the rest of the funnel is down to the strong sunlight shining on and reflecting off it. The side of the B mounting 4.7" shield is the same. The small light panel with the curved bottom on the deckhouse below B 4.7" appears slightly lighter than the hull panel below but the deckhouse side is vertical whereas the hull side below is perhaps sloping slightly inwards so will naturally be darker due to slight shadowing effect even if painted the same colour. I also think that the more aft facing area of the curved splinter shield beside B mounting shining brightly as it catches the sunlight tricks the eye creating a false impression of how light the paint really is in this panel.

 

 

(I should perhaps add that I have other (private) photos of Offa in this scheme, not of very good quality, but they also suggest just two colours.)   

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

Having been picking up and dropping some rectangular samples around the image, Richard, I think I agree with you now.

 

The forward half of the funnel facing away from the sun matches the side of the hull. The only bit that's bugging me slightly is that light bulkhead just ahead of the boat which should be in-plane with the side of the hull but for some reason is glaring rather brightly, although I don't think that changes the overall conclusion.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

...The only bit that's bugging me slightly is that light bulkhead just ahead of the boat which should be in-plane with the side of the hull but for some reason is glaring rather brightly, although I don't think that changes the overall conclusion.

 I think that this was some form of local initiative, non-structural, canvas over metal frame, 'airlock' between the open deck and the access to the mess decks. They (as in practice they were both sides) are there in some photos, not in others so presumably could be erected and dismantled as required. I speculate that they were fitted when on winter arctic convoy work to try to keep the mess decks warm. In the clearer second photo below you can see what looks like it might be a canvas curtain rolled up at the top of the open opening:

 

Offa 1943 12 30 e - Copy

 

 

Offa 1944 45 - Copy

 

(They don't seem to have yet painted the canvas around the searchlight platform either in the original photo.)

 

Edited by dickrd
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

dickrd: the 2-tone scheme is convincing. So it will be G10 with B30 or G45: there will be time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions before the choice between G45 and B30.

Is there something darkish (or 3-dimensional) on the rear half of gun shields A + B?  A dark stained canvas cover?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Richard502 said:

dickrd: the 2-tone scheme is convincing. So it will be G10 with B30 or G45: ......

Is there something darkish (or 3-dimensional) on the rear half of gun shields A + B?  A dark stained canvas cover?

 You can be sure that is not G45. At a glance it looks too dark and the degree of contrast with the draught marks and pendant number is too great. Moreover, given the orders then in force (see CB 3098R/43) white pendant numbers were to be painted where G20 and B30 were the background colour. On G45 the pendant numbers were to be G20 ie darker than the background.

 

Yes, a canvas cover like this:

 

4.7 inch canvas

 

 

 

  • Like 3
  • 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...