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mhaselden

27 Sqn Blenheims at Singapore IN COLOUR!

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Wonderful pictures thank you - not qualified to comment upon colours - have played with them on photoshop but nothing material revealed. And bearing mind the myriad of things that can influence a colour photo think it would be bold to be too dogmatic.

As to yellow edging, I feel it does appear on the fin as well - very neatly done and so doubt if it is de icing compound. That was more generously applied. As to being a protective strip it is just possible: but an old lag thinks that they would not have bothered - if they had such stuff. He can only recall a very heavy type of masking tape - a light beige - that was used to protect the edges of sections in transit. Admits his memory is not perfect (at 91) so who knows - but an entertaining series of posts. Much appreciated.

Everyone is qualified to comment on colours! A colour is a colour is a colour

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Excellent summation, Mark.

But as I wrote earlier, there is a pic of L6667 with the codes PT-D. Now, I know, that over time a/c could change theirindividual letters, but if L6667 WAS 'D', then that would make L6666 'B'.

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Very nice picture too Mark - and interesting that the roundel appears on the lower wing on this particular aircraft. I wonder if that has any significance with the yellow edging??

Oh and Rich - I really meant that I did not feel qualified to comment upon the rendering in the colour photos - a minefield!! Have found too many opportunities and causes for variations from the actual over the years. But thank you.

Edited by miduppergunner

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Aircraft with identifiable yellow edges to the fin and tailplane leading edges are:

L4928

L6633

L6635

L6649

L6666

L6669

L8618

Two of the above have all-black undersides while the rest have blue starboard undersides. Only L4928 was positively identified as having underwing roundels, so there's no real correlation to these markings. The interesting question is whether roundels were applied to the aircraft with blue starboard undersides at a later date.

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I came across this thread and was also browsing life, check this one out;

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?img...%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?q=r...6c0d6c354d9d572

It looks like there are a great deal of pics there by Carl Mydans

Julien

Edited by Julien

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Heehee,insert amusing caption to the photo in the top link above!!!

Judging by the dark patch on the guys shorts,he's not happy about the being where he is :D

Mike

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Hello!

For what it is worth.

Blenheim horizontal stabilizers had leading edge former of wood (as had the rudder aerodynamic balance on top). Apparently screws were used to attach the aluminium covering to the wooden leading edge. The yellow stripes might indeed be fabric strips doped over this attachment area to cover the screw heads after retightening, repairs or somesuch. This does no explain the yellow leading edge of the fins, though. Perhaps seam between panels was covered on that point? Just a guess.

I have heard that post-war Finnish AF Blenheims had this wooden former in red colour in later phases when they otherwise were finished in aluminum dope.

Cheers,

Kari

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I came across this thread and was also browsing life, check this one out;

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?img...%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?q=r...6c0d6c354d9d572

It looks like there are a great deal of pics there by Carl Mydans

Julien

click here for a factory fresh boxing - future diorama?

:sorry: apology's for being :offtopic: but darn, the guy was some photographer!

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Just to bring the discussion full-circle, here's another great pic of a 243 Sqn Buffalo but check out the Blenheim in the background - blue starboard underside and an underwing roundel (as if we didn't have enough variations in these pics from Carl Mydans!):

Buffalo W8142

Sorry for dragging this thread out yet further!

Cheers,

Mark

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Just to bring the discussion full-circle, here's another great pic of a 243 Sqn Buffalo but check out the Blenheim in the background - blue starboard underside and an underwing roundel (as if we didn't have enough variations in these pics from Carl Mydans!):

Buffalo W8142

Sorry for dragging this thread out yet further!

Cheers,

Mark

Never apologoise for that! The Buffalo is interesting - no fighter band and no black underwing!

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Never apologoise for that! The Buffalo is interesting - no fighter band and no black underwing!

Hi Dave,

It's too early for those markings as the first Buffalo squadrons, 67 and 243, were still forming up in Apr 41. At this stage, most of the Buffalos still had not been assigned to specific units - they were pooled for use by all the available pilots. W8142 was one of the first to be formally assigned, hence it wears 243 Sqn's WP codes. Carl Mydans' series of photos shows a number of newly-assembled Buffalos lined up without codes, including W8135, W8138 and W8148. Several of the aircraft still have the factory-fitted ring-and-bead gunsight - installing the correct reflector gunsight, and painting the fuselage band and black port undersides were all squadron responsibilities.

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by mhaselden

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Re Buffalo, do you guys know this color photo?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buffwrecks.jpg

Brewster B339E wrecks cannibalized for parts, probably in Singapore circa late January 1942. Two of the Buffalos, serials W8156 and W8207, were operated by 453 Squadron RAAF.[17]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster_Buffalo

The fighter bands for example almost look white there, I am not sure tho if it's not a colorized photo.

Edited by occa

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That pic came out some time ago in the book "Japan's War in Colour". Sourced from Japanese sources, I suspect it was originally a colour pic but the printing/reproduction isn't the greatest so there remains the possibility it was colourized (although the red-doped patches over battle damage and the reasonable representation of MSG suggest first-hand witnessing of the scene, hence more likely it's an original colour pic). Also, unfortunately, it only shows the port sides of the aircraft and so it doesn't answer the question about the actual underside colour applied at the Brewster factory. That said, it still has revelations. The presence of W8207 in the scene refutes the documented evidence of that airframe being lost on 22 Dec 41. Little is certain when it comes to the Buffalo!

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Great thread, great pics. it is amazing what surfaces after so long.

My holy grail in terms of photosearches is from the same time frame; a picture of a NEI Airforce Hurricane in the Netherlands East Indies during the japanese invasion

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Hi Skybert,

I guess we have very similar interests. I'd also like some nice clear pics of Vildebeests in the camouflage marking. Colour pics of the same would be really, really nice. Oh yes, and then a 1/48 kit to build up in those markings. Or how about some pics of the nightfighter Buffalos employed over Singapore. Or the PR variants. And then there's the other Blenheim units used in Malaya. And one can never have enough pics of Martin 139s. I could go on....and on....and on!

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by mhaselden

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At risk of being committed for seemingly talking to myself, I took another look at this pic which, according to "accepted" wisdom, is L1134 PT-F (at least that's how it's represented in Graham Warner's tome on the Blenheim). I'll accept that the above pic isn't quite the same as the one in the Warner book (which I can't find in the LIFE archive - curse that crappy search capability!!!) but it's definitely the same aircraft - the port wingtip is missing.

Alleged L1134, PT-F

Looking under the port wing, there is an apparent sheen to the areas where the factory-applied white serial numbers have been overpainted with black. The serial is upside-down as viewed, with the initial letter under the roundel. The first 2 numbers appear to be '85' which makes this a Speke-built MkI. From the 27 Sqn 540 we have 2 options, L 8507 and L8540. Neither of these fit perfectly because the third number is difficult to discern while the last number looks very much like another '8' which, if the initial '85' is actually a misinterpreted '49' would also put L4928 in the frame. One final option could be L8618 but I think we can discount that airframe as by this stage it apparently already had blue starboard undersides (see my last link to W8142 above where PT-F is just visible with blue starboard undersides). Of the remaining 3 options, L4928, L8507 and L8540 I tend to plump for the latter.

However, that might not be the end of the story. Warner lists some additional airframes not listed in the 27 Sqn 540:

L8526 lost on 29 Sep 41 (no record of this loss at all in the 540)

L6632 lost on 28 Jun 41 (no record of this loss at all in the 540)

L1258 lost on 15 Feb 42 in the NEI

Interestingly, Warner lists L1134 as a 62 Sqn machine but persists in the theory of that unit wearing PT codes in 1941 which I believe is incorrect and which these LIFE photos bear out (because 27 Sqn was the only Blenheim fighter unit in the Command).

If L8526 was on-strength with 27 Sqn in early Apr 41, then that's probably the most likely candidate with L8540 coming second. Anyone aware of any other options or better ideas?

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by mhaselden

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Using an old technique of putting it into negative, I'd say the first number is an 8 and the second number is certainly a '5' - last number looks like a '2' or an '8' but it could be a '0' which has had some extra brush strokes

Edited by Dave Fleming

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That's what I was thinking, Dave. I don't think we've solved it but if we assume L8526 was on unit strength in April, that would be my bet for identification of this aircraft. The problem is that airframe just doesn't show up on any of the unit records and I find it very odd that the crash of Sqn Ldr Hacket's aircraft (when Flt Lt Mansel-Lewis was also killed) is recorded, but the losses of L8526 and L6632 aren't even mentioned.

Yet another puzzle....

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Is it me or does the port wingtip look a bit odd? Especially since the engines seem to be running up.

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Hi Jim,

It's missing. Dunno why. I imagine they just taxied it past the photographer so he could get his pics.

Cheers,

Mark

Or it's the little known cliipped wing LF version of the Blenheim (sorry, couldn't resist)

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