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rossm

HMS Howe colour photo

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The photo shows Howe as she left Devonport in mid-1944 which is how I want to model her. I'm particularly puzzled as to what colour the decks would have been - would the wood have been painted for best camouflage effect?

Thanks in advance,

Ross

 

2019 edit - photo now here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Howe_(32)#/media/File:HMS_Howe_(32)_passing_Suez_Canal_1944.jpg

Edited by rossm
New location for photo

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Very nice photos, but I suspect they are mirror images of each other, check the trees!

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Very nice photos, but I suspect they are mirror images of each other, check the trees!

i was just gonna say that

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If you look closely at the area in front of A Turret and up to the foc'sle break it appears that the deck is still unpainted and looks bleached teak.

There is a high angle photo of Howe, taken in May 1944, in the publication "Shipcraft 2 - King George V class Battleships". This also give an appearance of unpainted decks.

Mike

Edited by bootneck

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As far as I know (which is admittedly not far) these colour schemes weren't camouflage as such, they were designed to make it difficult for enemy gunners to determine range, heading and speed with a range finder. I could be wrong, of course.

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Very nice photos, but I suspect they are mirror images of each other, check the trees!

Yes, they are mirror images of the same photo; trees, sign-post on tree, Sign on road etc. However the most obvious recognition feature, that proves it is the same photo, is that this class of ship has Two anchors on the Starboard Side, but only One on the Port side.

Mike

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The photo shows Howe as she left Devonport in mid-1944 which is how I want to model her. I'm particularly puzzled as to what colour the decks would have been - would the wood have been painted for best camouflage effect?

Thanks in advance,

Ross

According to Raven and Roberts' "British Battleships of World War Two" Howe was in an Admiralty intermediate disruptive scheme from completion in mid-1942 until late 1944. In April 1945 she was in an Admiralty standard type scheme which this clearly isn't. It's my opinion that she's in either in her original colours of AP507A (light grey), B5, B6 (blues) and AP507C (very dark grey) or, if she was completely repainted during her refit, the later (1943) counterparts of those colours, G10, B15, B30 and G45. Roger Chesneau's Shipcraft on the KGV class reckons AP507A, AP507B (grey midway between AP507A and C), AP507C and B5 for the original scheme but in my estimation Raven trumps Chesneau, much as I admire Roger's work.

Decks: usually tricky. Alan Raven's "Warship Perspectives - Camouflage Volume Two: Royal Navy 1942" says that Anson and Howe all wore the same camouflage scheme as KGV (507s, B5, B6). Of the decks it says "wood decks: 1942 unknown, 1943 dark grey" and "turret roofs AP507A" but that may be just applicable to just KGV. In any case decks probably weren't being scrubbed during wartime which means that they go a nondescript slightly brownish grey anyway, especially when wet. I've looked at the pic in Shipcraft which shows a neutral grey tone: could be either wood or grey. If the latter, they certainly aren't AP507A or AP507C.

That's my opinion which anyone else is welcome to shoot down. To be honest, you're best off asking the same question on steelnavy.com, where some serious experts including, if you're really lucky, Mr Raven himself may answer your question.

All shades available in the White Ensign Colourcoats range.

Paul AH: think this scheme is a classic disruptive camouflage scheme. Your comments apply more to the later Admiralty standard schemes (normally a light overall colour with a darker bar of colour on the hull) adopted from Sep 1944, which aimed only to confuse on course and speed.

PS I've seen this picture of Howe somewhere recently with a caption saying that she had "already been repainted into the camouflage scheme preferred by the Eastern Fleet". I don't believe that to be true.

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HMS Howe was my late uncles ship until he was invalided off in mid '44, I'm re-working a Tamiya P-o-W to represnt her during her time escorting the Russian convoys, before the refit that removed the hangars and catapult.

I've picked up a few pics of her, as always with Internet sourced images I have no idea of its copyright and is for information purposes only. It is captioned as having been taken in May 1944...

HoweMay1944port.jpg

This one is stamped 10/6/1944 with an MoD stamp and is marked IWM, it was either e-mailed to me or I found it online somewhere, if anyone gets antsy about copyright then i'll remove it...

Howeiwm.jpg

Hope they help. FWIW I bought the Shipcraft volume on the KGV class with a view to building HMS Howe, I found it utterly useless, most of the images it contained of Howe are readily available through a simple Google search and the modelling section, although it includes some pictures of some really nice models, is just that, a gallery of pictures of some really nice models, no real depth to the notes or hints to help you build a particular ship...

Edited by TheModeller

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Thank you all for your replies. The more I see of that scheme the wilder I think it is. As an aircraft modeller I'm not too sure how to paint it but I'll follow my usual method of jumping in with both feet and see. Ultimately I want to make a montage of HMS Howe as refitted in Devonport early 1944, a Do217K2 as shot down when trying to attack Howe with a Fritz-X guided bomb in April 1944 and the Mosquito of 406 Squadron from Winkleigh which shot it down into Whitsand Bay, presumably in view of where I live (but I wasn't born then!), all posed on a map of the area. This was the only known attack on the UK with guided weapons (actually 2 Dorniers, both shot down). I have most of the details for the aircraft (except the Mosquito serial) but the ship is a whole new ballgame for me - well since I built the Airfix Nelson (lots of tube cement and no paint) when I was little,

Thanks again,

Ross

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I could finally be starting this one soon so I'm bumping this thread up to pick up any new information that has come to light. Seems like the Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoat paints are the ones to go for - but which ones? If you don't mind @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies are you able to confirm the right ones please?

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7 hours ago, rossm said:

I could finally be starting this one soon so I'm bumping this thread up to pick up any new information that has come to light. Seems like the Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoat paints are the ones to go for - but which ones? If you don't mind @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies are you able to confirm the right ones please?

 

Given it's 1944, I believe HMS Howe to be in G10, B15, B30 and G45 in those famous photos on the Suez Canal. The G10 looks dark though - almost to the point of confusion with G5. G5 and MS1 tend to look pure black though. I think the photographs were probably taken using lens filters on the camera given the greyness of the sky, and also it's worth pointing out that the visible side of the ship is in the shade.

 

The_British_Battleship_HMS_Howe_Passing_

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On 2/22/2011 at 3:13 AM, Paul A H said:

these colour schemes weren't camouflage as such, they were designed to make it difficult for enemy gunners to determine range, heading and speed

Gidday Paul, I think you're right or very close to it.  I read a long time ago that the original purpose of these schemes was to distort a ship's image to give a false impression of course, speed or both to make it more difficult for a U-boat to calculate a firing solution. I don't know if it was ever proved to work but it couldn't have done any harm.

     An added bonus for us is that it makes our model ship making more interesting (or exasperating - take your pick) in that we don't have a display cabinet full of similar looking models all of similar single shades of grey. But that probably wasn't a consideration during WWI and II. 😀

     Regards to all, Jeff.

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It's worth looking at other photos of Howe in this scheme and taken in Plymouth Sound in May 1944 after her refit and just before sailing east. It seems clear to me that there was no change to the darkest tone which remained G5 (not G10/507A) as it had been beforehand (MS1 in the earlier era of course). It was only KGV that had the lighter G10/507A as the darkest of the four shades in this scheme. I agree with Jamie@SovereignHobbies re the other colours: B15, B30 and G45.

 

 

howe2b.jpg

 

hms-howe.jpg

Edited by dickrd

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I'll be watching this thread with interest. I started building Tamiya's 1/350 KGV to depict Howe at the time of going through the Suez canal. (I imagine many modellers get the same idea when they see this photo).

Although I parked the build some years ago, I recall doing some head scratching about the light AA weapons fit at the time of transiting the canal.  I think I read that further weapons were installed once she reached her destination, and the figures I had included these extras.

I hope you enjoy the build and I'll be watching how it goes,

Pat

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1 hour ago, patmaquette said:

 

Although I parked the build some years ago, I recall doing some head scratching about the light AA weapons fit at the time of transiting the canal.  I think I read that further weapons were installed once she reached her destination, and the figures I had included these extras.

 

A fellow modeller kindly searched his references for me and came up with the following:

 

There is a drawing showing Howe's anti-aircraft fit in May 1944 in the Warship No.10, A Quarterly Journal of Warship History, by Conway Maritime Press.

 

There is a vertical view in  British Battleships of World War Two, Alan Raven and John Roberts, ISBN: 0-87021-817-4, published by United States Naval Institute Press, 1976 on page 300. This is what creates the puzzle over the deck colour as it could be painted grey???

 

The same book states her AA fit as 1944/45 refit :

34 x 20mm Single Oerliken

4 x Twin 20mm Oerliken

4 x Octuple Pom-poms

6 x Quad 40mm Bofors

 

PM me for a copy of the drawing if you like.

 

I will be visiting Plymouth library sometime soon, there used to be a Naval Reference section but I don't know what has happened following the move to Armada Way. Hopefully I can find some of the references there.

 

Thanks for the colour references @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies are you at any shows coming up in the SW like Avon?

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Hi,

 

We don't generally attend shows I'm afraid. Only the likes of Telford is big enough for us to come home with more money than it costs.

 

Updating to align with Richard then, darkest to lightest:

 

G5 = NARN 28

B15 = NARN 33

B30 = NARN 37

G45 = NARN 22

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Whilst the key in Raven and Roberts does indeed say "Six quadruple Bofors fitted" to HOWE, the drawing only shows the usual two mountings, and there's no indication in other references (inlcluding Alan Raven Ensign 1: King George the Fifth Class Battleships (London: Bivouac Books, 1972)) that she ever carried more than the usual two mountings (on the after superstructure).

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On the question of the wooden decks:

 

The staining/painting of wooden decks seems to have gone out of official ‘fashion’ towards the end of the war. Whilst making provision for it in various circumstances, such painting was nevertheless described in CB 3098R (May 1943) as being of “doubtful merit” and “not indispensable” and “where decks are often wet, their natural tone is often satisfactory”. When referring to the camouflage schemes to be used by battleships, the subsequent CAFO 2269 of October 1944 stated “no special deck painting is required for camouflage purposes.”

 

However official policy on such matters was not always followed. So I think it’s a question of deciding what you think you can see in the (black and white) photos available. To my eye the aerial photos of Howe in 1944 in this scheme show unpainted wooden decks darkened by weathering/wear and often by being wet when the photos were taken.

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