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"Hurricane camoflage" Topic

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3,055 hits since 23 Aug 2009
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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:06 p.m. PST

I have 6 GFI Hurricanes that I am now painting.
Was the brown and green camoflage pattern consistently applied?
Were there mats and stencils, or was it more or less at random, but with guides and instructions?
I have the brown done, and am about to apply the green…
I can hold off for a day before I do it. Maybe 2…

kyoteblue Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:10 p.m. PST

Where and when ?????

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:12 p.m. PST

Oh, how about the Battle of Britain?

kyoteblue Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:15 p.m. PST

Early or late????

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:17 p.m. PST

July 20th. Morning.
Over Biggin Hill.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:18 p.m. PST

Not sure exact time periods but from photos and drawings that I have of the planes, it appears that it was a consistent pattern but not stenciled. If you can get a shot of planes from a squadron or pics of several different planes, you'll find that they are similar in camo application, but not identical. There was also a left and a right pattern (which were essentially mirror images of each other in terms of how the camo was applied).

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:25 p.m. PST

I can do "consistent but not identical". grin

Personal logo zippyfusenet Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:27 p.m. PST

"Was the brown and green camoflage pattern consistently applied?"

Yes. For every RAF fighter there was an 'A' cammo pattern, and a 'B' pattern that was a mirror image.

"Were there mats and stencils, or was it more or less at random, but with guides and instructions?"

The cammo finish was factory applied with spray guns. I don't think there were any stencils but the patterns were pretty consistent with small variations.

Checkitout on Wings Palette. Mostly profiles but there are probably some top views. The A and B patterns for a particular aircraft model kept the same shapes throughout the war, even when done in desert or green and grey schemes:

Phil DAmato23 Aug 2009 6:30 p.m. PST

There were two patterns of camo. They were mirror images of each other. The tricky part is the underside camouflage. Some Hurricanes had duck shell blue and some had half white and half black painted on the undersides. The duck shell blue is a tough one because I have seen different shades that represent the color.


Personal logo zippyfusenet Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:30 p.m. PST

Found you a top view:

Phil DAmato23 Aug 2009 6:31 p.m. PST

What Zippy said.


kyoteblue Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:32 p.m. PST

That link should help you out John the OFM…. oh and Blue Fez !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:34 p.m. PST

The duck shell blue is a tough one because I have seen different shades that represent the color.

Alternatively it's an easy one, because in 1940 Type S Sky wasn't yet in production, so different squadrons used anything handy…. (There's a handy site that explains it well, but the bookmark's on my other PC – short version is that different squadrons in 1940 used "sky blue" (actually two different colours called sky blue, one BS381 standard and one later, one notably darker than the other, I can't remember which) "sky grey" (a Fleet Air Arm colour that found its way onto some RAF aircraft) "eau de nil" (a very pale green) and eventually "sky" (the official light grey-green that didn't appear until very late in 1940.) Additionally the odd Spitfire squadron appears to have used white (although I can't recall a Hurri photo with all-white undersides) and some squadrons just "bucket" mixed a vaguely suitable light grey from black and white that they had in stores…. Oddly enough, "duck egg blue" remains the enduringly popular description for the underside colour, although there was never an official shade called it….


PS – Handy 5-view of the A pattern:
<Edit> Damn, beaten to the link….

Personal logo zippyfusenet Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 6:39 p.m. PST

Agree that use of the different underside finishes gets complicated. By late July 1940 most Hurricanes should have Sky undersides with no underwing roundels and black spinners. Sky spinners and fuselage bands came after the BoB was over.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:10 p.m. PST

OK, final post on undersides, as I found the summary I was looking for – lifted wholesale from an excellent post at :

"All DTD 308 cellulose and DTD 314 synthetic surface finishes used for camouflage had the Type S suffix, Type S, for smooth, distinguishing them from normal matt paints. They were developed because the smoother finish would be less detrimental to performance than the rougher pure matt paints. For some reason the Type S suffix became solely applied in publications and documents to Sky. When researchers first began looking at these documents and orders (about the 1960s) they mistook this to mean that Type S must be a type of Sky. This led Messers Bunkum and Claptrap to invent such nonsense as Sky Type S being a later, lighter version of Sky.

The new colour (in 1940) became known popularly by many descriptive names – ‘Duck Egg Green', ‘Duck Egg Blue', ‘Pale Green', ‘Pale Blue' – all were used at some time. Duck Egg Blue became the most common used in official documents and the popular press. This led to the two gentlemen's belief that Duck Egg Blue was a different but related colour to Sky.

There is no Teutonic thoroughness in MAP orders and specifications, more typically British amateurism. Colloquial terms are used freely and rarely are store references or such like given. Only when something totally new is introduced like Ocean Grey to they bother to tell anyone what it is and where to get it.

DTD Specification 83A quotes duck egg blue but this is not an indication that it existed as a separate shade to Sky. The same document also references ‘black' and ‘silver', both popular names for the official colours Night and Aluminium. However, Sky was something unfamiliar and evidently there was some confusion in the use of the different names for it. With there also being two different colours both called Sky Blue (BS 381 1930 Sky Blue – a medium duck egg blue shade and AM Sky Blue – best described as a powder blue) and a Sky Grey available it's no wonder. In the Admiralty Supplement to DTD 83A the following paragraph appears:

‘Appendix para 4 (ii). In order to clarify the position of the colour of undersides with this order and the camouflage drawings which will shortly be issued, it should be noted that duck egg blue and Sky Type S are one and the same colour.'

Because Sky was a new colour there was a shortage when it was first introduced leading to a number of colours being substituted. These included BSS 381 (1930) Eau de Nil, described as a rich Duck Egg Green and archaeological evidence indicates that it had a gloss finish, and BSS 381 (1930) No1 Sky Blue which archaeological evidence also indicates had a gloss finish.

The issue of AMO A.926/40 on 12 December 1940 ordered RAF Day Fighters to, ‘… carry an 18 inch band of duck egg blue (Sky Type S) right around the fuselage, immediately forward of the tailplane, and have the airscrew spinner painted duck egg blue (Sky Type S)."

No 3 MU Milton, the main supply depot for aircraft finishes seems to have been subject to a high demand for Sky paint. On 18 December 3 MU sent a signal to RAE Farnborough (where paints and camouflage colours were developed) "Your item 33B ref not known Sky. Demand M7338 follows. State whether for metal or fabric. Also which shade of Sky Blue Grey etc. Issuing ref 33B 191 and 262".

So six months after Sky was supposedly introduced into widespread use 3 MU did not have a stores reference number for it and the question as to which shade of Sky Blue or Grey implied they did not know that Sky was a colour in its own right. The final sentence reveals what they were issuing in its place. 33B/191 was the stores ref for a 5 gallon tin of Dark Earth to DTD 308 cellulose but makes no sense in the context of the message. However, 33B/291 was the stores ref for Sky Blue to DTD 314, a synthetic paint suitable for application on wood or metal. So allowing for a typographic error made by a signaller, it appears that Sky Blue was being issued to squadrons to mark up their aircraft with tail bands and coloured spinners. 33B/262 was the stores ref for a 5 gallon tin of light grey primer which was intended to be used under light colours on the under sides of aircraft. Check out some of the Hurricanes in On Target Profiles 12.

You can read the Air Min orders here
where you will see that Sky is most often called duck egg blue (Sky type S).

Sky Grey, introduced in 1939, was intended for use on the under surfaces of FAA aircraft in the Sea Temperate Scheme. "

Dom, taking his anorak off and going to bed….

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:17 p.m. PST

Well, crap…
In my extensive Google Images research, I found that almost all the Hurricanes had a cream colored undersides. So, I used Testor's Light Ivory…

Y'all won't tell on me if I don't strip all them models, will you?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:20 p.m. PST

That top view isn't very "mirror image", either…

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:30 p.m. PST

It's not meant to be – there were 2 patterns – that's one of them, and the *other* pattern is a mirror image of it. Neither pattern's symmetrical, they're mirror images of each other, though…. Ahh, here we go:
Compare and it will all make sense…. ;-)

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:32 p.m. PST

Ah! I was thinking of mirror image along the length of the fuselage.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 7:49 p.m. PST

And, now you have me confused by the 2 color roundel and yellow ringed roundel placement…

You do realize that the two mirror image … images are not consistent with the roundel plavcement?

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2009 9:07 p.m. PST

Duh, you can't hide from a hurricane. Camoflage will not help you.

Personal logo zippyfusenet Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2009 3:13 a.m. PST

Henh. Roundels are a whole 'nother subject. While the A and B camouflage patterns remained the same for the duration, markings were often revised. The illustration of Bob Tuck's Hurricane is from 'late 1940' while the Hurri with a two-bladed propellor dates from the Phoney War or Battle of France. Both carry markings appropriate for their dates, which shows how drastically the regulations changed (repeatedly) in less than a year.

Without trying to trace all the changes (Don may try – he's a stouter man than I), markings for late July 1940 should be two-color roundels, fairly large, on top of the wings, four-color roundels (with yellow surround), some smaller, on fuselage sides and nothing on wing bottoms. A few months before or after, regulations were very different.

Roundels and fin flashes were first painted on at the factory, but letters were added and roundels and flashes were revised (as directives were received and understood, and as time allowed) by squadron personnel, so there was often variation in size, color, pattern and placement of these markings, especially when old marking schemes were revised.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member24 Aug 2009 4:03 a.m. PST

I think they're too big to use camouflage effectively – you can see them from space!

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Aug 2009 4:12 a.m. PST

What Zippy said. Roundels are a totally different can of worms, and were very inconsistently applied, but for Battle Of Britain his summary's right for the majority. (Although from June 1940 they should have red/white/blue roundels on the undersides of the wings – the speed with which these were applied varied, but most units seem to have added them quite quickly, although size varied.)

Wg Cdr Luddite Inactive Member24 Aug 2009 4:44 p.m. PST


Yet more ignorant questions from the (self-proclaimed) OFM.

DO SOME RESEARCH JOHN! There is shed-loads of info out there on BoB colour schemes.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian25 Aug 2009 9:15 p.m. PST

I was following this useful example of how TMP serves as an excellent resource of knowledge shared between members when I came across the last comment by Wg Cdr Luddite.

Jeez, what a complete and utter pillock (as Queen Victoria said to Disraeli that Sunday at Windsor Castle.)

TMP: Mostly helpful people, some utter pillocks.

bobblanchett21 Feb 2010 11:39 p.m. PST

but Dom has to win the Golden Anorak for his post :)

Windward26 Jul 2011 12:33 p.m. PST

OK now to the subject of the black/white under surface. I'm painting for BoB and Battle of France, should I be painting the undersuface black and white? I'm not sure how long or when that pattern started.

BTW I'm painting Battles and Spits do the same rules apply?

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