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"Pennants for tanks" Topic

14 Posts

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1,945 hits since 7 Jan 2013
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

hoosierclyde Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 10:49 a.m. PST

I have been working on my Early War British tanks, and am thinking of adding ariels and pennants to them. I understand that the colour of the pennants would change frequently, as they were treated as recognition signals in the way ships signals were.
I have 2 quesitions.

1. Is anyone aware of any resources I could use to check designs etc.?

2. How should I make them? I am going to use fishing line or jeweler's thread for the ariel itself, but any assistance on the pennants is apprecieated.

Skrapwelder07 Jan 2013 11:00 a.m. PST

I seemed to remember reading somewhere that the there was a tradition of Foxtails on British aerials.

goragrad07 Jan 2013 12:12 p.m. PST


The old AFV Profile series had drawings of camo schemes with pennants. There are various websites that also have photos and colored drawings.

Pennants were placed at different heights on the antennas as an aid to identification (order of the day). Hadn't read of color changes.

fred12df07 Jan 2013 12:12 p.m. PST

The shape did matter – it denoted different ranks.

A triangular one was the most common IIRC. (the book I need to check isn't immediately to hand). I'm not sure about colours – there is some mention of certain colours for particular regiments?

I have used broom bristles as the ariels and small bits of thin plastic card for the pennants – I pre-painted an area of the plastic (as is was clear) to help with cutting out, and then super glued them together (this is in 10mm)


I notice that I have used 2 pennants on command stands (representing squadron commanders).


I'm not sure foxes were very common in the desert?

MAD MIKE Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 12:51 p.m. PST

The material I use for making pennants is teflon tape used to seal pipe threads. I tape a length to a suitable frame (coat hanger,box top etc.) and airbrush the base colour with enamel paint. This stiffens it so it can be handled yet it remains extremely flexible and can be shaped so represent a fluttering pennant.
Cut with scissors or knife and straight edge. glue with crazy glue. I also use this for rifle slings,retaining straps etc. on my 1/72 figures and vehicles.

Rich Bliss07 Jan 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

If I remember correctly, the color was different for each regiment in a brigade depending on seniority.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 1:31 p.m. PST


hoosierclyde Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 1:32 p.m. PST

These will be on 15mm FoW tanks

freerangeegg07 Jan 2013 3:05 p.m. PST

The only guide I have seen, showed the tanks flying a triangular pennant in the squadron colours, red for A sqn etc.,the troop leader flew a triangular pennant with 2 diagonal stripes, and sqn commander flew a Swallow tail pennant in sqn colour. Sometimes a second pennant was flown in same sequence of colours to show troops within sqn. there were also a series of square/rectangular flags flown by command tanks to give orders: eg Follow me,echelon right etc. I will have to dig out the book for details. The idea was that you could identify who was who in a unit when radios were scarce and not reliable and vehicles were mostly hidden in a cloud of dust. i don't believe pennants would be flown to identify different regiments. They wouldn't be necessary.

Lion in the Stars07 Jan 2013 4:55 p.m. PST

I use 25lb test monofilament fishing line for antennas on 15mm vehicles. Just paint it black.

It's almost certainly overscale, but it's flexible and won't stab you.

Definitely going to have to try that teflon tape pennant idea, I have a Crusader squadron to finish!

wrgmr113 Jan 2013 12:10 a.m. PST

Mad Mike, thanks for the teflon tape idea!

freddy326 Inactive Member15 Jan 2013 2:50 a.m. PST


I found the following on the web some time ago and used it for 15mm EW Brit armoured. I used broom bristles for the aerials.

'Flags were used for both communication (covered by British Army technical orders) and ID. ID was local selection, and was changed on occasion to "confuse the enemy". The colours and position on the aerial changed. In some cases the aerial position changed daily.

The pennants could be square, triangular of swallow tail. The square ones were frequently used to denote the command tank, and most commonly were blue for that purpose.
A square one over a triangle in the regiment colour was frequently used for the adj / exec officer.

Sqd leaders frequently had two triangles or a triangle under a swallow tail. Some used one, some two pennants.

Some RTR used the brown green red RTR flag, with the Rgt number on it for recognition flags.
6th lancers used a red white swallow tail.

Some other listed examples.

4th RTR two yellow triangular
4tn RTR two red triangular
7th RTR were know at various times to use red, yellow
and green.
Some Rgt used mixed colors. The normal usage seems to be one or two pennants.
The flags to be used were spelled out in the operation orders for each campaign.'

Lion in the Stars15 Jan 2013 11:48 a.m. PST

Thanks, Freddy! Any idea where you found that?

freddy326 Inactive Member16 Jan 2013 2:46 a.m. PST

I'm afraid not. There was also the following which is talking about 1943 but I suspect would be relevant for 1940.

'Bde CO 1' x 3' pennant in red for light armd, green for heavy
Regt/Batt CO 1' x 3' flag in Bde colour with battalion serial number
in white*
Sqd/Coy CO shallow tail 9" x 19" cut out 8" deep in Bde colour with
tac sign in white
Trp/Sec CO 9" x 13" pennant in Bde colour.

*i take this to mean the arm of service number a photo of a Canadian
Churchill in early 43 shows this.
This was used in France and at home should have been used in MEF but
they did like to do their own thing in some matters.

Don't have much on MEF regiments but they seem to have two pennants
either both in Bde colour or one in Bde with the other being a two colour pennant
possibly red/yellow as in the postwar RAC mark

Flag oblong,
Pennant triangular'

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