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"British Equipment in Malaya 1941/2" Topic

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Abwehrschlacht17 Oct 2013 7:58 a.m. PST

I have started my next units for my ongoing Malaya campaign project, which are 2 pounder A/T guns, but can find no reference to the colour they should be. Can anyone help? I am guessing a mid brown, like Vallejo English Uniform, but I'm not sure if they were painted another colour out in the East?

Mad Monarchist17 Oct 2013 8:06 a.m. PST

My guess is they were a mid bronze green, though RMD will doubtlessly turn up and correct me. Maybe Vallejo Reflective Green?

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2013 8:22 a.m. PST

You might find something of interest here:


Abwehrschlacht17 Oct 2013 10:25 a.m. PST

Wow, they are some good pictures, thanks Mserafin. It looks like a bronze green on some of those guns. It's the colour I am painting the helmets anyway.

I must confess, I was also waiting for RMD to fill me in with his encyclopaedic knowledge…

Rrobbyrobot17 Oct 2013 11:23 a.m. PST

Not really any kind of expert on this. But it seems an opportunity to add some nonstandard equipment. Maybe Bofors 37mm anti tank guns? 18 pdr. field guns?
I mean, stuff like that was in use in North Africa. At least for a while. I've read that British forces in the Far East saw themselves as being rather second string…

Jemima Fawr17 Oct 2013 11:38 a.m. PST

Thanks for the vote of confidence, but there isn't an easy answer, as new units would be arriving with up-to-date paint-schemes, while old garrison units might have any one of a number of earlier paint-schemes, depending on their date of departure from the UK/Australia and/or the availability of modern camouflage paint in Singapore.

Those photos are interesting – a nice contrast between the Carriers apparently in pre-war dark bronze green and the newly-arrived Quads in modern brown/black camouflage. In between the two schemes was 'No.3 Green' (a bright, grassy shade of green).

Martin Rapier17 Oct 2013 11:41 a.m. PST

My grandfather's regiment arrived with all their kit painted light stone, but they were diverted from the Middle East.

Jemima Fawr17 Oct 2013 12:14 p.m. PST

Yes, some did. For example, 7th Armoured Brigade was on its way from North Africa to Singapore, but got diverted to Burma. They recorded re-painting their kit in 'jungle green' (almost certainly No.3 Green, as there was no 'Jungle Green' shade then) while on board ship.

Abwehrschlacht17 Oct 2013 12:36 p.m. PST

OK guys, there's some interesting ideas there. I will probably go with the Bronze Green, similar to the Carriers in those photos.

fred12df17 Oct 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

Great photos – what guns are the quads towing? The shield looks too curved to be a 25pdr – would they be 18/25pdrs?

Etranger17 Oct 2013 4:43 p.m. PST

There might be the 3.7" howitzer in some too, as that saw service in Malaya.

Some of the carriers look to be 'scout carriers' too.

Mad Monarchist17 Oct 2013 5:01 p.m. PST

Another question if you please! Did the British use helmet coverings in the campaign? And if they did, then what colour would it have been?

Martin Rapier18 Oct 2013 6:58 a.m. PST

I did find one photo of a chap crouched in a Bren pit with what appears to be a hessian helmet cover, but the seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Mad Monarchist18 Oct 2013 10:57 a.m. PST

Apart from three fellows wearing Wolseleys I myself have yet to find photographic proof. In fact the question would never have occurred to me had it not be for one of the colour plates in the Osprey Elite volume on the Australian army.

Thing is, I know of a few lovely figures whose heads I'd rather not cut off.

kustenjaeger18 Oct 2013 1:27 p.m. PST


Apparently a photo taken in Singapore in 1941:




Mad Monarchist18 Oct 2013 2:25 p.m. PST

Sorry Edward, but I wasn't referring to that famous picture (I have seen it been reproduced many, many times). I think it is pretty clear that none of the troops pictured are wearing any helmet covers. Plus I'm trying to find examples of steel helmets, not topees.

Mad Monarchist23 Oct 2013 7:34 a.m. PST

Your thoughts, RMD?


Jemima Fawr23 Oct 2013 8:58 a.m. PST

I don't recall seeing any in photos, but there were over half a million men out there, so the photographic record is proportionately very sparse. What I have seen is a photo of a Sikh soldier in Malaya wearing scrim netting over his turban, which would tend to suggest that it was available.

Lewisgunner24 Oct 2013 2:31 a.m. PST

I built this army for Flames of War and prodded QRF into making the Lanchester 6 wheeler, which they have done!

As far as I could see troops in theatre in December 41 had green equipment, lorries, guns etc whereas the 18th division, arriving kitted for the mid East had desert sand kit.

Leadgend27 Oct 2013 7:47 p.m. PST

The guns with "curved" gunshields appear to be 4.5" howitzers. Compare with some of the pics on the wikipedia page: link

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