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"3 A10 Cruiser, 2 Caunter Monkeys & a little Perry's Portee" Topic

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1,188 hits since 11 Aug 2017
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yarkshire gamer11 Aug 2017 10:08 a.m. PST



Sing along to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas everyone !

I had a bit of a clear out of my WW2 North Africa to do box recently completely emptying it would you believe (don't worry I've filled it up again, I'm not ill).

This is the fruits of my British painting, lots of pics on the blog. Have to say after an initial nervous breakdown the Portee went together nicely.

Enjoy, Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

DanWW2 Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 10:59 a.m. PST

Very nicely done.

I also took advantage of the 'Blitzkrieg Miniatures' Monday deals by ordering a couple of Matilda IIs and Panzer IIIs.

I've done one Matilda in a flat sand scheme, and the other in 'Caunter' scheme.

I'll post pics once they're finished.

spontoon11 Aug 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

Blue's a bit bright. Older books show it this shade, but that was due to poor colour separation in the 60's and 70's. More modern texts show it as a much greyer shade.

BuckeyeBob11 Aug 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Really like the MH and portees. I'd not object to having them on my game table. Good Job!!!!

yarkshire gamer11 Aug 2017 2:05 p.m. PST

Don't mention the Blitzkrieg Miniatures offers, I am nearly bankrupt. 4 Matildas, 5 Honeys and 6 PzIII so far.

As for the blue Spontoon, you can discuss the Caunter scheme all you like, as I say in the blog post. There are official colours, locally sourced paint, sun fade etc I rely mostly on conversations and model building years ago with a family member who served in the Desert in WW2. It is actually a pale blue grey, the camera always blues it up a bit.

Works for me.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Marc at work13 Aug 2017 1:36 a.m. PST

I like the "blue"

Can I ask a question please. I keep seeing caunter and, initially I imagined the crew of each tank would paint some random lines. But the more I see I realise that the support/logistics would paint entire units. So instead of each tank having the lines in different places, they were all the same.

So my question is – was there one scheme (i.e. All blue strip starting I. One corner, or where there loads of different patterns. And if so, where are people getting the pattern guides from? Does that sense?


Nice blog by the way


yarkshire gamer13 Aug 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

Hi Marc,

It's a good question. There certainly wasn't a generic one size fits all pattern, the pictures I have of vehicles in theatre at the time don't really give a hard and fast rule.


The above shows Mk VI tanks in the Desert, initially they all appear the same pattern, but if you look closely there are slight differences in angles and coverage. That suggests to me a general pattern was issued to the crews who then "interpret" that on their vehicles.


These A9s however are all different.

3 vehicles in our rules represent a Squadron, I tend to paint the three vehicles in a similar pattern (helps with table recognition) with minor variations as per my A10s above.

Regards Ken

Eclaireur14 Aug 2017 6:17 a.m. PST

Marc and Ken – the painting of vehicles was usually done at Base Workshops. With the units arriving from UK this was on the outskirts of Alexandria. There was a similar facility on the outskirts of Cairo.
Ken, you've done a fabulous job on these wagons. So much so that if you're still in the business of commissions I'd be tempted to send some vehicles to you!
May I suggest, as you're so clearly in the premier league in your paint work, that as the senior armoured regiment of 7th Armoured Division (i.e. 1 RTR) you could give them names beginning with A, and that in 1940 or 1941 the 52 tac sign on red is not the right one. As you probably know, that's the 1944 numeric scheme.

yarkshire gamer14 Aug 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

Cheers EC,

Good to hear from you, be interested in your take on the schemes and the slight differences between the "same" basic patterns as shown in the links above.

I have looked into names and done a couple of comedy ones on our Matildas but haven't found a method of doing them that I am happy with. It's on the to do list.

If you need a couple of vehicles doing let me know, sure I could fit some in.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Marc at work14 Aug 2017 3:02 p.m. PST

Yep EC please do share more – especially re the patterns. When I paint my desert stuff for BGTobruck I want to at least try to be historical

Otherwise all I currently have are pics like the Yark's above, or my Airfix instructions


Eclaireur15 Aug 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

Guys – I must confess that the Caunter scheme is the subject of much debate and speculation. Suffice to say its use seems to have peaked around the time of Op Compass (late 1940, early 1941) though I think there are still examples of tanks arriving after that being painted in it, like some of the Honeys.
Given the aim was to trick the eye with a dazzle type of effect I think the Workshops applying it would have worked to precise templates – and indeed there are surviving examples of those
It wouldn't have been left to the troopers to paint it by rough rule of thumb. I would therefore base my painting of it on photos of vehicles with the scheme applied. Of course the B&W image cannot resolve the question of colour shades – blue, pink, or whatever else.

yarkshire gamer15 Aug 2017 11:09 a.m. PST

Nice one EC not seen those templates before. We are specifically gaming the Op Compass to Op Crusader period so it fits nicely for our pre 42 models.

Regards Ken

Legion 415 Aug 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

Very, very well done !

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2017 7:46 p.m. PST

WRT Caunter scheme references, I vaguely remember that a guy named Mike Starmer was supposed to have done some good research on this. I have a number of BMPs (image file format) which he sent me from his out of print pamphlet, which show the typical pattern for a cruiser tank, a light tank, a truck, an armored car, etc. It is possible that further searching of the Internet might locate contact information for him. In any case, see this link:

Also these links (some of the best links from 10 years ago are unfortunately no longer there):


yarkshire gamer18 Aug 2017 2:51 a.m. PST

The Starmer work has been discussed on here many times, it's a classic but covers the official colours and doesn't take into account local paint sourcing, eye witness accounts, fading etc.

Regards Ken

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

Some of you might find this article by Mr Starmer of some use:


Marc at work18 Aug 2017 11:46 a.m. PST

EC. Love that template. Thanks


This Sunday I finally get to open my birthday pressies – which is a load of early desert allies/Italians so this is so timely

Marc at work18 Aug 2017 11:47 a.m. PST

And Yarkshire – what actual colours did you use – would you mind sharing please. Thanks


yarkshire gamer18 Aug 2017 11:47 a.m. PST

Thanks for posting that Marc, I did think I had seen that updated version but didn't know if I had been dreaming.

Starmer for years was adamant that the blue grey didn't exist and this was the first admission that it did. Those of us who had first hand accounts in the family knew a bit earlier.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

"Yarkshire Gamer":

The Starmer work has been discussed on here many times, it's a classic but covers the official colours and doesn't take into account local paint sourcing, eye witness accounts, fading etc.

My post wasn't necessarily to claim that your blueish color was wrong (WTF do I know?), but to provide additional info. Note that one of the links I posted postulates how one of the so-called "official colors" could have looked blue when covered with dust, FWIW. In any case, no criticism of your models intended. Additionally, there was a nice PDF posted on the defunct "Armored Acorn" site, showing Caunter variations including some with one of the colors being brown. The "Benghazi Handicap" book also mentions these variations.

I am trying to figure out how to post links to the 5 BMP file images I mentioned previously, converted to JPG, since at least 1 person in this thread would clearly be interested. They are apparently Starmer's re-draws of the type of thing posted above by "Eclaireur".

Mark H.







yarkshire gamer18 Aug 2017 6:53 p.m. PST


Definitely no worries, I wasn't taking any issue with your post at all, I didn't think there was any critism in your post, mate, sometimes the written word comes across in the wrong way. Marc has posted a link to the amended colours which is great as we can use that as a go to now.

Thanks for the line drawings, good to see them in the flesh.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Marc at work19 Aug 2017 3:12 a.m. PST

Mark (is it just me or are there a lot of us Marks on here (different marks…)) thanks for the pictures of the schemes – I am amazed how "regulated" such schemes were – but at least now I won't just be making them up.

I will take a look at the latest colour suggestions but I am still happy with how Yarkshires turned out – so would be interested in knowing what particular paints he was using.

Thanks all

Marc (at work, at home and the plastics fan)

Legion 419 Aug 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

IIRC, I think there was Caunter camo just like seen here. But it was just tan and a shade of maroon(?) too … In the link that Marc33594 posted, calls that color Red Oxide, I think … A ways back a TMPer post pics of this 2 color camo scheme. Was some very nice work …

yarkshire gamer19 Aug 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

Too many Mark(c)s !

Marc at work, below is a link to a little tutorial I did on my tank method, hope it's of some use to you.


Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

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