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Tom M

Early war camouflage colours

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Any advice on colour schemes?

I’m looking to apply a camouflage scheme to my 1942 Mk1* Carrier, using as a point of reference the official training video on Carrier weapon handling on YouTube (still shot attached). I’m assuming the base vehicle colour is khaki green no3 (which is the original colour of my Carrier), what would the second colour tone be? I’ve seen reference to dark green no4 and dark tarmac?
 

Would the second colour have been applied by brush in units, or sprayed by a base workshop?

Many thanks,

Tom

241466FB-A9EA-499F-8054-2D186202064E.png

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Thanks for the link, that's a very interesting pattern Bruce has, it must have taken him ages. The Carrier next to Bruce's in the film, is the one I'm now working on. I bought it from NZ a few years ago.

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An awful lot of band width has been burnt up on this subject on virtually every military vehicle forum on the web.  Everybody has a an opinion and a very few will claim to have definitive proof so that researching the subject can be like trying to knit fog.

My advice for what's it's worth is to start your research with these two publications:

British Army Colours & Disruptive Camouflage in the United Kingdom, France and NW Europe 1936-1945 by Mike Starmer  available from the author at mike starmer@hotmail.com

And:

Tilly colours by Mike Shackleton and Mike Starmer published by Trackpad publishing (no ISBN No)

In the muddy waters that accompany the discussion on shade,pattern and colour these two publications  may help to add a little clarity or at least a starting point.

Pete

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Pete, I'll go and look for them. As you say, it's difficult to definitively say what colour is correct. And once the vehicle made it to a theatre of war rules may have been much less stringently adhered to. Once it was in use you probably would be able to see the base colour for dust anyway!

I managed to find a series of colour pictures taken at the Guards Armoured Training Wing in Pirbright. Being Guards they would have adhered stringently to official instructions no doubt (interestingly I was posted to Pirbright for a year as an instructor, no Churchill's to be found though). The pictures look original to me rather than colourised. The Green looks like KG No3 and matches the shade of my Carrier. I'm assuming the dark colour is dark tarmac, which looks like a dark grey/black. It looks sprayed on as well, rather than brush painted by the crew.

My Carrier in KG No3 for comparison.

Churchill colour.jpg

 

Track bashing 2.jpg

Edited by Tom M
Picture
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Excellent photo of the Churchill and your carrier looks fair decent as well Tom :thumbsup:,

  I agree the Churchill photo looks to be untouched but a word of warning is perhaps in order,  when using period color photos as tonal matches it's worth remembering that different manufactures of film used different emulsions and dyes in the film to replicate the colours.   It was also highly dependent on the skill of the printer before automated colour balanced printing machines came into being, I seem to remember war time Kodak film was very reactive in the red and blue spectrum for example.

Out of interest is that War Paints G3 you are using on the carrier?

Pete

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Hi Pete, thanks for the complement. The inside nearly looks as good as the outside, just the driver's compartment to strip and paint. Yes, it's War Paints KG No3, in 15% satin. It was a bit glossy at first but has dulled down nicely now. I wanted to get another supplier to mix it up in a high quality matt, which wasn't water permeable, but they couldn't match my sample in time. The War Paints version was given the thumbs up from Mr Farrant apparently so I went for it. It's a pretty close match to what's on the vehicle and some NOS parts I have. It looks more original when it's dirty!

I'll bear your comments re the colour tones in mind when sourcing the second colour, just got to work out whether brown or black? 

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Your Carrier looks superb, I really admire it.

I also very much like the photo of the Churchill, being in colour adds so much life to it that you simply don't 'feel' with a black and white.

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2 hours ago, Tom M said:

 Yes, it's War Paints KG No3, in 15% satin. It was a bit glossy at first but has dulled down nicely now. I wanted to get another supplier to mix it up in a high quality matt, which wasn't water permeable, but they couldn't match my sample in time. The War Paints version was given the thumbs up from Mr Farrant apparently so I went for it. It's a pretty close match to what's on the vehicle and some NOS parts I have.

Hi Tom,

I have brush painted some driveline parts with Warpaint KG No.3 and it does have a sheen, which i expect when brushing, but I spray painted some large panels this week and it came out an excellent matt finish, and on the inside of a cable runway cover which has been untouched for 80 years was pristine sample of the colour, so I sprayed one end of it, after a day I checked it and you cannot determine the difference.

regards, Richard

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3 hours ago, Richard Farrant said:

Hi Tom,

I have brush painted some driveline parts with Warpaint KG No.3 and it does have a sheen, which i expect when brushing, but I spray painted some large panels this week and it came out an excellent matt finish, and on the inside of a cable runway cover which has been untouched for 80 years was pristine sample of the colour, so I sprayed one end of it, after a day I checked it and you cannot determine the difference.

regards, Richard

I've been using Warpaint G3 15% for the past year on a couple of projects both spray and brush for closed areas and Iv'e found it very good to work with it thins well and holds the heavy pigments without splitting.

Pete

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An extract from the paradata website: (does anyone know an equivalent to SCC No1A Dark Brown?).

In imagery of airborne forces vehicles in the Second World War it is apparent a similar camouflage pattern is employed on each. The basis for the camouflage pattern painting of military equipment is contained within Military Training Pamphlet (MTP) No 46, Part 4A: Painting of Mechanical Transport.

This pamphlet, issued on 27 November 1941 contained guidance notes on the problems and basic principles of camouflage pattern painting of vehicles and was issued army wide. It focussed on the observation of equipment from the air and how to counter act the upper surfaces reflecting light and the shadows contained or cast by a vehicle.

To this end, the vehicle was to be painted a basic camouflage colour, either Khaki Green G3 or Standard Camouflage Colour (SCC) No 2 Brown. G3, however, was rapidly replaced by SCC No 2 as stocks of Chromium Oxide required to make the Khaki Green paint became scarce. The upper surfaces were then to be painted SCC No 1A Dark Brown to mitigate light reflection from above.

A series of ragged edges were then applied to break up the demarcation between the dark topsides and basic coloured sides. The shadows on the lower half of the vehicle were then extended and absorbed by the addition of SCC No 1A, again with a ragged edge.

This produced vehicles with a distinctive camouflage pattern, based on 3 authorised variations:

1. Foliage Pattern: A series of vegetation shaped lobes forming the ragged edge.
2. Dappled Pattern: A series of blobs forming the ragged edges.
3. Dry Brush Pattern: A series of dry brushed marks to form the ragged edge.

 

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