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Just had aWhatapp from S SHIRLY .He sent me the article by Micheal Starmer  in the. heritage Commercial  about the Camouflage on the  Wotty. That l restored back in 1980/2000 .Having the same Camouflage from 2000 to now. Steve wants to reply to comment. I restored it with the best information I could obtain  .  His information is not the same as the RAF ORDERS for 31-12 -42 that I got from HENDON.  Does anyone know the correct camouflage ???




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Hi Tony,   several years ago you were kind enough to share a copy of your Air Ministry Order (AMO) with me. Since then I have spent many hours and far too much pension obtaining many other AMOs from RAFM Hendon.  The 2 colours mentioned in the subject AMO brown special No 2 and dark brown 1A  are SCC2 and SCC 1A detailed in the War Office chart No 15 mentioned in Mike Starmer's  letter.  Unlike the Army the RAF always added a bit more detail to titles, the word special refers to the paints anti-gas properties for instance.  Actually in the British Standard 987c the colours didn't have name but a likeness description was published as an Appendix to the standard.  I have attached  an extract from the BS and the appendix; I have to say the colours on the extract actually look a little darker than they should be.  Also attached is a modified Oxford Diecast that I based on your outstanding restoration now in the hands of Steve Shirley.  

Finally Mike implies the contents of WD camo chart No 15 is applicable to the RAF;  There is no doubt the colours and the camo pattern are the same as the RAF were using but the RAF had its own chart on the subject titled " Air Diagram 1382 "  to date RAFM Hendon have been unable to locate a copy so in the meantime the chart and MTP  46 mentioned by Mike are the best references

we have.   Regards TED.

BritishStandard987c-1942-1    2.jpg

BS-987C-1942 2.jpg


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A mildly interesting topic and one that has me wishing to see the original article. I remember the vehicle in question when the then owner had it running at one of the initial Duxford Military Vehicle shows before he restored it. The vehicle has I believe won several awards, is a unique example of the type and I think finished exactly as it would have appeared at its time of manufacture.

I find it frustrating that critics come forward offering a copy of text taken from a document of the period in question offering it as the gold standard. Forgetting it is no more than a piece of paper containing an objective not definitive.

Colours applied to any vehicle are subject to such basic vagaries as ambient temperature at the time of application. The humidity at the time of application also the method of application used, paint brush or spray gun all influence the final colour. I too have several Military Training Pamphlets including the one mentioned above what is noticeable there are very few British Standard colours mentioned non appertaining to the colours or scheme mention above.

The War Office issued directives about all aspects of the conduct of the war including vehicle camouflage and the colours required to conform to that requirement. What was desired and what was acceptable in substitution it was not scientific but practical expedient often the decision as to colour in the Army left at the C.O’s discretion likewise the R.A.F the station commander had the final say if Group had not approved.

Knowing other restorations completed by the guy who restored the WOT-1 Fire Truck. I doubt very much he has the colours wrong as I’m sure he did his research. As a note to this I along with two friends restored a Scammell, that Scammell now resides in a national museum when we along with the keeper of exhibits went to paint the vehicle the colours chosen by the museum was by eye off a colour chart so accept a differing opinion. I am surprised the magazine who ran the original article found they had space to publish such a prejudiced opinion.


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Thanks Ted

Its 22 years ago that the WOT was painted  .I think it might have lost some of darker shades of colour over that time.I think .Micheal Starmer  should had done a bit more research. Steve Shirley  is having to find a new home for the collection & wasn’t happy with his letter. The WOT 3 was painted with the same light earth as the WOT 3  . As my paint supplier keeps all my paint No . But it does look a bit lighter T CORBIN





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Like Ted (and with Ted and also Mike Starmer)  my researches over many decades tend to show compliance with the orders of the day in the RAF in WW2, and even photos of the very same Fordson in WW2 towing a P-51 seem to differ from the scheme it carries now.

On a typical RAF base there was an MT Officer, with enough clout not to trouble the Base Commander, with such trivia. Once the RAF blue from pre-war faded out of use and vehicles began to arrive in G3 Green, then SSC. 2 Brown, it is true that the RAF MT Sections were left to camouflage them with the authorised disruptive colours and stick with the paint schemes shown in painting pamphlets, but the variations were still within those permitted. Where SCC.2 Brown was used and orders required 'all surfaces seen from above ' 

Another problem with our hoppy, is the hobby itself where almost without exception it somehow influences every vehicle to be green and even called 'green machines', when everyone knows that for a fair proportion of WW2 during the mid war years SCC.2 Brown was used as the base colour in the Army and RAF. Yet walking round Beltring in the good times, it was easy to find vehicles built in the mid war years, and yet extremely hard to find any in SCC.2 Brown, as most are in various shades of green. Why?  


Edited by LarryH57
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Where this thread going as it appears to be a few digs at someone who restored two vehicles. Firstly, at the top is copy of an article praising the fact that the original owner restored the Fordson WOT-1 Fire Crash Tender to running condition before criticising the colour scheme. It is a unique vehicle finished in the colours suggested I believe by the people at Hendon, now those colours are disputed why. Because it doesn’t match an opinion.


Lower down its mentioned that for a greater period of the war British military vehicles were brown not green. That I understand was due in some part to the chemicals required to produce green paint being in short supply. So, browns became the chosen colours until the agent required became available again and green ascended (just mention I have done 3-vehicles in browns). With the declaration of war an order went out requiring Royal Air Force vehicle be camouflaged. As no paint other than what had been supplied for camouflaging buildings being available, that is what was used a water-based emulsion.  I’ve not seen that scheme applied to a preserved vehicle and if it was what would the comments be. As far as I can ascertain out of the thirty or so colours listed in M.T.P’s  there are very few  with British Standard colour designations.  Accept the vehicle is correct as variations to colour occur. The colour on this vehicle I understand taken by matching panels not subject to daylight so not degraded when matching paint. The scheme is right for that vehicle as research happened.

Regarding the WOT-3 tructor again unique vehicle if it’s of interest search on here for the rebuild. Really worth the search and shows the lengths the owner has gone to achieve what you see. So why comment that the scheme displayed today is different to of 77 years ago.

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I don't think any one's MV is above criticism, not even my GS Lwt. Despite being used by the Airborne Artillery it has not been restored to being a Para Recce Lwt, or equipped with a Clansman radio antenna on each corner flying massive flags, or a gloss red towing hook on the front bumper below a massive ammo box. I have not hung every bit of '58 webbing I own on the outside! It has been left as the plain vehicle it was when in use by the Army.

Baz you are more than welcome to criticise it; hopefully we can meet at Beltring sometime in this decade and have  a great debate.

Finally I have no intension of hurting anyone's feelings, so please accept my apologies if I have. My intension , like Ted and Mike Starmer has always been towards accuracy, of a kind that in our hobby should look to do, like car clubs, than accept a tin of green paint will do.

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As always there are lots of different views on what owners should or should not do with their vehicles.  

It's a shame that as a community we can't agree that the

 preservation of vehicles is the key objective, what colour they are and how they are displayed is secondary.  While I might prefer originality, if the choice is to ensure a vehicle survives or is lost/scrapped because an owner won't compromise on originality then, in my own opinion, survival wins.


The other aspect I find upsets me is the language used.  Having a healthy debate about areas that are subjective or where the information isn't readily available is good.  Proffering information in a constructive and helpful way is great.  Use of language such as 'disappointing' (we all know what a British persons means when they use that phrase), "vague resemblance' is scant praise and 'better research' is all very negative and while it may not be intended to offend it's not the sort of language that will build bridges.

So thank you to all those who are spending their time, money and effort to preserve our history, whatever paint is used on the end result.




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Tony's restorations are second to none ; I don't think anyone in the thread is saying anything different, I followed both Tony's WOT1 & 3 projects with awe and have communicated with Tony  previously over the years.  

The colours possibly  suggested by Hendon, who provided a document ; the problem was 22 years ago the document couldn't properly be interpreted. I visited Hendon 30 plus years ago when in London for a few days at an MoD outpost. Although booking an appointment and informing them of my queries they couldn't really help with colours; aircraft they could give chapter verse etc and even published a book containing accurate colour chips of the AM/MAP series of colours used on aircraft in WW2 and into the early 1950s. But vehicles no info at that time. 

This thread was started by Tony in which he asks a question.  An unknown author has published an unseen article which resulted in a letter from M Starmer to the magazine.   The letter was somewhat blunt and implies the WOT1 is a recent product of the Museum team. The current custodian at the RAF fire museum has contacted Tony, who in turn asks a question ! 

I have posted an answer to Tony's question. I didn't post the answer to initiate a bun fight;  I posted to hopefully help Tony with info that is now available but wasn't 22years ago when he painted the WOT1.    As Julian says the key is the preservation of vehicles, 3 identical WOT1 crash tenders are preserved in the UK and in my eyes Tony's holds the gold medal for the preservation of the vehicle, his work is outstanding.  

Tony if I can give you any other info RAF related please give me a pm;  after 39 years Service which in the 1960s and early 70, was with a number of guys who served in WW2  and 51 years of research my shelves and cupboard are pretty full. 

 OK time to pull the eject handle on this one 


Edited by ted angus
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Thanks Ted for all comments. The WOT 1.was brought back ln 1980 a bit of a state .But all completely . Painted red or had been its last colour. I already had another 1942 conviction WOT1 crash tender missing pump&engine pipe work (one in Battle of Britain film) The had to make a decision witch was the one to restore . As the 42 conviction had all its gunmetal missing.The one I had brought was the one that got preserved.Then 20 years of trying to find information about it .  T CORBIN






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If its humble pie time on my part for being forthright in my comments, then I’m happy to oblige. Vehicle colours are always open to interpretation when the guide to a colour is a description. I as I suspect other contributors to this debate have their own reference to authentic colours and I’m always happy to learn but what is SCCS-1A or SCCS-2 below is part of the descriptions I have including SCCS-4 for interest.

STANDARD CAMOUFLAGE COLOUR SHADES 1A (dark brown almost black)

Description:  Colour a deep rich brown appearing black in some applications.  Medium contrast with Standard Camouflage Colour Shades 2, Standard Camouflage Colour Shades 14 Black was used as an alternative colour.

In use:  1941 to 45 as disruptive over the base colour in Military Training Pamphlets 20 and Military Training Pamphlets 46/4A schemes. Used from 1942 in ME Command patterns as an alternative dark shade.

 STANDARD CAMOUFLAGE COLOUR SHADES 2 (Khaki brown / service drab)

Description:  Rich dark brown with a slight hint of ‘khaki’.

In use:  1941 to 45 a basic colour Standard Camouflage Colour Shades 1A otherwise known as Standard Camouflage Colour Shades 14.


Description:  Dull medium earth colour “dark earth” the R.A.F. colour “dark earth” is lighter more yellow.

In use: Occasionally 1942 to 44 as a tone in conjunction with Standard Camouflage Colour Shades 2.

 I always enjoy chatting people at shows, you never know what you’ll learn when you have an open mind. Sadly, some owners actively discourage conversation but most once asked the question positively gushing with knowledge about and enthusiasm for their vehicle. I’d put Mr Corbin in the latter category, attached are some old photos of I believe his vehicles.


Albion – Soldier-of-Orange 1976.jpg

Untitled-8 copy 3.jpg

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Likewise Baz , I'm looking at the Albion (in the middle photo) and it has a very interesting glass dome over the observation hatch. I looked up the specifications for such vehicles and Albion never built them like that, so next time anyone is in their time machine, go back 80 years and tell them its all wrong and to remove it as it never happened😁😂

And now for some serious comments -in the last photo, it looks to be a captured artillery piece under tow? Any ideas what it is?. Also both Albions appear to be in the same location. Where might that be; in Germany?

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The B/W photo taken during the making of the film Men of Orange some time in the seventies the plexiglass dome a stage prop. The artillery piece a 21-cm Krupp's cannon usually transported in two sections taken just before a show also seventies. The barrel on its own set of wheels while the carriage forms another load for I think  two 18-ton half tracks. 

Famo Semi-Track Show 02-09-86.jpg

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