Jump to content
TimHepplestone

RAF WW2 camouflage. Hard edge or soft edge?

Recommended Posts

On 9/13/2019 at 5:11 AM, MikeMaben said:

They’re some really interesting  posts on this forum. Frankly, when I started this thread it was with a mosquito in mind and not a Spit, and in the vain hope that there was a standard followed by the RAF during WW2 . Obviously this is not the case. Just another thing that make this hobby so fascinating 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I

On 9/14/2019 at 12:14 PM, Jennings Heilig said:

 99.9% of the photos that people claim "prove" that there was a hard edge don't prove that at all.  What they show, if you examine high resolution images, is exactly what Edgar's documentation showed - a *very* tight, but still hand sprayed, overlap in the colors.

 

I agree with Jennings, the edges of the colours are exactly that; tight but feathered. I looked at dozens of close-up photos of Spitfires last night (thanks guys, even though I had others things I should have been doing... :-) ) Masks would create hard edges. And if you look at the Castle Bromwich photo, you will see that the patterns are uniform but not identical. There are variations in the radii of curves, width of bands of colour, etc. It only takes a few minutes to notice the differences. 

 

Sometimes you do see hard-edged patterns in photos, but they appear to be repaints over the factory finish, such as was done during the change from Temperate Land Scheme to the greys and greens of the Day Fighter Scheme. As always, if you want to be totally accurate, look at photos of your subject. I think a soft edged pattern looks best in the larger scales...for me, achieving that on a model is another thing. :)

 

One example. Wing Leader Hugh Godefroy's Spitfire IX, in relatively good shape. 

YjmvAHOh.jpg

 

 

Richard

Edited by R Palimaka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cbk57 said:

I am currently working on the Tamiya Mk I, I used masks for the camouflage I personally prefer a crisp consistent look for RAF style camo.  I can't say it is right, but in scale it is hard to get the look the way I want without a good mask.  In 1/32 I think I might try for an effect that produces a softer edge, maybe put the mask on a buffer so it is not flat on the model surface.  However I still would mask.  My freehand gets too inconsistent and does not look right.

 

A 1" overspray (2.5 cm) in 1/1 scale would be 0.02" (0.5 mm) in 1/48 scale.  It seems to me that the documents Edgar was referencing said 1/2 to 3/4" being the allowable overspray, so 0.01" (0.25mm) in 1/48.  That's *really* small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2019 at 12:37 AM, Pete Fleischmann said:

 

Boom.

 

love this.

 

cheers

 

Pete

 

I am confused by you "boom"-ing.

What does that mean in the context of your quoting LDSModeller's post?

 

Are you saying they are all identical?

They are not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, R Palimaka said:

I

 

I agree with Jennings, the edges of the colours are exactly that; tight but feathered. I looked at dozens of close-up photos of Spitfires last night (thanks guys, even though I had others things I should have been doing... :-) ) Masks would create hard edges. And if you look at the Castle Bromwich photo, you will see that the patterns are uniform but not identical. There are variations in the radii of curves, width of bands of colour, etc. It only takes a few minutes to notice the differences. 

 

Sometimes you do see hard-edged patterns in photos, but they appear to be repaints over the factory finish, such as was done during the change from Temperate Land Scheme to the greys and greens of the Day Fighter Scheme. As always, if you want to be totally accurate, look at photos of your subject. I think a soft edged pattern looks best in the larger scales...for me, achieving that on a model is another thing. :)

 

One example. Wing Leader Hugh Godefroy's Spitfire IX, in relatively good shape. 

YjmvAHOh.jpg

 

 

Richard

 

Wonderful picture, thank you for posting.

 

A quick trawl through my library of pictures and I cannot see that finish on a MkI or II Spit, but I am able to identify it on quite a few IXs.

 

I don't have many pics of MkVs, and the ones I have are not of sufficiently high res to be of much use.

 

I wonder if there was a change in painting process at some stage in production?

 

If anyone has pics of I or IIs showing clearly the feathered edge as we see above, please do post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dug into the archives again and this is from Edgar.

 

Posted 18 December 2014 - 05:07 AM

This subject causes almost as much controversy as rivets. At the beginning of the war, aircraft camouflage colours were "blended," i.e. merged, but it was found that this was often done by lifting the gun away from the surface, so that paint was drying before it hit the surface, causing excess drag.
At a meeting, early in 1940, Farnborough, who were the Air Ministry's source for camouflage, said that blending was a waste of time, so the Ministry sent a circular to all Resident Technical Officers, saying that mats could, in future, be used. This covered the manufacturers, and POSSIBLY the Civilian Repair Organisation, but probably not M.U.s., and certainly not the Squadrons.
Mats probably caused ridges between colours, which needed smoothing down, but nothing like the roughness of the blending process, and a smooth finish was what the Ministry really wanted, but couldn't achieve with cellulose. Synthetic paint, in August 1942, was found to be smooth and matt, so was used until after the end of the war.
Understandably, modellers often think of their model first, and the real thing second, and this is where the fun starts. Ideally, blended colours had a "join" only one inch (even half an inch) wide, which, in photographs, looks very prominent, but, divide that down by 72 for a model, and it comes to 1/3rd of a mm, or 1/2 a mm in 1/48, 3/4 of a mm in 1/32, even 1/24 is only 1mm, and spraying to those limits is really difficult (I've never managed it.)
Ideally, taking all this into consideration, a model's finish should probably be hard-edged, but, as always, it's up to the individual, and long may that remain so.

 

The full thread is here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234972669-standard-raf-ww2-camo-lines/

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry gents but we are mixing oranges and apples here!

 

There is reality on one side and there are the best ways to simulate it on the other one. Note that I wrote "simulate" rather than reproduce as a scifi shrink ray would do it! Hard edge RAF camo is typically excessive on a scale model (even a small one) and the contrast between the colors becomes too harsh. It simply does not 'look' right. This is part of the 'scale effect', even on a LSP kit.

 

Accordingly, the most logical approach on a LSP kit asks for the thinnest soft edge you can spray. With a small scale kit, the only solution is the use of a mask not sticked to the surface.

 

Discussing history is one thing but finding the most reasonable way to paint a scale model that 'looks right' is alas something else... ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2019 at 11:42 AM, R Palimaka said:

I

 

I agree with Jennings, the edges of the colours are exactly that; tight but feathered. I looked at dozens of close-up photos of Spitfires last night (thanks guys, even though I had others things I should have been doing... :-) ) Masks would create hard edges. And if you look at the Castle Bromwich photo, you will see that the patterns are uniform but not identical. There are variations in the radii of curves, width of bands of colour, etc. It only takes a few minutes to notice the differences. 

 

Sometimes you do see hard-edged patterns in photos, but they appear to be repaints over the factory finish, such as was done during the change from Temperate Land Scheme to the greys and greens of the Day Fighter Scheme. As always, if you want to be totally accurate, look at photos of your subject. I think a soft edged pattern looks best in the larger scales...for me, achieving that on a model is another thing. :)

 

One example. Wing Leader Hugh Godefroy's Spitfire IX, in relatively good shape. 

YjmvAHOh.jpg

 

 

Richard

 

That is an awesome picture for many other reasons other than the camo pattern discussion. Thanks for posting it. :coolio:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ys7q3wT.pngThanks for all the great responses. I found this in an edition of Wingleader magazine ( a great publication by the way), it’s a mosquito that took part in the Amiens raid which is close to the airframe I want to model. Once again the edges of the camouflage are tight but slightly feathered. If anyone has reference photos of mosquitoes showing weathering I would greatly appreciate it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, RBrown said:

 

De Havilland Mosquito IIF DD739 RX-X of No 456 RAAF Squadron...

48745027587_bcea7b39cd_o.jpg

 

Awesome picture. Thanks for posting. As to the original question on this thread note a distinctly hard edge to the camouflage on the fuselage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, thierry laurent said:

Indeed but look now at the edge close to the navigator... 

 

Indeed. I've yet to look through my Mosquito references, but I seem to recall a generally fuzzy edge rather than a sharp edge. As far as weathering goes, the engine areas as well as nose area frequently got pretty well beat up and skanky, but as to the rest of the air-frame, aside from the walked on areas of the wings, was pretty tidy. Of course there are probably many exceptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...