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RAF C-130K Hercules C.1 Question

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Do any of our British brethren know whether, as delivered, the RAF's C-130Ks (when wearing the mid stone and dark earth with black below scheme) had a roundel or serials under the wings?  I've seen illustrations of them with the red/white/blue roundel on the fuselage, but the red/blue on the lower wing(s??) with a white serial.  I'm talking late 1960s here, before the red/blue roundel was in widespread use.    If so, was it on both wings, as, for that matter, was the upper wing roundel?




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Hi Jennings,


Looking into this a little, although the upper side colours and markings remained reasonably consistent, the lower ones appear to have 'evolved' somewhat since the first delivery of the C-130K (C.Mk.1) to the RAF in 1967.  Until the advent of the grey/green scheme, there appears to have been only a single roundel applied to the upper port (left) wing on the light stone/dark earth scheme aircraft- even when it went from the red/white/blue roundel to the tactical red/white one. The aircraft were originally painted in gloss polyurethane dark earth, light stone and night colours (with white cockpit), later changing to matt colours without the white.


For the underside, it looks like they originally were devoid of all markings. Some aircraft appear to later display light grey serials and a single red/blue roundel inboard of it on the starboard (right) wing, but this does not seem to be common to all aircraft. Fuselage serials and titles look like they are white.




September 26, 1967 - Hercules enters R.A.F. Squadron Service Stock Photo -  Alamy


Stock Photo: Sep. 09, 1967 - Hercules enters R.A.F. Squadron service: The first squadron of R.a.f air support command to fly the Hercules C.Mk.1 aircraft - no.














XV186mhz040776x3072 f


IMG 4460


Transports (1945-1996)

At the end of the World War II, the RAF transport fleet was composed of around 2,000 Lend-Lease Dakotas (which would have to be returned or paid off) plus a smaller number of transport conversions of other RAF aircraft (mostly bombers). The post-war period saw the introduction of a large number of British-built transports to make up for the dependency on the Dakota, most of these being military conversions of civil airliners. Although some immediate post-war aircraft retained their wartime camouflage, most were given an aluminium finish (and possibly High-Speed Silver after its introduction in 1949). This changed in the 1950s with the introduction of a Transport Command scheme that was very much influenced by civil airliner livery. This consisted of a topside aluminum finish with white undersides. A Roundel Blue BS 110 cheatline was painted at the widest point of the fuselage, much like US and Soviet transports at the time, with the RAF's cheatline being unique for having a lighting-bolt like break near the front of the fuselage. This scheme would last until 1965 with the introduction of Light Aircraft Grey BS 627 as an underside color gradually replacing aluminum/High-Speed Silver.

A notable departure from the standard Transport Command scheme was a special scheme intended for use overseas (particularly the Middle East) but which eventually became the default scheme for tactical transports. This consisted of a topside camouflage pattern of Light Stone BS 361 and Dark Earth BS 450, over Night 642 undersides. Initally, this scheme required the tops of their cockpits to be painted white for heat reflection, although this practice was abandoned later. This scheme was introduced around 1965 and would last well into the 1970s on the Hercules before it transitioned to temperate camouflage (see below).

The 1975 Defence Review resulted in a major decimation of the RAF's transport fleet, which by the end of 1976 consisted only of Vickers VC10 C.1s and US-supplied Hercules C.1s, which were introduced in 1967. Being considered a tactical transport, most Hercules would be seen in the overseas camouflage scheme, while the VC10 C.1s would retain their Transport Command scheme colors until their conversion into C.1K tanker/transport hybrids during 1991-96, these being the last British-designed single-role transports to serve in the RAF.

Paint guide:

  • Dark Earth BS 450: Despite being an iconic RAF wartime color, it has found little use in the post-war period and consequently no range offers different wartime and post-war versions although although this is not a problem since there are no substantial differences. Gunze H72/C22 appears to have gotten DE spot on in its faded state, which is also more appropriate for scale effects. Tamiya lacks a DE equivalent, with XF-52 Flat Earth being often taken as an equivalent although it is considerably off. Both Xtracolor/Xtracrylix and Vallejo versions look too dark, while Humbrol (29) is too pale. Gunze Mr Color also includes a further versions of Dark Earth in a RAF set (now available individually) but it is unclear to me whether it is noticeably different from the older version.
  • Light Stone BS 361: Light Stone is widely available in most newer paint ranges as well as Model Master and Vallejo among the traditional ones. It is often labeled as British Gulf War Armor or Sand Yellow. Unfortunately, the hue can vary considerably, with many leaning towards tan and others towards yellow. Strangely, Xtracolor and Xtracrylix versions of BS 361 are labeled differently, with the former known as RAF Light Stone and the latter British Gulf Armour though both reference BS 361.


    BS 627   BS 361 BS 450 BS 642
Aluminium Light Aircraft Grey White Light Stone Dark Earth Night
Transport (1947) Overall          
Transport (1951) Lower   Upper      
Transport (1965)   Lower Upper      
Tactical     Cockpit Upper camo Upper camo Lower
Color matches
Gunze Aqueous H8 H332 H11 - H72 (H77)
Gunze Mr. Color C8 C332 C62 - C22 / C369 C125
Humbrol 56 166 34 - 29 -
Model Master 1781 - 2142 2137 2054 -
Revell 99 - 05 - 182 -
Tamiya XF-16 - XF-2 - - (XF-85)
Vallejo Model Air 71.062 - 71.001 71.143 71.323 (71.315)
Vallejo Model Color - - 70.842 - - (70.862)
AKAN 76004 60014 78002 70026 70010 (79043)
AK Interactive - - AK 738 AK 4034 AK 2012 AK 2066
AK Real Color RC-020 RC298 RC004 RC040 RC287 (RC022)
AMMO by Mig A.MIG-194 - A.MIG-050 A.MIG-030 A.MIG-070 (A.MIG-033)
Colourcoats - ACRN20 C03 ARB01 ACRN10 (ACRN17)
Hataka HTK-078 HTK-_217 HTK-_101 HTK-_237 HTK-_009 -
Lifecolor LC-74 - LC 01 UA 225 UA 092** -
Mission Models MMM-003 - MMP-001 MMP-044 MMP-078 MMP-108
Mr. Paint MRP-3 MRP-374 MRP-4 MRP-337 MRP-108 (MRP-255)
Xtracolor X142 X015 X405 X029 X002 X012
Xtracrylix XA1216 XA1015 - XA1813 XA1002 XA1012







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