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PostPosted: Sun 23 Feb 2014 13:10 pm 
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Dear All,
Having grown up living on or near many WW2 wartime RAF Stations from 1950s I spent some time in my youth inspecting many RAF buildings in the UK, and I have come to the conclusion that where they were camouflaged in disruptive colours, black and green was used rather than green and brown as seen on many Nissen huts etc on dioramas. While the paint was often faded it is clear that they were black and green and not a trace of brown, so it may be that many of us have blundered in to using Humbrol 29 Earth Brown or similar from modelling magazines in the past or even the suggested scheme in the Airfix Control Tower kit.

Incidentally it would appear that green was the base colour on most of the building erected in WW2 Pre-war RAF Stations were understandably built in plain brick and got an equal coat of black and green as required. As for the type of paint I'm not sure what it was, but it was still visible for at least 30 years after WW2 (where there was no reason to over-paint it) such as the Airman's blocks at RAF Northolt in 1970's.

So does anyone have any firm evidence of green and brown camo on RAF Buildings or is this a myth?


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PostPosted: Wed 26 Feb 2014 12:44 pm 
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I don't know about the origin of the green and brown myth--but since I post stuff like this I thought I'd respond to your post. I say "good work!" Original research IS GOOD. We need a few more intrepid fellows taking notes and reporting back to headquarters. Keep it up.

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug 2014 14:26 pm 
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I've spent most of my life on RAF airfields, initially as an RAF 'Brat'. then later as a Regular Officer and have never come across a Green/Brown scheme (nor the remnants of).
Indeed, when the Battle of Britain film was being made, my late Father was involved with ground taxying of the non-flyable airframes. He was most put out that the film producers had the buildings painted in bown/green (which is probably from whence the myth arose), firmly stating that such a scheme never existed in his experience of WWII airfields.

On a recent RAFA visit to Duxford I noticed they have kept this false camouflage scheme. :think:

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug 2014 16:31 pm 
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Pre-war stations had a Brown/Black camouflage scheme applied as war became apparent, evidence seen at many sites. New austere sites built before/start of the war (Known as the 'Expansion Period') had at least three colours, Green, Black and Grey, the Brown being the natural colour of the bricks. Wartime temporary airfields were camouflage according to location but you are right in that as the threat of air attacks on airfields diminished; then newer buildings became all green.

As for my own research and site, RAF Station Grimsby, i know from evidences that brown and green were applied and also Black and Brown on the initial hangar. Although i have an aerial photo of the site during construction, it being black and white, i was told by a couple of locals employed to build the 'drome that brown and greens were applied; as such RAF vehicle camouflage followed suit. The camouflage extended over all the buildings, roof and all.
There is an Air Min. directive outlining the camouflage for vehicles to match that of the buildings and as such the same paint stock was used. (So i am lead to believe). Brown was the base colour, greens and later 'black,' were used as the disruptive colours


Post-war the RAF certainly went Green and Black but although i dont recall the dates, somebody will, i suspect when i used to be on stations, it was certainly around the Seventies.
How many members recall the RAF vehicles being in such a scheme ??

I think if you have personal notes/records of the paint scheme used, dare i say on the RAF permanent stations from the 1950's, then you are blessed at having seeing it first hand, i too have seen it during the 1970's at such places as Swinderby, Manby and Binbrook

Ian

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug 2014 16:49 pm 
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Regarding the same paint types being used on buildings and vehicles, I have heard this before but I'm not sure masonry paint was good for use on vehicles and in any case some of the camouflaged buildings I have inspected were painted in distemper, that with a good rub will come off on your hand. It may be the paint colours were the same but I'm still inclined to believe that the paint was different.


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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug 2014 17:02 pm 
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LarryH57 wrote:
It may be the paint colours were the same but I'm still inclined to believe that the paint was different.

I think i am in agreement with you there, different paint type but similar colours. As regards distemper, i not sure that would have lasted 30 + yrs.

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug 2014 19:34 pm 
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I first laid my head on a barrack block pillow in 1962 with the ATC then in 1964 as an apprentice till 2004 when I finally hung my boots up. Even in 1962 the camo colours were fast fading, but the brown often took on the appearance of certain types of bricks and so did not look part of the scheme, but as late as 1977 they were still very clear on some MQs at Marham as they were at Honington & Waddington in the early 1990s. Its worth reminding ourselves that the colour of bricks varies accross the UK from a distinct red to a dull red to a biege then a fairly dark brown.
Camouflage colours on Air Ministry buildings were in the CDSE/987C range- (CDSE =Civil Defence Camouflage Establishment). The range contains colours known as Standard Camouflage Colours (SCC ) now these letters may well be familiar to some of you ??? Apart from SCC15 onwards, official names were not given to the colours, in the official publications they were given descriptions like SCC 4 ="a weak cup of tea" - SCC 1, 1A,2,3,4 were shades of brown, 5 was a light grey, 6, 6A,7,8,9 were greens, 10,11,11A were reds 12 & 13 further greys and 15 blackish. In 1942 The CDSE range was incorporated into the British Standard system and became BS987C ( most of you will be familiar with the vehicle schemes SCC1A plus SCC 2 and SCC14 plus 15 ?? ). Anyway back to buildings, colours for each station were chosen to reflect the average surroundings throughout the seasons, and were selected by the Area Works Dept Cam Officer. I have several period colour pictures and brown is always featured. There were a series of Official photographs taken at Waterbeach centred on the operation of Stirling aircraft that you may have seen, in one, a J type hangar is in shot finished in Brown & Green.
On all the colour photos I have at least one shade of brown is apparent. I have a couple of drawings associated with the camouflaging of buildings on No 7 Site at Brize Norton and the Works Area Cam Officer is calling for SCC1 to be replaced by 13 etc etc so changes did take place. My final station was Leuchars, and although in Monchrome I have a series of aerial photos taken through WW2 and in that period of 5 years the hangers bore 3 totally different cam schemes - both in terms of patterns and in the tones that can be diserned. So in conclusion examples show buildings with 5 or 6 different colours , some with fancy random patterns whilst others only have 2 colours and used the same pattern as seen on the early vehicle camo schemes. BUT brown & green were certainly used together on 2 colour schemes, and are apparent in all my colection's shots. I don't think we can discount any colour combinations but to labour the point I have yet to see a colour shot without a brown. If anyone wants a copy of the Waterbeach shot PM me with their e addy and I will attach it to a reply.
The use of Building paint on vehicles, it is possible : all the early cam paints supplied for vehicles were distempers, just as the majority of building paints, by the same token some enamel paints supplied for steel doors and window frames would have been very suitable for vehicles and with thinning with white spirit could be quickly sprayed. As an aside the ARTF finish we applied to Harrier & Jags operating in Norway and that were applied to several aircraft types in Gulf war one was just an up market distemper and was equally successful on GSE & MT ; supplied as a paste and thinned with distilled water and metholated spirits.

Regards and happy painting
TED


Last edited by ted angus on Fri 08 Aug 2014 19:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug 2014 19:56 pm 
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Larry

You have seen this before . . .

http://patrickbaty.co.uk/2011/10/05/war ... e-colours/

should be of interest to many and confirms what Ted has spoken about

Ian

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Aug 2014 17:35 pm 
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Thanks for the link. Interesting that the first photo it shows conforms to the appearance of the WW2 era camo scheme I have seen on many RAF Stations!


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Aug 2014 19:29 pm 
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Its a pity the guy didn't finish his research, I have always though that the building in the first photo is a reproduction- seems strange the front survived and the visible side didn;t ??

TED


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Aug 2014 19:35 pm 
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I think i recall seeing that building in the 1st photo at North Weald (?), think it was the above ground BFI pump house that some local kids had sprayed up so its not even authentic . . . .

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug 2014 18:15 pm 
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If the camo on the building in the photo was the result of modern graffiti then those boys were very lucky to find the exact shade of green that I have seen so often, which was fairly easy to remove, so who knows what happened to the sides.


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PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug 2014 22:56 pm 
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I thought a few photos might back up my contention that most of the buildings on wartime built RAF Stations (and those used by the FAA) didn't bother with camo on their huts and hangars and just used green. As you will see some of the huts show in the background of Mosquito photos.

Photos removed as requested


Last edited by LarryH57 on Sun 24 Aug 2014 21:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Aug 2014 22:58 pm 
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And one more of an FAA Station hangar

Photo removed as requested


Last edited by LarryH57 on Sun 24 Aug 2014 21:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug 2014 09:53 am 
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Cracking shots thanks for sharing. yes there is no doubt as the years went on and this risk lessened a single colour was often the normand indeed often green. immediate pre war hutting was still in use at Locking in 1964 and at St Athan east camp in 66 (and many years later in St Athans case) that was a very very dark brown and where wear had taken place to expose things painted on them like arrows to EWS, shelters, etc there was only very dark brown exposed. To my eye - comparing the FAA job (green & grey)with the hangar I would say the hanger was one of the light brown colours ? but I think that could be open to debate ?
The other thing of note the CMP 3 tonner in the background of the Mustang is still in the pre November 1941 MTP 20 pattern /
Turning to the Mossies plenty green there I believe Nissen huts and Rhomney sheds were supplied in green . Do you know where the Mossie shots were taken please ?
regards TED


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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug 2014 10:15 am 
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Ted, I don't know where the photo was taken.

However the O5 coded Mosquito is from the Bomber Support Development Unit formed on 17th April 1944 at Foulsham and later on 23rd Dec 1944 to Swanton Morley. The shot looks winter-ish so take your pick!


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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug 2014 10:31 am 
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As Ted has stated, with the reduced threat of air-attacks, buildings reverted to One colour but as was mentioned at the start of the thread, location was key to camouflage so if your station was near the coast then it would have been more heavily camouflaged but a training station in the midlands then less likely.

I have photos of Goxhill, near the coast below the River Humber, a good navigational guide for the Germans, so it was heavy camouflaged, but then it was built 1939=40 when the practise was very much fresh.

I agree that the hangar does indeed look brown but notice the small building between the two hangars, its camouflaged.
Which FAA station was it taken at ? the Wrens (?) are wearing the naval caps?
Again the buildings behind the Mosquito are green, i read that the photo was taken mid/late '44 so that would reason for the one colour.

Unknown coastal location . . .
http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/Lincolnlanc/Camocomparison2_zpsc4ab2367.jpg

American airbase . . .
http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/Lincolnlanc/Camo3_zps395bbf01.jpg

Section of Goxhill . . .
http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag137/Lincolnlanc/Camouflage4_zps0c21247f.jpg

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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug 2014 12:25 pm 
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Rules:279808 wrote:
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Aug 2014 16:48 pm 
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Reading this thread made me dig out a book I found a little while ago on Camouflage. There were some references to buildings but the pictures are mainly artist impressions, but do show green/ black/ brown painted buildings. The book I picked up at TKmax, do not be put off by the pink camouflaged stiletto and DM Boot on the front. the contents cover camo in nature to early military use and the two world wars with a fashion section at the back. it's not a definitive reference book but there are quite a few interesting images of war time camouflage pamphlets and uniforms and should be of interest to anyone that wonders where some of those wierd WW1 designs came from. Book Details - Camouflage by Tim Newark (in association with IWM) ISBN 978-0-500-28710-1


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