Airfix Logo

Humbrol Logo

The Airfix Tribute Forum was established in April 2006 to discuss the making of Airfix models.

Email: admin at airfixtributeforum.co.uk

It is currently Tue 26 Sep 2017 04:57 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan 2016 14:40 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Having followed the builds of Gnats in the appropriate threads I though it would be a good idea to start a thread on RAF 'flying gear' from the 70's. I was a pilot in the RAF from 1972 - 2007 and wore examples of flying equipment issued during those 4 decades.

As a follow on from the thread on flying suits from the 50's and 60's I would like to add that the early 70's saw the demise of most of the flying equipment of the earlier decades of jet flight. I recall that, as a trainee Jet Provost pilot in 1972 I was issued with a 'lightweight' flying suit in green with the 2 clear kneeboard pockets, a cool weather flying suit in grey with one knee board pocket and a cold weather flying jacket which might have been grey ( can't recall now!). Leg restrains were blue grey, gloves off white, shirt RAF blue/grey (it was of a thicker and softer material the normal uniform shirt), grey flannel flying scarf and a Mk 2A flying helmet in white (tinted visor, except for 2 small quadrants adjacent to the mask, which were clear) the helmet had a yellow bar to operate the visor mechanism, this was used for the Instrument Flying 'hood' or visor which attached to it by velcro (yes it had been invented back then!). See photo in 50's 60's thread.

Other AEA ie non- issue: LSJ (Mae west) - contemporary photos of Prince Charles (I was in flying training at the same time as him) show yellow outer shell but I believe they were replaced by green by the time we finished training.

I will add to this thread, air craft by aircraft. This will represent jet pilot equipment, I am sure others will add their 2 pennies worth in due time. I have a fair amount of AEA which I will photograph and add to this site.

Hope this helps.

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan 2016 15:19 pm 
Offline
Two Gold Stars
Two Gold Stars
User avatar

Joined: Wed 12 Nov 2008 13:32 pm
Posts: 5675
Location: Bomber County, Lincolnshire
: Model Portfolio
Sounds great, looking forward to seeing some of your former equipment/flying clothing.

rgds
Ian

_________________
"Well Chaps ... my watch says time to go ..."

Avro Lancaster Enthusiast.
Builder: RAF Station Grimsby diorama


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun 03 Jan 2016 19:45 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
I shall be in touch with my contemporaries to see what they recall and I will amend appropriately. Of course, you will want to know the appropriate Humbrol or whatever, colours to use - I will endeavour to advise, either with colour photos, photos of the actual equipment or, worst of all, memory!

Whilst I remember: At this time (70's) the JP 3 oxygen mask was the H-type and was a grey colour and larger than the P/Q type. The P/Q mask was used in the JP 5 and every other pressurised 'fast jet', the P/Q had a black exoskeleton with black rubber inner but the 'medical mask' (for those allergic to the rubber, as I was) was a light flesh pink!

Moving on in the 70's, I flew the Gnat and then the Hunter, the flying helmet remained the white 2A, the flying suits were as before, although I've an idea that the heavier weight grey flying suit was withdrawn. Gloves off-white, boots black. Leg restraints blue/grey, worn just below the knees. In my day, the student wore the internal g-suit and only the instructors were issued with the external. The colour of the g-suit was a dark green, very similar to that of the stole of the LSJ; the external g-suit had provision for the 2 knee board clear pockets. The flying instructors used a mix of Mk1 (dull silver) and Mk2A (white) flying helmets. For interest, exchange instructors could wear their own 'national' flying suits, so a Luftwaffe exchange instructor would/could fly in their day-glo orange suits and USAF exchange instructors in their grey green flight suits.

I was posted to the Vulcan in 1974 and the flying kit followed the above. Most pilots and rear crew wore the Mk 1 inner, the pilots attaching the 'bone dome' to the rear of the ejection seat. The inner cloth g-cap? was dark green. The P/Q mask was worn. During late summer through to early summer all crew members would wear the immersion suit which was dark green. I have one so standby for a photo! The material has not changed in colour in the 4 decades I was associated with it. Certainly a life saver, the immersion suit is not a popular garment! The remaining AEA was green LSJ, blue/grey leg restraints, off-white gloves, black boots. However, the tan/brown light weight flying boot would also be seen (worn by aircrew on other types as well). This boot was made with a breathable leather and was NOT supposed to be polished! These boots would end up a huge variety of brown colours, aircrew would polish them with the special black silicone polish (specifically provided for the black flying boot), water staining etc, etc.
I believe, by the mid 70's the Mk 1 helmet had been withdrawn from all fast-jet aircrew. The Mk 3 had been introduced, this helmet addressed the weight and size complaints of the Mk2 series . I elected to fly the vulcan with this helmet, I cannot remember the specific mark I used, I believe it was the version with the Mk 1 style of visor operation. The Mk 3, if I remember correctly, was the first that came in a range of colours - well green anyway! Standby for the 80's in the next installment!

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2016 17:58 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Some amendments: The Mk 1/1A helmet was made of laminated nylon and, towards the end of its life, was available in green with the reflective strips on top. The visor on RN helmets was deeper than those on RAF ones. The early Mk 2A (as I was issued) had a recessed area into which the visor could partly retract, later versions had this feature removed. Of note is the extensive amount of 'inner' that can be seen around the edges of the Mk 2 and Mk 3

Flying clothing doesn't change during the early 80's, well not that I recall. The helmet undergoes changes - I think I flew with certainly 2, possibly 3, versions of the Mk 3 helmet. By the time I was on the Canberra my Mk3 had a double visor system - the Mk3C I seem to recall. Around 1985 the Nomex flying suits arrived, these were a different shade of green but, in all other respects (and certainly from a modellers perspective) all other details remained the same. During this period the Mk4 series of helmets were introduced, available with differing visor options according to aircrew role these helmets were lighter and a whole lot more comfortable than their predecessors. The 1:72 Airfix Gnat pilot is wearing a Mk 4! Cut back sides to improve vision, less of the 'inner' of the helmet showing. I wore the Mk 4 as a Phantom pilot and for a fair time as a Hawk flying instructor. I recall the period when we were converted to Mk10B helmet: thanks to an Aviation Qualified doctor reviewing the fit of my Mk 4 I had changed from Med Long to Medium and finally my Mk 4 fitted very well, as a consequence I was rather loath to swap to the Mk 10. Having done so It was great, even better was the 10B although the most difficult bit was getting used to the different method of operating the visors!!

The following link goes into detail on the various marks of helmet

http://www.flightgear.dk/rafhelmets.htm

From a modellers perspective those of you in 1:72 can pretty much use the OOB products (I lean towards the PJ products myself), in the larger scales you might want to do a bit of fettling.

I will pop up into the loft and drag down examples of flying kit and photograph them for you. I do not have anything from the 70's or early 80's although the colour of the immersion suit and G-pants hasn't changed. I am wondering if there might be a 'standard' green I could use next to the items so you can reference? Any suggestions?

All the above is suitable for aircrew up to very recently, the present range of flying suits is, I understand, now made from the camouflage material as per all current combat clothing - that'll be a challenge then!!

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu 07 Jan 2016 12:04 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Gloves. A small but, possibly significant, detail. Green gloves were introduced for the Harrier force late 70's perhaps? These gloves gradually spread throughout the RAF during the 80's and 90's so, at times, it would be 'pot luck' as to whether exchange gloves would be white or green. In the late 90's approximately black gloves were introduced, not sure of the reason though - it might have been the difficulty of dyeing the green ones perhaps? Through out this time white gloves were usually available (see comments re green gloves).

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 08 Jan 2016 23:08 pm 
Offline
Silver Bar
Silver Bar
User avatar

Joined: Fri 18 Jun 2010 13:34 pm
Posts: 10214
Location: D'Dee, N'orn I'rn
: --------------------
: Group Build Guru
: AMSIG member
This is all very good interesting info Tony.
Thanks for taking the time to inform us and keep us right on these small but important details.

As for a colour reference guide; in professional photography, for colour or tone guide we used to include in the photo a special card known as an 18, or Kodak Grey Card. It is neutral grey and reflects 18% of light. The grey is just about the same as the undercoat primer used on cars, eg Halfords grey primer.
Art restorers used to use a small version with a window aperture cut in it. By putting it over the area to be checked they could see better the colour, shade or tone of the piece.
Just a suggestion idea.

_________________
Al speling misteaks aer all mi own werk..
Its not just how good your painting is, its how good the touch-ups are too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat 09 Jan 2016 15:30 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Fred thanks for that, I can certainly produce a card with Halfords grey primer for reference. I had in mind to spray a couple of cards with Humbrol greens, I know it won't satisfy every one but it is a start!

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 24 Mar 2017 16:00 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Well now, haven't I been lax!! But, buy a happy set of circumstances I have raided the loft, prepared colour swatches and can now give you an idea of the colours you might wish to consider using. All the kit is sat next to me as I type this.

All the following are Acrylic:

Flying Suits:

I have about 6 sets of Nomex Mk16 flying suits (that is as shown in my avatar) and they include never worn to well used. They are all exactly the same colour!! These flying suits came in at the turn of the millennium and are only being phased out now. This ia also the colour of the covers of Life Saving Jackets from about 2003.
Humbrol Acrylic 78 (cockpit green) is a very good match

The previous Nomex flying suit was the Mk 14, I have only one to check but I did look under the epaulettes for an non-faded colour. These flying suits were in use during the 90's.
Tamiya XF 81 is close and, if you want a faded look, add a little yellow.

The cold weather flying jacket changed from a rich green to a rather washed out green sometime in the late 90's (I think)
For earlier jackets Tamiya XF 58 would be close, otherwise Humbrol 117 is good. Back in the early 70's the jacket was issued in grey sorry I cannot remember what colour could be used (it was a long time ago).

The external G-suit is of a nylon material and the same material was also used on the covers of Life saving Jackets from around 1973 to about 2003.
Humbrol Acrylic 116 is good for that.

The Immersion suit is unchanged since the first time I ever had cause to wear one in 1973! There might be minor variations, but none worth bothering about
Tamiya XF 58 is very close.

Gloves - the 'white gloves' are just off white or, quite honestly, dirty white!! issued from the late 60's to date
The black gloves are well, lets think ....... oh yes - black. issued from the mid 90's (perhaps) to date
The green gloves are close to a 50/50 mix of Humbrol Ac 226 and 117 initially produced for the Harrier force but available to all eventually (especially once the Harrier force disbanded)

Boots 1965 and later (1998?? pattern) that'll be black, sometimes scruffy.
Light weight boots - once a very scruffy tan (not supposed to be polished at all, but some aircrew used the black silicon polish on them) they are now issued in black only.

I will be able to put up photos with the swatch if really required but I promise you the colours suggested really are sufficiently close to work.

Flying helmets were issued in silver grey (Mk1 - pre 1970ish but continued in use on some fast jets - until the advent of the Mk4 - and the Vulcan), White gloss (mk2A, Mk 3), Matt green Mk 3 thru' Mk 10. 'Air defence' grey also used on Mk4 thru' 10. The green is a blacker version of the G-suit colour so Humbrol 116 with a little black should do the trick. I haven't seen my Green Mk 4 for 4 years although I am trying to recover it!!

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 24 Mar 2017 16:27 pm 
Offline
Green Star
Green Star

Joined: Tue 11 Oct 2011 09:41 am
Posts: 145
Which helmet is the Bone Dome ?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri 24 Mar 2017 18:07 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Sorry Khard, not with you?

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar 2017 12:00 pm 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star

Joined: Tue 20 Sep 2016 09:55 am
Posts: 517
Location: Scotland
: --------------------
"Bone Dome" is just a generic nickname for a hard shell flying helmet, rather than specific to a mark and/or shell colour isn't it? Certainly that's how the Boscombeites I sometimes have discussions with use the term.

_________________
"Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"Yes. Give me a staffel of Spitfires!"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon 10 Apr 2017 09:10 am 
Offline
Blue Star
Blue Star
User avatar

Joined: Sat 10 Oct 2015 22:02 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Wiltshire
: --------------------
Since my previous post I have been in contact with colleagues who were on my Flight Cadet Entry at RAF College Cranwell. One of them still has his initial issue flying suit from 1971 and he sent me a photo. The colour is Olive Green, quite a dark shade but not quite the same as the immersion suit nevertheless Tamiya XF 58 would suffice.

_________________
Tony

Growing old is compulsory
Growing up is optional!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

The Airfix Tribute Forum

The Airfix Tribute Forum - Est. 2006 | Make a Donation


modelsforsale.com