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Old 13th May 2005, 04:35
pstrany pstrany is offline
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805 Sqdn Wildcats in the desert - Color?


I'm getting ready to apply a splash of paint to a Wildcat to appear in the colors of 805 Sqdn RN in the Western Desert, and I''m trying to figure out exactly WHAT color(s) it is in? Some sources claim that they were in Azure overall, but was Azure available that early in the war (summer 1941.) Another possibility would be that these aircraft, on their way to Greece, were left in their delivery color (light gray??) and just had British markings applied? I've also seen the suggestion put forth that they were in midstone uppers/azure lowers, which would be very low contrast (Shores' "Fighters Over the Desert" has one picture that certainly APPEARS to be in this combination) but again, were these colors available this early in the war?
Also, these WERE Royal Navy aircraft, and would certainly have appeared in Naval colors.....

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Old 13th May 2005, 17:52
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: 805 Sqdn Wildcats in the desert - Color?

It is currently believed that these aircraft were initially flown in their USN light grey colour scheme, and that the uppersurfaces were overpainted with Mid Stone. Yes, this was available at this time. As was Azure Blue, but there would be no reason to apply this overall to any aircraft.

Other RN aircraft operating from land bases at the same time retained their RAF camouflage. Specifically the Hurricanes (not Sea Hurricanes) of the RN Fighter Flight in the desert at the same time, which had standard RAF desert colours plus the "spaghetti" scheme then common on the leading edges of the wing and lower nose.
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Old 15th May 2005, 16:40
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: 805 Sqdn Wildcats in the desert - Color?

Hi Paul & Graham,

Am I correct in that for "Wildcat" you mean "Martlet"?

For reference to colours used there is Scale Aircraft Modelling Volume 6 number 8 , article on American Aircraft in the FAA.

This gives profiles and colour descriptions of four .

BJ561 of 804 Sqdn 1941.
3876 of RNFU N. Africa 1941 (ex-Greek)
AX736 of 805 Sqdn 1941-42
AM978 of 888 Sqdn HMS Formidable Madagascar , May 1942.

From FAA Aircraft 39-45 by Sturtivant & Burrow (Air Britain)

30 F4F-3A Martlet III with Bu nos 3875 - 3904 ordered by Greek Purchasing Commision and delivered reached Port Suez in April of 41 and were diverted to the FAA.

It looks as though these a/c wore the Bu number as a serial number under the words "Royal Navy" and were in a "non-specular light grey overall colour with black codes , type A1 roundels on fuselage while upper wings carried type B, under wings type A, prop hub in natural metal.

Later on some of 805's a/c in the AX serial range were marked as "Upper surfaces mid stone lower surfaces azure blue serials etc were black and roundels were A1, B and A .

Hope this is a help.

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