Day Fighter Scheme document

stona

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Here's a contemporary document, sent out to the relevant units, regarding the change to the DFS in 1941.

Duck egg blue is Sky (no matter what you may have read elsewhere on t'internet!)

The mixed grey (7 parts Medium Sea Grey to 1 part Night) was eventually standardised as Ocean Grey

Not on this document but worthy of note is that the yellow propeller tips on all British aircraft were also only 4" wide measured at 90 degrees from the tip of the propeller.

Steve
 
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bloody amazing steve you are a font of knowledge.

Martin
 

mossiepilot

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Great piece of info Steve.

It's really interesting to see the actual directive that changed the RAF camo schemes.

Now we have a bit of factual history to tell us why we paint RAF fighters in the colours we do,

Tony.
 

Stevekir

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Thanks for this. A question: I have seen very few photos of models and original spitfires with the yellow stripe on the leading edges of the wings. Do you know why?

Thanks.
 

stona

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The yellow leading edge stripes were a requirement of the Day Fighter Scheme (DFS). It was not a requirement of some other authorised schemes as you might see on aircraft operating in Africa,the Middle East or Far East. It would not be required on photo reconnaissance aircraft (whose squadrons were a law unto themselves anyway) or Fleet Air Arm aircraft.

Any Fighter operating in the area in which the DFS was used had those stripes applied. If already in service they were applied retrospectively by the squadrons,sometimes with some interesting interpretations of the order. Fighters supplied after the date of the order came to the units with the appropriate markings,including the leading edge stripes neatly and correctly applied.

A model of an aircraft in the DFS without a leading edge yellow stripe is incorrect unless the modeller has a very good reference to prove the exception. Never say never ! Many models are made of aircraft in different schemes,particularly from the BoB period which pre dates the change.

The stripes are not always easy to see in B+W photos. They are present on both these two examples,but not exactly jumping out of the photo.

Cheers

Steve
 

backonthecase

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Brilliant stuff, can't argue with this :smiling3:

Thanks for the info, all

Stuart
 

stona

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Just to add a bit of background. The leading edge stripes were a friend or foe identification marking,as were the Sky coloured spinner and fuselage band. The idea was that the yellow stripes would be visible to a pilot in his rear view mirror. If he didn't see them he could assume that the aircraft manouevering behind him was not friendly. From first hand accounts I have read most pilots don't seem to have looked for yellow stripes on the wings. To them the Sky coloured spinner was a more visible indication of an aircraft's loyalty. Luftwaffe fighters usually had very dark green spinners (sometimes black).

I don't know much about Japanese markings but I seem to remember that they adopted a similar leading edge marking at some point during the war.

Cheers

Steve
 

flyjoe180

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That's quite interesting Steve. I had always imagined the yellow leading edges were a safety marking for ground crew, in a similar way that propeller tips are painted. Again, the Germans never seemed to have used tip colours on their propellers either. I guess they used the old adage that if you never walk through the arc of a propeller you can never be hit by one. Cheers.
 

stona

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Hi Joe,the stripes were definitely introduced as a tactical marking,i.e. an IFF aid and not a safety warning. They went hand in hand with the Sky spinner and fuselage band.

A safety warning would have been introduced across Fighter Command and maybe even wider,like the yellow propeller tips,and this marking certainly was not.

The Luftwaffe did eschew marking propeller tips,maybe they figured that you'd only walk into a spinning propeller once!

My father told me about a dog (an Afghan cross) belonging to someone at Hal Far who wandered into the spinning propeller of a Sea Fury. The dog survived but in dad's words "was never quite the same after that" which is hardly surprising :smiling3:

Cheers

Steve
 

flyjoe180

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A lucky dog indeed to have survived a spinning propeller! And a five blade propeller too. That makes a pretty solid disc when turning.
 

Stevekir

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\ said:
Here's a contemporary document, sent out to the relevant units, regarding the change to the DFS in 1941.Duck egg blue is Sky (no matter what you may have read elsewhere on t'internet!)

The mixed grey (7 parts Medium Sea Grey to 1 part Night) was eventually standardised as Ocean Grey

Not on this document but worthy of note is that the yellow propeller tips on all British aircraft were also only 4" wide measured at 90 degrees from the tip of the propeller.

Steve
Thanks. As this change was introduced on 21 August 1940, I will stick with RAF Dark Earth, RAF Dark Green and RAF Sky, no yellow stripe, for my Battle of Britain Spit.

For the BoB, do you know the colour for the spinner please, and did the propeller tips have yellow?
 

Gern

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While we're on the subject of yellow bits, how wide should the yellow markings on the prop blades be; and was it the same for all aircraft? I've got it in the back of my mind that Steve {Stona} has posted this info before but my memory might be at fault.

Gern

P'raps I should read the posts a bit better! Just spotted the earlier one.
 

stona

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Yes Steve. The scheme used during the BoB period (Dark Green/Dark Earth upper surface over various lower surface colours) was the Temperate Land Scheme (TLS) which predated the Day Fighter Scheme (DFS).

From the beginning of the war markings changed very quickly and had just started to settle down by the BoB. They are very date dependant.

An aircraft as you describe would normally have a black spinner and without good evidence to the contrary that's what I would use. There were exceptions,sometimes they had a coloured band or were entirely painted in a flight colour.

It certainly would not have had the leading edge stripes.

It would have had yellow propeller tips.

Steve
 

Stevekir

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gern wrote:

\ said:
While we're on the subject of yellow bits, how wide should the yellow markings on the prop blades be;
I read somewhere: "4" measured from the tip in a line parallel to the axis of the blade." One modeller said he just makes the depth of the yellow paint in the dish = 4" and dips the blades in.
 

Stevekir

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stona: Thanks. I am now set for all the paintwork.
 

stona

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\ said:
." One modeller said he just makes the depth of the yellow paint in the dish = 4" and dips the blades in.
I paint the yellow blade tip first,covering slightly more than the area to remain yellow. Next I mask of the relevant amount (in 1/48 4" is only 2.1 mm) and paint the rest of the blade,black in the case of a British aircraft. Finally remove masking to reveal nice yellow tip.

Black will cover yellow whereas the other way around........good luck.

Many,many models have far too much yellow,sometimes about a scale foot!

Cheers

Steve
 

BarryW

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\ said:
I paint the yellow blade tip first,covering slightly more than the area to remain yellow. Next I mask of the relevant amount (in 1/48 4" is only 2.1 mm) and paint the rest of the blade,black in the case of a British aircraft. Finally remove masking to reveal nice yellow tip.Black will cover yellow whereas the other way around........good luck.

Many,many models have far too much yellow,sometimes about a scale foot!

Cheers

Steve
I use pretty much the same method. 1/8th of an inch (in real measurements!!) is about it on 32 scale aircraft.
 
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