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Old 10-06-2019, 10:12 AM
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rockpaperscissor rockpaperscissor is offline
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WWII RAF markings

I am (still) confused regarding the correct arrangement of RAF squadron codes. N96HBK's beautiful build of Marek's Spitfire brought this to mind again.

To summarize Wikipedia, it says: on both sides of the fuselage, and from left to right, 2 letter squadron code, roundel, 1 letter aircraft code (XY O Z) is correct. On most decal sets, RAF squadron codes are organized this way.

However, some decal sets mimic Marek's Spitfire: XY O Z on the left side, Z O XY on the right. There are period photos of RAF fighters with right side squadron codes like the Marek Spitfire, although most read XY O Z on both sides. Sometimes the roundels are exactly opposite each other when viewed from the top, and sometimes they are staggered to accommodate the lettering.

Is this lack of consistency just a case of ground crews screwing up, or the squadron commander's personal taste? Did the RAF not standardize aircraft markings until after the war?
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:52 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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RAF and RCAF aircraft, the roundel does move to accommodate the codes.

Squadron Code generally goes ahead (to the front of the plane) of the Roundel Insignia.
Aircraft code to the rear.



This is about as consistent as the direction the wind blows.



We need an expert...not a modeller...to tell us whats going on.

And I promise I won't argue about the use of FS Standard Colour Codes*
(*an American wartime Aircraft Paint system)
for correct British RAF colours...sheesh...modellers!
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:21 PM
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Not an expert, but I slept in an abondoned hangar last night..


RAF combat aircraft were "usually" identified with a squadron two character code and a single character aircraft code. The arrangement of these codes is what becomes confusing.


The "normal" left side arrangement would be <SQ*A where SQ is the squadron code, * is the roundel, A is the aircraft code and < indicates the nose. The right side of the aircraft is where it can get squirrely. The following are arrangements that can be encountered:
#1 SQ*A> with the roundel directly opposite the left side roundel

#2 SQ*A> but with the roundel moved forwqrd to make room for the SQ

#3 A*SQ>
Which one is correct? All of them depending on the squadron, aircraft type and timeframe. It is always preferable to have photos of both sides of the aircraft being modeled. Failing that, I opt for #3 when coloring/recoloring.


The subject of personal markings for high ranking officers and/or notable pilots is another matter - JE*J (Johnny Johnson) and D*B (Douglas Bader) are examples.



Hope this helps...
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:34 PM
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Butelczynski Butelczynski is offline
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A lot depended on where squadron codes were painted.Was it in factory, before or after delivery do destination,was aircraft repaired at specialised station,etc...

That's where camo variations come from too and that applies pretty much to every air force involved in war,regardless of theatre.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:51 PM
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rockpaperscissor rockpaperscissor is offline
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Quote:
Not an expert, but I slept in an abondoned hangar last night..
That's pretty funny, right there.

I guess I shouldn't obsess on this, since period photos show the right side squadron code/aircraft code oriented either way. If the RAF didn't care, why should I?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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And of course do check that the photo you're working from has been printed the right way round and not mirrored.
Has been known to happen.
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