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Old 12-07-2018, 01:47 AM
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f4f martlet in egypt

Dear All:

Does anyone knows if the Wilcat/Martlet ever used desert camo?
I have seen many models and drawings of them but no photographic evidence. I say this because B&W doesn't show colors. It could be gray and green or stone and sand!
Any clues?

https://www.google.com/search?biw=12...30.dKn8hGwIBL4

https://www.google.com/search?q=f4f+...=1544168478001
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:49 AM
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It looks like the United Kingdom did.
Grumman Martlet Aircraft - The Best and Latest Aircraft 2018

this might help too
https://chindits.files.wordpress.com...t-profiles.pdf
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Last edited by ennder; 12-07-2018 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:34 AM
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I hope they woud work for you.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:24 PM
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From what's gone before on other sites re this particular subject W&P there doesn't seem to be any conclusive evidence. There was plenty of FAA Martlet (of a number of squadrons) activity in this theatre but most if not all the B&W photos of the Martlets that give rise to speculation and debate about desert paint schemes seem to be of 805 Sqn FAA. Their machines were of a diverted Greek order and it's generally agreed that they were finished in standard delivery scheme of USN Non Specular Light Grey overall. The first two photos would suggest that is the case. According to some sources they were subsequently given (in the field) an upper surface repaint of Middle Stone. Then (again allegedly) Azure Blue unders and then Dark Earth disruptive over the top (see third photo).
I tend not to dismiss totally interpretations of B&W photos because often it's all anyone has. And I think 'shade contrasts' of grey in photos can help a lot. For example there was a much greater contrast between say Dk Earth and Middle Stone than that of the standard FAA Dk Slate Grey and Extra Dk Sea Grey. Also Azure blue will always show as being darker than Sky Type S. Indeed Azure Blue is often of darker contrast than Middle Stone where the two colours meet on the lower fuselage. And there's ALWAYS inconsistencies as to whether aircraft painting was actually carried out to official specs on all machines in service even in the same squadron. Look at the 260 Sqn Kittyhawk line up in the fourth pic. The first two aircraft clearly have a much darker undersurface colour than the third. Azure Blue and Sky Blue perhaps? Who knows. And of course another factor that make or break guesswork (even educated guesswork) is the type of film used by the photographer. Yellows are notorious here with early orthochromatic film- look at the surround of the fuselage roundel in the first pic.

IMHO if you want to do your Martlets in a 'desert' scheme I say go for it. Yours will be among a sea of modellers/illustrators/decal manufacturers that have gone that way before you and if anyone comes along and says you're wrong then I would say: Oh yeah? Prove it sport.

Garry G
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f4f martlet in egypt-25-hn-ac-kits-airfix-grumman-martlet-mk.iv-1.72.jpg   f4f martlet in egypt-f4f_martlet7.jpg   f4f martlet in egypt-martlet3.jpg   f4f martlet in egypt-curtiss-p-40k-kittyhawk-raf-260sqn-hs-v-fr312-el-alamein-1942-02.jpg  
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:08 PM
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Nicely said, Sir.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:09 PM
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I don't know of course but ...

Although those ex-Greek Martlets belonged to the FAA they were a scratch force, were never associated with carriers and were quite possibly repainted to blend in with the land based forces they were operating with.

However Operation Torch - much later - was the first time the FAA employed the Martlet in a planned operation in the Mediterranean/North African Theatre, and they were carrier based.
Surely they would have been in FAA colours and would have stayed in them even if dis-embarked temporarily.
So, for example, Airfix's idea of a "stoned" Martlet "torching" a Vichy French fighter strikes me as unlikely.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:48 PM
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Some Additional Information

I think that everything Garry and Maurice say makes sense.

In his Wildcat Aces of World War 2 (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 3, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publications, 1995), Barrett Tillman provides a side-view painting of Martlet III AX733/K, flown by Sub-Lieutenant W M Walsh, Royal Navy, of No 805 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, Western Desert, 28 September 1941, in Mid Stone upper surfaces and azure blue lower surfaces. This is the caption: “No 805 Sqn was a constituent part of the RN Fighter Unit which operated alongside RAF squadrons in the Western Desert during 1941 and 1942, operating with the Hurricane-equipped Nos 803 and 806 Sqns. The Martlets scored victories against three Savoia Marchetti SM.79s, a single Ju 88 and a Fiat G.50. The latter was downed by Sub-Lt W M Walsh, flying this Martlet III. Originally painted azure blue overall, the unit’s Martlets soon picked up stone upper surfaces to camouflage them against the desert. The Martlet III was also used by No 806 Sqn, which claimed four kills when it escorted the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta during August 1942, flying from HMS Indomitable.” p. 95]

Since Tillman is a generally reliable aviation history writer, his statement here lends credibility to the belief that No 805 Squadron Martlett’s were in desert camouflage. However, as is almost always the case with these kinds of sources, Tillman provides no documentation for anything in the book, so we can’t tell what sources he used for this statement.

It also raises some additional questions. When and where was the azure blue applied over the original light non-specular gray? Did some or all of the 805 Squadron Martlett’s receive the dark brown shadow shading of standard Mediterranean camouflage?

I would imagine that the 806 Squadron Martlets, flying from an aircraft carrier, would have been in the standard FAA camouflage.

If we keep searching, perhaps some answers will come to light. One of us might try contacting Barrett Tillman to ask these questions and to ask what his sources were for his research.

All fascinating stuff to some of us, but as Garry indicates: if you want to build a Martlett in desert camouflage, Wire & Paper, there is enough evidence to support your decision and, even if there wasn’t, it will be your model and you can color any way you wish.

Don
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurice View Post
Although those ex-Greek Martlets belonged to the FAA they were a scratch force, were never associated with carriers and were quite possibly repainted to blend in with the land based forces they were operating with.
However Operation Torch - much later - was the first time the FAA employed the Martlet in a planned operation in the Mediterranean/North African Theatre, and they were carrier based.
Surely they would have been in FAA colours and would have stayed in them even if dis-embarked temporarily.
Perfectly reasonable assumption maurice. I think the photos of those ex-Greek 805 Sqn ones seem to raise the most speculation and are perhaps erroneously held up as representative of most Martlet activity in that theatre. Maybe kitmakers are just trying to offer modellers something a bit different.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:33 PM
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Thank you all, the back log is long but, the idea of Martlets in desert camo is very attractive.
Muchisimas gracias!
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:35 AM
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You´re going to need a Blur Tool for the Uper/underside for the interlaced of both surfaces.Tony.
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