Mosquito Mk XVIII 248 Sqn RAF Colors

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by dirkpitt289, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    I'm in the process of building an El-Cheap-O Airfix Mosquito and need some assistance with the colors. I already painted the cockpit RAF Interior Green so its too late to change that but I have a nagging suspicion this is incorrect. Of course I would like to know the correct color for the future.

    The model I'm making is a Mk XVIII of the 248 Sqn. Here is a photo form Wings Pallette. I would like some assistance Identifying the colors in the photo. I think its safe to say that the green is Dark Green but I have no clue about the grays. According to the instruction sheet its a two tone scheme of Dark Green and Light Gray. The photo below shows another gray color under the Q M letters.

    [​IMG]

    Also what color should I paint the wheel wells?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    It looks like there were the invasion strips and then these were removed.
     
  3. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    just to confuse the issue Dirk i found this in SAM Combat Colours 6 - de Havilland Mosquito Day and Night Fighters in RAF service 1941 to 1945
     

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  4. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Terry will soon provide the REAL answer.....:D
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Ah, the 'Tse Tse' Mossie!
    First, the cockpit, bomb/gun bays and wheel bays (and insides of doors) were British Cockpit Green Grey, so it sounds like you've got that right.
    The colour scheme was Medium Sea Grey overall, with the disruptive Dark Green (same as used on the Spit, Typhoon etc) on the upper surfaces. The Squadron code letters, QM, and the individual code letter, D, should be Dull Red, not Night (black) although the 8 inch serial number was in Night.
    The white spinner band as it appears in the second profile is correct, as seen in photos of this actual machine, but the wing tanks should be Medium Sea Grey. I haven't found any convincing evidence that they were ever white, unless when the AEAF stripes were painted on the wings, but the tanks would have been in the black stripe area.
    The darker area under the rear fuselage is where the AEAF stripes were removed or painrted out, and should only be a touch darker than the surrounding Medium Sea Grey, not as dark as shown in the profile.
    The landing gear legs were painted 'Aluminium', a dull silver colour.
     
  6. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    #6 dirkpitt289, Mar 17, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
    Thanks Terry, I knew you'd have the answers. The kit comes with red code letters which is great but for some reason so are the serial numbers (red not night)
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Go with the Dull Red serials. The factory finish was Night, but Dull red was also used, more so when aircraft had codes re-painted from 'Sky', for the intruder role etc.
    I've just looked at a pic of this aircraft, with the codes freshly re-painted in Dull Red after the AEAF stripes were removed. They look darker in the photo (being fresh) which has probably led to their being interpreted as Black. BUT, the serial number appears to match the red of the fin flash, looking lighter than the expected tone of 'Night', so very well could have been Dull Red.
     
  8. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    Most probably Airfix have used an old reference, probably dating to the 1970s. The assumption that seems to have been made is that as PZ468 was in the Night Fighter Scheme and night fighters had red codes and serials so did PZ468. They even have the wrong squadron; QM is 254 Squadron.

    Red codes were used on night flying aircraft because there was a requirement that they not be too bright. Serials were normally painted with Night. Obviously you cannot have Night serials on an aircraft that is painted Night so red was used instead. Night fighters were first painted overall Night with red codes and serials but Night ws found to be most unsuitable for night fighters and so the scheme was changed to overall Medium Sea Grey with a Dark Green disruptive pattern on the upper surfaces. Red codes and serials continued to be used but while there was an operational requirement for codes to remain red it was not so for serials. However PZ468 belonged to Costal Command and was not a night flying Mosquito. The profile in Combat Colours much closer to the actual appearance of PZ468 after its transfer to 254 Squadron.

    In early 1942 it was realised by the Air Ministry that as the Mosquito operated in many different roles many different camouflage schemes would be applied to them on the production lines of the factories. It was mooted that all Mosquitoes, whatever their operational function, should be finished on the production lines in overall MSG. The service camouflage schemes could then be applied to the aircraft after they left the production lines either at the factory or at ASUs (Aircraft Servicing Units). The suggestion was adopted on the 12th March 1942.

    The new Night Fighter scheme was promulgated on 1st October 1942, Night being replaced by MSG and DG. The same order stated that Intruder aircraft would be the standard Day Fighter Scheme, Dark Green and Ocean Grey upper surfaces but with the under surfaces Night. (Night was developed in the 1930s to be used on the under surfaces of flying boats as a countermeasure to searchlights. The problem with the existing matt black paints was that it used solely Carbon Black pigment. Carbon Black is a very soft pigment and the matt black paint soon became shiny from rubbing. Night contained Ultramarine pigment in addition to the Carbon Black to make a more durable finish. Although described as black, Night was in fact a dark charcoal grey, sometimes described as gunmetal, colour. Although it proved not to be suitable as a camouflage for night flying aircraft it was still effective against searchlights and continued to be used on aircraft that were thought likely to encounter searchlights.) Serials were to be red. On 1st December 1942 the Intruder Scheme was revised and would now be DG and MSG on the upper surfaces with Night under surfaces. (Most probably this was to further simplify Mosquito production.) The serials were now to be painted Night, the colour on most production Mosquitoes except for some PR variants. So from the end of 1942 onwards practically all Mosquitoes, including night flying variants, had their serials painted in Night.

    From the available evidence all of the Tsetse were camouflaged in the standard Night Fighter Scheme of MSG/DG. 36 inch ‘C1’ roundels on the fuselage, 54 inch ‘B’ roundels on the upper wing, 24 x 24 inch flash on the fin. 8 inch serial numbers in Night. Spinners were Sky but may have been changed later to MSG. In January 1945 upper wing roundels were changed to ‘C’ Type.While with 618 Squadron Special Detachment and 248 Squadron they wore individual identification letters, usually red and may have had a white or yellow outline. There is no evidence that they wore squadron codes with these two units. Individual letters used were E, E1, H, I, L, O, S1, T1, Z, Z1. The numeral 1 after the letter signifies that there was already an aircraft with the squadron with that letter in use.

    During their service with 254 Squadron they wore the full squadron codes, QM, followed by an individual letter. These codes were Night and had no outline.

    During the early months of 1945 there was an increase in the number of midget submarine attacks on allied shipping supplying the invasion forces in Europe. It was decided to transfer the Tsetse to the SE coast to undertake anti-submarine patrols off the Dutch and German coasts. In mid-March the whole of 248 Squadron’s C Flight was posted to 254 Squadron at North Coates under the command of F/O Woodcock. There they flew with 254 squadron’s Beaufighters.
    On 16th March four Tsetse, HX904, MM424, PZ252 and PZ301, were transferred to 254 Squadron. HX904 and MM424 were sent to Bircham Newton for overhaul. PZ300 and PZ468 arrived on the 21st March. The last, NT224 did not arrive until 16th May. HX904 returned on 29th April and MM424 on 16th May.

    PZ468

    02/11/44 3504 Su
    10/11/44 de Havilland
    12/12/44 248 squadron. Coded ‘Z’.
    14/03/45 Bircham Newton for overhaul.
    21/03/45 254 squadron. Coded QM*D.
    04/05/45 Damaged cat Ac.
    20/08/45 9 MU
    26/11/46 SOC, reduced to produce.

    PZ467 was shipped to US Navy at Patuxant River Naval Air Station.
    PZ469 and PZ470 went straight into storage.

    Photo 1
    Standard Night Fighter Scheme applied to Mosquitoes. Overall MSG with DG disruptive camouflage on upper surfaces. Fin and Rudder MSG only. Serial number Night. Codes applied by squadron or MU in Red.

    Photo 2

    MM424, possibly February 1944 at Hatfield after flight acceptance trials and before delivery to 618 Squadron Special Duties Detachment where it was coded ‘H’. Later transferred to 254 Squadron codes unknown. 39 operational sorties.

    Photo 3

    The business end.
     

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  9. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    #9 antoni, Mar 21, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
    NT255/O. Typical Tsetse with 248 squadron. Standard Night Fighter Scheme MSG/DG. Spinnesr Sky. Serials Night. Individual letter only in red. May have been outlined in yellow or white. Sot down by fighter 7/12/44. 49 operational sorties.
     

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  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Very nice stuff here Antoni. But these pics should have been posted of a small size.
     
  11. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    #11 antoni, Mar 21, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
    PZ468 after transfer to 254 Squadron. Night Fighter Scheme MSG/DG. Spinners Sky with white band. Recoded D*QM in Night with no outline. Serial appears to be red in one of the photographs but I am sceptical that it was. Perhaps badly faded or worn away. Night had been the standard for serials for over two years and other Tsetse had Night serials. Stripes under fuselage over painted with a slightly darker grey. Nose cone appears darker and may be a replacement. 15 operational sorties.
     

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  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice stuff Antoni. The final pic is the one I have of PZ468, after transfer to 254 Sqn. The information I have refers to the codes being freshly re-painted in Dull Red, although I grant they do look black in the pic. I have some very rare film footage showing Dull Red coides also and, although I don't doubt that they possibly were Night at one stage, I don't know of this colour being used on Mossies. The serials, which should have been black by this date, ceratainly appear to be Dull Red, and again, I'm not aware of a grey shade being used on Mossie serials.
    The aircraft of 248 sqn originally caried the Squadron code letters also, eg MM425, DM-L, but when AEAF stripes were applied, the Squadron codes were covered by the stripes, only the individual code letter being displayed, Dull Red outlined in yellow, forward of the roundel on both sides.
     
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  14. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's some nice reference stuff..Antoni..:D
     
  15. dolphinxix

    dolphinxix New Member

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    I am trying to find pictures of the Mossie you mentioned .. MM425 L but I cannot seem to locate any. If you don't mind .... where did you get the information that the aircraft was serialised with DM-L. The reason being on March 25th 1944 MM425 L attacked U976 and sunk her, for their actions Flying Officers Doug Turner (P) and Des Curtis (N) were awarded the DFC. Although it was portrayed as a 248 Sqn aircraft I believe it was 618 sqn. Any info would be appreciated.
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Ah, now you've got me !
    After a couple of years, I can't remember exactly where the pic or info was. I presume I searched through my references at the time.
    I'll have a look again when I have more energy, but it might take a while - the Rheumatoid Arthritis is a lot worse lately, and even simple tasks are difficult and tiring at times - but i'll see what I can do.
    If I haven't replied i a week or so, send me a PM to remind me !
     
  17. dolphinxix

    dolphinxix New Member

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    Thank you for your quick response Airframes. The reason I am asking is an dear friend of mine is the granddaughter of F/O Doug Turner and I would like to get a photo of the aircraft he flew in. No problem on the time scale as she is't 50 for a few years yet, so I have plenty of time to sort out her prezzie.
     
  18. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #18 Crimea_River, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    I looked through several data bases prepared and released by another member here. MM425 is listed as aircraft letter L and serving with both 248 and 618 squadron and was badly damaged in Dec 1944. I have been unable so far to find a picture of it in my books but will keep looking.

    EDIT: I have removed some info I previously posted to avoid confusion as I am checking on facts.
     
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