Question about RAF Roundels pale outer ring

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Aug 22, 2021
Hi everybody,
I have recently decided to make a small research about RAF roundels applied during WWII. I came across some photos of aircraft showing a particular configuration. It seems that the outer ring of the fuselage roundels has been painted over or, somehow, it has left a sort of "trace" on the camouflage colours. I was wondering what this feature is caused by. Please, is there anyone who could kindly help me? Thank you so much!

RAF roundels outer pale ring.png
A quick answer might be a change in the original marking applied to the aircraft when it rolled off the production line. This is a photo of the first production Hurricane Mk.I L1547 and it shows the original roundel.


This is a picture of Treble One Sqn Hurricanes, the unit being the first to receive the type. Note the markings.

The original upper wing and fuselage markings for 1937 camouflaged RAF aircraft were roundels of (from center) red-white-blue-yellow. Squadron was shown by colored numerals with the unit number on fin or fuselage. Both items were pretty visible, so in August-September of 1938, teh roundels were changed by overpainting the yellow in the appropriate camouflage color (Dark Earth or Dark Green, and covering the white ring by extending the blue and red portion to meet each other. The squadron numbers were overpainted and replaced by two-letter codes in Medium Sea Grey denoting the squadron on one side of the fuselage roundel, and an individual aircraft letter on the other side. These squadron codes were actually 'pre-wartime' codes; when when war broke out in September 1939 they were to be changed to a different predetermined set of letters. Needless to say, in 1938 a couple of squadrons used the letters from the wrong list and had to have their codes changed to the correct 'pre-wartime' combination,
Attached is one of the changes to RAF markings. Note that it says in the last para to be introduced asap so that means company drawings will not reflect it until it is convenient to do so. The order to the paint shop would be done and an engineering order or production order or whatever the particular company used to introduce urgent changes. Dropping an urgent mod to fix a major problem or finalize a model change in order to change something as minor as a markings change were always introduced this way.



Somewhere I have some drawings for one set of RAAF markings that are almost word for word the equivalent of the RAF one of about the same time - most of the aircraft in the drawing are types the RAAF never operated.

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