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Author Topic: Pink Spitfire FR.IXs?  (Read 11564 times)
jenshb
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« on: March 24, 2009, 02:25:17 PM »

Were these aircraft delivered from the factory as FR.IXs, or were they field modified?  If they were field modified, I assume they would originally be painted in Dark Green/Ocean Grey/Medium Sea Grey, and got their pink paint scheme at the unit.  If they were delivered as FR.IXs, would they be painted pink at the factory, or would that disrupt production too much so they would get the normal colours?

Jens
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NZTyphoon
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 12:16:34 AM »

Good question! Hmmm...two of the best known pink FR Mk IXs of 16 Squadron were;

MK716 "Black or Red X" which, according to http://www.spitfires.ukf.net/p071.htm (and Morgan and Shacklady)

CBAF   M66   39MU 2-3-44 302S 3-5-44 83GSU 15-6-44 mods 312S FACB 24-6-44 ros 34Wng SU Prep Flt 27-7-44 414S CB ops 2-3-45 Armee de l'Air GC2/1

MK716 was built as an LF MK IX powered by a Merlin 66, Castle Bromwich, March 1943. The modifications to an FR Mk IX were made in June 1944 by 83 Ground Support Unit, which was part of  2 TAF - no mention of service on 16 Sqn, however.

MK915, white X:

MK915   LFIX      CBAF   M66   33MU 19-4-44 302S 3-5-44 83GSU 15-6-44 mods 16S 22-6-44 2TAF  CS 30-11-44 enemy action 1-1-45 AST 14-3-45 sold Turkey 7-7-47

Built in April 1944 as an LF Mk IX...modified to an FR MK IX, again by 83 GSU in June 1944 before being delivered to 16 Sqn. So, the unit making the airframe modifications as well as repainting the aircraft was a Ground Support Unit rather than the squdron.

The presumption would be that these aircraft were manufactured in the standard fighter scheme; the overall "Camoutint Pink" (an off-white, rather than a bright "salmon" pink) scheme was applied by 83 GSU; the possibility is that the original finish was stripped off before the new paint was applied.

Hope this helps

Cheers!
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gingerbob
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 01:24:41 PM »

For the record,

I don't believe that we can assume the FR.IXs were painted the "true" PRU Pink.  That color goes back to 1941 if not '40.  I've seen an original color chip (original meaning painted by the PRU themselves) and it is most definitely NOT "off white".  Now, 3-4 years later, it is entirely possible that the unit doing the conversions mixed a color based on a recipe or even with the intention of getting a different end-result.

bob
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jenshb
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 02:11:21 PM »

Thanks for the input guys.  One observation I did when looking at a pic of the aircraft in question is that the tone of the overall colour is darker than the "white" in the invasion stripes on the rear fuselage.  To me this indicates a colour that is darker than off-white, assuming of course that the white in the invasion stripes is "white".  In reality it's probably not going to be a pristine, ultrabright white...  As for the real colour it was painted, Bob makes a valid point.  Could it be dull red mixed with white to achieve a colour approximately similar to or with the intention of PRU pink?  As there's no way of knowing for sure, I'll stick to Xtracolour PRU pink, but may lighten it to match the tonal contrast on the photo.

As for stripping the aircraft before repainting it, it makes sense from a weight saving point of view.  Less weight, greater speed, and speed is life.  However, this must be weighed against a longer cycle time to get the aircraft modified and ready for service.  Would they really be in a position to do this?  I don't know, I'm just asking questions...

Jens
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Antoni
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 10:36:39 PM »

Your analysis is correct. The pink used on 16 Squadron Fr IXs in 1944 was not the same colour as that used earlier. Possibly it was mixed from White and Roundel Red. Some colour photographs taken in Belgium exist but they are not of great quality and suffer from colour casts. They show the pink to be darker than that used on the PR Igs earlier in the war but not as dark as the colour used on a certain restored Spitfire.
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NZTyphoon
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 12:28:39 AM »

Be very careful with pink - it can be a very deceptive! Under certain lighting conditions, particularly artificial lights, even very small amounts of red in a white base can look quite dark.

As to whether 83 GSU had access to stocks of Camoutint Pink (the proper name for "true PR Pink")?
The fact is there is no evidence either way (it will be interesting to see whether this is covered in Volume 4 of Shores and Thomas' 2 TAF book, which deals mainly with the colours and markings used by 2 TAF). Antoni's conclusion that the colour used on the FR IXs was was darker than that seen on (for example) earlier Spitfire PR IGs is rendered moot when he goes on to explain that the poor quality colour photos themselves suffered from colour casts. How is it possible to determine a colour or contrast from misleading evidence?  Note, too, that the black and white photos I have seen of these Spitfires (eg; The Spitfire Story by Alfred Price) were taken using ortho film, which means that reds become darker in tone; the roundel red is qiute a bit darker than the blue and there is reason to believe the pink ends up darker as well.

I have mixed up a colour for my own F.R IX which is not much more than an "off-white":


The colour I used as a basis is Testors "Duck-Egg Blue" Acrylic with a very small amount of Citadel's "Blood Red"  added.  In bright sunlight the colour is very pale, yet there is still enough of a contrast to show the white of the D-Day stripes and V. The slight blue tinge of the Duck-Egg blue stops the red from being overpowering. This is a reasonably true interpretation of the finish of the model.


Now, as for interpreting photographs...add a red filter to the photo and this is the result:



This is more the Xtracolour salmon pink...

Now let's see what the original looks like in greys;



Now, greys with a red filter;



Note that the roundel red stands out just a little bit more? Note also how a pale colour can change, depending on how the photo is reproduced. This is a model - the effects can be even more obvious when the subject is full size. Be very careful about jumping to conclusions about pinks, especially in black and white Wink
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jenshb
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2009, 12:58:32 AM »

Interesting analysis and points made there...

I assume a similar result would be achieved by mixing some white in Xtracolour's PRU pink?

Jens
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 04:34:14 PM by jenshb » Logged
NZTyphoon
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 12:19:39 AM »

I hasten to add that this is only an opinion, based on my interpretation of black and white photos. The biggest problem with colours which have a red tinge is that they can change markedly, depending on the lighting conditions; the Long Range Desert Group, for example, painted some of their trucks pink because it was an effective camouflage colour against the desert during sunset and sunrise.

I'm hoping that Volume 4 of Shores and Thomas' books on 2 TAF http://www.amazon.co.uk/2nd-Tactical-Air-Force-Camouflage/dp/1906537011 will shed more light on this ( Tongue unintentional pun), because it is an interesting subject.
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NZTyphoon
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2009, 01:36:12 AM »

And of course MK915 was White V not White X... Roll Eyes Other serials in the thread posted in Trash Modeller are quote: "MK322, MK529, MK723  (33MU 11-3-44 302S 3-5-44 83GSU 15-6-44 mods 16S 22-6-44 Lost on low level sortie to Doullens pilots first operational sortie 22-7-44), MK958, ML112, ML206  (33MU 1-5-44 AST 14-5-44 mods  317S 15-6-44 CAC 20-6-44 411RSU 22-6-44 16S 13-7-44 Weather recce by OC 34PRWing Missing over the North Sea 11-12-44 G/C P B B Ogilvie DSO DFC killed), ML362, ML373, ML374."
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