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Thread: No 16 Squadron Mustang paint markings

  1. #11
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    You're quite right Graham, the article refers to "sky" code letters. My only point of reference is the Humbrol colour chart - where, from memory, the two are very similar shades (perhaps the chart was old and faded, like my memory).

    In operational use, would the two colours have been distinctly different enough to identify without a side-by-side comparison?

  2. #12
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    The colours can be distinguished in colour photos (OK, I can only think of one offhand) and in b&w photos, if both are present on the same airframe. Both do fall under a generic name of "duck egg blue", with Sky Blue being on the bluer side and Sky being on the greener. However, Sky Blue was not widely used as a colour, whereas the words "sky blue" were widely used to describe almost any light bluish colour. I'd have thought anyone with any colour experience/training, and an awareness of the proper names of the paints, would be able to distinguish them correctly. Bearing in mind that most pilots weren't that bothered anyway, and were unlike to meet either criterion; then probably not. At these distance in time, background and viewpoint, it is impossible to say with any certainty.

  3. #13
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    I am a long way out of touch on this, but didn't Alan Hall nail this down inthe '80s? He produced what sounded like a very reasonable conclusion based on surviving paint and on documentation that the two 'skys' were the same and had become muddled due to sloppy use of descriptive phrases, as I recall.
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    I'm afraid not, no. There certainly was a lot of confusion in various postwar publications, but I suspect this particular one refers to the question of whether Sky was the same colour as Sky Type S. It was. There were at least four different official colours with Sky in their title, each with its own specific history and application. Chronologically: Sky Grey, Sky Blue, Sky and Deep Sky. Not counting Azure Blue, based on the unofficial Iraqi Blue, and often referred to as sky blue in casual writings, and which shouldn't be mistaken for use of the official Sky Blue. Maybe sometimes it was...

    The confusion was strongest when dealing with the introduction of Sky in 1940, and the best single reference now is Paul Lucas's work for Guideline: Camouflage and Markings 2; The Battle for Britain May to December 1940. http://www.guidelinepublications.co....DN=&RNZ=194949. (Though I do believe that most of the aircraft he suggests painted in "Eau-de-Nil" were much likelier to be in the standard Sky. But don't let that quibble put you off the well-researched text.)

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    Thanks Graham,
    That covers it. Just so my question is not confusing to anyone, I was thinking of the debate and 'reliable sources' quoted back then about the colours known as SKY and SKY TYPE S which were hopelessly mixed up. I watched with fascination as page after page of the aviation and modeling press was given over to 'experts' explaining the subtle differences and commenting on the errors of others who saw things differently. As I recall it, Alan W Hall won the debate by cheating: he looked at the Air Ministry specs.

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  6. #16
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    I do not think any pilot would care about official nomenclature. I wonder if he meant Sky Blue for freshly applied Ocean Grey, and Grey for Medium Sea Grey?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski View Post
    I do not think any pilot would care about official nomenclature. I wonder if he meant Sky Blue for freshly applied Ocean Grey, and Grey for Medium Sea Grey?
    Plitarias
    I had not realised when I started this post that it would cause so much debate.
    I am sure my father was being poetic rather than official. As he called himself an "Army Rebel" I don't think he care much for authority or officialdom of any sort.
    He had been studying Agriculture at Cambridge University and was called up by the army before war started and was able to transfer the RAF in 1942 after a row with his Brigadier
    Really I was curious to know if an aircraft painted in blue and grey colours would be more difficult to spot on the ground/air when flying low level over the English Channel
    Cheers SAGH
    Last edited by motherbird; 7th May 2018 at 15:42.

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