Key.Aero Network
Register Free

Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: RAAF Tiger Moth Paint Schemes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    RAAF Tiger Moth Paint Schemes

    Hello Members. I am restoring a Tiger Moth, ex RAAF A17-695, here in Canada. My intent is to return her to her original RAAF wartime colours (not post war silver livery). In my research thus far there appears two possibilities - trainer yellow or camouflauge (brown and green). I have searched as much as possible online, combing Australian archives, museums etc. I know how several of the moths close to this aircraft's number were painted. The confusion arises since one of these A17-691 (at Temora) is now sporting trainer yellow with cowl numbering and A17-692 (at Point Cook) is sporting a camouflage scheme (with a yellow fuselage band). As A17-692 was in the same "family" as my Tiger Moth (built in Australia for export to Rhodesia, which never occurred) this may have been the authentic colouring. Does anyone have a photo, a memory or a contact person/organization to assist me in my quest? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    errrrrrrr..... ....standby
    Posts
    1,422
    Try Stuart McKay at the de Havilland Moth Club. www.dhmothclub.co.uk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,614
    The only pictures I have were given to me by Tony Tubbenhauer from the time he was at 6FTS, Tamworth, in January and February 1941. A17-57, A17-58 and A17-60 survived to fly as civilians VH-BGC, VH-PCG and VH-AGY. I presume these are in trainer yellow scheme.

    Not exactly an answer to your question, but might help ...

    Laurence


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    errrrrrrr..... ....standby
    Posts
    1,422
    The only archive pic (courtesy deHMC Archive) I have from the Mascot factory, shows some aeroplanes that slightly pre-date yours. I guess this is 1940 or early 1941?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Usually Oz
    Posts
    220
    The yellow is fairly well documented, but if you're going for the camo, why don't you ask the RAAF Museum how they derived the scheme. They're usually very accurate is any depictions they make.

    G'day

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    552
    Gooday from Brisbane

    try looking here http://www.wattsbridgehistory.com/WW2History.html

    towards the bottom of the page - there are 3 genuine colour schemes, 2 of which are camoflage

    cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Oz
    Posts
    226
    Hi, checked my Tiger pics and alas no A17-695 (c/n 827). Had -692 (a Navy aircraft) and 697 (painted as a Navy aircraft).

    As you say, built for a UK order as DX784 for SA or Rhodesia, but delivered to RAAF. Service history was primarily training.
    Firstly at 1 EFTS Parafield (ie No.1 Elementary Flying Training School at Parafield, Adelaide) during 1944, and then to storage from end 1944 until 1951.
    Next, basic training with 1 ITS (Initial Training School, which became 1 Initial Flying Training School - 1 IFTS) at Archerfield (Brisbane) 1951-54.
    Finally, to 1 BFTS (No.1 Basic Flying Training School) at Uranquinty 1955-1956.

    Sold 1957, became VH-BVU until cancelled 1970, when sold to USA as N350JT (Art Scholl Aviation, California). Aircraft purchased and under restoration in Canada by S--.

    So appropriate colour schemes:
    1944 - late WWII overall training yellow, blue/white Pacific roundels, at 1 EFTS.
    1951-56 - postwar training overall silver, yellow trainer bands, red/white/blue 1:2:3 roundels.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    In the Lucky Country
    Posts
    8,402
    G'Day,
    Glad to hear you have a 'proper' Tiger in Canada!

    The Australian War Memorial (AWM) has a good photo archive online (not without error of course).

    The RAAF Museum has an extensive archive, but not online.

    Have you actually contacted any museums as yet?

    There are two books I'd suggest are essential. Stewart Wilson's Tiger Moth, CT-4, Wackett & Winjeel, which I think the RAAF Museum still has stock of, and The DH 82A Tiger Moth in Australia by Julian Forsyth. I have a copy of the former, but not the latter, although the RAAFM has both, or course.

    The 'Yellow' scheme is well documented, and there are a number of local and period (i.e. 'when in use') variations on the 'disruptive camouflage' schemes, as well as the not so far mentioned Foliage Green overall upper surfaces as used on Tigers often in forward / combat and non-basic training roles.

    The RAAF Museum's second (and airworthy) Tiger is in a scheme that was researched by Museum staff. In my opinion, and not an official view, I understand it is a best interpretation of what this aircraft would probably have worn, but AFAIK, there were no photos showing this machine in that scheme. (The Museum also has a Tiger, static, in the overall Yellow scheme).

    http://www.airforce.gov.au/raafmuseu.../tigermoth.htm

    (Note that the colours in these images are the previous owner's scheme, and I don't believe that's particularly authentic.)

    As Batman's helpful post shows, the serial sequence (i.e. close machines) is less relevant than when and where your machine was used, regarding the colours it would have had.

    I'm not going to be at the RAAFM until November now, but will be at the AWM in Canberra between then and now. No guarantees, but if time allows, and I've got good guidance, I may have a chance to do a bit of looking in the archives at both museums. Either drop me a PM through the forum, or contact me through the 'Contact' link on my 'Details' page.

    Can you give us a bit more info on your Tiger's history with you? I'd also like to know where in Canada you are.

    Regards,
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    Quote Originally Posted by JDK View Post
    There are two books I'd suggest are essential. Stewart Wilson's Tiger Moth, CT-4, Wackett & Winjeel, which I think the RAAF Museum still has stock of, and The DH 82A Tiger Moth in Australia by Julian Forsyth. I have a copy of the former, but not the latter, although the RAAFM has both, or course.
    I have both of those books Julians book is brilliant - nearly 400 pages on the type in Australia, but is more an historical record of the history of each airframe and details of the batch productions or imports, but it doesnt get into colour schemes.

    It lists your aircraft A17-695 as:

    c/n 827, built to UK order alloted RAF serial DX784 but not consigned due to Japanese entry into war, released to RAAF, brought on charge 24/11/43 as A17-695 issued to DHA Mascot for modifications,
    held at Bankstown 9/2/44,
    1 EFTS Parafield 13/2/44
    1 EFTS Tamworth 29/5/44
    storage Tamworth 7/10/44
    CMU Tamworth 12/12/44
    2AD Richmond 9/5/47
    DHA Bankstown (overhaul) 1/7/49
    2AD Richmond 23/12/49
    1AD Laverton 6/3/51
    3AD Amberley 4/12/51
    1 ITS Archerfield 4/1/52
    1 ITS Archerfield 26/5/52
    1 BFTS Uranquinty 3/2/55
    1 AD Tocumwal storage 3/5/56
    Listed for disposal 28/8/56
    Sold 21/8/57

    post war VH-BVU 30/4/58 CofR 2392, registration cancelled 25/3/70, export to USA as N350JT



    The Stewart Wilson's book is similarly an overview of production and service in the RAAF covered in 50 pages and doesnt get into colour schemes specifically other than providing many photo examples to consider.

    Unless a photo of A17-695 is contained in either I am not sure either provides much information other than a collage of photos.

    The primary reference in this topic would surely be Geoff Pentland's seminal work RAAF Camouflage and Markings Vol 1 & 2.

    In Vol 1 which primarily deals with early wartime and training aircraft it lists on page 16 the interim and permanent finishing schemes for each type, based on Instructions issued on 3/10/1940.

    the Tiger Moth is listed as E2 - Interim, E1 - Permanent
    National Markings
    Fuselage sides M2
    Upper Wingtips M2
    Lower wingtips M2

    On page 21 it describes Scheme E1 as Training Aircraft -the entire airframe is to be finished in yellow.

    Scheme E2 the interim finish describes 6 variations including various camouflage types.

    Scheme M2 for the National Markings is described as a blue ring surrounding a red centre, the diameter of the red centre being 2/5 of the outside diameter of the blue circle.


    Given your aircraft was built in a batch delivered in November 1943 consisting of 33 aircraft (A17-692 to - 724) ordered and destined for South Africa/Rhodesia but instead delivered to the RAAF, it would hardly be finished in the E2 Scheme of 1940 at that period of the war.

    It was my understanding all Australian built Tigermoths were delivered in the trainer yellow E1 scheme, with variations over time relating to the red centred roundals etc and early use of a tricolour rudder instead of a fin flash.

    Of course service in particular units could then result in changes to the factory finish, and may have even resulted in production aircraft being camouflaged during the 1942-43 period of possible invasion, or even if moved forward into operational areas (some Tigermoths were in PNG).

    However Pentlands book (vol 1) states on page 139 describes initial RAAF Tigers were in silver dope overall, and in 1940 100 RAF aircraft were imported retaining their dark green/dark earth camoflage and RAF serials. October 1940 saw announcement of the overall trainer yellow scheme however for two years Bankstown manufactured aircraft bearing foliage green, earth brown, and yellow camouflage with 36 inch yellow bands around the fuselage and top wings.

    For a brief time roundals of 24" red white and blue were used until superceded by Blue white roundals of 18" diameter.

    Red/white/blue fin flashes measuring 18"x 27" were used but later the red
    portions were painted out.

    black serial numbers were utilised under the wings usually of 27" height, most aircraft carried the last two or three numbers of the serial in yellow or white on the engine cowl.


    Your aircraft was serving in an Elementary Flying Training School in 1944 onwards, so it would have retained the trainer yellow, but by that time the M2 Roundals would have deleted the red centres, and the two/three digit aircraft number would have been retained on the cowl for easy identification in the training circuit.

    This aircraft A17-704, c/n 835 is from that same batch, and was restored by Warbird Doyen Malcolm Long who was an expert for researching and applying marking accuracy and original finish on his restorations, (this tigermoth, along with his Auster, and one of his Hudsons, is now in the collection of the Australian War Memorial as a measure of the standard he set, his other Hudson and his Wirraway are with Temora.)





    Photos are from this site http://adf-serials.com.au/ itself an excellent online reference site.

    I suspect he would have tracked down a wartime service photo of his aircraft, note his cowling only repeats the last 2 digits of '704, it seems early wartime production finished aircraft repeated all 3 digits, and that later gave way to just 2 digits, whereas re-finishing in the RAAF could return the 3 digits at flying schools, and certainly in post war refinishing into silver schemes all 3 digits seem standard.

    ie here is that same aircraft in its post war silver scheme, your aircraft probably had this same finish too.



    Of course there are some good alternative finishes if overall yellow isnt of interest, a recent USA restoration put an ex RAAF tiger into an accurate PNG overall Foliage Green scheme, a couple were loaned to US forces and temporarily in US markings.


    (Edit due to photo links not working)

    I think you may find the RAAFM aircraft A17-692 is currently sporting a colour scheme not neccessarily based on its own factory issue?



    It is more like a Factory output in the 1940 to 1942 period of camouflage based on Pentlands comments above, or perhaps it represents a field repainting?

    As James mentioned it was previously in a colour scheme based on its previous owners preferences and apparantly based on the 100 RAF imported aircraft.




    You probably already know RAAF Tiger serials are sometimes very much apart in production sequence, ie A17-691 is not just 4 airframes earlier in factory production than your "695" or only one airframe ahead of the RAAFM's "692" in the photo above, but instead a 1936 UK built airframe c/n 3508 imported as a civil airframe VH-UVZ and impressed into RAAF service in August 1940, and wearing the Permanent Yellow trainer scheme of 1940 with the tricolour roundals and fin flashes, quite accurate for it other than the civil rego under the wing, but therefore of little bearing on your aircraft's own original colour scheme.









    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 21st October 2010 at 04:29. Reason: edit due to linked photos not showing, links replaced, text adjusted
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    In the Lucky Country
    Posts
    8,402
    Thanks Mark,I'd agree Pentland's work would be a good starting place for schemes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_pilkington View Post
    I would agree with James that you will find the RAAFM aircraft A17-692 is sporting a colour scheme based on its last owners preference rather than any evidence that the RAAFM considers it accurate for that airframe?

    No, the scheme in the above photograph is the current, museum researched one I referred to earlier. The images in the link I provided, feature the previous scheme, which was the previous owners' preference.

    So the image above is, I understand, believed most likely for this aircraft, albeit in the absence of a specific photo to prove it.

    HTH,
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    Given the research errors in the painting of the RAAF Museum single seat Vampire in target tow colourscheme, I would be cautious on the accuracy of this scheme unless there is photographic evidence of the particular airframe? and certainly wary of extrapolating it to the rest of the airframes in the batch ie 695 and 704 as being the factory finish?

    I would certainly back Malcolm Longs efforts in this regard above most others - it doesnt seem supported in any way as a factory finish? from Pentlands book or compliant with the RAAF Orders of the time in anycase? It may be trying to represent the earlier production outputs in 1940-1942, but doesnt seem correct for 1943-1944 from the factory?

    I would wonder if the presence of the static airframe in the RAAFM collection in trainer yellow may have influenced a different scheme for this aircraft, not unlike the CAC built Mustang A68-170 carrying the scheme of a Korean based NA built P-51D A68-750?

    I havent checked Pentland Vol 2 but that predominately lists operational combat aircraft markings, but it does (as I recall) have the RAAF drawings for many types reproduced in the back, and the Tigermoth may be there? but I dont think it deals with the Tigermoth in the text (like the Wackett, these trainer types are dealt with in Vol 1).

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 20th October 2010 at 12:28.
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    In the Lucky Country
    Posts
    8,402
    There's a photo of the RAAF Museum's airworthy Tiger's scheme (featuring another Tiger) in the Wilson book. I'm not going to venture beyond what I know, but when I'm back at the museum in November, I'm happy to check further, if 'Mr 695' gets in touch.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    Quote Originally Posted by JDK View Post
    There's a photo of the RAAF Museum's airworthy Tiger's scheme (featuring another Tiger) in the Wilson book. I'm not going to venture beyond what I know, but when I'm back at the museum in November, I'm happy to check further, if 'Mr 695' gets in touch.
    James, your correct, there is -358 in the same scheme on page 42, and -616 in a similar scheme but without the yellow cowl on page 41.

    A17-358 is c/n 393 built in May 1941, and A17-616 is c/n 1051, built in August 1942, so based on Pentland these are covered in the 2 years of production in camouflage from 1940 to 1942, but on that basis they are not evidence of that scheme being the factory output in November 1943 for A17-692 c/n 824?

    (or others in the same batch such as -695 or -704)

    Interestingly 358 is only sporting a two digit number on the yellow cowl, but these were I think subject to local field repaints into 3 digits.

    The same camouflage scheme is also on the Moorabbin restored Tigermoth A17-377 which is also a May 1941 factory production as c/n 418 and therefore effectively in the same batch as -358 above in Wilsons book and therefore also covered by Pentlands 1940-1942 descriptions for camouflage factory schemes.



    Interestingly, Forsyth on page 11 advises Australian production of 1069 was effectively in two blocks, 170 aircraft built between June 1940 and August 1942 with the balance ie 899 aircraft built from September 1944 to February 1945, - yet this doesnt seem supported by his own individual airframe histories, and disagrees with a table in Wilson on page 38 which shows over 600 delivered to the RAAF as the 1940 to 1942 period and on page 26 Wilson states 1035 were built by August 1942 and the final 35 new aircraft were built from September 1944 to February 1945, and in particular "Any new aircraft delivered to the RAAF from late 1942 and during 1943 came from the stock of 181 originally intended for the RAF and other sources, not fresh from DHA's factory"

    In this case Wilson seems correct and Forsyth appears incorrect? and Therefore c/n 824 / A17-691, c/n 827 / A17-695 and c/n 836 - A17-704 would have been from pre August 1942 production and may have originally been finished in the camouflage - yet when delivered in 1943 would effectively come under the permanent colour scheme orders of the RAAF for that time - the overall yellow!

    - of course Pentland is no longer around to seek a "high court" ruling from! smiles

    An area of concern in regard to the various references available Forsyth and ADF-serials both list C/N numbers but different ones for the subject aircraft!

    c/n 824 / A17-691 - ADF Serials list DHA839
    c/n 827 / A17-695 - ADF Serials list DHA842
    c/n 836 - A17-704 - ADF Serials list DHA851

    In this case I would trust Forsyth but I am not sure why there is a difference on ADF-Serials? just a risk to researchers!

    ADF-Serials list a lot of references but strangely NOT the RAAF historical section history cards where obviously the individual airframe detail Forsyth provides can only have been sourced from those cards.



    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 20th October 2010 at 13:28.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    While researching the 33 airframes in this same November 1943 batch of export aircraft transferred to back to the RAAF ie A17-692 to A17-724 I realised the RAAF Museums static airframe A17-711 is c/n 843 and also in this same 33 aircraft batch.

    To add further weight to the overall trainer yellow for A17-695 as shown by Malcolm Longs A17-704 is that the RAAF Museum's A17-711 is in the same scheme, further questioning the camouflage applied to their flying example from the same batch A17-692? and suggesting its scheme is simply to avoid two aircraft in the collection, of the same type in identical schemes?





    However this appears to be possibly in a semi gloss finish? (possibly to assist cleaning in the museum environment) where as Malcolms A17-704 is shown in the correct Matt finish (but possibly with some oil rubbed over the nose cowl in the second photo - as this was at the time a flying aircraft).

    Notice also the stecilling applied by Malcolm - his approach to detail was always very high in what I observed at Point Cook on his Hudsons, L-5s, Auster, Wirraway, Fairchild Argus and even Bristol Freighter, and later dealings with him on Wacketts.

    (The last time I met up with him was in Hilands bookstore when he was buying up TBM Avenger reference books for the future restorations of Steve Searle's three aircraft)





    But in anycase I feel this resolves the likely factory scheme for A17-695 as being overall trainer yellow.

    (By the way, I wouldnt rely on these photos correctly presenting the actual colours of the aircraft noting the variation between photos of the same aircraft let alone comparison with the other aircraft, the actual wartime trainer "yellow" is not the "pale lemon" as implied by one of the photo's above, nor the near "burnt orange" as implied by another, and I suspect both aircraft are actually very similar in shade to each other, regardless of the surface finish)



    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 20th October 2010 at 14:42.
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Farlam, Cumbria
    Posts
    880
    The pictures of the two yellow aircraft show up a problem with paint mixing of the yellow - i.e. flaring and metamerism.

    In daylight they look fine - but under different light sources the modern pigments being used nowadays flare and give them a bright greenish yellow look - that would not have been there in a 1940s pigment.

    The changing of colour under different lights is called metamerism and tungsten bulbs and these new fangled eco bulbs are an absolute pig for it.

    Generally people mix paints using a program that matches the colour from the colour coordinates of the masterbatches that they have. It is likely that the masterbatches from 60 years ago would have been compounded using inorganic or simple azo pigments that modern manufacturers would not use due to light stability.

    In essence a paint mixed to BS381 is not necessarily the same under all lights ..
    Kind Regards,

    Brian

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Port Elizabeth ,South Africa
    Posts
    27
    This is what I have.......49th. Fighter Group,Darwin, April 1942.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tiger Moth.jpg 
Views:	174 
Size:	244.1 KB 
ID:	189288

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Oz
    Posts
    226
    Etienne, a nice pic of A17-494 in Northern Territory in 1942.
    But we need to focus on a realistic scheme for its wartime service in 1944, as I mentioned above being overall training yellow.
    Attached is the aircraft's RAAF E/E88 "status card". It had a short WWII flying career indeed (perhaps why it survived) - for apparently only 2 weeks in Feb 1944!

    24/11/43 delivered to RAAF - brought on charge at De Hav.
    9/2/44 received 2 Aircraft Park from De Hav.
    13/2/44 received by 1EFTS (Parafield).
    28/2/44 taxy head-on into A17-378 (??) at Parafield.
    6/3/44 'E' storage at 1 EFTS crash repairs.

    13/3/44 'C' storage at 1 EFTS. [presumably repaired after crash and stored in a serviceable condition for later use].
    7/10/44 transferred storage at Tamworth ex 1 EFTS

    ...basically then in storage until postwar use in 1951.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    552
    G'Day

    That camo colour scheme on A17-377 is ugly and if I were to to consider refinishing my Tiger (A17-300) to a camo scheme I certainly wouldn't consider that one.

    The standard yellow that you see on so many Australian Tigers is boring absolutely boring - how many yellow Tigers does the world need.

    I suggest you do it up as A17-616 when it was with 5 SQN RAAF at Mareeba. Now that is a pleasant colour scheme, it is a genuine colour scheme, maybe not for your aircraft but al least it can represent 5 SQN's Tigers.

    cheers
    Last edited by Proctor VH-AHY; 20th October 2010 at 21:54.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    [QUOTE=Proctor VH-AHY;1653731]

    G'Day

    That camo colour scheme on A17-377 is ugly and if I were to to consider refinishing my Tiger (A17-300) to a camo scheme I certainly wouldn't consider that one.
    QUOTE]


    Interestingly as your aircraft is A17-300 its most likely the factory finish scheme your aircraft was delivered in?

    Here is the RAAF Museums A17-692 in the same scheme as -377, I actually consider its quite attractive, and certainly better than the scheme used on the 100 RAF Tigers imported into the RAAF, and the scheme -692 originally had (which was not an accurate one in anycase) see photos at the end of this post.

    It is very similar in colours to the scheme used on the second batch of 100 Wackett Trainers built in 1941, perhaps thats why I like it - smiles
    (athough the Wacketts also had a lower half yellow fuselage which itself is similar to the RAF Tiger Scheme)








    Also interestingly it is also virtually identical to the scheme for A17-616 that was linked to in your first post, other than the cowl is painted yellow, and the red centre and flash has been deleted from the national markings, as required by the appropriate RAAF order.

    - I assume then you dont like yellow cowls, and like the colour red? smiles





    of course in the second painting in that link A17-616 is in 5 squadron service which saw it loose the yellow training band and the red in the national markings, and pick up squadron codes, but its still largely in the same two tone camouflage as is on the two trainer schemes of -377 and - 692 other than deletion of the yellow cowl, yellow training bands and addition of the squadron codes.





    It looks nice - but I do prefer the recent tiger restoration in the USA in the overall foliage green colour scheme, which is a much rarer scheme if we are complaining about too many yellow tigers and dont like the RAAF two tone camouflage schemes.

    There were also some RAAF tigers loaned to the USAAF in PNG in the same scheme but with stars as national markings.







    Of course private owners can paint their tigers and other toys in whatever colours they like, even red with swastikas on them! but museums prefer to display the aircraft in itheir original and own colourschemes as part of the provenance and heritage.

    Many owners are now interested in applying the original colours for accuracy, regardless of personal preferences.


    Here is the RAAFM's A17-692 in its earlier and "approximate" version of the RAF scheme, in-accurate, and very unattractive to my eye?



    Here is N-9129 one of the 100 imported RAF Tigers in what the RAF scheme actually should look like, I still much prefer the RAAF Scheme with the yellow cowl and fuselage and wing bands as worn by A17-377 and as A17-692 now is painted in the first photo in this post etc.





    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 21st October 2010 at 08:35. Reason: added RAF camo scheme
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    .

    I have had time now to review Geoff Pentlands "RAAF Camouflage and Markings 1939-45 Vols 1 & 2" - ISBN 085880 037 3 - Kookaburra Publications Melbourne 1989 in regards to Tigermoth markings.

    Geoff was a world reknowned Australian aviation author and expert on markings - not just Australian, and wrote these two volumes following on from an earlier work in the 1970s', he had accessed and researched government and defence archives looking for files containing orders to support the photographic evidence, and he would chase paint chips and fabric painted samples to confirm his colours etc, his books were early publications to have colour plates with side on, or later 3-D plan paintings to support the text discussion. He was in my opinion the foremost expert on RAAF WW2 markings.

    In Vol 1 which primarily deals with early wartime and training aircraft it lists on page 16 the interim and permanent finishing schemes for each type, based on Instructions issued on 3/10/1940.

    He refers to 3 sets of orders being issued from when war broke out in Europe on 3/9/39 through to the entry of Japan in December 1941 but that Aircraft General Instructions No C11, issue 3 of 3/10/1940 is the only one that has survived in his accessible records?

    the Tiger Moth is listed as E2 - Interim, E1 - Permanent
    National Markings
    Fuselage sides M2
    Upper Wingtips M2
    Lower wingtips M2

    On page 21 it describes Scheme E1 as Training Aircraft -the entire airframe is to be finished in yellow.

    Scheme E2 the interim finish describes 6 variations including various camouflage types.

    Scheme M2 for the National Markings is described as a blue ring surrounding a red centre, the diameter of the red centre being 2/5 of the outside diameter of the blue circle.

    On page 16 he states that aircraft had to be brought to conformity to those new orders at the first 30 hour inspection.

    This was meant to apply to the 100 RAF Tigermoths received in camouflage however there was a general shortage of the yellow dope and there were long delays in repainting many aircraft.

    However its clear that DHA production during this period would have been finishing and delivering aircraft in the trainer yellow, but with the original national markings containing red centres and flashes,


    On page 47 of Vol 1 he describes the emergency measures in response to the Japanese entry into the war in December 1941 and the direct threat to Australia. He refers to an undated interim directive issued in early 1942 by Grp Capt EC Wackett.

    Tigermoths had intially delivered in a light earth/light green and yellow scheme, however

    It required training aircraft to be camouflaged on their upper surfaces in earth brown and foliage green leaving the undersurfaces yellow, Tigermoths were to be finished in accordance with diagram AD1169, with 3' yellow bands over the upper surface of the upper wings, a 3' wide band around the fuselage midway between the national marking and the leading edge of the tailplane, and the engine cowl to be painted yellow.

    National Markings Dull red and Dull blue roundels and fin flashes.

    Training aircraft "may" have the last two numbers (one if the number is under 10) painted on either side of the fuselage in medium sea grey if on camouflage or black if on yellow.

    These orders were to be complied with as soon as stocks of finishes were available.

    Clearly then this was when the factory production moved to two tone camouflage with yellow cowls etc as per A17-377 in above photos.


    On page 62 he records that the June 1942 incident involving a RAAF PBY being attacked by a USMC Wilcat due to be red centres of the upper wing roundels being mistaken as Japanese markings lead to the elimination of red from the RAAF National markings and that from October 1942 Wirraway production had implemented that requirement but that this outcome was certainly implemented as the norm by the end of 1942.

    While in September 1943 the operational aircraft had orders issued to paint the tail empenage white for identification purposes this had no affect on home based training aircraft.


    Pentlands book (vol 1) states on page 139 describes initial RAAF Tigers were in silver dope overall, and in 1940 100 RAF aircraft were imported retaining their dark green/dark earth camoflage and RAF serials. October 1940 saw announcement of the overall trainer yellow scheme however for two years Bankstown manufactured aircraft bearing foliage green, earth brown, and yellow camouflage with 36 inch yellow bands around the fuselage and top wings.

    For a brief time roundals of 24" red white and blue were used until superceded by Blue white roundals of 18" diameter.

    Red/white/blue fin flashes measuring 18"x 27" were used but later the red
    portions were painted out.

    black serial numbers were utilised under the wings usually of 27" height, most aircraft carried the last two or three numbers of the serial in yellow or white on the engine cowl.



    In Vol 2 he records a scene reviewed from June to December 1943 as the fortunes of war turn in the allies favour.

    He identifies anomolies to the existing orders with the Ansett maintenance facilities finishing overhauled tigermoths with a sky undersurface in place of the yellow during 1942.

    He notes an order from RAAF Headquarters to the US on 1st November 1943 advising to apply the RAAF insignia to new aircraft for delivery to Australia, but leave the finish uncamouflaged.

    On the 1st of May 1944 RAAF Headquarters issued a major change to colourschemes affecting fighters/bombers/nightfighters/night reconnaissance/photographic reconnaissance and trainers with the most operational aircraft being uncamouflaged or one colour, and trainers returning to overall yellow with the existing blue/white national markings.

    As per page 26 Tigermoths were to be finished in accordance with camouflage Scheme Appendix E, which is described on page 40 as being:

    Applicable to all training aircraft
    with exceptions for aircraft at OTU's GRS and target towing aircraft in operational areas.

    Surfaces upper and lower - Yellow

    Roundels as per RAAF diagram A 5524 and marked on mainplanes upper and lower surfaces and both sides of fuselage
    Fin Markings - standard flash refer diagram A5524/4

    Identification marks color black refer diagram A5524.
    Marking type B on both sides of fuselage, Type C on undersurface of lower mainplanes on biplanes.

    Special markings - Training aircraft, in order to keep a check of flying of pupils the co may if desired introduce a simple codeof letters or numbers for marking individual aricraft and will be placed forward of the fuselage roundel and "in the most conspicuous position possible", they must not exceed 4' in height and it would be best placed on metal rather than fabric components, "The engine cowling is suggested as one suitable place".

    And so is introduced the final yellow colour scheme as worn by Malcolm Longs (now AWM) A17-704 and the RAAFM's A17-711.

    Page 142 contains the 3-d diagram A5524 on which the tigermoth in overall yellow is based, and there is no further mention of the schemes for training aircraft in vol 2 as it deals with fighters, bombers and other operational aircraft.

    In summary then DHA production of Tigermoths would have started as silver, but from October 1940 been required to deliver aircraft in the overall yellow but with red white blue national markings.

    That scheme would have been replaced by the two tone camouflage upper surfaces with yellow undersides, yellow fuselage and wing bands and yellow cowl from early / mid 1942, which itself was replaced with a return to overall yellow but with blue /white national markings from May 1944. ie a period of about 2 years of production and delivery of camouflaged tigermoths to the RAAF.


    So then we are left with the question of what scheme was applied to A17-695?

    It is one of 4 survivors of the 33 aircraft originally built to an UK order for aircraft to be exported to South Africa or Rhodesia.

    These being:
    c/n 824 / A17-691, (RAAFM Flying aircraft)
    c/n 827 / A17-695 Subject aircraft
    c/n 836 / A17-704 (M.Long/AWM aircraft)
    c/n 843/ A17-711 (RAAFM static aircraft)



    Although these aircraft were eventually transferred to the RAAF in November 1943 it is very likely that based on the sequence of their construction numbers (as identified from Forsyth's individual histories and Appendix 88 on page 352 that shows all DHA contructions in chronogical and numerical order) that they were built some time between October 1941 when c/n 629 A17-437 was delivered to the RAAF and April 1942 when C/n 872 A17-455 was delivered to the RAAF, both direct delivered against a direct RAAF order.

    While production of RAAF aircraft from April 1942 would have been in the two tone camouflage and yellow cowl scheme worn by A17-377, its not clear if the RAF orders would have been planned for overall yellow, or the RAF two tone scheme?

    However it seems to be a mute point as all of these 33 aircraft were held and finally transferred to the RAAF in November 1943, and even then most went for "modifications" at Mascot (colour schemes RAAF IDs?) and then stored at 2 AD Bankstown until issue to EFTS units in mid 1944.

    We know in May 1944 the new overall yellow scheme was re-applied to all training aircraft and therefore these aircraft, if not already in overall yellow, would have quickly returned to it at their first servicing.

    So its probably reasonable for the RAAFM to have an each way bet with their two aircraft with one each presented in the 2 tone camouflage and the 1944 overall yellow, however regardless of any possibility of original production and delivery of these 33 export aircraft in the RAAF two tone by the factory rather than a RAF scheme? it would seem certain that they would have served in the second RAAF overall yellow scheme from May 1944 onwards.

    That still leaves me with the view that the photo examples of A17-704 above are the most appropriate/correct scheme to apply to A17-695 for its service from May 1944 in the RAAF.

    Here are two photos of DHA tiger moth production.

    the first is an early photo of the DHA production line pre 1942, with trainer yellow Tigers in the first yellow scheme with red in the National markings and the tricolour rudder.

    the second is a much later photo, post 1944, showing production of trainer yellow tigers in the second yellow scheme with blue/white National markings.

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bcp_04929r.jpg 
Views:	96 
Size:	157.4 KB 
ID:	189299   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	post-2-1197701564.jpg 
Views:	106 
Size:	119.9 KB 
ID:	189300  
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 21st October 2010 at 12:55.
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    552
    Mark

    You are doing some great work here, I am really enjoying reading it and learning along the way. I passed a copy on to a mate of mine, Bill Finlen who has a few Tiger moths, (3 at last count).

    If a Tiger is a flying machine, I guess that you have to to consider visibility, strangly I find that yellow tigers are harder to see than darker painted ones. Never quite worked that one out.

    I think the best colour scheme is this one (because it is my aeroplane and the one I learnt to fly Tigers in - smiles)

    cheers
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Proctor VH-AHY; 22nd October 2010 at 01:30.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    In the Lucky Country
    Posts
    8,402
    All very nice.

    Personally, I'd like to see something more from our original poster, so we know that the information is going to where it was requested, before I take time to check some of the surmises discussed. Obviously, most of the info is great, and most welcome anyway.

    Regards,
    Last edited by JDK; 21st October 2010 at 23:16.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2

    Thanks!

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have taken on my cause with respect to the colouring of my Tiger Moth project here in Canada and have submitted posts to this topic. Obviously, some of you have spent considerable time in researching and responding and I am very grateful. I am much more informed now and can none the less make a very good determination of the likely colour scheme. A number of you have asked for more information of which I will put together a post outling my involvement with the project (with some photos). Also, a number of you have volunteered to do additional research at museums and contacting other "esperts" to which I am grateful and would appreciate very much. An actual photo would be the ultimate goal to complete her history. I am sure that during this restoration project I will have further questions about the authenticity of this aircraft and will most likely seek your knowledge. Thanks again!

    Jamie Wilson
    Midland, Ontario, Canada (about 1-1/2 hours north of Toronto)
    CF-AHM, ex RAAF A17-695

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    In the Lucky Country
    Posts
    8,402
    Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for responding. I'll drop you a PM with my e-mail, and we can discuss further research. If there's interest, I'd be happy to post the more general material here. And next time we are in Toronto...
    Regards,
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    1,721
    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post

    Attached is the aircraft's RAAF E/E88 "status card". It had a short WWII flying career indeed (perhaps why it survived) - for apparently only 2 weeks in Feb 1944!

    24/11/43 delivered to RAAF - brought on charge at De Hav.
    9/2/44 received 2 Aircraft Park from De Hav.
    13/2/44 received by 1EFTS (Parafield).
    28/2/44 taxy head-on into A17-378 (??) at Parafield.
    6/3/44 'E' storage at 1 EFTS crash repairs.

    13/3/44 'C' storage at 1 EFTS. [presumably repaired after crash and stored in a serviceable condition for later use].
    7/10/44 transferred storage at Tamworth ex 1 EFTS

    ...basically then in storage until postwar use in 1951.

    Batman
    Rank 4 Registered User Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Oz
    Posts: 108

    Hi, checked my Tiger pics and alas no A17-695 (c/n 827). Had -692 (a Navy aircraft) and 697 (painted as a Navy aircraft).

    As you say, built for a UK order as DX784 for SA or Rhodesia, but delivered to RAAF. Service history was primarily training.
    Firstly at 1 EFTS Parafield (ie No.1 Elementary Flying Training School at Parafield, Adelaide) during 1944, and then to storage from end 1944 until 1951.
    Next, basic training with 1 ITS (Initial Training School, which became 1 Initial Flying Training School - 1 IFTS) at Archerfield (Brisbane) 1951-54.
    Finally, to 1 BFTS (No.1 Basic Flying Training School) at Uranquinty 1955-1956.

    Sold 1957, became VH-BVU until cancelled 1970, when sold to USA as N350JT (Art Scholl Aviation, California). Aircraft purchased and under restoration in Canada by S--.

    So appropriate colour schemes:
    1944 - late WWII overall training yellow, blue/white Pacific roundels, at 1 EFTS.
    1951-56 - postwar training overall silver, yellow trainer bands, red/white/blue 1:2:3 roundels.

    Mark_pilkington
    Rank 9999 Registered User

    c/n 827, built to UK order alloted RAF serial DX784 but not consigned due to Japanese entry into war, released to RAAF, brought on charge 24/11/43 as A17-695 issued to DHA Mascot for modifications,
    held at Bankstown 9/2/44,
    1 EFTS Parafield 13/2/44
    1 EFTS Tamworth 29/5/44
    storage Tamworth 7/10/44
    CMU Tamworth 12/12/44
    2AD Richmond 9/5/47
    DHA Bankstown (overhaul) 1/7/49
    2AD Richmond 23/12/49
    1AD Laverton 6/3/51
    3AD Amberley 4/12/51
    1 ITS Archerfield 4/1/52
    1 ITS Archerfield 26/5/52
    1 BFTS Uranquinty 3/2/55
    1 AD Tocumwal storage 3/5/56
    Listed for disposal 28/8/56
    Sold 21/8/57

    post war VH-BVU 30/4/58 CofR 2392, registration cancelled 25/3/70, export to USA as N350JT

    Hello Jamie

    Glad to help, I thought I would summarise Pentland's book's coverage of the Tigermoth's colour schemes and RAAF orders as its a lot of expense to buy both simply to identify the application to one type, such as the Tigermoth, (although if you can pick up a set cheap they are an excellent set of books - excellent paintings and photos of RAAF wartime aircraft.)

    I know a photo of your aircraft would clinch it for you but I suspect it will be hard to find one of it during wartime service, although a post war shot in the silver scheme is much more likely to be found.

    The reasons for the difficulty in finding a wartime shot is the number of wartime tigers in service,(over 850 including 100 in RAF serials) and the far fewer photographers (official and amateur) operating at RAAF training stations. (and of course the wartime and 1940's scarcity of personal cameras).

    I have a long term restoration project of a CAC Wackett Trainer which served along side RAAF tigermoths in some of the EFTS as well as in WAGS as radio trainers, and although there were only 202 built and serving I am yet to locate a photo of my aircraft in wartime service.

    But the further issue is your own aircraft's wartime service history seems to include significant time in repair or storage after a brief service in the 1 EFTS in February 1944.

    See Batman's extract from the RAAF history card that suggests an accident only two weeks after joining 1 EFTS in Parafield.

    Batman attache the history card in his original post above, and you may be able to get him to email you a copy if that wasnt the entire set of cards (some aircraft's RAAF service cover 2 or 3 cards)

    You might consider approaching the South Australian Aviation Museum in Port Adelaide to see if they have any 1 EFTS photos of it at Parafield, and equally you might benefit from approaching the Aviation Historical Society of Australia and placing a request in their Journal, as there are many more photos in private collections than are in the museum collections. The AWM appears to have @ 3 pages of tigermoth photos online ie @ 60.

    The RAAFM has an extensive photo archive sorted by RAAF Base and type (but not by units down to the EFTS level), probably therefore the most extensive of the museums (in my opinion) but most of these are either official RAAF photos, or copies from donated photo albums, so its photo collection will still only be a small sample of the total tiger moths that saw service.

    The museum at moorabbin has a small photo archive and I will check its holdings on the weekend, but there is a member/historian with an extensive private photo collection that is fully digitised, indexed and archived based on his own photo efforts over the last 40 years as well as wartime album access and trades with other collectors and his would (in my opinion) be the most likely collection to hold a photo of your aircraft (his strong interest is civil aviation and therefore he will almost certainly have photos of it as VH-BVU in anycase.

    Look forward to seeing photos of your project and the final colour scheme decision, as others have said there are a wide selection of interesting and accurate RAAF schemes that you could apply if the likely original overall yellow scheme doesnt interest you.


    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    Last edited by Mark_pilkington; 23rd October 2010 at 00:45.
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

- Part of the    Network -

KEY AERO AVIATION NEWS

MAGAZINES

AVIATION FORUM

SHOP

 

WEBSITES