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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:59 am 
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In light of the recent discoveries by Sovereign Hobbies and their ambition to correct what were mistakes in the colour coat range of paints and combined with the rather long thread that is almost at its conclusion about the HMS Prince of Wales and its scheme, I have decided to start a thread about the correct camouflage pattern and paints used on the HMS Belfast during WWII.

I am aware that there were changes to the ship from 1942 to D-Day in 1944.

According to Warship Perspectives Volume 2 Belfast as in December 1942 after refit.
Quote:
This design was in place with only small changes until August 1944, when the ship was taken in hand for refit. The colours are 507A, B5, B6 and 507C. Wood decks 507A, Turret roos 507A. Areas of the deck overhung by the 6" turrets when the turrets are trained fore and aft, to be painted white.


Since I can find no suitable illustrations of Belfast to use as an example, I have taken the liberty over 2 days of my days off work to painstakingly draw a rendering of HMS Belfast using Microsoft Paint. I have then taken the liberty of colour picking the colours from Sovereign Hobbies to use as an example on the ship to try and recreate what the ship looked like in its camouflage scheme.

I am anticipating some mistakes and am hoping we can have a thread like the Prince of Wales thread to work out the correct scheme and times the scheme was in place.

The drawings I have made I have done based on 1942 photos, references and information. I will be creating an additional picture for what the ship looked like in 1944 during the D-Day invasion.

I am aware only one colour video of Belfast exists for the entire war.

Here is the drawings I have created. Please excuse and inaccuracies or mistakes. It is not perfect but I have tried to get it as close to scale as possible and to depict the ship as closely as I could.

I have attached three photos. The first two are the port and starboard design in 1942 and the last one is the port side pattern during the D-Day invasion. It is clear from the black and white photos that the pattern changed slightly and some parts were painted in opposite colours.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:54 am 
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hello !

is it sure that wooden deck was painted/stained and not left barewood ??

thanks

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:14 pm 
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I am hoping more chime in now that Prince of Wales is finished,

As for wooden decks to the best of my knowledge they were bare wood except for the midships section aft of the hanger which according to all instructions and references were dark grey. Perhaps Belfast is not as a popular ship to decipher its pattern now that Sovereign has reexamined and published their findings on RN paint.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:16 am 
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As my next project will be HMS Belfast in 1943, I begin to gather some infos, even if my current Saratoga CV3 project is only at 50% completion.

so, i am troubled by the possible presence of 507/a/b/hfg in camo scheme.

I know that B&W pictures are not relevant, etc... etc... blah blah... BUT

pictures seem to present the darkest color as REALLY dark and very contrasted.

Attachment:
belfast 1944.jpg


But it seems clear now that 507a/b/hfg was not so dark than thought before.
so shall the dark color be MS1 then ? in place of 507a/b/hfg ?

I cannot believe that 507/a/b/hfg seems SOOOOO dark in this scheme, when compared to ships said to be in full 507/a/b/hfg which appear largely lighter and not so dark in pictures.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:45 am 
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as you see here again, too much contrast between what is said to be 507c and 507a/b/hfg :

Attachment:
hms_belfast-1.jpg


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:27 am 
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The photo above taken from abaft the beam is reversed, and shows the port side - compare to the port bow view in the previous post (and zooming in on the twin 20mm Mk V mountings on the quarterdeck shows the guns on the left of the mounting, and not on the right as they should be).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:12 am 
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tjstoneman wrote:
The photo above taken from abaft the beam is reversed, and shows the port side - compare to the port bow view in the previous post (and zooming in on the twin 20mm Mk V mountings on the quarterdeck shows the guns on the left of the mounting, and not on the right as they should be).


yes, but the dark color seems definitely not 507a/b/hfg even if "reversed" ! :heh:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:26 am 
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mister me,

The colours on Belfast have been discussed on-line in the past. As I recall it the story goes something like this:

At the time the Warship Profile booklets were being produced in the early 1970’s a genuine original wartime camouflage design sheet was said to have been knocking about the Windsor offices of the publishers. This design sheet was said to be the source for the centre-spread colour illustration in the Warship Profile 29 softcover booklet and in the hardcover Profile Book No.4. They give the colours as 507A, B5, B6, 507C. These are the same colours that Alan Raven suggests in Volume 2 of his Warship Perspectives booklet published in 2001. Alan says he himself once had this design sheet but lost it in some house move.

(Alan Raven does read these boards from time to time (or friends of his do and can prompt him to look) and he may be able to provide additional information.)

The interesting thing is that both of the Profile illustrations depict the starboard central dark grey camouflage panel incorrectly with the area forward of the gash shute switched to a lightish blue at a vertical line. Likewise the torpedo bulge forward is shown as a lighter colour rather than being the same as the dark grey curved panel extending down from A turret. It does make you wonder.

Raven depicts these camouflage panels correctly in his booklet.

Both Profile and Raven are depicting the original 1942-43 scheme in the MS&B paints era. Looking at the (small number of) photos I have from that time, their 507A, B5, B6, 507C colour callout seems to me understandable for that time.

However your photo shows Belfast in June 1944. This is during the B&G series paints era (13 May 1943 onwards). At some point she would have done a complete repaint into the new paints. It looks to me from the very few photos I have of her late 1943-44 that the tone of one or two camouflage panels was significantly changed. Most obviously the waterline panel on the portside below the bridge goes from being the second lightest tone in the 1942 scheme
Attachment:
Belfast gcd Oct 42 - Copy.jpg
to the darkest tone in the 1944 scheme as shown in your photo. So it is perhaps possible that at the time of a repaint there was a rethink and some G5 was introduced.

Strangely there seem to be very few photos of Belfast 1942/43 and 1943/44 in her disruptive schemes which makes judging what was going on very difficult. I think we would need many, many more photos from both eras to come to any reliable conclusions.


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Last edited by dick on Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:05 am 
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Yes it seems here that panel colors have changed over time.

but as we now know that 507a/b/hfg is lighter than thought before (thank your colourcoats ! LRV of 13% in lieu of 8%), I presume that a lot of camouflage zones earlier thought as being painted in 507a (S&S very dark version) and appearing very dark on pictures are to be reconsidered to be in a dark color other than 507a.

in fact I suspect that a lot of dark camo patterns are not in 507a as thought before : strangely, ships entirely in 507a/b/hfg seem to be lighter than the dark panels generaly said to be in 507a on camouflaged ships.

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