Colour Conundrum - Compendium No 3
By Paul Lucas
This volume collates two groups of articles, the first dealing with the RAF's 'exotic' Tropical Land and Sea Schemes and colours from 1933-1945, while the second deals with the unusual RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Schemes and colours from 1939-1945. As with Compendium No.2, this volume contains new material that has not been previously published in Scale Aircraft Modelling. These two new Conundrums contain material that dovetails into the Tropical Land and Sea Schemes section in such a way that the result is a volume containing more information on the development and possible use of these schemes than has ever appeared in any one place before.
Rather than reproduce the articles in the order that they originally appeared in Scale Aircraft Modelling, an effort has been made to group related articles loosely together. In this volume, there are two groups of articles, the first dealing with the RAF's 'exotic' Tropical Land and Sea Schemes and colours from 1933-1945, while the second deals with the 'unusual' RAF Photographic Reconnaissance Schemes and colours from 1939-1945.
Because of the way that the reprinted articles were originally written and published, there is some degree of repetition between subject areas where the early phases of the Tropical Schemes development work is concerned. Because the original articles do not go into any great detail about this early phase, the first new Conundrum attempts to fill this gap to some extent by discussing the development of RAF upper surface camouflage from the beginning of the work in 1933 up to and including what might be considered to be a large scale Service Trial of the prevailing camouflage concept by the Emergency Air Garrison in Malta during the Abyssinian Crisis of 1935/6. The brown and grey Scapa Flying Boat must have been quite a sight. . .
The second new Conundrum deals with the intriguing two and three colour schemes adopted by the Wellingtons and Fairchild 91 of the Sea Rescue Flight and No.294 (ASR) Squadron operating over the eastern Mediterranean, North African Coast and Egyptian desert between 1941 and 1943. This topic expands upon the material presented in the Mediterranean Maritime Schemes chapter and as far as we are aware, is a subject that has never been explored before.