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Author Topic: Now with added other units; (RAF officer for bolt action)  (Read 943 times)

Offline voltan

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Now with added other units; (RAF officer for bolt action)
« on: June 18, 2018, 12:56:32 PM »
Historical accuracy is doubtful, originally converted (with obligatory pull my finger pose) to lead my RAF regiment detachment, he's only just been upgraded to painted because my attention wanders a lot. I'm still not happy with the colour of the hat, but this was the third attempt and so gave up, it doesn't help that the photo seems to have washed the shades out of it.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 01:09:17 PM by voltan »
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Offline voltan

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 02:39:01 PM »
Found a few of the figures from the force so have added some pics.

Offline moiterei_1984

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 07:11:25 PM »
Not bad at all. And the blue helmet and webbing make for a visual contrast to the regular Tommy.

Offline voltan

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 09:24:41 PM »
Yup. was the exact reason I did it, even though I'm very aware that it's not accurate.  :)

Offline dadlamassu

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 06:32:47 AM »
My father served as an RAF fighter controller in WW2.  I remember "dressing up" to play wearing his webbing and it was RAF Blue (I think the belt is still in the attic somewhere).  His Battledress was the Canadian army version so slightly greener than the brown British khaki.  All trade and rank badges were on the standard RAF blue background.  When it rained he said that they wore RAF blue great coats which on at least one occasion allowed the team to pass safely through a German road block and return safely after having accidentally overtaken a retreating German column in the pusuit across France.

Their vehicles had small RAF roundels on the front and rear wings where the Army division signs would have been and "RAF" in small white letters on the side or a large RAF Roundel.







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Offline voltan

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 09:16:59 AM »
That's good to know about the webbing, do you know if he wore the blue in the field or was it a later issue?
As for the vehicle markings, I'm lazy with them and don't always bother adding them, should really. ;)

Offline dadlamassu

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 03:00:25 PM »
As far as I remember, he wore the RAF blue webbing from when it was issued to him during the "Invasion Scare" of 1940.  He told us that the army used a greenish blanco on the webbing and he (and all the others) had to scrape this off then use RAF blue blanco.  At this stage of the war although he was an air gunner the squadron was converting to night fighters so while he was learning the new radar etc. he was expected to be part of the airfield defence. 

For Normandy he was in the first day group so he was issued with an assault vest and a new Army Green 44 pattern helmet as part of the recognition plan.  Once ashore he reverted to his old RAF blue webbing because it had special pouches that held the magazines for his Lanchester SMG best. 

Offline voltan

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 06:10:16 PM »
Thanks for that, it can be frustrating sometimes trying to find useful info about RAF ground units.

Offline Jemima Fawr

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 11:41:40 PM »
For the 'general' RAF, webbing dyed RAF Blue-Grey was the norm.  This usually started out looking a bit darker than the uniform (roughly Oxford-blue), but got lighter as it wore out (much as RAF berets do nowadays).  This was normally worn with RAF blue uniform (No.1 SD tunic in the early days of WW2, but BD later) and a helmet painted the same dark blue-grey shade as RAF vehicles of the day.

However, tactically-deployed units such as 2 TAF and the RAF 'Commandos' (who would build and run tactical airfields) were typically issued khaki BD (either standard wool, the greenish denim version as seen in 'Dad's Army' or the greenish Canadian version).  This was commonly worn with the blue webbing and blue helmet, though a variety of assault vests, khaki webbing, '44 Pattern webbing and green Mk2 and Mk3 (i.e. '44) helmets was also seen in 2 TAF.  Soft headgear such as officers' SD caps and forage caps were exclusively RAF blue and RAF blue berets also started to be issued at this time.  All badges were dark blue backing with 'sky' embroidery, though the RAF Commandos also wore the circular dark blue Combined Ops badge with red embroidery.

A few ex-2 TAF old boys of my acquaintance also mentioned arriving in Normandy in blue BD, though quickly switched to khaki when it was rumoured that RAF erks were being shot by mistake (the blue-grey being mistaken for field grey)!  God knows what the truth of this was, but one chap I escorted to the 65th anniversary in 2009 was adamant that he was personally shot at by an over-keen Army guard near Ryes tactical airfield (just outside Bayeux).

HOWEVER...

The RAF Regiment were a different beast altogether and wore almost exclusively khaki Army-style items, including webbing and forage caps.  Berets seem to have been blue, though beret-like khaki GS Caps were also issued prior to the general issue of RAF berets.  NCO badges were frequently Army-style khaki instead of RAF blue (NB only the RAF Regt had L/Cpls - the RAF didn't), though LAC & SAC badges and OR's 'shoulder-eagles' were always the usual blue versions.  The 'RAF REGIMENT' shoulder-titles were always sky-on-blue.

RAF Regiment officers would have the usual RAF blue SD Cap for barrack wear (there was no khaki version), though seem to have generally worn privately-purchased berets in the field, even before the general issue of RAF berets.  RAF Regt officers wore the same sky-on-black rank 'rings' as other RAF officers and did not wear the shoulder-eagle badge worn by ORs. 

In terms of vehicles, 2 TAF vehicles were frequently OD rather than RAF Blue-Grey and as has been said, they had the red/white/blue roundel front and rear (and sometimes on the sides), as well as an air-recognition roundel on the roof or bonnet (this had a thin yellow ring around the blue - different to aircraft markings, as the white ring was the same width as the blue ring).  They also had white Allied stars on the sides - sometimes also on the rear and top in addition to the air-recognition roundel.  There is another well-known photo of RAF Regt Humbers, showing roundels on the front-left mudguard, a big air-recognition roundel on the bonnet and medium-sized roundels on the side doors, PLUS white stars on the upper hull-sides and on the front, between the vision-ports.

All RAF Regt vehicles were OD, often also with black camouflage.  The standard armoured car for the RAF Regt in NW Europe was the Humber LRC (organised in Flights of six cars - four Flights per Squadron).  Unit markings were not normally carried, though the RAF Regt Wing number was sometimes painted on, as seen in those photos above: 'TAF/84' meaning No.84 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force.

I hope this helps and cracking painting, Sir!  :)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 12:03:27 AM by Jemima Fawr »
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Offline Jemima Fawr

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2018, 12:13:38 AM »
Historical accuracy is doubtful, originally converted (with obligatory pull my finger pose) to lead my RAF regiment detachment, he's only just been upgraded to painted because my attention wanders a lot. I'm still not happy with the colour of the hat, but this was the third attempt and so gave up, it doesn't heklp that the photo seems to have washed the shades out of it.
I think the cap colour looks great, but what it's missing is the black hat-band (and cap-badge).  With that I think he'll look the part.

Offline voltan

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2018, 12:03:54 PM »

I hope this helps and cracking painting, Sir!  :)

Cheers, and it's good to know some more about the 2 TAF units, hadn't even thought about them before, I'd already known the Regiment colours and such, it was a purely aesthetic choice to go for the blue to make them different from the Canadians and Booties I'd done.

I'd rather have the Humber light for the force but at the time of buying there wasn't one available (not sure if there is one now even) so I figured they'd borrowed the mkII from somewhere, still too lazy to add the unit markings  ;D

Offline Jemima Fawr

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2018, 06:17:14 PM »
Bloody right!  RAF Blue always looks smarter than a fox with a degree from Oxford!  ;)

The Humber LRC always gets overlooked by model manufacturers for some reason, even though it was generally used in greater numbers than their Armoured Car and Scout Sar cousins put together and in a greater variety of units.  Added to which, Humber Armoured Cars were almost always paired with LRCs!  It took bloody ages for one to appear in 15mm as well.  :(

Before the RAF Regt was established, armoured car units were sometimes co-opted for airfield defence/anti-paratrooper duties.  Down this way in Wales, the Belgian Armoured Car Squadron (equipped with Guy Armoured Cars - essentially identical to a Humber Mk 1 Armoured Car) was responsible for the defence of RAF Pembrey, which being situated on a beach/sand-dunes was considered vulnerable to seaborne raids.  Of course the RAF also had their own Beaverette Armoured Cars for airfield defence and in the Middle East had two (briefly expanded to four) Armoured Car Companies that remained separate from the RAF Regt until well after WW2 (they also had a reputation for tooling up their cars with every weapon they could loot from crashed/scrapped aircraft).

Offline dadlamassu

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2018, 09:05:05 PM »

A few ex-2 TAF old boys of my acquaintance also mentioned arriving in Normandy in blue BD, though quickly switched to khaki when it was rumoured that RAF erks were being shot by mistake (the blue-grey being mistaken for field grey)!  God knows what the truth of this was, but one chap I escorted to the 65th anniversary in 2009 was adamant that he was personally shot at by an over-keen Army guard near Ryes tactical airfield (just outside Bayeux).

The RAF Servicing Commandos who operated the advanced landing grounds (not to be confused with RAF Commandos) did wear RAF Blue Battle Dress in the first few days after the invasion.  This was because the RAF wanted to be "seen" by the army.  It was put in place because of the criticism in some other operations (particularly Dunkirk) of "Where was the RAF?"

Incidentally my father's Combined Ops badge was not circular but arched

Offline Jemima Fawr

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2018, 11:58:00 PM »
Fantastic!  Thanks Dadlamassu!  My father-in-law was also Combined Ops - RN in his case.

Offline voltan

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Re: RAF officer for bolt action
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 01:08:12 PM »
Some vehicles I've finished up recently, random assortment of units, because, reasons.

First up my converted Centaur mkIV, the bearings are representative as I've not got the patience or skill to do a better job :D From 4 battery as it fits with other units I've got painted/built.
Next up a  cromwell from the tenth mounted rifles.
And lastly, a universal carrier from a recon squadron, possibly Canadian.