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Re: HMS Glowworm in Norway 1940 colour question
From 1902 through 1916 Admiralty Pattern 507, 507A, 507B and 507C were all promulgated and each had different proportions of pigments giving four distinct shades.
These were rationalised down such that through the 1920s and 30s there were only two shades in use, 507B for the dark grey and 507C for the light grey in linseed oil paint form. There were corresponding enamel paints of the same shades, Admiralty Pattern 11 and Pattern 12. The 1930s 507 duo simply had some of the enamel paint in them to enhance their robustness.
Admiralty Pattern 507A was reintroduced after a long absence in 1939 with explicit reference to being identical to 507B in every respect except that the enamel Admiralty Pattern 11 content (10 pints thereof per cwt) was to be omitted. It gave a matt finish unlike the somewhat glossy 507B and was also somewhat cheaper. In 1940 an instruction was issued that all enamel use was to be entirely suspended for the duration of the war in the interests of war economy. This defacto killed off 507B, whilst 507C simply had its 6 pints per cwt of Pattern 12 Light Grey enamel dropped from the formula. Doing likewise to 507B by definition gives the 1939 formula for 507A.
The WWII era 507A,B and C corresponding to dark, medium and light grey respectively is, I suspect, a result of either confused memory or miscommunication somewhere. There was a medium grey exactly similar to the 1970s-2017 "507B Medium Grey" appearance and it is achieved by mixing Admiralty Pattern 507A linseed oil paint in equal volumes with Admiralty Pattern 507C linseed oil paint as per emergency mix instructions for camouflage without access to the proper camouflage paints. An example of this emergency mix instruction is given in Section V of CAFO1112/42 linked below.
Note that recent research indicates that AP507A and AP507B (or "507A" and "507B" if you prefer ) were the same shade, just differing in the inclusion or otherwise of enamel in the formula.
Thanks, for the link. That last picture clearly showed Glowworm in AP507c upperworks and AP507B hull. The hull is too light for AP507A. Ironically, I am also working on Flyhawk's HMS Legion which called for AP507C upperworks/AP507A hull. I saw a picture of Legion leaving Malta and her hull is definitely dark grey, almost black, so Flyhawk was on the ball!
Glowworm's colour scheme has been debated before on the "other site". The consensus, based upon the series of photos taken of Glowworm's last action through Hipper's range-finder, is that she wore the dark hull light upperworks (AP507B/AP507C?) scheme common on Mediterranean Fleet destroyers just before, and into the first few months of, the war. A couple of these photos, plus some artists' impressions of unknown accuracy, are online at https://www.wearethemighty.com/history/that-time-a-nazi-captain-recommended-a-british-captain-for-the-victoria-cross
. By 1940, it's quite possible that the AP507A had been changed to AP507A (same shade, without the enamel).
Incidentally the RN did not have destroyer squadrons at this period - although Glowworm joined the 22nd Destroyer Flotilla in November 1939, she returned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in March 1940 after her collision repairs.
I pulled out the recently released HMS Glowworm by IBG in 1/70tth scale. The directions show her in AP507 with neutrality colors in the gun shield. Until October 1939, she was in the Med which would be appropriate for serving in that theater. When she was transferred to the 22nd Destroyer Squadron for service in the North Sea and later Norway, was she still in AP507C? I was thinking that AP507B would be more appropriate. Which would be the right colors for her final VC battle with Hipper?
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