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Post Info TOPIC: Soloman Camo on MKI's
Lou


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Soloman Camo on MKI's
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Hi Guys, 
 I have been asked to build a couple of Panzer Shop MKI's for a customer, and he would like them finished in the Soloman camo' style. The question I have is that all the finished kits I have seen seem to have the different areas of colour seperated by a black line. But this does not seem to stack up with the photo's that I have, which seem to show the paint schemes as nice hap-hazard splashes of paint.


I know a lot of armoured cars and later war (french) armour had black demarcation lines, but was this true for the early MKI's. Please help.


All the best,


Lou



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Legend

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Welcome, Lou! There was a big old discussion about this a while ago (you'd need to dig back a few pages) here:


http://www.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=63528&p=3&topicID=7239978&topicPage=2


Gerald Moore (Rhomboid) has done some magnificent research into it, but there are still uncertainties. You're right about the black lines - some tanks had them, some didn't. Good luck!



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Lou


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Thanks for the link. After having a quick look at what has been written and also being in the fotrunate position of having to complete a Male and Female MKI, I think I'll go for one with lines and one without.


Next teaser is has anyone got got a rough idea on what contempary colours would be a good match? Or am I opening a can of worms.


All the best,


Lou.



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Lou, I think a lot of the complexity about this camouflage is due to the fact that, while the tanks were painted in England under Solomon's supervision, they were re-painted in a more muted version of the scheme immediately after their arrival in France. The variation stems from each crew painting their own vehicle, and each tank company's arrival in France at a different time, which seems to have led to the development of varying "company styles", albeit with some degree of cross over.


Your scheme will depend to some extent on whether your client wishes to have a model with the wood frame grenade roof depicted. These were fitted to tanks C.7 to C.25, and to all of the A Company vehicles for which  I have seen photos. The roofs were fitted to C Company's tanks at the railhead on the Somme, after the tanks were re-painted. They do not appear to have been fitted to D Company's tanks. By the way, I think the pitch of the grenade roof supplied with the kit is "out", and the mounting struts are over-simplified for this scale.


C Company, which was the first to arrive in France, seems to have retained a scheme most similar to that applied by Solomon, having colour blotches with irregular borders, some of which are separated by elongated  black blotches of irregular width and border. The D Company "style" seems to have blotches with smoother borders, with most, but not all, separated by black stripes of uniform width. There arn't too many photos of A Company's tanks, which were employed in the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme. They seem to be painted in a similar fashion to D Company, some having jagged black stripes within the colour blotches.  


Note that the colours used by Solomon in England (which seem to be red and yellow ochre and greens) are different from the colours seen on the tanks after re-painting in France (yellow ochre, grey and mottled brown). I'm awaiting the arrival of a reproduction from the Australian War Memorial, of a 1918 painting depicting a wreck from 1916, and if this sheds any light on the colour scheme I will post the details.


Good luck with the project; it surely sounds like "nice work, if you can get it". Drop me an e-mail if you have a question about a specific Mk.I. I have one of these kits waiting on my shelf, and would be interested to hear your impressions of the build, if you would care to post them. 



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Legend

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Rhomboid wrote:



I'm awaiting the arrival of a reproduction from the Australian War Memorial, of a 1918 painting depicting a wreck from 1916, and if this sheds any light on the colour scheme I will post the details.




BTW, I haven't forgotten about the photo of the Mk I in the diorama at the AWM. Still haven't had a chance to get down there.

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Field Marshal

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No worries, Mark, and thanks for keeping this in mind. I can understand your reticence to trudge through the depths of an Australian winter to the frozen wasteland of the ACT. I hear  conditions are so severe, that Australian women have been forced to abandon their traditional bikinis in favour of one-piece swimsuits!  C.E.W. Bean (whose official histories of the AIF are very helpfully on-line, courtesy of the AWM) regarded the "Somme Winter" diorama as quite authentic, and I guess he would be one to know (er, about the diorama, not the swimsuits, that is.)


The repro on order is "A Tank at Pozieres", depicting one of the 1916 wrecks in colour. If the AWM follows previous practice, they will publish it for free on-line as soon as I receive it! If not, I'll let the members know what it shows.



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Lou


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Thank you for your time and help with this. I'll post a kit review when they are finished and try and keep it as impartial as possible.


All the best,
Lou



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Field Marshal

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Here is a detail from another painting of a Mk.I in Solomon camouflage, courtesy of the AWM, which I think may be a realistic depiction. It was painted by the Australian war artist Charles Bryant in 1918. The title, "Tank near Pozieres", and the abnormal angle of the tail wheel suggest that he painted the wreck of C4 "Chablis" which broke down near Pozieres windmill on Sept. 15, 1916. The full painting is posted as ART00167 on the AWM site. 

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C4 Chablis.jpg (13.3 kb)
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