Dazzle camouflage scheme Home Fleet WWI

Mad Scientist
4th March 2013, 15:51
Hello everybody,

Im doing a bit of research concerning the naval war 1914-1918 and am a collector of Navis`model ships, eps. British and German.

I wonder if anybody could give me hints and facts about the camouflage or general painting schemes of Dreadnoughts and other warships?

Thanks a lot!

Kind Regards,
MS

vectiscol
5th March 2013, 13:31
The marine artist, Norman Wilkinson developed the concept of dazzle painting in 1917 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Try to find a copy of his autobiography.

Graham Wallace
7th March 2013, 20:47
Hello everybody,

Im doing a bit of research concerning the naval war 1914-1918 and am a collector of Navis`model ships, eps. British and German.

I wonder if anybody could give me hints and facts about the camouflage or general painting schemes of Dreadnoughts and other warships?

Thanks a lot!

Kind Regards,
MS

Hi MS

I have two volumes of,"Shipping Wonders of the World',edited by Clarence Winchester. There is no printing date on either book but I presume they are around 1935. I could never find copies in Alibris or similar used book sales.

There are a few articles that mention Dazzle painting ( sometimes called Razzle Dazzle) and a couple of photographs. I'm not quite sure what you mean by'hints and facts', personally I think they were done by drunken seamen

however I have managed to scan a couple of them, not to sure how they will show up to the Shipsnostalgia requirements

Graham

vectiscol
8th March 2013, 19:21
Not drunken seamen, Mr Wallace - according to a report by the Director of Naval Equipment (copied from Norman Wilkinson's autobiography), the staff at the Royal Academy comprised:
5 Lieutenants RNVR to design the dazzle schemes
2 men and 1 lady modellers to construct scale models of all ships to be painted
11 lady clerks for colouring plans of ships.

In addition, 10 gentlemen as far as possible not of military age were given commissions as Lieutenants RNVR and sent to the following ports as Dazzle Officers - London District (2); Southampton; Newcastle; Humber District; Glasgow; Liverpool (2); Bristol; Cardiff; and Belfast.

Graham Wallace
8th March 2013, 20:32
Not drunken seamen, Mr Wallace - according to a report by the Director of Naval Equipment (copied from Norman Wilkinson's autobiography), the staff at the Royal Academy comprised:
5 Lieutenants RNVR to design the dazzle schemes
2 men and 1 lady modellers to construct scale models of all ships to be painted
11 lady clerks for colouring plans of ships.

In addition, 10 gentlemen as far as possible not of military age were given commissions as Lieutenants RNVR and sent to the following ports as Dazzle Officers - London District (2); Southampton; Newcastle; Humber District; Glasgow; Liverpool (2); Bristol; Cardiff; and Belfast.

Verticol,

Quite amazing, the 5 Lt's must have been unusually talented men to come up with such designs.

I really wonder how one would evaluate the success of such colour schemes, depends where they were when viewed, with a shore background or aginst an open sea. When I first came across these schemes it was relative to WWI, it was only recently I noticed some vessels in Operation Overlord.

My quote about the drunken seamen was purely in jest, but they must have been astonished at having to paint such patterns. Maybe Picasso picked up some ideas there?

And as for, 'Dazzle Officers'!, the mind boggles.

Something along the line of Hobart's funnies the 'Wheezers and dodgers' of WWII fame. Their official title was "The Royal Navy's Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapon Development". "Secret Weapons of WWII" by Gerald Pawle. Some of their finished names were amazing...Swiss Roll, Panjamdrum!

Graham

nodes
9th March 2013, 13:34
I wish you the best of luck, in the modelling field there is massive arguments over what shade of greys to to which green and blue etc was used in the last war, let alone the first. Can say that destroyers in WW1 were painted a different shade of grey to capital ships and then different areas I believe had different paint schemes in the home fleet such as Dover and Harwich. The Med was always white then light grey compared to Home fleet mid to Dark grey. Dazzle paint well, when you find out let me know, as I am interested in perhaps modelling this period. By the way there was a North Sea Green (grey) for home fleet destroyers.

Rob Wood
9th March 2013, 17:13
I recommend Naval Camouflage 1914-1945: A Complete Visual Reference by David Williams (1 Jul 2003)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513TSBZ92KL._AA160_.jpg

Available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Cheers!

Rob