Uniform colors

Discussions relating to the day-to-day running of Light Coastal Forces; shore establishments and mobile bases; command structure; strategy and tactics; training and logistics etc
Pacman
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:57 am

Uniform colors

Postby Pacman » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:22 pm

I recently acquired the Italeri 1/35 Vosper boat, great kit, much potential for detailing. I came accross a photo of R.N. sailors in shorts in the Med and want to do a Med boat w/ a Breda cannon on the foredeck. I have not found any reference to the 'shorts' uniform colors, (photo was B&W, shorts appear to be light colored).
Were the shorts R/N issue, were they Borrowed from the army? I picked up British Eighth Army soldiers in 1/35 to populate the boat and would like to get the coloring somewhat close.

Admin
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Uniform colors

Postby Admin » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:18 am

Hello Pacman

Thank you for your enquiry. Is this photo available to view anywhere on the internet? Coastal Forces were renowned for their sartorial elegance, so much so, that senior officers of larger ships were often given to expressions of regret, that their ships' companies were not as well turned out — or it might possibly have been the other way round! Joking apart, it may well be that they are wearing non-issue army khaki shorts, which may have been sourced from somewhere, particularly if kit was lost for some reason, which would be difficult to replace when boats operated so far in advance of such supplies. I have some photos of crews of MLs at Freetown, Sierra Leone, in which crew members can be seen wearing everything from dirty off-white shorts, through to possibly khaki, and also dark shorts of various hues, which I imagine may well be some shade of navy blue, and could possibly be P.E. (gym) kit. As for strict 'uniform', as far as I am aware, in the Mediterranean, or tropics, that formally consisted of whites only, although engine room staff may well have worn dark shorts or overalls, but in general, dress code on Coastal Forces boats, particularly during off-duty hours, seems to have been fairly relaxed.

Regards
Admin

Pacman
Seaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:57 am

Re: Uniform colors

Postby Pacman » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:10 pm

the Photos was in one of the Vosper MTB books, (I am not at home to Verify which one), The Osprey "Vosper MTB', Garth Connellys 'Vosper in Action' or the Lambert book #II. The photo was of two Vosper boats moored in Alexandria, and had the crews doing what looked like servicing the twin machine gun tub.

Admin
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Re: Uniform colors

Postby Admin » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:22 pm

I managed to view a scan of a photograph very similar to one you are describing, which was in Vosper MTBs In Action, although there was no specific mention of Alexandria, however, the following point is of relevance to any black & white photo. In general it's notoriously difficult to second guess what colours in a black & white photograph actually are, as I know from having done photography in the past, and scanning and using Photoshop etc, that a photograph is essentially a record of the levels of luminance present, where the highest level in a photograph is shown as pure white (over-exposed) and the very darkest, black (under exposed). On a sunny day, the very brightest points would be the dazzling glints of light on top of the water, and if you exposed for those, the rest of your photograph would be very murky indeed. The next brightest point in a subject like this is going to be the tops of caps, which are bright white in the sunshine, and to capture their shape — that is define their tops from their sides at certain points, rather than their becoming an amorphous white blob on the tops of heads — the exposure setting used, would likely send other shades of white somewhat grey by comparison — again in terms of the levels of luminance as perceived by the camera film. So it is, that sometimes something that is light grey or blue, with the sun on it, such as say the tops of torpedo tubes, can end up having the same level of luminance as say clothing which is known to be white, so in the photograph that I have in mind, the seemingly muddy, grey clothing of the sailors, may very well be white in reality, and my guess, is that they are just wearing whites, even though at first glance, they don't look like they are. Strong sunlight with lots of contrast involved can throw up these seeming visual anomalies. Hope that helps!

dcrfan
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Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:57 am

Re: Uniform colors

Postby dcrfan » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:26 am

First posting by new member.

I too am planning to build a Med Vosper. Actually I have two, one with a Brenda, that will be placed in a diorama with a dockside model railway along with trucks of a Coastal Forces Mobile Repair Unit.

In researching coastal forces uniforms I found an online copy of 'Moving Bases, Royal Navy Maintanance Carriers and Monabs' by Cdr David Hobbs. It contained a copy of a report by the Navy No 1 Mobile Land Repair Unit in the Med and explains that they obtained khaki uniforms from Algiers and elsewhere in North Africa from Naval, Army and Air Force sources

Admin
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Uniform colors

Postby Admin » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:32 pm

Hello dcrfan
In researching coastal forces uniforms I found an online copy of 'Moving Bases, Royal Navy Maintanance Carriers and Monabs' by Cdr David Hobbs. It contained a copy of a report by the Navy No 1 Mobile Land Repair Unit in the Med and explains that they obtained khaki uniforms from Algiers and elsewhere in North Africa from Naval, Army and Air Force sources
There is some documentary evidence within the forum for Coastal Forces crew members within the Mediterranean wearing what appears to be army apparel, as seen in this post on the subject of MTB 670 (see page 1 also), while Coastal Forces Mobile Base staff in the European theatre seem to have worn a form of battle dress too, as evidenced by this post about a radar technician at Ostend.

Regards
Admin


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