White Ensign Models has just published an interesting booklet on Royal Navy camouflage. It is a reproduction of "The Camouflage of Ships at Sea", originally published by the Royal Navy Camouflage Section in 1943. WEM reproduced the original but in a larger format. The volume is comprehensive in that it not only presents various camouflage patterns, but also the rationale behind their usage. This was done so that a ship commander could select the appropriate pattern and colors for his area of operations. Presented in a three ring binder, this volume is 77 pages long and starts with 43 pages of text followed by 34 pages of plates. The text portion has eight chapters and two appendices. The chapters are: Chapter 1 -Definitions; Chapter 2 - Introduction, Chapter 3 - Brief History of Sea-Going Camouflage to the Outbreak of the War in 1939; Chapter 4 - The Principles of Sea-Going Camouflage; Chapter 5 - Colour; Chapter 6 - Selection of Camouflage Designs for Concealment; Chapter 7- Paint and Directions for Painting; and Chapter 8 - The Scope and Us of Camouflage at Sea. The two appendices are Reports of Observations of Camouflaged Ships and an index to the color plates. Various photographs, illustrations and tables are found in the text portions of the booklet, including color chips of the 1943 camouflage paints.

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The largest type warship found in the color plate section is a destroyer. Thirteen patterns are provided for destroyers; 2 for sloops; 4 for corvettes; 2 for frigates; 8 for minesweepers; 1 for a cutter; 5 for trawlers; 2 for tugs; a 180 foot A/S vessel; Fairnile MTB, MGB, ML, RML; Vosper MTB; British Power Boat MGB and 72 foot HDML. There are two plates per page with two tinted profiles per page. Each profile lists the ship class, ship type, camouflage name and colors used for the pattern. Since this was a confidential volume designed for reading by Royal Navy officers, it was originally covered by the Official Secrets Act. As such it is the source for Royal Navy camouflage painting and patterns in 1943.

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You better snap up one of these historical volumes in a hurry. As soon as H.M. Government discovers that American spy John Snyder published this document in contravention of the Official Secrets Act, he will surely be hauled before a magistrate to answer for his transgression. As John spends some time in one of Her Majesty's finer penal establishments, you can benefit from this reproduction.

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