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Rick Kent
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Camouflage & Markings – Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe

January 27, 2015 · in Aviation · · 14 · 2.2K

Going back to an earlier war than my previous profile offerings, here is my collection of Snipes.

The entered service late in World War I as the RAF's new standard fighter, in preference to the Martinsyde Buzzard. They were painted in the standard finish of PC10, Khaki brown paint. Some were kept back in England for home defence as night fighters with toned-down markings and flare brackets under the wing tips.

After the war most that remained in service were repainted in silver (aluminium) dope though, for a time in the very early 1920's there were no fighter squadrons in the UK at all, some being based in the Middle East and India. By 1923 the fighter squadrons were being reformed in England, equipped with Snipes in their silver finish and painted with the bright, coloured squadron markings which became so well-known in the years up to 1938.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Let's see...IF I was a WWI guy and IF I was to model one, I guess it'd be the one on the far left in the second row down.

    • That's a good choice Craig. The squadrons at Bickendorf (Berlin) were part of a fairly short-lived occupation force in Germany after the war was over. There are quite a lot of photos of them taken by squadron personnel in the RAF Museum collection.

  2. Red 5 is my choice. Superb drawings as usual. What about some colourful aircraft from the German Jastas from WW 1 ?

    • Thanks Morne. Those Albatrosses and Fokkers do look great and I have been tempted to draw some, but I have to make some limits somewhere, so all my profiles pre-WW2 are British.

      In the 1920's and 30's the RAF held its annual air pageant at Hendon, and one of the regular events was an aerial relay race between the different RAF stations with aircraft of each different type they flew. Each station had its own racing number which was painted on its various aircraft types. So Duxford was team number 5 in the 1924 race and, hence, the Snipe has the red 5 on it.

  3. Nice profiles of this interesting aircraft, hard to choose a single favorite.
    The colorful post war markings are great too.
    The gray in the PC 10 schemes is gray or metallic?

    • Hi Bernd,
      The grey is anti-corrosion paint. It was used on most RAF aircraft for the metal covered nose areas, etc right up to the late 1930's when camouflage returned.

      • Not sure. Think the 'grey' was a kind of metallic dope. I've seen these up close and you can see heavy brush marks along the surface where the silver (dull aluminium) began to thicken with exposure to the air as it was applied out of a bucket/tin.

        • Having a profile for Barkers Snipe is very good, maybe i can display his snipe tpogether with his Camel

          • That would make a very nice pair of models Bernd. The original of Barker's Snipe still exists in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. I remember seeing it in the Science Museum in London when it was lent there at the beginning of the 1970's.

  4. Im like those from twentys ..silver wing.

  5. Nice posting Rick.
    Good to see some WW1 profiles .

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