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RAAF Earth Brown

August 17 2010 at 12:08 AM
  (Login platt5)
from IP address


Can someone assist me please, is RAAF Earth Brown a readily available paint here in Oz or do i have to order Pollyscale's from abroad....or....is their an adequate equal to this color in humbrol or another Testor's brown
The current project is Clive Caldwell's Spitfire Mk VIII A58-464.



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(Login jvenables)

Mix your own

August 17 2010, 8:36 AM 

As a general guide, use RAF dark earth and throw a bit of rust red (or hull colour or brick red) into it to give it a slightly reddish hue.

God's gift to RAAF modellers is that wartime colours don't need to be perfect unless you are modelling a factory-fresh finish, and even then, shades and hues would have varied between paint batches.

As mentioned many times here & elsewhere, colours faded & oxidised very quickly in tropical conditions. Add scuffing, fuel, grease & oil dribbles, dust & sand abrasion, etc, etc and the end result is whatever you want it to be.

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(Login David_A_Edwards)

You probably don't need earth brown for that one

August 17 2010, 9:04 AM 

As it most likely just got a spray of Foliage Green over the middle stone of the RAF desert scheme, leaving the dark earth and azure blue intact.

For the general question, I would add some black to James' recipe of RAF dark earth with a bit of red. I generally use a humbrol dark gloss brown - can't recall the colour but it's the only one in their range.

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(Login CreativeModelsAustralia)

Re: You probably don't need earth brown for that one

August 17 2010, 10:16 AM 

Hi Steve,

White Ensign Models ColourCotes do this, and are the most accurate paints. There entire paint range is as close to 100% accurate as you can get. And we do have them in stock.


Glen Burns

Creative Models Australia

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Haydn Neal
(Login hneal)

Brown Bess ? about No 3 or 10

August 17 2010, 11:34 AM 

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(Login DamianJC)

possibly throwing a spanner in the works

August 17 2010, 1:33 PM 

Am I right in thinking there were a couple of shades of earth brown - a reddish shade, tending to be used earlier in the war, and a greenish shade?

The colour chip in the red roo book is, to my eye, not dissimilar to (albeit browner than) olive drab. Foliage green is, however, a very green green which tones down the apparent greenness of the earth brown when they are next to each other.

Edit: oh, and as David said, unless the airframe had been completely repainted, what you want is RAF dark earth - combined with RAF azure blue, and something along the lines of US medium green, maybe darkened a touch, for the foliage green.

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(Login qfa_tsv)

Earth Brown

August 17 2010, 3:53 PM 

I never really thought that there were more than one shade of Earth Bown, but stand to be corrected, I thought that there were several different shades of Foliage Green, but then they could all be just a matter of the colour photos of the day giving different shades.

When I get and use paints I usually make a sample of what it is like, and put it on a small card, and keep for future reference in case it matches something else I might want.

I have a few samples of Earth Brown which is most commoly described as being close to FS 30099.

In the first photo taken in the shade there is really no difference.

[linked image]

In this photo taken in the sun, Gunze H84 "Mahogany" which is at the bottom, moving up clockwise is Tamiya XF9 "Hull Red" which has been recommended by Brett Green on at least one occasion, next is the genuine FS color chart FS 30099, with Lifecolour FS 30099 RAAF Earth Brown at the very top, a close match to the chip, on the right is Pollyscale which matches FS30099 K3/177 RAAF Earth Brown exactly to the FS chip, and in the middle bottom below the FS chip is Ian K Baker's colour chip, and the Gunze H84 at the bottom is a dead ringer for that.

So you have several choices, it just depends on whose interpretation of the original colour you want to believe, me, I tend towards Ian Baker, as he has done the real research, I don't have the Red Roo colour chart to compare with though, so no idea if Ian and Gary have come to the same conclusion.

Gunze, Tamiya should be available in Australia, and so should Lifecolour, although I have written on the card it was not very opaque, and I think it mostly comes as a RAAF colour set.

[linked image]

cheers Graeme

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(Login platt5)

Re: Earth Brown

August 17 2010, 5:16 PM 

Thanks to all who responded, what i've ended up doing is going to the local supplier and purchased Testor enamel Earth Brown No.2108 (French)

[linked image]

I'll add white until i get RAAF Earth Brown

[linked image]

Either way, like has been stated earlier i'll get pretty close.



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Peter Malone
(Login PeterMalone)

Not an answer about earth brown but,

August 17 2010, 7:06 PM 

a couple of points.

Caldwell never flew A58-464. The two Spitfire VIIIs he flew regularly, and that carried his CR-C codes, were A58-484 and A58-528. AS David has already pointed out,neither had Earth Brown as a camouflage colour.

A58-464 was not used by an operational unit. The furthest North it got was to Parkes in NSW where it served with 8 OTU from November 1944 to November 1945. Photos showed that it retained its RAF desert camouflage while with that unit.

Seems as though your reference is a bit inaccurate. If I can help further, let me know,


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(Login platt5)

RAAF Earth Brown

August 17 2010, 8:59 PM 

Many thanks Peter, you have certainly pointed out a glaring inaccuracy with some decal sheets and cleared the confusion.


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(Login David_A_Edwards)

A58-464 vs 484

August 18 2010, 9:15 AM 

The confusion dates back to a Geoff Pentland profile from memory and has been frequently reproduced ever since.

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Peter malone
(Login PeterMalone)

Not strictly correct.

August 18 2010, 7:08 PM 

We do tend to blame Geoff Pentland for everything but, this time, he is innocent. The information on the serial came from no less than Clive Caldwell himself. He got it from his logbook.

In December 1944 he lists 11 flights in A58-464, including the flight from Sattler to Pitu at Mototai. This was done by writing A58-464 once and then indicating all the other flights with inverted commas.

From January onward there is no further mention of A58-464, only A58-484 and later A58-528.

The error came about because Caldwell's log showed that he flew A58-464 to Morotai and the profile was based on a picture of him taking off on that flight. We now know that A58-464 was never with 80 Wing and that the entry in Caldwell's Logbook was an error. There are several other errors in his logbooks. This was not unusual as most pilots tended to write up their logs a month or two after the event and often relied on scraps of paper, the adjutant's clerk's records or memory.


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(Login iambuzzard)

Peter, would you consider Gunze's Mahogany Brown close to Earth Brown?

August 18 2010, 10:26 PM 

I know it's not applicable to Caldwell's aircraft but I'm interested as to what you think about this colour with a little tweaking.
Daryl Williams.
Assistant AMI Moderator.

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