Sicily and Italy 1943-1945
by Mike Starmer
Published by the author, no ISBN, 31 pages.
Although the cover title is "Sicily and Italy", this book
actually covers the British paint schemes used from April 1943 in Tunisia
as well. As Mike Starmer writes in his introduction, the orders for the
new scheme were published before the fighting in Tunisia was over and
were applied immediately.
The preamble runs quickly through the basic schemes used in the Western
Desert, to provide a background to the changes made. Then comes the complete
official order for the change, with Mr Starmer’s comments and notes
on the other camouflages seen on equipment that had not been repainted
from their delivery schemes or had only been partly converted to the new
scheme. These are very valuable, explaining as they do how the exceptions
arose that are seen in photographs.
Next are 15 pages with cleaned-up versions of the original pattern drawings
that accompanied the new order. These range from Sherman and Grant tanks
to Jeeps, trucks, and even the correct pattern for artillery gunshields.
Mr Starmer’s notes on each explain how they were used, including
their application to different types of truck etc. Then comes the “meat”
that many will have been longing for – notes on the actual colours
used. Shades such as Light Mud have been the subject of debate for years,
and here we get analyses of each of them with detailed conclusions allowing
the reader to see why a particular colour match has been chosen. Individual
paint swatches - not printed ink versions - show each of the official
colours, and mixing instructions are given for Humbrol paints (readers
unable to obtain Humbrol enamels will still be able to use these mixes
by referring to several online paint charts for equivalents in their available
makers’ ranges). Finally, there’s a note on mandatory air
and ground recognition markings, which also includes the Canadian order
for white stars on side surfaces to be painted skewed instead of with
the top point vertical. It’s good to see confirmation that this
practice was official!
Very highly recommended to anyone modelling British or Commonwealth
vehicles in the campaigns covered – in fact, I’d say essential!
The book, like his earlier ones on the Caunter and Alamein schemes which
are just as good, is available from several specialist booksellers, including
John Rauscher in the US at www.boomersbook.com.
They can also be bought direct from Mike Starmer at 18 Hillside Road,
Piddington, Northants, NN7 2DB, England. Sicily and Italy, and
Alamein, are £10 each and the Caunter book £7,
in each case with P&P at £1 in the UK or £2 overseas.
Cheques, IMOs, sterling or Euro cash and Paypal are accepted.