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Book Review
Warship Camouflage of WWII
British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII – Volume 2 – Battleships and Aircraft Carriers
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII – Volume 2 – Battleships and Aircraft Carriers

By Malcolm Wright
Published by Seaforth Publishing 2015
ISBN 978 1 84832 253 0
Copyright © Malcolm Wright 2015
MRSP - $36.70 US / £ 24.00

One of the most recent releases from our friends at Pen and Sword Books is Malcolm Wright's book titled British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII – Volume 2 – Battleships and Aircraft Carriers. Malcolm Wright, and accomplished artist and author, presents us with a second part in a short series on warship camouflage; his first being Volume 1, British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII Destroyers, Frigates, Sloops, Escorts, Minesweepers, Submarines, Coastal Forces and Auxiliaries. This time the author gives us a hardcover, 191 page detailed look at the various color schemes used by the British on their capital ships during WWII.


• Introduction
• Reference Sources
• Paint Types & Schemes
• Symbols
• WWI Era Battleships and Battlecruisers
• Modern Battleships
• Monitors
• Aircraft Carriers
• Escort Carriers
• Index

Malcolm Wright has brought together several years of research on the subject of naval camouflage together and continues his series presenting these color schemes, more or less, to the modelling community. The author mentions the fact there will always be debate on what colors where used when and the quandaries of tonal variations of the color themselves, he has made every effort to compile an amazing collection of the schemes used by the British and Commonwealth naval forces during the Second World War. The vast majority of information compiled is to the credit of several veterans he had befriended over many years and to which had contributed, in no small part, to help create an accurate representation of what these ships looked like under these camouflage schemes. The first few sections of the book give a brief description of Paint Types and Schemes, a color table showing all of the colors used, a one-page overview of Aircraft Symbols showing colors and marking of the various naval aircraft and a one-page guide to symbols covering weapons and electronics features seen on these ships.

As part of what is listed above under Contents, there are four chapters to this book; WWI Era Battleships and Battlecruisers, Modern Battleships, Monitors, Aircraft Carriers and Escort Carriers. Each of these chapters begin with painted reliefs created by the author. The chapter names themselves are self-explanatory, making the look for color schemes of these particular types of as easy as turning to the appropriate chapter or by turning to the index to locate a specific ship and the page it resides on. Each profile plate of these ships, is supported with a brief description pointing out key features covered under the camouflage design. All of the reliefs are printed in full color as well as showing the color scheme profile of any aircraft that were deployed on these ships. Within the supported text of each of these schemes, the author mentions what type of camouflage measures were used which then can be cross referenced through the descriptions defined at the beginning of the book. From there, the color reference chart can be used to obtain the basic colors used in the scheme.


Malcolm Wright has made an exhaustive effort to accurately represent all color schemes shown in this book. Through his in-depth research from archival records as well as from speaking with the men who served on these ships the representation of camouflage schemes shown is as close as it gets to date. This book is certainly geared to the model shipwright, however, any British Naval history enthusiast will more than benefit from the information contained within. There are seventy-six ships covered in this book which constitutes the bulk of the capitol ships afloat for the British and Commonwealth. In many cases, the author has listed alternatives to the camouflage schemes covering different time periods of the ship's service. There are some missing carriers excluded from the book, however, unless you were looking specifically for these, you should have everything one might need for referencing WWII British and Commonwealth naval subjects in modelling.

I Highly Recommend Malcolm Wright’s British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII – Volume 2 – Battleships and Aircraft Carriers to anyone looking for specific camouflage schemes for their model building purposes as this is a valuable resource for any modeler’s library!!

Pen & Sword

Model Shipwrights would like to thank Pen and Sword Books for providing this review copy of British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII – Volume 2 – Battleships and Aircraft Carriers.
Highs: An amazing collection of detailed color profiles of British and Commonwealth ships of WWII
Lows: None at this time
Verdict: One of the better references of British and Commonwealth capitol ship camouflages I have come across.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978 1 84832 253 0
  Suggested Retail: $36.70 US / £ 24.00
  Related Link: Pen and Sword Books
  PUBLISHED: Nov 24, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Picked up a copy at Telford, Really is an interesting book, all the schemes for each ship, additional snippets of information about refits and airwings for carriers. Certainly, in my opinion worthwhile investment for RN fans. Cheers. Si
NOV 24, 2015 - 12:39 AM
I was figuring this might have been one in your collection Si. Nice to have all the schemes on the self when you need them. Now I need to grab Vol. 1 I suppose...LOL!! Christmas is just around the corner.
NOV 24, 2015 - 12:46 AM

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