Royal Air Force Colours, Word War I to Modern

World War II period examples:

Munich crisis to initial war period Dark Green / Dark Earth / Sky(or Black);
1941 onwards Dark Green / Ocean Grey / Medium Sea Grey
Desert scheme Middle Stone / Dark Earth / Azure
Night fighters Dark Green / Medium Sea Grey / (Smooth Black) Medium Sea Grey
Bombers Dark Green / Dark Earth / Matt Black
Temperate Sea Scheme Extra Dark Sea Grey / Dark Slate Grey / Sky

Modern period examples:

Early Harriers BS 638/641 (early, semigloss) /627
Jaguar, Harrier GR.3, Tornado GR.1 BS 638/641
Harrier GR.5/7 Nato Green/Lichen Green
Buccaneer S.2B, Hawk BS 637/626
Phantom FGR.2 air superiority scheme BS 637/626/627
Hercules BS 637
Tornado F.3, Sentry BS 626

This chart has been last revised in September 2006

1914-1919
Colour name Comment FS Humbrol Tamiya Xtracolor Polly S Gunze Sangyo Model Master
NIVO (Night Invisible Varnish Orfordness) Very dark grey-green. Used on night-flying aircraft from 1917 6*Hu:116 + 6*Hu:117 + 1*Hu:163 X:X20
RFC doped natural fabric X:X21
RFC green 47*Hu:80 + 19*Hu:33 + 17*Hu:73 + 15*Hu:34 T:XF-51? X:X22
PC-8 Top camouflage until ca. 1915 FS:10266 3*Hu:81 + 2*Hu:26
PC-10 Top camouflage from 1916 FS:14087 3*Hu:163 + 4*Hu:108 + 3*Hu:33
PC-12 RNAS top camouflage from 1916 FS:10166 6*Hu:113 + 1*Hu:178
Clear doped linen FS:13617(33717) Hu:74 (5*Hu:34 + 3*Hu:103 + 2*Hu:148)
1919-1938
Colour name Comment FS Humbrol Tamiya Xtracolor Polly S Gunze Sangyo Model Master
Earth Brown RAF FS:30118 Hu:142
Leaf Green RAF FS:34079 Hu:116
Cerrux Grey All FAA aircraft until 1936 FS:16440 Hu:129
Sea Grey All FAA aircraft after 1936 FS:35622 Hu:23
Sky Grey Flying boats 1937 onwards FS:36463 3*Hu:34 + 2*Hu:126
Extra Dark Sea Green Coastal Command FS:34092 Hu:149
Dark Sea Green Coastal Command FS:34172 4*Hu:120 + 3*Hu:76 + 2*Hu:78
Light Sea Grey Coastal Command FS:36373 5*Hu:34 + 1*Hu:156 + 1*Hu:64
1938-1945
Colour name Comment FS Humbrol Tamiya Xtracolor Polly S Gunze Sangyo Model Master
Dark Earth Standard RAF camouflage until 1941, and mediterranean camouflage

FS:30095 (30118)

Hu:29 (Hu:142) T:XF-52 X:X2 P:PCE76 GS:H72
Dark Green Standard RAF camouflage until 1941 FS:34079 (34096,34064) 21*Hu:80 + 6*Hu:33 + 2*Hu:99 + 1*Hu:34 (Hu:116) T:XF-61 X:X110 P:PCE75 GS:H73?/309
Sky Often reffered to as Sky Type S. Lower surfaces of RAF aircraft until 1941

FS:34583 (34504, 34672, 34424)

160*Hu:34 + 5*Hu:101 + 4*Hu:99 + 1*Hu:60 (5*Hu:90 + 4*Hu:65 , Hu:23, Hu:90) T:XF-21 P:PCE72 GS:H74?
Ocean Grey Standard RAF fighter camouflage from 1941 FS:36152 (36176, 36187) Hu:106 (Hu:165, 4*Hu:156 + 3*Hu:106 + 1*Hu:112 + 1*Hu:34) T:XF-54 X:X6 GS:H335
Medium Sea Grey Standard RAF fighter camouflage from 1941, lower surfaces FS:36270 (36440) 30*Hu:140 + 16*Hu:34 + 3*Hu:27 + 1*Hu:109(1*Hu:156 + 1*Hu:34) T:XF-53 X:X3 GS:H335/306
Mid Stone Mediterranean camouflage FS:30266 51*Hu:24 + 17*Hu:186 + 9*Hu:34 + 2*Hu:101 (Hu:84, 3*Hu:81 + 2*Hu:26) T:XF-60 X:X9 P:PCE73 (PCA818) GS:H71
Azure Blue Mediterranean camouflage, lower surfaces FS:35231 49*Hu:34 + 10*Hu:25 + 1*Hu:33 (14*Hu:34 + 13*Hu:25 + 1*Hu:68 + 1*Hu:109) T:XF-18 + X-14? X:X26 P:PCE74
Dark Mediterranean Blue Seen on some Beaufort bombers in the Mediterranean FS:35050 (35109) Hu:190 T:X-03 X:X123/124? GS:H328
Light Mediterranean Blue Seen on some Beaufort bombers in the Mediterranean FS:35177 6*Hu:109 + 3*Hu:157 + 2*Hu:34
Extra Dark Sea Green FS:34092 Hu:149 (30) T:XF-27 X:X114 P:PCG862 GS:H302
Extra Dark Sea Grey Temperate Sea Scheme (FAA) FS:36118 (36099) 16*Hu:25 + 7*Hu:70 + 6*Hu:150 + 5*Hu:34 (Hu:125) T:XF-63 (24) X:X130 P:822 GS:H305
Dark Slate Grey Temperate Sea Scheme (FAA) FS:34096 Hu:102 (6*Hu:116 + 6*Hu:117 + 1*Hu:163) T:XF-11 + 63? X:X25
PRU Mauve Early photo-recce. comouflage X:X035
PRU Pink Early photo-recce. comouflage X:X034
PRU Blue Standard recce camouflage from mid-war FS:35164 (35190, 35189) Hu:144 X:X008
Sky Blue FS:35622 (35550)
Light Earth Overside lower wings on biplanes “Shadow shading” scheme, RAF FS:30257 1*Hu:94 + 1*Hu:63 T:XF-59 P:PCA828
Light Green Overside, lower wings, “shadow shading”, RAF FS:34096(34172) 6*Hu:116 + 6*Hu:117 + 1*Hu:163 T:XF-22?
Light Slate Grey Overside, lower wings, “shadow shading”, FAA aircraft FS:34159 6*Hu:78 + 1*Hu:161 T:XF-65 X:X118
Dark Sea Grey Overside, lower wings, “shadow shading”, FAA aircraft FS:36173 (36099) 5*Hu:34 + 4*Hu:27 + 1*Hu:106 T:XF-24 (54) GS:H75?
Grimmy white Lower surfaces on FAA aircraft, 1943 onwards Hu:41
Sky Grey FAA aircraft between 1938-1939 FS:36463 3*Hu:34 + 2*Hu:126
Night Black Lower surfaces of night aircraft FS:37038 Hu:33
White Lower surfaces of Coastal Command aircraft FS:37778 Hu:34 (10*Hu:34 + 1*Hu:121)
Trainer yellow Trainer and experimental aircraft. Also referred to as Identification Yellow (used in insignia) FS:33538 X:X11
Interior Grey-Green Interior finish FS:34226 (34128, 34373, 34227) Hu:78 (6*Hu:78 + 3*Hu:34 + 1*Hu:72) X:X11
Dull Blue Insignia FS:35044
Dull Red Insignia FS:30109
Identification White Insignia FS:37875 (37778)
Aluminium FS:37178 Hu:191
1945-
Colour name Comment FS Humbrol Tamiya Xtracolor Polly S Gunze Sangyo Model Master
105 Oxford blue Helicopters, VIP aircraft FS:15050 T:X-03? X:X23
106 Royal blue FS:15044
110 Roundel blue X:X30
210 Sky FS:24424 5*Hu:95 + 2*Hu:64 (Hu:90) T:XF-21 X:X7 P:PCE71 GS:H74
220 Army helicopter olive X:X27
283 Aircraft grey/green X:X10
285 NATO green X:X18
298 RN helicopter olive drab FS:24098 X:X28
356 RN helo Rescue yellow FS:23538 X:X19
361 Light stone FS:23448 T:XF-60? X:X29
450 Dark Earth FS:20118 Hu:29 T:XF-52 X:X2 P:PCE76 GS:H72
537 Red Arrows Red FS:11350 X:X14
626 Camouflage Grey FS:36314 6*Hu:167 + 4*Hu:87 (Hu:167) X:X17 GS:H334
627 RAF Light Aircraft Grey FS:26440 Hu:166 (Hu:129) T:XF-20 X:X15 P:PCA825 GS:H332
629 RAF Overall Camouflage Grey Hu:156 (matched)
633 Blue/grey FS:16044 X:X13
636 PRU Blue 15*Hu:34 + 10*Hu:25 + 7*Hu:101 + 4*Hu:70 X:X8
637 Medium Sea Grey FS:26270 Hu:165 (1*Hu:156 + 1*Hu:34) T:XF-53 X:X3 GS:H335
638 Dk Sea Grey, -1975 (semigloss) FS:26173 Hu:164 T:XF-24 (54) X:X4 GS:H331
638 Dk Sea Grey, 1975- (matt) FS:26173 Hu:164 T:XF-24 (54) X:X4 GS:H331
640 Extra Dk Sea Grey FS:36118 Hu:123 T:XF-63 (24) X:X5 GS:H333
641 RAF Dk Green, -1975 (semi-gloss bluish) FS:16064 Hu:163 X:X1? GS:H330?
641 RAF Dk Green, 1975- (matt brownish) FS:34079 Hu:163? T:XF-27 X:X1? GS:H330
642 Night black FS:37038 Hu:33 X:X12
BS 2660:4-049 Hemp (early variant?) FS:30450? T:XF-57?
BS 4800:10-B-21 Hemp FS:30450 44*Hu:34 + 32*Hu:94 + 6*Hu:109 + 3*Hu:186 (Hu:168, 1*Hu:118 + 1*Hu:34) T:XF-57? X:X16 GS:H336
BS 4800:18-B-21 Barley Grey Now known as 626 Camouflage Grey FS:36314 Hu:167 (6*Hu:167 + 4*Hu:87)
BS 4800:12-B-25 Lichen green X:X24
BS 4800:2-B-53 Matt black
High Speed Aluminium Lower surfaces of jet aircraft until mid-50’s FS:17178
Desert Sand (1991-92) AKA Desert Pink FS:30279 Hu:250 X:X31 P:PCA826 (810) GS:H346?

Reference