Sunday, December 07, 2008

Webbing nightmare!

Being a perfectionist is more of a curse than a blessing sometimes and researching these Tommies was a case in point. For ages I looked up British webbing from a huge number of sources to try and find the right colour to paint it, only to find a number of different shades and colours. Not being able to let myself just paint any old colour, I had to make sure It was the right colour for the D-Day operations. I pulled out all my hair and aged two years in the process, but I think I finally cracked the webbing colour enigma code (well enough for me to finally put brush to figure anyway).
I hope If there are fellow painters out there thinking of painting up WWII Tommies then all my long hours can help you and my time has not been wasted in vain.
WWII British Webbing;
Basically, the webbing was a light beige colour through most of the war. However, the light sandy colour, fantastic for the deserts of North Africa, was proven to stick out rather in the European theatre. The green hedgerows and grass fields of Normandy prompted the Men to recolour their webbing with Pea green 'Blanco'. 'Blanco' was a power that when added to water formed a kind of paste. This paste was then used to scrub on to the webbing to protect and die it a different shade. Hence webbing can come in all different shades of either Khaki (early war) or Pea green (1944 late war) colours. For a painter this is hard to swallow but basically means anything goes within those two ranges. As I'm painting my Platoon to fight in the hedgerows of France, I'm going for the 1944 green webbing. Although, on the longest day in history a lot of units didn't have time to prepare their equipment and so went to France with Khaki equipment still, this in mind, I will include a few of these into my units. Phew! I hope this helps fellow artists out there and helps to clarify matters.

Above can be seen both Pea green and Khaki versions of the 1937 pattern webbing.

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