Thursday 6 August 2009

100 Squadron Night Bomber

When I made up Skytrex's F.E.2b I said I might well paint it up as a night bomber as it was obsolete in its original role by 1916, but soldiered on through the war as a bomber. A bit of research on the subject led me to No.100 Squadron, Britain's first night bomber squadron which became operational in February 1917 and flew F.E.2's on the Western Front until August 1918.

Ascertaining the paint scheme proved slightly more problematical than I at first imagined. The squadron Operational Diary for March states that the planes were painted "in a camouflage not previously seen on the Western front. They were painted from wingtip to wingtip in matt black, with a matt, dark grey fuselage. The upper surfaces were dark brown, and the tailplane and rudder were black". I couldn't find any other source to back this up as as the F.E.2b at the RAF Museum Hendon is black all over I went with that (albeit when painting I added some blue so the colour wasn't so flat).

Similarly markings were slightly irksome. Officially the roundel should apparently be a single white circle, but clearly as can be seen from this period photo of one of No. 100 Squadron's planes, the three colour roundel was used so I went with two of Dom's Decals British roundels. For a brief time I fantasized about painting the name 'Jess' under the gunner's cockpit like the photo, but after one 'J' I gave this up as temporary insanity.

Overall I am pleased with the finished F.E.2b Night Bomber, it certainly makes a change from PC10 painted British planes and will undoubtedly be a useful model to have on the gaming table.


  1. As a matter of interest, did your research give you any indications as to the paint schemes used by Zeppelin hunting squadrons?

  2. Not specifically but if you google images and search for "home defence" and say "SE5a" or "Sopwith Camel" or "RFC" you get a lot. To be honest they are more interesting schemes than the Western Front ones...

    If you haven't read First Blitz (click the books link on the blog) it is well worth checking out.

  3. Thanks for the tip - I was hoping to get away from the olive/brown schemes myself...
    First Blitz is on my list alright

  4. No completely PC10 free but very colourful:

    Only a trainer but...

  5. Looks great, the FE2b is my favourite WW1 aircraft along with the Bristol F2b. Saw Hendon's example on Monday and very impressed. Think I may get the Skytrex 'Fee' now too...