Nearly every fighting ship in the
Royal Navy wore a dazzle or disruptive camouflage scheme at some time between 1940 to
1945. In January 1940 the destroyer HMS Grenville became the first WW2 Royal Navy
vessel to display a camouflage scheme. Most of the early patterns were generated
unofficially, and competitions were often held between ships for the best camouflage
patterns. The RN camouflage department experimented with several dazzle pattern
variations, and decided on a scheme devised by Peter Scott, a naturalist. These schemes
were eventually developed into the Western Approaches Schemes.
1940 the dazzle patterns on many larger vessels were painted over, and an overall medium
gray (507B) scheme was adopted. A number of larger vessels (cruiser size and larger)
continued to carry camouflage, usually a Modified Peter Scott scheme, using Admiralty Home
Fleet Dark Gray (507B) and White, with a dark black gray (507A) sometimes being used. By
the summer of 1941, larger ships began carrying the First Admiralty Disruptive
schemes, which were used sporadically until the latter part of 1942.
In 1942 the Admiralty Intermediate Disruptive Pattern came into use, and was
reasonably successful in breaking up a vessels outline at medium and long ranges and
in most weather and light conditions. The colors usually consisted of MS1, MS3, MS4a, and
B5. In 1944, Admiralty Standard Schemes were developed in an attempt to standardize
patterns and colors.
There is no possible way to catalog every camouflage scheme carried by Royal
Navy vessels. The many unofficial schemes, as well as variations in standard schemes,
means that artistic license as well as photographic evidence must play a part in
modeling World War Two Royal Navy vessels.