SWhen are invasion stripes appropriate?

I am normally an armour modeller but I have tried my hand at building aircraft. I really want to make an allied aircraft with invasion stripes but I don't want to put invasion stripes on an aircraft that wouldn't make sense to have, so I need to know, when are invasion stripes appropriate to paint on? How do I know if the aircraft I am painting is appropriate to have?


899 posts

It depends which era or conflict your doing aircraft from. But WW2 the invasion stripes where applied to aircraft for D-Day to aid allied aircraft recognition.


FAA aircraft also applied them during the Korean conflict, and again during the Suez crisis when they were yellow and black stripes. 


A quiet check on the net, asking for images of your choosen aircraft will probably provide evidence of whether stripes were applied, or checking the squadron history could be another avenue? Hope this helps!


2373 posts

Community Moderator

T2B is correct, they were hastily added to aircraft on the evening of 5/6/44 for aircraft operating over Europe. They weren't always neatly applied either, you can find pictures with them being applied with sweeping brushes very crudely, so don't worry too much if yours aren't perfect.

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/index.php


1064 posts

As the other guys say, with the note that the "full stripes" were reduced to "underside only" on most types by early July 1944.


If it helps any, Johnny Johnson's "JE-J" Spitfire IX definitely carried full stripes on D-Day, and underside stripes in July when being used on the beer run.

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.


103 posts

i try to avoid invasion stripes that are not decals, i find them a utter fiddle to paint on

what!! 11 o'clock already! i should realy stop modeling and get to bed.

I am a wargamer and most of my aircraft models are for air support on the wargames table or as targets on runways in a land battle.  My main collection is NW Europe from D-Day onwards so almost all my Allied aircraft have invasion stripes.  So everything in 2 Tactical Air Force and almost every other aircraft flying in the theatre would have them certainly on the underside if not the full wrap around.  

Dad Paul B

355 posts

As mentioned the stripes were applied in a hurry a day or 2 before D-Day. Mainly to discourage the Navy from shooting at them. They were applied to everything apart from heavy bombers (so all Tactical Aircraft - including Fleet Air Arm, Transports and Gliders) which were operating in the invasion area - so Scottish based Maritime Strike units may not have got them. Initially wing top and bottom and all round the fuselage (though just the underside of the fuselage was not uncommon). By late 1944 and into 45 they became less common.

As mentioned they were used by the Fleet Air Arm in Korea and in Yellow/Black for Operation Musketeer (Suez). Fuselage stripes can be tricky to mask.

Paul - Classic Jet Fan

It should be remembered that the Strike Wings based in Scotland with Beaufighters did indeed appear with full sets of ‘invasion stripes’. If you are lucky enough to have a copy of the May2015 edition of Airfix Modelworld magazine, it contains a very good article on the markings carried by these aircraft.

The stripes were added to tactical and liaison aircraft for the Normandy invasion in northwest Europe in the nights before the invasion. Because of the secretcy, these were applied hastely.

By August , most of the topside were removed or painted over and new planes received only tge lower portions. A more appreviated  and even reversed ( two black stripes) continued until about the end of 1944.

The AAF  went to uncamoflauged planes in January 1944, those arriving in the ETO by March 1944.  So by June, the 8 & 9 Air Forces had mixed fleets.

Some RAF heavies were used as glider tugs and were marked for the invasion, most strategic bombers werenot marked for the invasion, however.

The last thing to remember is that aircraft had to have been active in the area in latter 1944, a B-25G or a P-38 F or a Spit I would not be appropriate subjects  for example. 

 It’s worth noting that while B25Gs may not have had these markings, RAF Mitchells did. As with all things, you will need references. One very good set is the pair of AirFile volumes on ’Operation Overlord’. These cover the period June - September 1944, with Volume 1 covering RAF & Commonwealth aircraft, and Volume 2 covering US aircraft.

Please create an account or login to reply.

Forum Rules

  • The Airfix Forum is intended for discussion of plastic scale modelling. Primarily a place for newcomers to ask questions and seek assistance from like-minded individuals, the Airfix Forum offers users the chance to join an active and friendly community.
  • Discussion of other plastic model kit manufacturers is allowed, however, active promotion or advertising of our competitors is not permitted.
  • Please keep in mind that the Airfix Forum is a publicly viewable space and you should never post personal information (including email addresses).
  • While every effort is made to contact you before any censorship, we reserve the right to amend or remove any content without explanation.
  • All customer service enquiries should be directed to Airfix Customer Services.

Useful Links

Forum Guidelines

Membership Restricted Product