Book Review
Warpaint Vol 4
Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903-2003
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Recently released by MMP Books is the 4th and final volume in Dick Taylorís Colours and Marking of British Army Vehicles 1903 Ė 2003. This final volume is structured in the same style as Volumes 1 to 3, quality A4 format and consists of 160 pages of information and supporting photographs.

The 4th Volume concentrates on 3 main areas: Ground and air recognition systems; Vehicle Names; and Miscellaneous Vehicle Markings.

So for the first time a connected series of volumes (1 to 4) offer the reader a comprehensive and well researched insight into the colours and marking of British Army Vehicles covering the period 1903 to 2003.

Dick Taylor is a serving officer in the British Army, currently holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the Royal Tank Regiment and an acknowledged historian.

You will find reviews on the previous volumes here on site:

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

The Book

A quality production with well written text and supporting photographic evidence, plates and tables covering what is a massive subject area, from the early 1900s through to the modern times, across a wide range of theatres of operation.

Pages 5 to 37 cover data on Ground and Air Recognition Vehicle Markings. From the early marking of WWI, this section includes; Between the Wars, WW2 markings, early systems in the Western Desert, use of RAF Roundel and the Allied Star plus other air recognition systems. The Post War period is covered along with Korea, Suez and other theaters of operation. Moving to more recent events the Liberation of Kuiwait and other operations between the 1990ís and 2000ís have mention. This chapter concludes with recognition systems used during the Iraq War in 2003.

Pages 43 to 64 covers data on Vehicle Names (see below). Again this chapter spans a very large time period.

Pages 70 to 152 cover data on Miscellaneous Vehicle Marking. Ambulances, convoy plates, bridge classifications, and vehicle weight class all get explored. A very useful section on the mysteries of the Flag system is included, again covering the period from WWI to 2003. National Insignia, load and maintenance markings, tool, fire extinguishers, Bomb Disposal Units, Army Fire Service, Staff Car plates, Movement Control and Traffic control signs are all covered. There is a section on Fording and Wading markings plus much more.

Pages 155 to 160 list Reference sources and Bibliography.

A table of contents resides on page 3 and 4 with an explanatory introduction to the volume and series on page 5.

If your interest is in British Military vehicles then this volume is another fantastic source of information, and with such a wide time span most probably contains something for everyone, whether model builder or historian. There should be something for everyone interested in this genre.


I was delighted to see Volume 4 come into being. I take my hat off to Dick Taylor and those involved for what must have been a mammoth task. Should you find error or new information that could be added to the subject area then I would urge you to forward same onto Mr. Taylor.

Volume 4 had originally intended to include a listing of known vehicle names but due to the sheer volume of information that is around it was determined that a better approach to this area would be to host an updateable file which can be accessed here:(see pdf bottom of page)

Vehicle Listing

Many, including myself, have already contributed their private research to this site and I would encourage anyone with new information to forward it on via email to:

[email protected]

so that this valuable resource continues to grow and be added to.

My congratulations and thanks to both Dick and MMP Books on producing another exceptional resource, that should be valued now and, I have no doubt, will be in the future.
Highs: Excellent quality publication with lots of useful data for a wide range of readers.
Verdict: Another excellent publication that should be of immense use to the casual reader, model builder and historians alike.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-83-61421-24-5
  PUBLISHED: Jun 15, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.


Nice review Alan, thanks. Warpaint is definitely a series of books well worth getting. The one thing missing (probably in editing) is the link to the Vehicle Names table though - so here it is.
JUN 14, 2012 - 10:49 PM
Hi Ken, Thanks, the link is on the bottom of the MMP page, but your's is more direct. Cheers Al
JUN 15, 2012 - 03:18 AM
Been waiting a couple of months fpr volume 4. If it's half as good and indeed as useful as the first three I will have to add it to my library. Paul
JUN 15, 2012 - 03:37 AM
This is not correct. In the book there is a reference to the MMP website! Pls., do have a look at page 64. LINK
JUN 27, 2012 - 04:05 AM
Very informative and easy going reading, with a lot of photographs to make a very detailed model of almost any vehicle ever in UK service world wide. Complements to Mr. Dick Taylor for his enormous amount of careful work. However, on page 26 there is an incorrect statement about the Dutch ( not Belgian, as written) "Prinses Irene" brigade. The use of a small Belgian air force roundel was not used by the Dutch. They used a dark roundel with a left facing orange lion. But the text covers a Belgian unit which did use this roundel. Any one amongst you who knows which unit is meant? Thanks in advance, Paul
JUN 27, 2012 - 04:17 AM

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