Correct colour scheme for 40mm Bofors

I have a 40mm Bofors round that has no colouring on the projectile. It looks like any paint has been scoured off in the past. There is evidence in the lettering and the flats of the plug that it has been painted with a dark colour in the past.

Because the fuse area is marked ‘FIRING PLUG’, my suspicion is that its a projectile that has been converted for practice use?

Round is inert. No markings on the case body, but lots of info on the projectile itself. Hopefully the pictures will show those that I cant describe easily, but here is what I can read on it -

very top of fuse/plug - L.G. BR 9 51
over stamped on rest of fuse/plug - FIRING PLUG REP 251 255 MK N2
Original stamp on fuse/plug - 255-1 LG 4 B K

various lot numbers on the projectile body, all jumbled, DMC LOT 9 '44 is readable

What I would like to know is what the correct colouring should be, as it is my intention to repaint the projectile for display. (just noticed that the camera seems to have picked a bit of colour up in the lettering which looks royal blue?)

I do believe Broad arrows would indicate British or British commonwealth production, so that would mean UK color codes.

Keith - You are absolutely correct. The British color codes are different from those used in the U.S. Also, I believe the USN and USA colors are different, so getting the correct code will take some research. Maybe the question can be directed to BOCN ??


This may help:

The “N” below the broad arrow in the headstamp indicates Naval use.
Can’t find anything to identify who RLB is.

Pete, RLB stands for Royal Ordnance Factory, Birtley.

Nice Fede

Thanks. Do you have a list of those factories / arsenals codes?

Merry Christmas & a healthy, happy new year to you & yours PLUS a big thanks for all the questions you answer on our forum

I have a similar inert 40mm Bofors round that I was told was made to test the case crimping machinery. Dummies like this could have been used to test a very wide range of operations of the factory machinery.

(To martinb): I noticed in one of your posts that you are in the UK, and acquired most of your items from flea markets and similar places. This is exactly how I started collecting around 2004.

Are we able to say for certain that this would be considered a practice shell?

The paint remnants in the lettering etc seem a bit bluer to me, although that might be the effect of the LED based flash used (i’ll illuminate it with a better light later and look again), although the remnants in the tool keys on then plug looks matt black.

To add to the idea of the practice scheme shown in the diagram, one of the markings near the top of the body of the shell does contain yellow paint.

Does anyone have a shell with the practice paint scheme as shown, who could send me a photograph, and perhaps the measurements of the red and yellow bands and their position please?

If your projectile has a dummy fuze plug there should be no red band on the projectile body which is indicating a life load (as in the scheme I posted).

Just for clarification here the manual excerpts on UK markings of that time.



Thanks EOD,

Theres no evidence of any red paint, and as you say its dummy fuze plug, so I think No. 1 colour scheme in your last post is the one to go for.

Actually, that suits me well, as I have suitable enamel paints for that, but I dont have any reds at the moment!

Correct, no1 will be it.

You may check if your proj. has a tracer installed (remove priming screw from the case and look at the proj. base).
If so you may need to apply that red “T” with the semi-circle above (the marking for installed tracers) and maybe the “N” too (see 1st scheme).

The red enamle you can obtain in any shop where they are selling scale models etc. There they have tiny pots of any color tone you can imagine.

Just do not use glossy enamel. Or if no matte enamel is on hand you may apply a coat of matte laquer after all is done.

I will take a look

The paints I have a Revell/Humbrol model enamels. Ive just ordered quite a few for some models my son is building. Matt black and yellows are amongst the order

Red is Revell no36 (if it has not changed in the last 25 years).

Thanks, yes that shows as Carmine Red on my colour chart. Standard Matt Black is No. 8, and Matt Yellow No. 15,

As I already have a part tin of No. 8, I can make a start on the black. It looks like the primer is meant to be black as well, so I will redo the paint there also

Im unable to see the base of the projectile, as the case has a big piece of wooden dowel inserted! I will have to assume then that it isnt a tracer type, short of any other suitable indication

Its had the first coat of matt black, im a bit worried now how to accurately mark out the circle of the yellow band on the conical section, just ringing it with masking tape will most likely not give an accurate circle