top of page

Trackpad In Depth

TillyColours_CVR front.jpg

Tilly Colours

This is something I self-published a few years ago which has not been available for quite a long time. Trackpad has now republished it in a different format.


The intention of this profile is to highlight the many and varied colour schemes applicable to Austin, Hillman, Morris and Standard Light Utilities – Tillys – during the war years. Indeed, the general colours here are equally applicable to all other British military vehicles of the period.
The problem of identifying British wartime colours has always been a tricky one. Throughout the war, there were many interpretations of not only the official camouflage schemes, but also of the colours themselves.  
Virtually every photograph in the book is a black and white picture of a Tilly in military service during the war. With the invaluable help of Mike Starmer, who has long been recognised for his work in identifying these colours and patterns, the book contains a colour explanation so that the photographs can be usefully interpreted. Wherever possible, an illustration and explanation of the vehicle’s unit markings is provided.
It opens up a wealth of suggestions for accurate liveries that would be appropriate for use on either a restored vehicle or a scale miniature. Hopefully, this little book makes it clear to both modellers and vehicle restorers/owners that there is more than just one plain green colour scheme available to them. British wartime camouflage is equally as interesting as those used by the opposing Axis forces.

What is in the book?
What do you say?

Reviews of the previous self-pubished book can be read here and in the links below.
Please note that the ordering details, or publisher details in the reviews - from 8 years ago - are no longer relevant.


Mike Shackleton is a self-confessed Tilly nut and one of the guys behind the Tilly Register. The Register strives towards locating and recording all surviving examples of this great little vehicle. Tamiya worked closely with him during the development process of their fantastic 1/35th scale kit and he arranged the restored vehicles for Tamiya's researchers, giving advice that helped produce such an accurate kit.

Mike Starmer has researched the field of British Army painting and camouflage schemes for many years and has published several books on the subject, using original Military Training Pamphlets, guidance and paint chips to match to available model paints such as Humbrol.

This is a great little book which covers the entire series of Tillys throughout WW2 using some superb period photographs. Some are of seemingly factory fresh vehicles which are great for the modeller since smaller details are portrayed, and the in theatre photos are a fantastic record of the vehicles in action. By and large, almost all of the photographs are of excellent clarity but a few aren't but this is to be expected they were taken over 60 years ago. None though have been included for the sake of it.

What I really like is the use of period photographs, if the modeller needs photographs of restored vehicles these are readily available on-line. I don't know if this was a conscious decision on the part of the author but IMHO it was a great idea that ensures that incorrectly painted restored vehicles are not presented to the reader.


The Authors. Putting two recognised authorities on complementary areas together for a book of this type is an extraordinarily good move. The results are there with a book which is well-written, informative and above all, incredibly useful.
The Tilly. A small vehicle but with an impressive history - it's nice to see coverage of a frequently overlooked subject.

Presentation. No matter how good the 'Raw' data is in any book, unless it is logically presented, whether chronologically, by variant or by subject, it will confuse the reader. The presentation here is absolutely first class. Each of the four Tilly manufacturers have their own section, and the photos are large and of good quality. A few are blurred, but considering their importance and rarity, their inclusion is necessary. Neither of the two photos of the 'Tilly Caunter' would win any prizes, considering they are the only two known images, their inclusion is more than comprehensible.

bottom of page