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The WD Motorcycle forum
Here a photo of my silver wesco.
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I bought another "yellow" one as I was leaving Beaulieu this year because it had most of its original transfer and was in better condition that the two I already had, comparing my 3 they are all quite different yellows, I will post a picture later.
Silver coloured cans seem to be pretty rare, I don't think I have ever seen one other than the pictures posted by forum members?
Larger military vehicles seemed to be issued with the longer shaped 1/2 pint cans which you rarely see painted, I think they had a tinned rust proof coating so maybe the only reason Wesco cans were originally painted was to protect them from rust?
There is some reference to copper and grey coloured cans being used for special shock absorber oils and its possible that this became more common after the new range of oils was introduced but there doesn't seem to be a DME circular to recall all issued motorcycle cans for replacement or repainting?
Someone mentioned having a red painted can which according to the list of new oils would seem to be correct for 50.H.D used post 1943 in motorcycle tool kits but again there don't seem to be enough around for this to have been a standard policy?
Are the pictures shown of a can being used on a Norton definitely from the toolkit of the bike or could they be in a workshop?
I think we need more data before I start painting cans.
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Ok, well for me it's reasonably clear, two colours used, silver (painted as Henk's sample proves) and yellow, I have several different yellows too, from almost orange to the mustardy colour, but if you look on the bottom of some of the cans, this can be down to sunlight exposure and such.
The copper plated cans are not so much in abundance, and there is no pictorial evidence, so will disregard them for now, red folders I have never ever seen.
The Norton stills are from the training film, readily available on YouTube, here's the link, and see what you think, but I am sure it's from the toolbox of the Nortons.
Here's a still.
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I agree with Lex that the film which deals with the implementation of the 'Task System' appears to show all tasks being carried out using the contents of the machine's toolbox.
The 'bitsa' can which I restored seems to have an early pattern of reservoir with an extra seam and is clearly copper plated externally. It's bright on the inside though and like all Wesco bodies seems to be made of tin-plate. The folding cap which came with this can had vestiges of silver paint. Not the goldish colour of Henk's can either.
As well as possibly copper-plated cans, the most numerous colour on brass topped foldeing cans seems to be a dark gold / copper metallic shade...I've never seen a red folding can either.
Do the blackout masks date the film, I seem to remember an article in a wartime magazine?
One of my yellow cans has the same set of patents as yours Rik, but some of the numerals on yours seem to be a bit more crooked, these really are quite a range of yellow shades.
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I seem to recall that the "Army Motor Cycling" film was made in mid-1942 ??? I haven't watched it for ages but I think the production date is contained within the titles........
The black/white "schools" insignia was seemingly replaced by a similar red/white version at some point after 1942....and the hooded-type blackout masks and pillion-type rear carriers would date from post-1941........I'm also pretty certain that the 16H's shown in the film are finished in SCC No.2 brown........?
Interestingly, several of these 16H's appear to be earlier versions which seem to have been rebuilt/upgraded by workshops, hence the decent condition that they appear to be in for filming.........
Correct me if I'm wrong Steve. But I thought that the B&W square was for Infantry School and R&W was for Armoured school?? Ron
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September 1942 seems to have been the date that red and white was first noted in ACIs.
Unfortunately, I don't known what was behind the sticker.
Dave H. Post-war cans were generally dated - I've never seen the blue but many were made with specific oil company branding. I have a red Esso 1/2 pint Wesco. It's difficult to tell what has been swapped around in the intervening years, but any mechanism with all metal parts is probably OK. The can in the training film looks to have the rolled steel top.