I'm often asked for advice on how to recreate Civil Defence livery. I wish I could give a helpful answer, but I'm afraid that bodywork restoration and painting is a bit of a black art to me. But the following may be of some help:

The first pic was supplied to me by Michael Mason, who has a lot of first-hand knowledge about Civil Defence livery as applied to Series 1 Land-Rovers. Note the 'station' board fixed across the upper section of the rear wheel arch, held by a turnbuckle at the forward end and a bracket at the other — it's the presence of pairs of vertical holes at this point in the rear body tub that confirms whether the vehicle was a soft-top when in service. Hard-top vehicles (such as Reconnaisance — see below) had the board mounted above the waistline, with corresponding holes in the upper sides.

SXF 602

SXF 602 on an exercise (Michael Mason's twin brother is on the right)

          SXF 602

SXF 602 with Field Cable Party trailer

SXF 582

SXF 582 at the LRSOC 60th Anniversary Rally, Chepstow


SXF 729

SXF 729 at a Civil Defence event in St.Mawgan

Supplied by Anthony Groves, this photo of SXF 749 (right) when in service as a Reconnaisance vehicle in
Hounslow (and driven by his father Desmond) shows the station board as mounted on a hardtop.
You can also just see the end of the word 'Reconnaisance' on the opened nearside door.
That's not a sliding window in the hardtop side — it's a work table folded up inside.

          SXF 749

SXF 699

The crest on SXF 699


SXF 630

The door (and close-up of the crest) of SXF 630


Possibly the best example of recreated CD livery is SXF 455 owned by Russell Hearn. When Oxford Diecast made a model of a Land-Rover in CD livery, it was 455 that they chose as an example. I was able to get a copy of the specification sheet:

Oxford Diecast spec sheet

I'm not sure about the shade of green specified, or the size of the wheels!!

Russell is a committee member of the Land-Rover Series One Club (LRSOC), and a stalwart on their stand at various events. In 2017 he was at the Peterborough LRO Show, where I took these additional pics:

SXF455           SXF455
SXF455           SXF455


As well as the above, I've been asked about what original soft-tops looked like. These pics may help (although they're not all neccessarily original tops).

SXF 722

SXF 722

          SXF 729>br>

SXF 729


I mentioned above that the presence of holes in the lower body tub can determine whether or not a vehicle was a soft-top in service. On a hard top the station board could be carried higher up above the waistline. These pics show the fixings still in place on SXF 788 (as well as the standard Export Hardtop used by the Home Office). Compare this with the picture of SXF 749 in service above.

SXF 788

The rear board support

          SXF 788

The front turnbuckles

This close-up of the roof of SXF 788 shows the blanking plate typically fitted after passing into civilian hands,
once the rather unsightly radio aerial base fitted to Reconnaissance vehicles was removed. Not only unsightly,
but also messy — once the rubber started to break down with age, black streaks would run down the roof and windscreen!


SXF 788

The hard-tops used on Crown vehicles are quite a complicted subject, and merit quite a bit of explanation — for more details see


Some more examples of the Civil Defence crest:

CD Badge

Only B&W, I'm afraid. I understand that the crown changed
when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne (see below).

     CD crest on Thames

This is a photo I found on Flickr of a Ford Thames van

Michael Mason has now been able to scan a full-size CD crest.
Click on the thumbnail on the right and a 1MB version will open.

     CD crest


Research done by an owner and various others on the LRSOC Forum suggest that the font is probably Nauticus Sans Regular, although I have no official corroboration of that.