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Best USAAF Olive Drab?

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  • Member since
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Best USAAF Olive Drab?
Posted by EBergerud on Saturday, October 29, 2011 3:33 AM

 

Working on my first American subject – a P47 razorback. As I've got several tanks and US planes in my stash, it's time to get acquainted with olive drab. Been getting ready over the last year and have olive drab paints from a number of companies plus my now sizable collection of artist acrylics. In the real world I'm sure they'd all do. However, according to the best source I've seen on the subject, they are all wrong. (Yet another color controversy? German tanks, Zeros, now olive drab?)

 

Enter Robert Archer a Brit-American aviation engineer who studied colors for fun throughout a career that spanned WWII and the Cold War. He wrote “USAAF Aircraft Markings and Camouflage 1941-1947” for Schiffer in 1997. I couldn't live without that so it joined my collection of huge Schiffer volumes. It has color plates & diagrams but the bulk of its 350 oversized pages are summaries of every directive concerning paints, markings, insignias etc that came out in the war years. The last chapter includes what appear to be very good color samples based upon the porcelain originals that Archer claims the Army used throughout the war in preference to any kind of painted or printed media. (And because they last forever, Archer claims to have several examples.)

 

According to Archer the Joint Army-Navy Aeronautical Board (ANA) published a directive in September 1940 concerning all fighters and bombers in USAAF service. (The Navy did a separate report but worked with the Army throughout the war says Archer.) The main camo colors for US fighters and bombers were determined in September 1940 and include “dark olive drab” (given the ANA number 41) and neutral grey. And so it stayed. In summer of 1943 they revised Olive Drab in April (ANA 319) and then again in September (ANA 613). (Neutral grey was replaced by a sky grey.) However, Archer claims that only a few planes ever got the lighter #319 and except for a handful that went to the PTO none got #613. By the time the factories got the news, the USAAF decided to dump camo altogether. (It may mean that #613 or #619 were used on the natural finish birds, but Archer claims that field conversions usually relied in RAF paint. He claims that most invasion stripes were RAF Very Dark Sea Grey. He finds the idea of blue nosed P-51s “fanciful.”) Most model paint makers, Archer thinks, have used the lighter and somewhat greener later versions instead of the 1940 colors that actually were employed. Here is the result:

 

“Regrettably, this has resulted in almost every full-size, replica, and model aircraft depicting the AAF's main combat aircraft, being painted in incorrect colors! (Coincidentally, the same problem applies to almost all of the US Navy World War II colors, but that is outside the scope of this work.)”

 

I'm not a purist and know we can live with anything reasonable. But if there was a “default” setting it might be nice to know what it was. And it would have practical ramifications. According to Archer's samples, Dark Olive Drab (41) is very much on the brown end of the scale and quite dark. He's not alone in taking this view. The USA WWII page on the super Don's Colors, put out by German paint maker JPS (http://www.jpsmodell.de/katalog/jpsusww2_e.htm ) has an example that is very like Archer's. All of the modeling colors I've seen are either too green or too light or both. (To my eyes Vallejo Model Air 71043 is the closest but shows more green than Archer or Don. Definitely the case with Tamiya XF-62 which armor Meister Steve Zalogda swears by for US armor. Oddly Zalogda himself emphasizes the “brownness” of AGF olive drab (the same as ANA 613) quoting someone as describing it to be like “pig dung” and a “dark, muddy olive brown. Assuming that Zalogda is right that the pigments used were black and ocher that would be a good description: unfortunately ocher is certainly not standard and neither, surprisingly, is black.

 

How about it: should we think brown or green when thinking olive? (And if someone knows what Archer was referring to concerning the Navy Colors, I'd like a lead on that.)

Eric

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Posted by checkmateking02 on Saturday, October 29, 2011 10:09 AM

Good information you've provided, Eric, on a controversial subject. 

I know that colors can shift, fade, etc., from photos, but looking through Roger Freeman's Mighty Eighth in Color, some of the OD looks green.

Apparently most of the paint manufacturers have been befuddled by this, too.  Over the years I've picked up OD from AeroMaster, Floquil, MM, Pactra, WEM, and anybody else along the way (all enamels), and none of the paints exactly match each other.  It didn't bother me, and I've used them all, simply to provide a different look to the planes.

I think that I'd agree that most paint manufacturers, until maybe the last 10-15 years have been producing ANA 613, and not OD 41. 

It will be interesting to see what other opinions are. 

    Nulla Rosa Sine Spina

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Posted by richs26 on Saturday, October 29, 2011 12:21 PM

Also use Dana Bell's "Air Force Colors" volume 1-3.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

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Posted by B-17 Guy on Saturday, October 29, 2011 12:40 PM

checkmateking02

 (all enamels), and none of the paints exactly match each other.  It didn't bother me, and I've used them all, simply to provide a different look to the planes.

I really agree with this. Considering the rate of production that was needed during the war, batches of paint wouldnt exactly match sometimes, and differant manufacturers. Plus, factor in where each aircraft was stationed, more sun or less, more use or less. Also, differant sub-assemblies would come in differant  plants already painted. All these factors lead to varying shades of OD from one aircraft the next.

Plus, if you weather your model......that's gonna change the appearence of the OD as well.

So I would say after all these things, dont get too hung up on a simple thing like this. I've used ANA 613 and the FS OD paint on the same plane to get differant shades.

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Posted by Hans von Hammer on Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:49 AM

Since the models are only a fraction of their actual size, the paints should also be scaled down as well, IMHO... The Olive Drab one sees on a real aircraft ten feet away doesn't look the same color as the Olive Drab one sees on the same aircraft that's now 100 feet away... Heck, it doesn't even appear to be the same color on a sunny day vs a cloudy one...

Overall though,  the OD used by the USAAF differed rather starkly from 1940-43 vs 43-45... The early OD paints of some aircraft had a tendency to color-shift, especially in N. Africa, to an almost purple hue... In the PTO, the shift was more towards a tanish, "sun-faded" look, which, while the temps and UV exposure were similar to the N African theater, had the added effects of high humidity and salt on planes causing a weirder shift in colors...

If one looks at the camouglage paint on P-39s based at Guadacanal (not the P-400s with RAF paint schemes though),  the fading is quite stark, while other aircraft, such as the P-38, fared better in some instances...  I think it had more to do with QC-issues than actual paint colors though...  Northrop had some really bad QC issues with both the OD and Black paint on the P-61s...   Doesn't seem to hold true for New Guinea-based 'Cobras and Lightnings though...

At any rate, I stick with the classic "TLAR" method, rather than trying to duplicate colors, since the odds of two production blocks of aircraft having identical paint-shades was pretty slim, especially at the outset of the war... Scaling down the objects, without scaling down the paint, is a rather futile pursuit, IMHO... Plus, you could have ten aircraft from the same squadron, but with different paint-batches applied, thus you could conceivably have ten different shades of OD to deal with...

I'd rather find a "happy medium" and go that way... Getting bogged down in the "correct" shade of OD is a waste of time, as I see it... Heck, when I post photos of my OD-painted models in here, the paint's look is different than what I got sitting in front of me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by bondoman on Sunday, October 30, 2011 10:48 AM

There isn't one. Also, FWIW Archers samples will not last forever unless kept in the dark somewhere, in which case they'll just last a long time. Anything with red in it goes pretty quickly.

By 1943 there were 81 airframe plants in the US and another 5 in Canada. And that's jut the OOB colors.

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Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, October 30, 2011 2:56 PM

In a nutshell, pick the shade of OD that pleases your eye. As you have learned there is lots of info out there on how OD varied. For factory fresh OD 41 I like to use Tamiya OD or Testors MM Green Drab FS 34086. Both are dark and have the slight brownish hue to them. For weathering light misted coats of most compaines' 34087, Polly Scale OD QM 21 ( a much lighter and browner shade), or other suitable color such as Testors MM Faded OD work well for my tastes.

 

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I would not get too excited about this
Posted by cbaltrin on Sunday, October 30, 2011 5:39 PM

Sure research is fun...but it's just a model.  At the end of the day, nobody is going to be able to prove whatever color you end up using right or wrong. The best advice is the old rule of thumb: Make the best decision based on reference photos. If there are no reference photos...some may say "you are in luck" :-)

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Posted by Scorpiomikey on Sunday, October 30, 2011 5:59 PM

I used a colour called olive green. Under flash it looks a little too green. But i felt it looked more realistic than olive drab.

End of the day, its what your prefer. Colours were often mixed on base to a "There abouts" standard. Peoples memories of colours fades, photos never do them proper justice and environmental factors interfere with accuracy. Pick a green you feel looks about right, go for it.

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Posted by checkmateking02 on Sunday, October 30, 2011 7:02 PM

Scorp, I think you did fine picking this green color.  Photos of the 357th FG show the paint a lot more greenish than brownish (in Freeman's Mighty Eighth in Color).

By the way, you did an excellent job on this build.  Saw it earlier over at the 8th AAF GB, and should have complimented you there.

    Nulla Rosa Sine Spina

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Posted by EBergerud on Sunday, October 30, 2011 8:32 PM

I'm not quibbling about there being "a" OD. The project I'm planning will use three or four shades of it. Just wanted to get a decent place to start. Zaloga claims the two pigments used were black and ochre. Of course, as noted before, that still leaves two decent variables. Anyway, I'm cooking up my own and I'm going to follow Archer, especially as it fits Dons Colors so closely, which is on the darker brownish end of the scale. If Zaloga is right, USGF employed the same OD that the Army AF never did switch to (going to natural finish instead) so another batch I've got (as well as Tamiya out of the bottle) is a little lighter and toward the olive end of things, although the difference is not dramatic. That will go to tanks. Archer did say that the few aircraft that were painted with the 1943 OD did look significantly lighter, especially the bombers - I'd guess that the OD that went over natural finish on 44 fighters was this shade (unless it was whatever was on hand in the UK, so I guess you could use RAF greens too.)

Good excuse for color mixing which I find fun - lot like finger painting.

Eric

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Posted by richs26 on Monday, October 31, 2011 1:04 AM

ANA 613 was based on the Corps of Engineers specification TAC ES-680 so it has a ground basis for armored vehicles use.  This from Dana Bell's AF Colors, vol. 2.  The AAF still didn't like it and still wanted to use OD 41 as late as November 1945 according to Mr. Bell.  The AF switched to NMF to save time on the assembly line, but switched back to painting camo with stocks of OD41, medium green and the RAF colors when the fighter and medium bomber groups moved over to the Continent in 1944.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

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Posted by EBergerud on Monday, October 31, 2011 3:02 PM

Another research project. That's very interesting data but I'm going to have to check Archer and others for confirmation. I can't remember seeing pictures of late war USAAF aircraft in proper camo after spring 44. They'd have glare panels and enough painted on for ID, but natural finish is still quite prominent and if the sun was out it would not take much natural finish to act like a flying mirror. An old prof of mine in undergrad days many years ago had done a stint with the LW in early 1945. (There were a lot of German emigres on campus back then, and not all from pre-1939.) He said it infuriated German pilots (especially rookies like him) that the Americans took no pain to hide themselves, but rather hung out a sign saying "fight us." The LW did, and as my prof put it, (he had less than 90 hours total in an aircraft and was flying what I'm sure was a Dora) "the Americans treated us like the children we were." An American fighter pilot told me exactly the same thing: shinny aircraft were an invitation to the dance. No doubt natural finish was an industrial decision and the pilots put a different spin on it. The military works that way. There was also a theoretical improvement in performance, but you could get almost the same result by simply waxing the plane the way the RAF did. In any case, if you know of any photos of US combat planes sporting full paint after mid-44 I'd like to see them. (Everything happened in war of course. I have a Tamiya P-47M which went to the ETO in early 45 to the "Wolf Pack" and the cover art gives it  a kind of very dark grey paint: almost British like Archer mentioned.)

Eric

Eric

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Posted by DoogsATX on Monday, October 31, 2011 3:19 PM

EBergerud

I can't remember seeing pictures of late war USAAF aircraft in proper camo after spring 44. 

Any P-51D in OD. If I have my dates right, the P-51B made its appearance in early '44 (late February/early March), with the earliest -D models reaching active duty in June and July. Most were NMF, but there are OD examples to be found. Bud Anderson's Old Crow, etc. The difficulty is finding color wartime pics and not resto-jobs.

Here's one I found of Passion Wagon - a lot of the 357th FG 'Stangs wore OD at least for some time:

Regarding the Wolf Pack's Jugs...their D-25s were finished in RAF colors (don't know if paint stocks got wonky, if they had more latitude given their # of kills, etc) - ocean gray and dark green up top.The -M models were either that black gray color, or blue and dark blue, but the exact shades and where they were sourced from remains the subject of controversy. 

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

On Deck:  1/350 HMS Dreadnought

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Posted by telsono on Monday, October 31, 2011 3:37 PM

In Tamiya's line of aircraft rattle cans is AS-9 Olive drab which looks alot like Doog's picture. But with filtering techniques you can shift the hue lighter or darker or introduce the other colors to it.

Mike T. 

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Posted by DoogsATX on Monday, October 31, 2011 4:02 PM

telsono

In Tamiya's line of aircraft rattle cans is AS-9 Olive drab which looks alot like Doog's picture. But with filtering techniques you can shift the hue lighter or darker or introduce the other colors to it.

Mike T. 

From the pictures I've seen, keeping in mind color shifts from period film, lighting, environmental weathering, etc, OD seemed to span a pretty broad spectrum, generally from brown to green. 

My general impression is that aircraft from late '42 (around the time of Operation Torch) through 1943 (let's say the adoption of the stars and bars insignia) seem to show a lighter and browner shade than what appears in 1944. Not at all scientific - just my impression from what images I've seen. And of course, the factory, production block, the guy (or gal, as likely) mixing the paint, how hard an aircraft was used, environmental conditions, etc, could produce innumerable minor color shifts.

I haven't done all that many OD aircraft yet - but if I were planning a range of them today, I'd probably start with three Tamiya colors - Olive Drab, Olive Green and Khaki Drab - and use them in various ratios to get the subtle color shifts, with more Khaki Drab for earlier aircraft and more Olive Green for later.

I actually used Olive Green on a P-51B I built last year - I think it's a bit too green, to be honest, but it looked a lot closer to the darker, greener OD you see on Mustangs than the straight Tamiya OD:

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

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Posted by EBergerud on Monday, October 31, 2011 4:16 PM

The plane above looks a bit like my witches' brew - it may be the old OD. I read a portion of the memo released on 3 Nov 43 removing camo from combat aircraft. It doesn't specifically say "no paint" it says camo is "not required" and specifically allowed theater commanders to make their own choice. I would assume, however, that once the word got to the factories that they ceased painting combat planes (minus nightfighters which I'd guess were field painted minus the Black Widow). Note too that the 51D above also has a grey that looks a lot like the 1940 spec: Archer notes it was a mixture of black/white with no blue. The 43 spec called for something with a definite bit of blue: RAF influence.

Doog: interesting stuff on Wolf Pack. I've got a 47 documentary in color (different than the famous "Thunderbolt" which I also have) and it shows one squadron that was like the Flying Circus - about every color you could think of (as long as it was OD, grey, natural, or some embellishment: nothing solid red.) What I was looking for, and still can't figure out, is whether "natural finish" would have been bright or more satin. I'd guess satin, but a few Jugs looked pretty shinny.

Eric

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Posted by DoogsATX on Monday, October 31, 2011 4:33 PM

EBergerud

Doog: interesting stuff on Wolf Pack. I've got a 47 documentary in color (different than the famous "Thunderbolt" which I also have) and it shows one squadron that was like the Flying Circus - about every color you could think of (as long as it was OD, grey, natural, or some embellishment: nothing solid red.) What I was looking for, and still can't figure out, is whether "natural finish" would have been bright or more satin. I'd guess satin, but a few Jugs looked pretty shinny.

Eric

Well, like all NMF aircraft, Jugs were skinned in Alclad (an Alcoa-developed surface coating that provided corrosion resistance to underlying alloys...duraluminum in the P-47's case). I imagine shine had a lot to do with the overall condition of the aircraft. A dirty aircraft under very harsh environmental conditions is going to be a lot flatter than one that's babied on a posh RAF airfield and waxed to coax out that extra 10mph top speed. I imagine you'd probably even seen variations on the same aircraft depending on what it had been up to. 

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

On Deck:  1/350 HMS Dreadnought

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Posted by stikpusher on Monday, October 31, 2011 5:52 PM

DoogsATX

 EBergerud:

Doog: interesting stuff on Wolf Pack. I've got a 47 documentary in color (different than the famous "Thunderbolt" which I also have) and it shows one squadron that was like the Flying Circus - about every color you could think of (as long as it was OD, grey, natural, or some embellishment: nothing solid red.) What I was looking for, and still can't figure out, is whether "natural finish" would have been bright or more satin. I'd guess satin, but a few Jugs looked pretty shinny.

Eric

 

Well, like all NMF aircraft, Jugs were skinned in Alclad (an Alcoa-developed surface coating that provided corrosion resistance to underlying alloys...duraluminum in the P-47's case). I imagine shine had a lot to do with the overall condition of the aircraft. A dirty aircraft under very harsh environmental conditions is going to be a lot flatter than one that's babied on a posh RAF airfield and waxed to coax out that extra 10mph top speed. I imagine you'd probably even seen variations on the same aircraft depending on what it had been up to. 

Here is another area one has to do a bit of research in. Aircraft with laminar flow wings, specifically the P-51, used paint to seal the panel lines and rivets to achieve smoother airflow over the wing surfaces. With the switch to NMF in 1944, the wings were finished in aluminum lacquer,and were not Alclad, or bare metal of any sort.

Anyways here are few different ODs I have used on 1/48 builds...

Pactra Dark Olive Drab... long OOP but a good very dark OD with a brownish hue

Gunze Aqueous H52 USAAF OD, much lighter, but gives a good brownish hue in a lighter shade as well

Testors MM Green Drab 34086 base oversprayed with MM Faded OD

Testors Acryl MM OD 319

Tamiya OD

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

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Posted by richs26 on Monday, October 31, 2011 9:19 PM

[quote user="EBergerud"]

Another research project. That's very interesting data but I'm going to have to check Archer and others for confirmation. I can't remember seeing pictures of late war USAAF aircraft in proper camo after spring 44. They'd have glare panels and enough painted on for ID, but natural finish is still quite prominent and if the sun was out it would not take much natural finish to act like a flying mirror. An old prof of mine in undergrad days many years ago had done a stint with the LW in early 1945. (There were a lot of German emigres on campus back then, and not all from pre-1939.) He said it infuriated German pilots (especially rookies like him) that the Americans took no pain to hide themselves, but rather hung out a sign saying "fight us." The LW did, and as my prof put it, (he had less than 90 hours total in an aircraft and was flying what I'm sure was a Dora) "the Americans treated us like the children we were." An American fighter pilot told me exactly the same thing: shinny aircraft were an invitation to the dance. No doubt natural finish was an industrial decision and the pilots put a different spin on it. The military works that way. There was also a theoretical improvement in performance, but you could get almost the same result by simply waxing the plane the way the RAF did. In any case, if you know of any photos of US combat planes sporting full paint after mid-44 I'd like to see them. (Everything happened in war of course. I have a Tamiya P-47M which went to the ETO in early 45 to the "Wolf Pack" and the cover art gives it  a kind of very dark grey paint: almost British like Archer mentioned.)

Check out the back cover of AF Colors, vol. 2, as it has a color photo of a B-25J with NMF bottom and OD topsides.  Inside there are photos of B-26's and 25's with camo topsides and nmf bottoms showing that they had been repainted for camo purposes being in a forward location in France, Belgium, and Italy within reach of German aircraft, such as with Operation Bodenplatte.  Also check B-26 In Action for more camo'd B-26's.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

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Posted by stikpusher on Monday, October 31, 2011 11:01 PM

In the PTO and CBI, OD was applied to new medium and light bombers such as B-25s and A-20s all the way thru to the end of the war.

 

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Posted by bondoman on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 12:01 AM

Good thought Stik. but the C-46s in CBI definitely were NM after about late 43. I'm thinking that the medium bombers were not shot down so much in that theater and were older versions. New transport stuff in CATS were all metal.

 

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Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 12:39 AM

Interesting on the C-46s in CBI being NMF. Those were not introduced to ETO IX Troop Carrier Command, until  Spring 1945, long after the factory switch and those ones were in OD over NG. Photos of the Varsity Rhine Drop have ample evidence of this. I think loss rates of C-46s in CBI were higher just due to the overall nature of the mission there. Not strictly Japanese fighters. The Hump airlift was very costly in men and machines just from conditions alone. Throw in the occasional roving Oscar or Tojo and it gets higher. Regarding the B-25s there, the later models such as the H and J were introduced into service there in OD/NG after the NMF switch. I would presume it being to hose falling under different commands. The B-25s falling under tactical commanders of 10th or 14th AF and the C-46s belonging to Air Transport Command. Different command staffs, different mindsets. According to Mr Bells Air Force Colors books, the final decision to camo or not was up to the local command.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

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Posted by DoogsATX on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 12:48 AM

stikpusher

 

 DoogsATX:

 

 

 EBergerud:

Doog: interesting stuff on Wolf Pack. I've got a 47 documentary in color (different than the famous "Thunderbolt" which I also have) and it shows one squadron that was like the Flying Circus - about every color you could think of (as long as it was OD, grey, natural, or some embellishment: nothing solid red.) What I was looking for, and still can't figure out, is whether "natural finish" would have been bright or more satin. I'd guess satin, but a few Jugs looked pretty shinny.

Eric

 

 

Well, like all NMF aircraft, Jugs were skinned in Alclad (an Alcoa-developed surface coating that provided corrosion resistance to underlying alloys...duraluminum in the P-47's case). I imagine shine had a lot to do with the overall condition of the aircraft. A dirty aircraft under very harsh environmental conditions is going to be a lot flatter than one that's babied on a posh RAF airfield and waxed to coax out that extra 10mph top speed. I imagine you'd probably even seen variations on the same aircraft depending on what it had been up to. 

 

 

Here is another area one has to do a bit of research in. Aircraft with laminar flow wings, specifically the P-51, used paint to seal the panel lines and rivets to achieve smoother airflow over the wing surfaces. With the switch to NMF in 1944, the wings were finished in aluminum lacquer,and were not Alclad, or bare metal of any sort.

Very true, but I believe the P-51 was unique as the only aircraft with a laminar wing to go bare metal and thus need the aluminum lacquer to seal the filled seamwork. The only other aircraft that spring to mind are the Hawker Tempest and some fiddling with the late-mark Spitfires, neither of which is exactly known for going without their ocean gray/dark green camo.

For P-51 wings, on my recent go-round I used Alclad semi-matte for the wings, with airframe aluminum/aluminum/duraluminum/magnesium on the fuselage. I think next time I may take Tamiya AS-12 for a spin with the wings to provide some better visual distance.

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

On Deck:  1/350 HMS Dreadnought

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Posted by bondoman on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 1:01 AM

Stikpusher:

Right, I'll read up on the ATC a little more tomorrow vis it's deliveries..

Because it was a pressurized cabin, the aircraft could exceed the physical limitations of it's crew.

Losses to opposition fighters in CBI were minimal; operational stress was the obstacle.

It had twice the load capacity of a C-47 and could safely fly at 25,000 feet for a total range of 3,000 miles.

Always overloaded in CBI. The weather was unpredictable over the Himalayas without weather ships operating in the flight path.

I really like the C-54 but the double bubble Curtiss has to take the honors of best trooper.

BTW they were a big part of the Foreign Legion's drop into Dien Bien Phu, along with the C-119. They were true heroes in my opinion, because they knew they would be captured or killed.

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 1:10 AM

The RAF did switch to a silver finish on Spits and Tempests, but that was post War.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

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  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 1:21 AM

Funny thing, but NMF has not been the way to go now for a very long time. Obviously in this age of composites, it's not an issue.

By Vietnam the USAF had camo back in place after what 1967?

Israel had their earlier birds in NMF in 1967 but the standard was blue on brown.

Jordan had an order of F-104s that were diverted to Turkey in summer 1967 by order of the US State Department until Fall, and they were NMF.

Taken in Amman 2010

  • Member since
    February, 2010
  • From: Berkeley CA/St. Paul MN
Posted by EBergerud on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 1:57 AM

Pointless research is one of the benefits of a hobby. As luck would have it, I did all of my writing on the PTO so I don't have anything on the B-26. (There was a squadron out there very early - painted silver.) But it's nice to see that local commanders were allowed to give modelers some neat things to look at. NMF was covered partially with lord knows what. (I found a B-25 in Italy painted 2/3ds Olive Green over NMF - one sweet looking bird - almost Japanese. I bought some vaunted Hawkeye acrylic: thinking of using it on a George or Oscar.) As noted above, I found a late 44 Wolfpack razorback that is very dark and no what theater markings on the cowl. (Maybe from those ugly days during Market Garden which proved, if proof was needed, that ground attack was a good way to end up dead even for very good pilots.) From the sounds of it, several Wolf Pack buble tops had RAF inspired schemes. I even saw one with a "Malcom Hood." A Brit camo bubbletop would be very cool. And the Osprey book has a picture of a horde of 51Ds getting their primer in the factor in prep for presumably something silver. And a late war Navy B-25 (forget what they called it) on a CV deck painted in tri-color navy camo in late 44. And some P51-B variation (looks like it was maybe a two seater: guess that was sometimes done in the field) that is solid red, just when I said there were no red fighters. Serves me right. I don't have a P-51 in my stash - figure. I do, however, have a RAF P-51 MKII: those have some fine schemes.  Actually, if one did up the detail right, doing late war US fighters could be a real exercise in advanced model painting. Imagine doing one of those checkerboards. (Still can't find confirmation of Archer's claim that  invasion stripes were often field applied RAF Very Dark Sea Grey - that that would look neat too.)

Thanks much for all of the info. It's lead to some great ideas for future projects beyond the field of Olive Drab.

Eric

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 2:00 AM

Actually, the USAF did not go to Vietnam in NMF. At least on the Century Series. In the early 60s, those TAC aircraft previously in NMF were painted in Aluminum Lacquer for corrosion control purposes. But the SEA Camo started appearing in late 1965 and was pretty much standard across those USAF aircraft tasked with dropping bombs or shooting missiles/guns in theater by late 1966. Israel camoed their NMF planes shortly after the 6 Day War in 1967 and the new three color (Sand/Brown/Light Green) camo was standard when the "War of Attrition" broke out a few months later.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 10:58 AM

Pointless research is one of the benefits of a hobby. As luck would have it, I did all of my writing on the PTO so I don't have anything on the B-26. (There was a squadron out there very early - painted silver.)

Actually the 22nd BG had original B-26's painted in OD41.  They were among the first to reach Australia in 1942.  Two aircraft from the 22nd were held back at Hawaii with two from the 38th RG where they trained as torpedo bombers and used at Midway.  They fought till 1943 when they were reorganized.  There were only enough B-26's left in good enough shape to equip one squadron with the other squadrons receiving B-25's.  They were stripped down to NMF and were called the "Silver Fleet" with their own special insignia on the tail.  These lasted til 1944 when they were replaced with B-24's.  A good book to read on the 22nd is Martin Caidin's "Ragged Rugged Warriors" .

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

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