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Luftwaffe interior colors

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  • Member since
    June 2011
Luftwaffe interior colors
Posted by high and the mighty on Sunday, September 21, 2014 9:24 AM

Much has been published about the interior colors of Luftwaffe aircraft in WWII--largely dark gray--though I have read here and there about certain parts of the interior--fuselage past the cockpit, double flaps, landing gear cover doors--having been painted with a sealer over bare metal that makes the surface appear like the inside of a tin can.  I found that transparent yellow achieves this very well.  But what parts really were painted this way?  One authoritative source says it would only have been the fuselage behind the cockpit (which would be dark gray).  Can anyone pin this down for me?  Hate to waste a nice bottle of transparent yellow!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, September 21, 2014 9:57 AM

This is the first time I have heard this. While cockpits after Nov 1941 were painted RLM 66 (before this they were supposed to be RLM 02 but there is evidence that 66 was used earlier) all other areas, to the best of my knowledge, were painted RLM 02.

But I will be interested to see what others think.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Harrier GR.3/Fujimi 1/72nd Ju 87D-3

  • Member since
    June 2011
Posted by high and the mighty on Sunday, September 21, 2014 10:14 AM

Here's one very good source I put credence in:

Luftwaffe Interior Colors

by Doug Nelson

PART 1-- COCKPITS

Reichsluftministrium regulations state that prior to November 1941, cockpits/crew areas were to be RLM Green-Gray 02, with the exception of instrument panels which were Gray with black instrument faces.

After November 1941, all cockpit/crew areas visible through the glazing (windows) were to be RLM Black-Gray 66. Instrument panels remained as previously stated. Fuel lines were yellow, oil lines were brown, coolant lines were green, oxygen lines were blue and fire extinguisher lines were red. However, as with any military regulation, variations of implementation and interpretation were often seen. The following is a general guide of specific aircraft by type.

PART 2 -- WHEEL WELLS, ENGINE COMPARTMENTS, ETC...

Regulations for these interior areas were standardized, and not a lot of variation existed, except for late war fighter aircraft. This variance in the latter stage of the war was caused by a number of factors. One was due to the allied strategic bombing campaign, which caused production of aircraft to be decentralized, leading to differences depending on the subcontractor of the specific components. Another was the urgent need for fighters, and the haste with which they were produced, which caused some relaxation of compliance with official regulations in order to speed up

production. Another consideration was the remanufacturing of aircraft, in which case whole assemblies were repainted at the same time. Where variations are documented, they will appear listing the type of aircraft they were seen on. As always, this is a general guide, and your best verification will be your own reference material.

Fuselage

Prior to fall 1942, aircraft fuselage areas (with the exception of the cockpit) were finished in RLM 02. After fall 1942, they were left unpainted. The Alcad used for aircraft skinning material had electroplated finish to prevent corrosion, which gave it a golden sheen, similar to that on the interior of soup cans. Aluminum and other alloy areas were still given a coat of RLM 02 to prevent corrosion. However, galvanized steel was left unpainted. Equipment such as radios, fuel tanks, oxygen bottles, etc. were in the color applied by the manufacturer. Radios were usually black or gray. Fuel tanks were usually black or gray. Oxygen bottles were usually overall blue, or painted with blue stripping.

Wing

As with the fuselage, prior to fall 1942, wing areas were finished in RLM 02. After fall 1942, with the exception of the wheel wells and flap areas, they were left unpainted. . Gun bay areas generally retained their RLM 02 paint. They exhibited the golden color of the Alcad skinning material. Aluminum and other alloy areas were still given a coat of RLM 02 to prevent corrosion. However, galvanized steel was left unpainted. Equipment such as guns, fuel tanks, oxygen bottles, etc. were in the color applied by the manufacturer. Guns were usually black or gray. Fuel tanks were usually black or gray. Oxygen bottles were usually overall blue, or painted with blue stripping.

Exceptions

Repaired areas were usually painted with whatever paint stocks were available, or left unpainted. Gun bays on late war aircraft were sometimes seen in natural metal.

Flap Areas

For aircraft with split or Fowler type flaps, the flap `well' and interior of the flap was painted with RLM 02. This is also true of the radiator flap and cowl flap areas.

Exceptions:

Bf-109B/C/D/E's usually had the underwing radiator area painted the same color as the fuselage underside. Some late war Fw-190's exhibited natural metal flap areas.

Wheel wells:

Now for the area you�ve been waiting for. Few regulations specific to the wheel well area exist, company and factories instructions usually deciding the matter. In keeping with standard practices as identified above, wheel wells and components should have been RLM 02. This includes tailwheel and nose wheel areas. Main gear and nosewheel struts were painted RLM 02, with the exception of the polished steel oleo area. Shock absorbers were a very dark gray, again with the exception of the polished steel telescopic sections. Cast and stamped wheel hubs were painted in semi-gloss black. Tailwheel hubs were usually unpainted (dark gray), or painted the underside color.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, September 21, 2014 7:23 PM

Your last post seems pretty accurate, except it leaves out areas made of wood, such as flaps on late Dora's, and wood wing tips and tails on 109s.

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2011
Posted by high and the mighty on Sunday, September 21, 2014 7:31 PM

So what about the transparent yellow coating?

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, September 21, 2014 10:44 PM

Never heard of it before or seen it in pictures. All I can think of is that it was misconstrued as the way aluminum panels can sometimes look.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Monday, September 22, 2014 6:12 PM

Interesting thread..thank you

Joe

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Piscataway, NJ!
Posted by wing_nut on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 7:20 AM

By no means being an expert on this subject... If I recall correctly some years back when I built an Me-262, there was some info I saw regarding the coating to which you are referring.  My understanding was that this was only on interior surfaces that were not readily seen.  Like if you yanked out the seat and bulkhead of a fighter and looked down the hollow fuselage toward the tail wheel.  I want to say of all the German fighters I've built the only one that it was appropriate to use on was that 262.

Marc  

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 11:23 AM

For the guns, the German equivalent of Parkerizing was called phosphate and the shades ranged from silver, grey and green and was usually found on late war weapons. Otherwise the standard finish was blued. I have several German WWII K98K's all having blued finishes except a late war Gustloff BCD 44 in silver/grey green phosphate finish. It really looks very unique.

By near the end of the war shortcuts were taken and even some exterior panels were left in NMF as seen in some late Bf109's.

I'm certain more info keeps surfacing and we keep learning more about the subject.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

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