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bobmig

More Stearman Stuff...

6 posts in this topic

I thought I'd post a few photos of some of the Stearmans that are on our new sheet which you may find interesting.

This one is a rare colour photo of a PT-17 in the early Blue #23 and Yellow #4 scheme. The code BP indicates that it is being used by No. 4 British Flight Training School, which was in Mesa, Arizona.

BP30.jpg

This next one is, unfortunately, in black & white, but it does show what must be a unique scheme for the Stearman. Taken in Kungming, China in 1943, it is believed to be finished in overall Dark Green with Dark Earth blotches - the colours used on the P-40s based there. Interestingly there are no blotches on the lower left wing. Perhaps they just haven't gotten around to it yet, or maybe it has been replaced or refinished. In this photo the rudder is also removed.

Kunming.jpg

Finally, a poor quality but interesting colour photo of a group of BCATP Stearmans in their RCAF markings.

RCAF%20Stearman.jpg

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On 4.04.2016 at 4:30 AM, bobmig said:

This next one is, unfortunately, in black & white, but it does show what must be a unique scheme for the Stearman. Taken in Kungming, China in 1943, it is believed to be finished in overall Dark Green with Dark Earth blotches - the colours used on the P-40s based there. Interestingly there are no blotches on the lower left wing. Perhaps they just haven't gotten around to it yet, or maybe it has been replaced or refinished. In this photo the rudder is also removed.

The national insignia (star-at least that one on top wing) have some outline circle - is it yellow? Light blue? In the decal it is aluminium (?) - completly odd, isn't?Stearman-2.jpg

I have some doubts about the Dark Earth/Dark Green (US produced) here. Maybe it is yellow, remaining from original US yellow wing/blue fuselage pattern? And maybe - it is olive drab and the green is in fact Chineese green - since it is also overpainted on the bottoms of wings in a Chineese style?  The shapes on the right wing (especially those) looks the this light colour was the original colour and the dark one  is oversprayed on this, moreover it was done before national isignia was painted, and finally the bars to stars were added - look at the completly not typical resulting position of insignia on the top wing, which is exactly the location of bar-less insignia in case of Stearmans. On the other hand, the there is no traces of overpainted star on right side of top wind.... Anobody knows any testimony or any other argument why it is supposed to be in US-produced British colours? Were they available at the site? This is a very interesting Stearman to model it!

Here are two more photos of the same machine:

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/pt-17.html?blackwhite=1

Look that on wheel legs it has also some two-colour structers...

And here is interesting (a bit war-propaganda of course)  article with photos of US Stearmans in Arizona used for training Chineese pilots

http://www.cbi-theater.com/life050442/life050442.html

Cheers

J-W

 

 

Edited by JWM
correction of mistake

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1 hour ago, JWM said:

 

The national insignia (star-at least that one on top wing) have some outline circle - is it yellow? Light blue? In the decal it is aluminium (?) - completly odd, isn't?

It's not odd at all. While the USAAF trainer scheme started out as blue fuselage with yellow wings, around mid 1942 it was changed to overall aluminum (either natural metal or painted, as applicable). The insignia was still the star-in-a-circle format. When camouflage or other colours are applied to an aluminum aircraft it's quite common to leave a thin aluminum border around the insignia. This is often seen even today when e.g. arctic red or high-viz day-glo areas have been applied to aircraft surfaces. So, the outline to the insignia blue disc is an outline of the original aluminum finish. Later, when the insignia bars were promulgated, they were applied on top of the existing finish right up to the blue disc. No additional blue outlines were added. A misinterpretation of the markings orders? Perhaps... this was not uncommon. 

 

I interpreted the colours as dark green/dark earth camouflage colours based on the appearance of various black & white photos plus some common sense deduction of what the colours could and could not be. For example, while the pattern may be reminiscent of weathered Medium Green 42 on Olive Drab, there's just way too much contrast. Now, whether it was actual duPont paint that was used, RAF stocks, Chinese green (not even sure what that specs as!), or something acquired from a local general store, I believe the object was to emulate the colours of the resident fighter aircraft at the base. The lighter colour would not be the original overall trainer finish. The only finishes the USAAF trainers appeared in were the blue/yellow scheme, and overall aluminum. If it were yellow, the outline to the wing insignia would have been left yellow, but it's a noticeably lighter colour. (And a green aircraft with yellow splotches seems to defeat the purpose of camouflaging it!)  Incidentally, here's a colour photo of a camouflaged Stearman at Kunming. Unfortunately we can't see much of it. It may or may not be the same aircraft. If so, it must have been taken before the white bars were added, as on the wing upper surface it runs right to the tip, and would be visible.

Bob

Kunming colour.jpg

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If the Stearman in China is in 1943 could the outline be the shortlived red outline?  Certainly the outline on the fuselage doesn't look much like aluminium.  I'm pretty sure the photo of BP30 is colorised - badly too, half a strut and the surrounding mountains are blue #23 as well!!

The yellow wing decals selection look nice though...

Cheers 

Will

Edited by malpaso
Typo and making post more positive
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1 hour ago, malpaso said:

If the Stearman in China is in 1943 could the outline be the shortlived red outline?  Certainly the outline on the fuselage doesn't look much like aluminium.  I'm pretty sure the photo of BP30 is colorised - badly too, half a strut and the surrounding mountains are blue #23 as well!!

The yellow wing decals selection look nice though...

Cheers 

Will

Hi, Will!

I don't think it's a red outline because the insignia red should appear darker. Also, when the red surround came into effect it was as part of the star & bar format. So there would be no need to add the un-outlined white bar, as the bar would already be there, outlined in red. I considered that the photo of BP-30 might be colourized. However, it's credited to the city of Mesa, Arizona, and I can't see them colourizing photographs in their official archive. Even if it were colourized, the fuselage is still too light to be "True Blue".

Bob

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