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MeneMene

G4M1 Betty, 4th Kokutai. Two pictures, different weathering, same tailcode, same aircraft?

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Posted (edited)

I'm looking into recreating G4M1 "F-319" of the 4th Kokutai. I have found two pictures:

 

G4M_Betty__side_inflight_full.jpg

 

First image. Some chipping has started to develop around the tail, maybe some around the engine nacelles, otherwise not much weathering going on. I've seen captions in a few places saying that this aircraft was one of the ones involved in the disastrous Feb 20, 1942 attack on the Lexington, ending with 15 out of 16 aircraft shot down, which based on the subsequent second picture and information, suggests that it was the only one from the unit that survived.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_G4M#/media/File:Mitsubishi_G4M_Betty.jpg

 

Second image. Much lower resolution, but you can clearly see the aircraft is much more beat up. The chipping now involves the full height of the stabilizer, with a lot more on the fuselage, engines, etc. The only caption I've been able to find for this aircraft is that it's from the 801 Air Group, which doesn't make much sense as that was a seaplane squadron and its wiki page doesn't mention any G4M usage.

 

If the tail-codes match, should I just assume that this in fact the same aircraft with a very charmed life at different stages of wear and tear? The second image has yellow wing recognition stripes, can't tell on the first. If it is the same aircraft, I guess I need to choose if I want to recreate the earlier example with less weathering and a torpedo for the Feb 1942 operations, or the more weathered and beat-up later incarnation with bombs for operations around Guadalcanal.

 

Any more information would be appreciated.

Edited by MeneMene

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Can't see the images. Get a message about insufficient permission.

 

/Finn

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Me either (cant see). But your hypothesis sounds reasonable. The same machine can be worn in different stage with time, obviously...

Regards

J-W

 

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There aren't a huge number of in-flight photos of G4M.  I suspect these two photos were taken on the same flight and one has been touched-up.  Otherwise it's an astonishing coincidence.

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1 minute ago, Graham Boak said:

There aren't a huge number of in-flight photos of G4M.  I suspect these two photos were taken on the same flight and one has been touched-up.  Otherwise it's an astonishing coincidence.

 

I agree. It just seemed like such an unlikely coincidence that it would be more likely for a replacement aircraft to be given the old tail code, hence why I'm checking if it's the same aircraft.

 

So if the pictures have been touched up, which one should I emulate? I'm aiming for a late summer 1942 Rabaul aircraft, over Guadalcanal, and the Osprey "Betty Units of WW2" book captions the first, black and white photograph as in that time frame. The second image has been colorized- you think whoever did that also added the paint chipping and yellow wing ID stripes?

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It's much the same level of coincidence of they are the same airframe or just the same code. 

 

To my mind some modellers place too much emphasis placed on paint chipping and weathering on early Japanese aircraft.  The Japanese started the war with well-painted aircraft using quality paints, and significant areas of missing paint just aren't seen.  It is only in 1944/45 that shortages of materials led to the absence of primer and  loss of paint over large areas.  So for a late-1942 aircraft I'd minimise the wear and tear rather go over the top.  Scruffy, yes.

 

I don't know about the leading edge stripes without looking up references, so I won't guess.  However there are some excellent books out now on the Japanese side of the war, so there may be better sources than just the one Osprey title.

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I think that colourisers see themselves as artists so a bit of extra paint chipping, a bit of brightening and darkening and a few attractive stripey bits are all in a day's work for them. Personally I wouldn't even bother looking at the second picture. Note this is my opinion, not a fact, factoid or fake fact!

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To me that second pic looks colourised - could be wrong. But I suspect that both pics were taken on the same day/flight.

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'Fraid I disagree.  I think they're different aircraft.  In the monochrome image, the gaps between the F, the dash and the 3 are much smaller than is the case on the colour (colourized?) image. 

 

That said, it's entirely possible that the person who colourized the second image also did some digital imagery jiggery-pokery (and, yes, that's a technical term!) to mess with the numbers so that it looks like a different airframe.  Why would they do that?  Who knows...but I'm rather psychopathically opposed to trusting colourized imagery or, indeed, any image for which an accurate provenance cannot be identified. 

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On 16/4/2018 at 04:02, MeneMene said:

I'm looking into recreating G4M1 "F-319" of the 4th Kokutai. I have found two pictures:

 

G4M_Betty__side_inflight_full.jpg

 

300px-Mitsubishi_G4M_Betty.jpg

 

On 16/4/2018 at 04:02, MeneMene said:

Second image. Much lower resolution, but you can clearly see the aircraft is much more beat up. The chipping now involves the full height of the stabilizer, with a lot more on the fuselage, engines, etc.

 

colorised, and the change in position of flight,  so the illumination has changed  giving the appearance of more wear, not helped by image size and treatment. same plane, moment later.

 

google image 'mitsubishi g4m1' turn up this uncropped shot

g4m1.jpg

 

 

 

I'd not trust captions on the net too much,   @Nick Millman  would be a good chap for this,    or j-aircraft

 

PS

 

On 16/4/2018 at 04:02, MeneMene said:

The only caption I've been able to find for this aircraft is that it's from the 801 Air Group, which doesn't make much sense as that was a seaplane squadron and its wiki page doesn't mention any G4M usage.

 

http://www.warbirds.jp/senri/19english/izoku/18/izoku18.htm

Quote

My Mother

Last Poem of Wataru Okunaka

Mr. Wataru Okunaka was from Imazu Town in Shimoge-gun, Oita Prefecture. In August 1943, he left Nakatsu Middle School and entered the Flight Reserve Enlisted Training Class at Kagoshima Air Base. As a flight trainee he specialized in reconnaissance at Ooi Air Base. The operational unit to which he belonged 801st Air Group, 703rd Reconnaissance Flight Corps.

f-3.jpg

On April 21, 1945, he sortied from Kanoya Air Base as radar man on a Type 1 attack bomber. While searching for the enemy, he died in battle with an enemy night fighter. He was 17 years of age at death.

if you look at the above, the photo is just being used to depict a G4M,  it's not meant to the exact G4M 'F-319'

 

here

https://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=13952

 

Quote

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
6 Oct 2011 12:14:41 PM

Mitsubishi G4M1, Model 11 "Betty" F-319 operated with the 1st Chutai, 4th Kokutai from Rabual, New Britain. This aircraft and fifteen others attacked the US Carrier CV-2, USS Lexington, on February 20, 1942 losing fifteen aircraft.

 

 

 

Edited by Troy Smith
additions

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Could be the same aircraft at a different time. Without knowing the provenance of the photographs, who knows?

 

Off topic, but my wife and I attended the same university. We weren't in the same year, didn't read the same subject and we weren't members of the same college. 13 years later, when looking back at old photos I found one of me and my mates on a night out- my future wife is clearly pictured chatting to her friends in the background of the shot...

 

(By the way, no, her name is not Betty...)

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