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Dana Bell

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About Dana Bell

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  1. Dana Bell

    Mosquito markings

    Matave, You're in Sweden - may I guess that this aircraft is also in Sweden? If so, I suspect we're looking at the 25th Bomb Group Mosquito that landed there in April 1945. Again, if this is so, the unit histories and known photo will not be of much help with the mission marking colors - and I've been looking at that unit since the early 1970s. I suspect you'll have to work with your own best estimate. Cheers, Dana
  2. Hi Dana,

    I have found two gif files on http://www.p40warhawk.com/Models/Technical/Technical.htm that show camo and paint schemes for export P-40 / H81-A2. These are super low resolution and unreadable. Do you know where I could obtain better copies?

    http://www.p40warhawk.com/Models/Technical/Paint diogram 01.GIF

    http://www.p40warhawk.com/Models/Technical/Paint diogram 02.GIF

    Thanks, Nobby

    1. Dana Bell

      Dana Bell

      Hi Nobby,


      I have the drawings, but can't get to them this week.  Drop me a line at danabell@earthlink.net and I'll try to scan them for you next week...






    2. Nobby Clarke

      Nobby Clarke

      Many thanks

  3. Hi again, BS_w, What you're saying makes sense, but that's not how Haze Paint worked. I've been collecting on the Haze Paint story since the mid-1970s, and while the undercoat isn't explained well by the drawing, it was very clearly explained in the instructions from the designer, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lockheed, and Wright Field. (I recently discovered some US Navy records on the scheme, and the black base coat was noted there too. The report came with sample strips of Cabot Haze, but the paint had long since worn away.) Without the black undercoat, the paint just didn't turn blue. Even when Lockheed began developing Synthetic Haze, they argued that the black base coat would have reflected better had it started as a deep blue. Clearly, when painting a model, you'll have a better effect if you paint the bottom white, but Haze just didn't work the way our model paints work. Cheers, Dana
  4. Hi BS-w, Yes, that's one confusing drawing. The white is included in the key only for use in the national insignia. The underside base coat was black, with a heavy application of Haze as a finish coat. The idea was that most of the spectrum would pass through the Haze to be "absorbed" by the black undercoat; the Haze would then reflect in the blue range. A white undercoat wouldn't have "absorbed" much of the spectrum, which is why black was standardized. When you see F-4s and early F-5s with scrapes through the Haze coat, the undercoat is universally dark. Cheers, Dana
  5. Morning, All! Here's a bit of clarification on the Haze Paints. The original Cabot Haze was applied over a totally black base coat. The heavier applications of Haze to undersides resulted in a very light blue, while the lighter applications on top gave a much darker blue. The vertical surfaces in between were graded from light applications down to dark. Since accurate applications were nearly impossible to measure, there was a great deal of variation the the appearance of these aircraft, and as the slipstream and maintenance crews wore away layers of paint, the entire aircraft began to darken (particularly noticeable on leading edges). The scheme was also very difficult to to retouch. Two other paint companies provided their own versions of Haze. Cabot took exception to the violation of his invention, but just as everything came to a legal head, the iridescence problem was discovered - at altitude the finish began to glow. During F-5A production, Lockheed developed a two-color lacquer scheme that became known as Synthetic Haze Paint - a deep blue was applied overall, with a much lighter blue on undersides, in shadow areas, and graded up vertical surfaces. In the color shots of 267332 above, you can see the countershading on the boom beneath the wing - a clear indication of Synthetic Haze. Higher resolution copies of that photo also show the more subtle countershading on the vertical surfaces. (Note that Xtracolor X160 probably needs a second color to make the scheme work - Synthetic Haze certainly wasn't monochromatic.) As with the original Haze Paints, the lighter shade wore away with time - rubbed against by crews or the slipstream. The AAF debated the value of Synthetic Haze, eventually eliminating it from the mod centers that built F-5Cs and Es. However, the Director of Photography was convinced that the paint helped protect his crews, and it was often applied in the field. Some units simply used a firm demarcation between the two blues - like a blue version of OD over Neutral Gray. B&W and color photos can be hard to interpret - especially since many aircraft were instead painted with British paints. If you can recognize two shades on your F-5E, you've got Synthetic Haze. If you see only one shade, you're probably looking at one of the British colors. (A number of decal sheets have been released with incorrectly identified schemes - the decals are still good, but you may want to re-evaluate your base scheme.) Best of luck with the model! Cheers, Dana
  6. Sorry Grey, I've never found a record of the primers used for UK-bound Wildcats. I would expect that to coats of zinc chromate would be standard, but I don't know. On other aircraft the British Purchasing Commission seemed more concerned about corrosion than the Americans were, so I'd guess Light Gray. The FAA museum is restoring an early Martlet - there might be some evidence there. But pre-1942 aircraft often used different standards than post-1941 aircraft, so I couldn't guarantee that a later aircraft would use the same interior colors. Cheers, Dana
  7. Hi Gents, The oft-cited "Grumman Gray" was nothing more than leftover Light Gray camouflage lacquer used as a finish coat. When used on the interior, it was generally applied over two coats of primer - the first yellow and the second green. It was only used on the exterior as part of the camouflage - the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme or the later Dark Blue over Light Gray scheme. Cheers, Dana
  8. Hi Obermartin, Doublecheck your photos before adding those white backgrounds - in nearly every case the US just masked around the national insignia before applying the arctic or conspicuity markings; when the masks were removed, the original background color remained - usually aluminum. During the ten years or so that fluorescent paint was applied, a coat of white went down between the primer and the day-glow, but again the markings were masked before the primer and white undercoat were applied. You've got the same problem, and this didn't solve it, but you might want to rethink the white border. Cheers, Dana
  9. Thanks for the kind words, though I still consider Jim Sullivan to be Mr Corsair! I've had a blast researching the -1 family, and still hope to spend some time on the -4s. If nothing else, it's always nice to find the answers to questions I didn't know I should be asking - and sometimes those answers end up being useful here. The Blue Gray/Light Gray book is still on hold, but I'm finishing up a catalog of trans-Atlantic flights that predated WW2 (MMP) and getting ready to put the wraps on my USN interwar battleships, cruisers, and their aircraft opus. We'll have to see what comes after that, but there are a number of other titles Mushroom will want to take next. Good luck with the model! Cheers, Dana
  10. It's complicated... We're basically dealing with 310 aircraft. The first 10 fitted with the twin pylons were 2815 (BuNo 50350) thru 2824 (BuNo 50359) delivered in British camouflage as JT555 thru JT564. It does not appear they were designated as F4U-1Ds in USN registers, though they might have been. Then came 300 aircraft equipped with twin bomb-carrying pylons, with fuel capabilities on the right pylon only. Their company serials/BuNos ran 2825/50360 thru 3124/50659. They also were delivered with two bomb-carrying pylons, with fuel plumbing on the right pylon only, and most wore four-tone USN camouflage. The Kiwis received 42 of these aircraft. The FAA also received 35 of these aircraft (JT600 thru JT634) in British camouflage. Aircraft beginning with numbers 3125/57084 were delivered with plumbing on both pylons and Glossy Sea Blue camouflage. They were the first to be designated F4U-1Ds, so at that time one could say that all F4U-1Ds were delivered in GSB camouflage. However, a couple of months later the Navy decided to apply the new designation to the previous 300 aircraft; the Navy also decided to retrofit plumbing to the left pylon. Because of that revision, we can now accept that 265 of the first 300 F4U-1Ds were delivered in four-tone camouflage (with the 35 previously mentioned in Brit colors). As for the canopy, the "bubble" canopy (as it was described in Bureau of Aeronautics documents) was not a distinguishing feature of the -1D. The first 300 certainly were delivered with the 3-piece canopy glazing. The bubble was tested on 3649/57608, which suggests (but doesn't prove) that the first 825 F4U-1Ds used the three-piece canopy. The earliest identified photo I've found of a production aircraft with the one-piece canopy was 3920/57879, some 271 airframes later - though I'm sure earlier aircraft had the revised canopy. I've never found the engineering change proposal that confirms when the new canopy first appeared on the production line, but (as mentioned above) the new hood could easily be mounted on earlier aircraft. I've seen only a handful of F4U-1Ds in four-tone camouflage in combat theaters, but a handful is enough if you find good markings. After all that, I've no idea if the decals will work, proving my innate ability to cite a heap of information without even approaching the original question... Cheers, Dana
  11. Some 45 years ago I have seen the copy of "Scale Modeler" featuring the model of PBY-5 in so-called Asiatic fleet scheme invented by Admiral Hart men in Philippines. The owner of this copy - a long time friend of mine - died of heart attack few years ago and his widow destroyed (or simply thrown out) all his tremendous library...

    Generally the aircraft followed the scheme well known from b&w pictures of PatWing 10 PBY-4s (and interpreted as 3 shades of blue-gray topsides plus a light grey bottom by Academy in their 1/72 PBY-4 kit), but if nobody knows for sure what the three topsides colors really were here one color seemed to be fixed - the Blue Gray as the PatWing 10 PBY-5s fighting over the Philippines and NEI in January 1942 were ex-VP-22 aircraft pictured a month before in Hawaii featuring then-standard M-485 over M-495 camouflage.   

    Do you mean that there was enough time and paint to apply the (otherwise standard for the PatWing 10) "Philippines camo" on the VP-22 aircraft recently acquired? Have you ever seen the early '70s Scale Modeler article mentioned above? Or maybe there are some photos confirming the scheme featured by the model depicted there?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Dana Bell

      Dana Bell

      Thanks for your question - you've touched on a subject that has interested me for many years - I'll give you my opinion, since I don't have proof either way...


      First note is just a general note about M-485 and M-495 -- for many years modelers have thought those specs represented specific colors, which they didn't.  M-485 was just a spec for camouflage lacquer, regardless of color; M-495 was the spec for camouflage dope.  So Blue Gray lacquer applied to metal surfaces was M-485, while Blue Gray dope applied to fabric surfaces was M-495. The same was true of Light Gray lacquer and dope, and the insignia color lacquers and dope, black lacquers and dope, and so on.  I mention this just to make sure we're talking the same language about these colors.


      The earliest record I've seen of PatWing 10's Catalina camouflage was a reconnaissance photo dated 26 May 1941; all six PBYs in the photo were camouflaged in a disruptive pattern.  PatWing 10 was in the Asiatic Fleet, whose ideas about camouflage were independent of the Pacific Fleet's (or Battles Force's) ideas.  I believe that PatWing 10 might have used a version of a 1935 camouflage cited on page 31 of Jack Elliott's Monogram Guide Volume 1 - Dark Green-Yellow, Medium Blue-Green, and Light Purple-Blue.  I've no proof, but those colors made sense for the murky Philippine waters, and that's what I think I'm seeing in the pix.


      One last thing - you asked, "Do you mean..." but I'm afraid I don't have the memory I once had.  (A bit too much time without oxygen a few years ago.)  I'm not sure what I said, or when I said it, but I apologize for any confusion.






  12. US Sky is the most likely color, but USN Light Gray was also specified. Manufacturers had stocks of the redundant camouflage color and were encouraged to use the extra paint elsewhere for a finish coat; the Corsair II factory drawings clearly recommend Sky or Light Gray for the wells, struts, and inner faces of the doors; different components could have been either color, but there's no clear evidence how often the Light Gray was used. Cheers, Dana
  13. Thanks Vedran, I see it now - it took several pots of PG Tips, but I think I'm awake now... Cheers, Dana
  14. Maybe my early-morning eyes haven't quite opened yet, but the nose of that P-40C doesn't seem to have any provisions for the two fifties. I've never seen that variation before! Cheers, Dana
  15. Hi Warhawk, Those 1939/40 designs were the first to carry internally mounted 50-calibre wing guns, and no one was quite sure how to minimize the drag along the wings' leading edges. They all had blast tubes extending from the barrels, but until the NACA reports came in there were many variations. Clearly, flush-with-the-leading-edge was not the best, since the blast tubes were quickly extended in production. Cheers, Dana
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