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Dana Bell

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  1. Hi Geoffrey, Thanks for sharing the list. The P-40A wasn't included, but it did exist. At least two P-40s (no suffix) were modified as recon aircraft and assigned the P-40A designation. Since they were modified "in house" they were not assigned contracts, Cheers, Dana
  2. Hi Gordon, Do you have the serial number for Shepherds' Corsair (if you're still considering modeling his aircraft)? If it is a Goodyear machine, the carbon monoxide vents were factory-installed and were different than those added by the Brits. Also, all Goodyear FAA Corsairs had Glossy Sea Blue Camouflage on delivery and short-short wingtips. (Brewster and Vought FAA machines had FAA camouflage and could use either the short or the short-short wingtips.) Cheers, Dana
  3. Each paint manufacturer could offer Dark Olive Drab as a lacquer, an enamel, a temporary water-based paint, and/or a dope. The AAF did not specify the pigments to be used, just the properties to be met. In 1942 the AAF insisted that each company reformulate their OD41s to reduce the IR signature versus enemy recon photography. By early 1943 (I don't have the date handy) manufacturers were told to reformulate again, since chromium-based pigments (useful for IR-sensative paints) were becoming rare. The switch was expected to result in greater use of organic pigments. ANA 613 was lighter than OD41, so the AAF preferred to use their original color. When one paint manufacturer later complained that they'd never received an ANA 613 color standard, the AAF told them to continue using their OD41 formulas and mark the cans "ANA 613." And - as Super Aero pointed out - while we're interested in matching the original color standards, the AAF never rejected a paint sample that strayed from the color standard. Cheers, Dana
  4. Hi Steben, I've got originals of most of the US military color standards. I've two copies of the pre-war 3-1; one copy is showing the damage of acidic paper, migrating glues, and uneven storage, while the other set certainly suffers from the same effect, but appears much cleaner and undamaged. I've a set each of the permanent and temporary camouflage color card bulletins. Note that they continue the Quartermaster Corps' numbering system but were not part of 3-1. I've also got several copies of the May 1943 3-1, and several of the Air Corps, Navy, and ANA color standards. I can direct you to similar standards in the National Archives collections if you're ever in DC (and when they are able to reopen. As you noted all of the color matches were made with FS-595a, shortly before 595b came into common use. Though the credits in AFC-1 were unclear, the 3-1 matches were performed by Kenneth L. Kelly of the National Institutes of Standards. The AAF color matches came from the great Ross Whistler. The biggest problem with "raw" or "original" color standards is that none of them are really permanent. The paper- and card-mounted chips are subject to deterioration from acids, hydrogen peroxide (great for bleaching hair or fueling rockets), and the effects of the glues that hold them in place. Even the porcelain enamel chips suffer from the wooden boxes they were stored in - wood can off-gas hydrogen peroxide for decades. The color matches in the Air Force Colors books were provided to give a rough idea of original appearances; 595 was chosen because (at the time) it was a very inexpensive standard that was widely available. Being able to recognize that a color was, for example, redder than a 595 chip was never precise, but it was more helpful than a very general note that a color might be a very dark greenish brown. Hope this helps. Good luck with your color research! Cheers, Dana
  5. Hi Gonzo, I'm glad to help, though I admit there are still pieces of the story that I'd love to better understand. Thanks also for the kind comments on the Corsair books. Those are still the two most enjoyable projects I've ever worked on! Cheers, Dana
  6. On review, I think the folks at Minot did a great job matching the color, but I believe they misidentified what they found. Since no razorbacks were built after October 1944, I'm pretty sure they matched Republic's version of Dull Dark Green. "A rose by any other name..." they still did a beautiful job! Cheers, Dana
  7. Hi Tbolt, They're right that the first mention of Medium Green as an anti-glare color came in 1944, but that was in November of the year. Very few wartime production lines had switched to the color by V-J Day (older stocks of DDG had to be used up first) - but they seem to have evidence that at least one of the Republic lines made the switch. (News to me !) I'll be surprised if any earlier production used the color. Cheers, Dana
  8. Hi Gents, A bit of clarification here... In AAF tech orders, whenever two coats of zinc chromate were specified the second coat was always to be tinted. This allowed painters and inspectors to know how many coats had been applied. Erection and Maintenance manuals were written for field use, though they were frequently akso used on production lines. However, production lines really concentrated on the language of the contract, and even that could be ignored through negotiation between contractor and Wright Field. That bluish color in Republic-built P-47s was simply a variation of Dull Dark Green (and there were several). The Austrian recovery does show Interior Green and Dull Dark Green in the cockpit. The interior Green was the second coat of primer, and the DDG was the finish coat applied to reduce cockpit reflections. The Interior Green can only be seen in areas unlikely to reflect on the instruments or canopy but still needing corrosion control. Cheers, Dana
  9. Hi ForestFan, I don't know if you found the LSP piece, but I didn't. Your cockpit color would depend on the date the original aircraft was manufactured - originally Bronze Green, with Dull Dark Green on later Grumman aircraft; originally Dull Dark Green, with Interior Green on later TBMs. All Avengers had an exterior coat of zinc chromate (yellow) before the finish coat of camouflage was applied. Cheers, Dana
  10. Hi all, Beyond the tech orders and specs, in early 1942 Wright Field gave North American Aviation an exemption from priming its California-built P-51s, AT-6s, and B-25s. The company didn't have the painting facilities to keep up with production needs. Primers served three purposes - corrosion control, static electricity reduction, surface preparation for finish coats. For P-51Bs this meant that you'd see very little interior color other than the natural (unpainted) aluminum. The cockpit was painted to reduce glare, and the faying surfaces for the fuselage structure were primed with a single coat of yellow zinc chromate to reduce intergranular corrosion with the skin. (The structure was usually painted with a hand roller to save time and primer; once the skin was attached, the primer was hardly visible.) The main wing spar was primed with yellow zinc chromate to reduce corrosion and cut down on static buildup - remember that the fuel tanks were just aft of the spar. Despite growing evidence of corrosion problems in Mustang wheel wells, Wright Field continued to deny that there had been any negative reports. Eventually, at some point in production, primer and finish coats were added to the main gear wells, but not until long after Gentile's crash. I hope this helps with your project - certainly an interesting and unusual presentation, and I look forward to seeing the results! Cheers, Dana
  11. Hi Graham & all, I wish I had more evidence; I really wish I had proof, either way! This all came up years ago when the discussion pointed out that the Spits couldn't have been painted with Navy paint, since they were so much darker than the nearby Wildcats. Finding documentation that Wasp was one of two ships to experiment with Dark Blue only opened a possibility, one that I can't yet discount. Dark Blue was far more common than any of our secondary publications would suggest. Blue Gray was listed as a problem (too light) in December 1941. By the end of 1942 the Navy issued orders to paint aircraft in Blue Gray, but that the Blue Gray paint was to be matched to Dark Blue. In 1943 thousands of gallons of Dark Blue were shipped to the South Pacific alone. It's just a possibility to be evaluated with the others - if some Spits were painted on board Wasp, and if those Spits were a dark Blue, and if records suggest that no British paints were carried by Wasp, it's possible that the Dark Blue stocks were used. That's all I can offer. I hope the Archives reopen one day soon... Cheers, Dana
  12. There's a very strong possibility that the Spits that were repainted on board Wasp were repainted in US Navy paints. In early 1942 the Navy was investigating a color called Dark Blue as a replacement for its Blue Gray camouflage. The Navy was very sensitive about lighter-colored aircraft making their ships more visible to enemy aircraft - and those Spits were certainly lighter than the Navy wanted at the time. Dark Blue was an aircraft paint matched to - you guessed it - Deck Blue. Wasp was one of the two ships stocked with Dark Blue for evaluation. None of this proves that Dark Blue was used, but we know some of those Spits were repainted with a camouflage paint that was on board Wasp, and we know that Dark Blue was one of the colors Wasp stocked. Cheers, Dana
  13. Hi guys, They should have been red, but I'm sure there were exceptions. The revision to Spec 98-24105R of 20 September 1943 added the following note on radio call numbers for night fighters: "...except that the numbers for night-fighting aircraft shall be insignia red in accordance with color chip No. 45 of Bulletin No. 41." This note came into the spec at the same time that the OD scheme was approved instead of the flat black scheme. Cheers, Dana
  14. Hi Abandoned, US Senator "Scoop" Jackson (Washington state) porkbarreled a project to convert previously owned 747 airliners to military transports to be designated C-19s and assigned to the NY ANG at Stewart ANGB, New York. Jackson died before the project went too far, and the C-19 was cancelled. At the time, the unit was flying 2-seat Cessna O-2s which might have made the transition seem a bit extreme, but nearly all the pilots flew 747s for their civilian day jobs - not too much of a stretch. The unit eventually flew C-5s, so their Euro I camouflage and markings might have been appropriate for a C-19. Note that the scheme was not a wraparound, being monochromatic 36118 on undersides. Alternately, there was a Boeing/DARPA offer to build 747s as cruise missile launchers, which would have served under SAC. There first camouflage scheme would have been 36118 below, some equivilent of Olive Drab on top, and a pattern of dark gray (36092?) over top and bottom. Your "what-if" isn't so outrageous after all... Cheers, Dana
  15. Hi David, Since you specifically mentioned the 7th Phoyo Group, you might try to find a copy of their unit history: https://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Eighth-Photographic-Reconnaissance-1942-1945/dp/0964911906/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=eyes+of+the+eighth&qid=1614684590&sr=8-1 Cheers, Dana
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