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Brian J

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About Brian J

  • Birthday 05/27/1944

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  1. Many thanks, Mark, for taking the time to respond. Besides the different nose art on either side, the 49th appears to have painted the tail surfaces in various patterns relative to the under surfaces. Various art work shows patterns all over the place. So far I haven't seen too many photos of well known (nose art work) P-40Ns that show the entire aircraft. Maybe that's the reason there aren't more decals for that group.
  2. I'm presently getting ready to apply kit decals for the 1/48 Hasegawa P-40N 'Kansas City Kittie III'. I am using several publications that cover the 49th FG including Protect & Avenge as reference as I've become skeptical about the accuracy of decals regardless of the source. In the case of this subject the port nose markings appear accurate. My question has to do with the starboard markings as it appears that when 49th FG P-40s had personal nose art they usually had different markings on the starboard side. I've never seen photos of the starboard nose of 'Kansas City Kittie III'. Can any one verify if the kit decals are accurate as the nose art is the same on both sides. Were there any markings? Were they different on the starboard side? On the topic of 49th FG nose art, the P-40N flown by Joel Paris has long fascinated me. There are several photos available showing the port nose art. What were the markings on the starboard side, if any? Any opinions or advice would be appreciated. Brian J
  3. The following comments may finally put this topic to bed as I don't think there is much more to add after Jack's last post. I pulled out several photo references over the weekend that pertain to the subject at hand and have come to the same conclusion Jack made. I think the colour 'grey' and it's limitless variations are very difficult to pin down as to an exact FS or RLM number, especially when one considers weathering and fading under operational conditions plus touch ups and repairs on the real aircraft using whatever was at hand. Many Luftwaffe model subjects are finished as though they were just off the production line with a little bit of exhaust stain. RLM 70/71 surfaces on operational aircraft sure don't look like the colour chips, let alone faded RLM 02. RLM 66, etc. I'm going to take Jack's advice, and mix my own greys using 02 and 66 and maybe try some 70 or 71, creating a faded, washed out effect. Thanks to all the members who took the time to add to the discussion. Great to know there are so many folks who know more than me who are willing to help clarify things!
  4. Is it possible the spine of the fuselage wasn't painted with the 'grey' that is confirmed to have been applied to the flying surfaces? It appears somewhat 'clean' with a distinctive colour contrast. Don't tell me I'm going to have to put my build-up back on the shelf of doom!
  5. More welcomed additions to the conversation! I doubt we'll ever be able to appreciate the conditions Luftwaffe ground crew worked under since replacement airframes were brought in and repairs were done to damaged aircraft as well. I quote from a Dave Wadman article entitled An Overview of Bf 109E Camouflage and Markings, 1939-1940. "With more fighter engagements taking place over the sea and increasing numbers of replacement aircraft entering service, camouflage variations became all the more widespread, often occurring when easily interchangeable parts such as cowlings, rudders, armament access panels and battery hatch covers were swapped between aircraft to expedite servicing." When comparing the two photos that Jack has included I found two interesting points I hadn't noticed before. Compare the height of the blue 65 on the fuselage between the port and the starboard sides. On the starboard side it touches the top of the Balkenkreuz while it is noticeably higher on the port side. Also there is a noticeable difference in the extension of the dark colour at the back of the wing root. It appears these colours were applied with little concern about exacting standards! Also, is it possible that one of the wings was a replacement which would explain the difference in the shade of grey? Could the port wing tip been sprayed with a thinner wash which would explain the visible early Balkenkreuz? As a student I spent four summers working in a local auto plant, one of which was in the paint booth. More than once I was chewed out by my foreman for not applying an even coat of paint (if I ever needed motivation to stay in school it was spending those summers working in an auto assembly plant). I can appreciate the lack of a uniform finish and I can just imagine the conditions the ground crew worked under. Again, I welcome comments. We may soon get to the bottom of this mystery! I just noticed the latest posting by Jack, sent as I was typing this post. That large colour image of the starboard wing is a most welcome addition to the dialogue. I agree that it appears this airframe probably had at least three different applications of paint. Well done, Jack!
  6. Jeez, just as I was throwing the last shovel full of dirt on that dead horse it started breathing again and you fellas come up with more interesting insights and comments. I got dizzy following all of the comments on Michael's post! Can there be a deeper quagmire then trying to get to the bottom of Battle of Britain 109 markings? I loved your interpretation of the upper wing camouflage on your 'yellow 7' build-up in light of Jack's previous comments, Michael. Well done! Jack, your comments about the application of a thin translucent grey finish is noteworthy, something I hadn't considered. It sort of fits in with how Michael finished his build-up. That large, clear photo of 'white 4' really adds to the discourse. I've never seen that photo before. What really caught my attention was the colour of the tailplane. It seems to be one colour. Could that explain that grey translucent wash you suggested? I'm going to try and get that horse back on it's feet. Maybe he hasn't finished his last race! Thanks again gentlemen to your time and efforts...much appreciated. Keep them comments coming!
  7. This may be my final comment on this subject (we can only hope) but I'd like to share a passage found on page 22 of the invaluable The Official Monogram Painting Guide to German Aircraft 1935-1945 for those members who may not have access to it. It dove tails nicely in earlier posts. "Despite an exhaustive search of both official intelligence reports, private notes and many contemporary photographs, not one single conclusive example has been found of a Bf 109E operating over Britain wearing an RLM camouflage scheme of 74/75/76 for this period. Grays certainly existed and were used during the period of the daylight air war over Britain in 1940. Most, if not all, appear to have been unit-mixed paints. Recorded descriptions are ambiguous enough to be interpreted as identifying one of the two new grays, 74 or 75. The first reports of grays appear during August 1940, but usually in conjunction with other known or hybrid colors and obviously unit-applied. An JG 2 veteran recalled mixing stocks of the standard greens with 65. Black-Gray 66 mixed with 65, produced a variety of grays. However, the undiluted 66 is probably the true identification of the black mottling sometimes recorded. The 66/65 mixture may also account for various references to a dirty blue color quoted with various gray applications. More positive descriptions of two tone gray schemes appear in September 1940. Again the reader is cautioned that such references as "...cloudy gray on fuselage", "...wings battleship gray", or "...two shades of gray on upper surfaces" or "...gray dappled black" do not substantiate the use of an RLM scheme of 74/75/76. It is possible that small stocks of the new gray colors were made available, either together or singly, to some front line units." However, the high attrition rate suffered by the fighter units and the maintenance pressures on ground staff during the period under discussion make it unlikely that time was available to repaint entire aircraft." For me, I'm finished beating this dead horse...unless I see it breathing again!!
  8. Thanks, Jack, for including that photo I was referring to as my computer skills are limited. To add to your comment about the original camouflage scheme I'll add another comment made by Dave Wadman. "Three of these pieces of upper surface skin retained a substantial amount of paint which allowed us to continually but gradually 'cut back' the paint in some areas which showed that the greys had been lightly applied over the original 70/71 colours." Was the port wing more lightly over sprayed than the starboard wing leaving a faint shadow of the original cross not found on the starboard wing? I also couldn't help but notice how the upper wing colours extended up onto the fuselage at the wing roots. Is this another indicator that the 'greys' were field applied?
  9. Many thanks to those members who have put up with my hand wringing over a topic that has finally be setttled...at least in my mind. I've been pouring over previous comments and photos provided by JackG and David Wadman. Many thanks to both of them. I re-read the observations made by Dave in an e-mail I shared with members back in 2016. "Subsequent examination of all 'strips' made available to us after various forms of rubbing and polishing to remove dirt, oxidization etc clearly showed that the upper surfaces were finished in two separate shades of grey far removed from 74 and 75. Similarly, the same treatment given to the lower surfaces blue 65 strips clearly showed several different shades of blue!.... I too read that article and have had access in the past to the pieces mentioned but what the author failed to make clear was that the few distinct brown shades mentioned were under the extant colours... What must be remembered is that these various grey and grey/green schemes were adaptions of the basic camo pattern insofar that they were only lightly applied over the existing 70/71 or 02/72 finishes and were generally applied to follow the existing pattern lines." After re-reading these comments this morning I was drawn to look at the colour image Jack provided in his first post. For me, the two shades of grey on the upper fuselage verify what Dave commented on. I feel much more confident about FINALLY getting to that build-up that has been on the shelf of doom for years! That colour image was the deciding factor as well as the b&w photo at the top of page 281 of Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain, Phase Three, showing the upper wing camouflage pattern. Thanks guys!
  10. Many thanks to the members who responded so far. Upon looking at the images sent along by JackG something caught my attention. When would that colour photo have been taken? It must have been decades after the crash as the original 'blue' paint has been scraped away exposing the original markings under the tiger head and numeral four. How would the 'brown' and 'grey' colour described by Paul Lucas been affected? Mr Lucas included a quote from that original Flying Review article made by an eye witness at the crash site, "The upper surfaces of the wings and tailplane, and the top of the fuselage were dark grey - about the same shade as the old naval 'Home Fleet grey'. On the extreme top of the fuselage, the grey had a near brownish tinge, as this had been sprayed on as an absolutely final finish...the brownish effect was also noticeable on the upper surfaces of the wings, particularly near the leading edges and the fuselage junction." I realize I'm digging up that horse we beat to death several years ago, but I'm having a hard time disregarding that description given almost 80 years ago. In the aforementioned article Mr. Lucas includes studying several other 109 air frames that show signs of various shades of brown and grey. Have any other members read the article in question?
  11. The following inquiry may have been addressed in an earlier post that I missed. If so, hopefully I can be directed to any responses. While thumbing through my Battle of Britain Bf 109 files I came across an article from a September 2004 issue of Model Aircraft Monthly that I had totally forgotten about. According to the following months editorial it, "...caused a bit of a furore in certain sections of our 'community' last month, with our suggestions of Battle of Britain period Messerschmitt Bf 109Es finished in certain non-standard camouflage colours." In this article, the highly respected researcher/author, Paul Lucas gives, what I consider to be a well thought out presentation that several 109Es appear to have been camouflaged in shades of greys and browns. The example that caught my attention was the well known 'white 4' w.nr 11900 of 4./JG 26 flown by Uffz Horst Perez. The caption to the colour four view drawing reads, "The under surface/fuselage sides were also 'pale blue', either Hellblau 65 or Hellgrau 76. The upper surfaces were possibly RLM 66 Schwarzgrau and RLM 61 Dunkelbrun." I won't go into the background of the camouflage of this aircraft as I posted a question on this subject back in December of 2009. Several members responded with enlightening, informative comments. Has this new (at least to me) interpretation been accepted as a viable possibility? If earlier comments are any indication I hope informed members can help clear the muddy waters of these Luftwaffe camouflage schemes.
  12. Boy, I'd love to hear how Nicolson's widow knew about the markings on her husbands aircraft as I believe 249 Squadron was based at Boscombe Down at the time. I'm not positive where Muriel was living at the time but we read on page 40 of Nicolson VC that, "His first concern was to get him to hospital but he insisted on dictating telegrams to his wife and Squadron Commander. To his wife he said: "Shot down. Very slightly hurt. Full particulars later. All my love. Nick." Why would he send her a telegram if she lived near the base? Was that how people communicated in an emergency during the war? Where was she living at the time and how would she know the markings of her husband's aircraft? On another note, in response to the comment made by Graham Boak, I found a comment by Frank Campey that I filed in my Hurricane folder years ago that reads, "Dear Neil, I found a small error in the article on Nicolson's 249 Squadron machine...The letters GN were aft of the roundel on the starboard side. A photograph of GN.A does exist and was published in Scale Aircraft Modelling Volme 4, No. 8, May 1982 It is a very poor photo, but I have seen a better reproduction in another publication some years ago..." I'm not sure what photo he was referring to but perhaps one of our members may have access to that photo or that issue of Scale Aircraft Modelling Mr. Campey mentioned.
  13. Many thanks for your response, Mark. After reading I immediately referred to your reference. I hadn't paid enough attention to the background in that photo. Well done! I commend the efforts of the publishing/editing team that produces this excellent series on the Battle of Britain. A must reference for a serious enthusiast! The artwork, maps and general layout is top notch! I would be grateful if you would express your opinion on this subject, as to the size of the 'red devil emblem' under the port windscreen. What is it based on if there are no proven photos of Nicolson's Hurricane? Is the Robert Taylor painting accurate concerning the starboard view?
  14. My apologies if this inquiry has been addressed. My references contradict each other (as they often do) as to the placement of the squadron codes of this well known aircraft. On page 592 of Battle of Britain Combat Archive, Vol. 5 by Simon W Parry, we read, "Based upon the few existing photos of 249 Squadron Hurricanes in August 1940, the GN code letters were placed aft of the roundel on the starboard side. The Robert Taylor print Battle of Britain VC also shows these markings. Several years ago I purchased the Aviaeology 1/48 Vital Storm pt. 2 decal sheet AOD48007.2m whose instructions indicate the GN code was in front of the roundel on the starboard side. I would enjoy reading opinions on the above question as well as any others concerning the markings of this aircraft. In my above references I failed to include the dust cover image of the "full and authorised biography" 'Nicolson VC' by Peter D Mason, published in 1991. It has the same markings as the Robert Taylor print with squadron code GN aft of the roundel on the starboard side. The entire leading edge of the vertical tail is also red as in the Taylor print. It would be interesting to learn what these artists based their artwork on. Thumbing through my Battle of Britain references it appears that many Spitfire and Hurricane units carried unit codes in a similar fashion.
  15. Perhaps I should backtrack and list the references I am using in attempting to clarify my question. Over the decades I have collected as many references as possible on the 325th FG. I will list only the main books that pertain to the subject. 1. Checkertails: The 325th Fighter Group in the Second World War by Ernest R. McDowell 2. Herky!: The Memoirs of a Checkertail Ace by Herschel H. Green 3.. Aces of the 325th Fighter Group by Thomas G Ivie 4. Aces, Pilots & Aircraft of the 9th, 12th and 15th USAAF by David Weatherill As the previous member indicated, tail and wing markings evolved during the time the 325th FG flew P-51Bs and Ds. The subject in question, 'Stout Burr-Bon', #18 carries late war (post Feb/Mar?) markings of full tail/fuselage black and yellow checkers. A series of inflight photos of #18 flying over the Alps have appeared in numerous publications over the decades. The first one I was aware of can be found at the top of page 34 of the old Aircam Aviation Series No1: North American P-51D Mustang in USAAF-USAF Service. This series of photos were taken from both the port and starboard side and clearly show the markings on the fuselage. Wing markings are less clear. A more detailed photo can be found at the top of page 71 in the above reference No. 1 showing a full port view with better but less than perfect wing markings. For me, one of the major issues interpreting b&w photos is the type of film/filters used. The red spinners/noses usually appear almost as light as yellow, hence my questioning the colour of wing tips. The colour cover photo of The Partisan found in reference #4 shows the wing tip in yellow with yellow wing root stripes, no yellow wing tip stripes but in full late war tail checkers. On page 72 of reference #1 are two inflight photos of 'Dusty Butt' #100. The wing tip colour extends to the edge of the star and bar. The red nose is almost an off white shade. So did this aircraft have yellow inboard and wing tip stripes with a red wing tip? The cover art in this book shows a P-51D #100 with yellow and black wing tip stripes. A b&w inflight photo of this aircraft can be found on page 116 of reference #4 showing yellow and black checks, not stripes! The spinner and nose are a lighter colour (red?) but with a black stripe. I could go on and on...and on, but you get the idea. Again, there seemed to be no standard late war markings. Some aircraft had only yellow wing tip stripes, some had both inboard and wingtip stripes, some had red wing tips. Referring to that b&w photo on page 71 of reference #1, my interpretation is that 'Stout Burr-Bon' had yellow wing root stripes and possibly red wing tips. Neither wing tip indicates yellow wing tip stripes. Was the wing tip yellow or red, or was it painted at all? Was the number 18 outlined in yellow like many late war aircraft? Thanks for reading this long winded diatribe. Clarification would be appreciated. Remember when we were kids and painted our models using the box art for reference and left over paint used on the kitchen and hallway walls!
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