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Posts posted by HBBates

  1. I don't disagree that the colours shown are the original paints, howver they don't seem to match what was on the wing in the 70s. Have a look at the area above and to the left of the left hand access hatch in the original photo (YOu can't see the right hand one as the skin is bent back over it) - it seems to show that the Dark Earth with a flaked/chipped darker colour over the top of it. The timescale is correct for AH744 for have been repainted in Day Fighter Scheme

    At some point someone has made an attempt to clean up the wing, and my suspicion is that a lot of the paint has been scrubbed off. Who is to know how that treatment may have affected the remaining paint? I must stop by next time I'm in the area and have a close look - If there was grey, there may still be traces in the rivets/creases.

    The pic of the underside and the pics of the top side suggest that the wing was upside down on the moor - personal experience of examining wartime wrecks tells me that colours would only be preserved like that if they hadn't been exposed, most paints fade and wear back to the bare aluminium if exposed (The one that seems least affected is yellow! I've seen wrecks where all that is discernable is the yellow ring of the roundel)

    Hi Dave

    While it is possible that the original brown was over coated with gray sometime during his career.. the photo I attached do show the brown..

    Considering the graffiti scratch the brown paint (I don't think the museum put there) means the brown paint is not something apply by the museum after the fact...

    So if they sanded down through a gray paint layer to get down to the original brown layer that's common in most aircraft restoration ..

    Many museums ww2 aircraft like at the Smithsonian were captured and had afterwar paint on top of the original paint

    When restore they sanded down this top coat to get down to the original paint and color....while a factor just like time and exposure effect paint I don't think it invalidates it as evidence.. its should.. accounting for those factors correlate with the paper trail of what believe it should be...build a theory based on evidence and test it if you can..

  2. the better is to use a 18% grey chart(easy to find it on the web) for white balance and exposure.

    A grey scale or two area black and white.

    These charts must be photographed with the subject, so it will easier after to adjust the b&w levels and the gamma curve on the computer, or before printing.

    the color will be near the reality.

    Hello my friend how goes it?

    I sent you an email the other day on a related subject if have time



  3. Hi folks as I posted recently I,m only fifteen minutes away from the museum and was hoping to try and get a sample and photo,s this week but work

    has got in the way Damn! but will get there next week I dont have any aircraft paint charts but will try and find a means of comparison.

    Hi Steve..Dont break you self on this.. you doing a favor...and I truly appreciate you doing this whenever you can. So again no rush just whenever on your next visit...

    fyi anything you see you think is interior cockpit walls paint colors and seat color would be a big plus but dont think they have anything

  4. Hi Nick.. I was not posting to try and prove a color...im posting from my cell phone..and just wanted to show that the wing looks to still in orginal colors and not painted over as Dave thought it might in his post..

    The other wing photo you have is from the same batch I posted some time back.....and that part. labled door..being so round ...i belive is the front of the gear faring...

    My point ..only point is.. that there is a wing.. it looks to be in original colors.. and so lets examined it at the very least with some samples colors to compart

    Nick I belive your research wholeheartedly because I know how thorough you are from when we have communicated in the past ... I just think someone going there would just validated everything yous stated in the past and it will case closed.. ....colors will look diffrent in photos due to lighting.. so im not tying to prove from them

    My request is just....there are parts in what look to be in original colors so can some one go look and do some sample comparison ...who knows..maybe its not still original curtiss colors.. maybe it got striped and repainted in the UK with UK paints....but some one would still need to look at it up close to also find that out .

    • Like 1
  5. Fascinating!

    yes I got these and other photographs from one of the curators of the museum some years back

    But the contention was ever with color photos you couldn't really could validate the true color from photos without some known color standard in the same photo

    So that's why I'm trying to get something with the color chips of the assumed colors, photographed with the actual samples on these parts to use as a gage

    So who better a modeler to go with multiple different shade chips of the colors to compare and then photograph the sample chips with the parts with the actual color....

    Really with these artifacts I don't see why there should be any major debates among modelers about what Curtiss painted the Tomahawks .(and by extension the Flying Tiger/AVG Tomahawk) .why this debate seems to go on and on with modelers ..particularly about underside gray..... we have easy access to the real colors...

  6. Nick and I have corresponded with in the past on the subject and on this Tomahawk wing in particular... The two examples you sight are I believe H-87 Kittyhawks built on a later date, post U.S. enter to the war maybe even lend lease...

    While l I agree it's going to be the same color...many want to put that color specifically on a H81 Tomahawk built specifically under UK contract...so let's do it and kill the question.

    But conversely I do believe the earlier UK contract Tomahawk would have been a different cockpit color..a Dupont paint to meet UK standards

    Versus later Kittyhawks that probably just followed standard US cockpit colors ....it easier to change outside paint than interior paint....

  7. Hi.I was there a few days ago but the guy I usually have a "natter" with was,nt,but I will be there next week.I noticed the original paintwork on the

    untouched portion of the wing were a surprisingly dark green(I would have expected the opposite given it,s time open to the elements) and the

    brown had a distinct red hue as opposed to the earth shade I had expected.the area that was repainted to include the roundel to my eyes looked

    like Tamiya Olive green and Earth!,I will take my camera next week and hopefully can get access to the area in question.

    Hello Steve

    Thanks for geting back

    Did you get a look at the underside color..because that seem to be the BIG debate point on the Tomahawk.

    If you could go with some paint chip samples on the common suggested underside colors so you could match up... really this to just to get us in to a common ball park on the underside color....

    Im very comfortable it with it being a flavor of DuPont 71-021 Sky type S Grey....but just want to get some hard evidence base line to rain in some of these really crazy arguments over the underside color...

    just something that is photo..that is..

    here a known color paint chip..

    here is a known original sample of the color still on the airframe

    yes it's got 70 plus years of weathering but there close and inside a rational margin of expected error for all that weather we can say is probably this color ......and not some other light grey or sky blue or any of the other things suggested...Occam's razor

  8. Will sort something out as I have a few days off work due next week,I know the wing is very faded on the upper surface as the roundel has

    nearly disappeared hopefully the under surface was a little more protected.

    Hi Steve... I was just following up if you ever got to check out the colors on that tomahawk wing?

  9. Strange coincidence (as the poster of the original question) I am a regular visitor to the museum which is about fifteen minutes from me and I have

    some book and magazine donations to drop of soon so will enquire and photograph as the wing is on display in the main hanger can,t promise a sample

    (if there,s anyone looking)

    Hi .. that fantastic your so near...i did some email correspondence with museum some years back and they sent me several close up color photos...

    however the color photo with no control reference makes it somewhat difficult to match...plus the question of oxidation of the paint over the years.

    If you do get a chance to see this wing.. can I suggest taking along a card with multiple paints chip samples have something to match against to see what comes closest to matching and photograph the chip samples together with the wing to use as a refrence?

    but also talk to Nick to get his suggestions he's probably done the most research on possible colors so the opportunity to test against a real sample would be great.

    PS. if you could also ask museum if they've got any cockpit interior pieces I personally think the interior on the British Tomahawks were painted US version of British cockpit green.. not the typical US cockpit colors...

  10. Hi all just a question in regards to the what paints were used by Curtiss on the Tomahawk...

    Seems like this question is going around and around for years


    There are still large section of of original Tomahawk airframe in the original paints that can be examined today.

    A Tomahawk Mk1 AH744 crashed on Red Gill Moss in the No. Pennines in 43..

    A whole wing was recovered in 79 by the North East Aircraft Museum of Sunderland and is on display.

    Plus as of 2008 there were still aircraft pieces at the crash site...

    so we have a orginal airframe pieces in the original colors that has been known about for quite a long time...

    So there is relatively easy access to additional data .. Yet the paint on these parts never seem to been examined..

    Is there ANY enterprising modeller in the UK near the museum or even the crash site that can hump it out to any of these locations and get a sample of this paint to add some infinitive data to the question?

    I've known about these parts for a long time and I just find it very frustrating this question still is going around when we can get some more information

    If I was within a hundred miles of it instead in Southern California I'd be out there in a heartbeat....

    at this point I'm ready to scrounge a bargain standby flight to UK just to do it anyway

    • Like 1
  11. Well that the thing on many early ww2 us fighter.. the wind screen was and outer glass panel then and inner armor glass.. it the field mode notes for the later P40 E to N..it tell how to remove the outer glass and just have the inner armor glass as the wind screen..using wood spacers to make up the difference .

    Most don't even know that the aircraft had actually the two glass windscreens, an inner and outer panel

  12. May i offer something to consider. . To my eye the windscreens is clearly flat... however it does not look like the production flat windscreen... it looks more like the normal curved windscreen with a flat center...What i think your seeing is a UK mod of removing the center curved glass panel and having the internal armor glass also act as the windscreen..

    Ive seen this done on the UK Tomahawks .. removing the centers curved glass and replacing with flat armor glass in the orginal frame....

  13. one thing..from what ive seen US Army P40s and RAF /AVG Tomahawks did not use the same paint colors for the landing gear and gear bay interiors... the unpainted aircraft I posted photo of is a Tomahawk..

  14. I suprised this did not get more comments here.one of new seats the squarback for the Curtiss Tomahawk. .it the first tme this seat has been correctly done..and is in ever RAF Tomahawk. That same seat goes in early RAF Mustangs, also in the all Buffalos, Harvards and Yales

  15. I’ve done a lot of research work on the Curtiss H81 Early “Longnose” P-40 & Tomahawk

    In my opinion the Early “Longnose” P-40 & Tomahawk had very different cockpit colors based on color Curtiss factory photos

    For the Tomahawk’s build for the RAF and AVG (based on color Curtiss factory photos)

    I believed Curtiss to a degree try to follow RAF Spec for cockpit colors .

    Main Cockpit= A US version of British Cockpit Light Green probably DuPont 71-036

    Rear armor plate= Yellow Zinc Chromate

    Head Rest= Black Leather

    Seat=An unknown dark green (see photo)


    Gear wheel doors may have been silver


    The dark green seat in the bottom right on the photo above is the same seat in the photo below on the Tomahawk wing at the Curtiss factory


    • Like 2
  16. I think there's a miss understanding , the "export" wings are not superior and the ground looping issue had nothing to do with the wing.

    The ground loop issue was fixed or at least corrected to a degree by a change in the wing root fairing and not a change in the wing itself

    What people are calling the export wing is the two gun wing vs the original P 40cu one gun wing but the P40B also used a two gun wing.

    There are minor differences between the P40B two wings and the Tomahawks two gun wings but I would not call either superior to the other, just different in minor details.

  17. Had to do with the wing design at the leading edge/root. Not clear exactly why, but the export wing was the proper design. They made the change on the export models. They had to be refitted to the early P-40 (pre- B).

    Hi Steve

    Here is my understanding on the issues with the P40 wing, tail wheel and ground loop

    The problem was not with the wing

    The issue is common on tail draggers. (Look up online “P-factor”) The early P 40 wing root, in the slip stream of the prop would stall at the root when in the three point altitude so you can get in to a corner were part of the wing will start to stall and you roll off to one side in a ground loop

    So the main fix was to change the wing root faring (not the wing). Also a change in how to land, keep the tail up and come in on the main gear then let the tail drop in to the three point’s altitude as speed bleeds off

    So this bring up the second fix keep you tail up to decrease your angle of attack by extending you tail wheel strut … the P40 got several tail wheel strut extension

    The next to last tail wheel strut extension made it so long it could not retract in the original tail wheel well so it was locked down and the doors removed. The final fix extended the tail wheel well and doors so the tail wheel could retract, but left part of the tail tire exposed (see Dana’s P40 Book)…

    The Tomahawks (UK, AVG) got the wing root faring mod and first tail wheel change, but never got last two tail wheel changes. They always stayed with the retracing tail wheel in the original length well. (In one of my books on the AVG they talked about them trying to fix the same problem by pumping up the tail wheel oleo strut and bleeding the mains down)

    If you will look at the Curtiss factory photos you see the P40’s with no tail wheel well doors and the tail wheel locked down in the in flight photos … in the same photos the unpainted Tomahawks all have tail wheel well doors

    On the replaces wings on the P40cu… the ground looping damaged a lot of wings. so a need for replacement wings so on the P40cu that had a single gun week a shortage because that factory had gone on to the 2 gun wings on the later model.. So it was easier to just to do an upgrade/replacement 2 gun wing on the P40cu=P40G...(Same thing happen with the P40 D..later on some got E wings because a shortage of replacement D wings)

    • Like 1
  18. Paint colour cannot be compared or measured accurately from colour photographs. Even digitally sampling the images demonstrates that. Which pixels are the "correct" colour? If the cockpit colour is accurately shown how come the external olive drab paint (in the same photograph) is a close match to FS 25299 (@ 1.79)



    Nick I absolutely agree, you cannot measured accurately from a color photographs and I’m not trying to determinant an exact match of paint from it ...

    But you can determinant from context and knowledge and deduction of what you might expect to see.

    You yourself mention external olive drab paint. Well how do you know its olive drab?

    It the same color photographs you are saying cannot be use compared or accurately measured color from..

    But we know the US Army used olive drab and in the photo it looks to be in the olive drab range so it a safe bet it is..

    You then go to your paint chips for olive drab..you are not matching to the color in the photo.

    Well for interior color in those same photo

    I know I might expect a zinc chromate yellow

    I know I might expect a zinc chromate green

    I even know I might even expect a Cockpit Light Green DuPont 71-036 on a UK order aircraft..

    I know these were in use at that time on other aircraft ...

    So in the photos I see three different colors that are in contrast to each other ...

    I see a yellow in the area of the armor plate in the unmarked aircraft..

    So could I expect it might be zinc chromate yellow?..maybe

    Then I see a green in the cockpit on the US marked aircraft..in contrast to the yellow


    So is zinc chromate green a safe assumption?... I know that was used…so in could be for now

    Them back to the unmarked aircraft in the b/w photo I see the armor plate is a very light..

    That would fit with that yellow in the color photo..

    But I see the rest of the cockpit is very dark..

    So a different color then the yellow… So what then… Chromate green?

    Well in the color photo of that unmarked aircraft it looks a darker gray green then the green I think might be chromate green in the US marked aircraft.

    But also in that unmarked aircraft I seen a small green square surrounded by the darker gray green...

    And the small green square seems to be that same tone as what I think might be chromate green in the US marked aircraft in the same photo

    Also small green square is about were the air computer pouch will be installed in the Tomahawk so is it they didn't paint that area to later be covered by equipment in the Tomahawk?(see photo below of Tomahawk cockpit from manual)

    So I see two different colors in that cockpit.

    A green that looks close to what I see in the US marked aircraft and what looks to be a grayer green in contrast.. and both look to be greener then the yellow armor plate

    So what fits from known colors that might be used.

    A zinc chromate yellow that would fit for the armor plate

    A zinc chromate green that would fit for that US marked aircraft

    But what would fit for that grayer green in contrast to that small green square in the unmarked aircraft.


    Well the unmarked aircraft may be UK order Tomahawks..

    First they are unmarked in contrast to the US marked aircraft yet both the marked and unmarked seem to be at the same stage in the build (I have some indication that US aircraft we painted during the build but UK order aircraft were first built unpainted then camo painted after disassembly for shipping)

    And they seem to have minor differences in how they are fitted out then the US marked aircraft..(the armor plate the seat mount bracket the gun sight reflector NOT mounted to the glass like the US aircraft)

    So if Tomahawk is there a gray green, different then chromate green,(assume the small green square is chromate green) that that you might expect as a cockpit color? Sure...Cockpit Light Green DuPont 71-036 was a gray green color used on UK order aircraft..

    But any way you look at it... that is a lot of different colors going on in contrasted to each other in that same photo.

    Is it logical to assume it really is just all the same color.. say zinc chromate green or zinc chromate yellow and that apparent difference in color is just a trick of lighting and or it is just a failing of color photo reproduction?

    Yes it is an educated guess ..a mixed of evidence, knowledge and experience blended together and tested by making a theory to make a prediction on what you will expect to also find if your theory is true.


  19. I am going to disagree with others here on the Tomahawk /P40 cockpit colors

    US P40:

    Zinc chromate green (lampblack tinted yellow zinc chromate) anti-corrosion coating with brown leather headrests and natural medal US spec “round back” seats

    UK Tomahawks:

    Cockpits Light Green DuPont 71-036 over the zinc chromate anti-corrosion coating with a black leather headrests and a darker green Uk spec “square back” seat (with a black leather strip in the seat pan for anti-rub for the parachute ripcord ...see photo)

    This is going from photos attached….note that in the photos you see the yellow zinc chromate on the rear wall..it really is just on the armor plate added to the Tomahawks.. The rest of the cockpit is a way darker color

    Here is my best understanding (guess) on the cockpit color evolution

    The original spec cockpit colors on US P36 was unpainted natural medal (silver) with a clear sealer

    The US Spec then changed to have the natural medal receives a zinc chromate anti-corrosion coat ..this is a translucent yellow … anti-corrosion coat s similar in concept to the Japanese green/blue Aotake also a translucent anti-corrosion coating ..they are not paints, and the anti-corrosion coat color changes depending on the color of the underlying surface

    However the translucent yellow zinc chromate broke down under UV light, so in exposed areas like the cockpit, lamp black was added to the mix to make it light resistant …this changed the color to a non-translucent green. But it is still not a paint (to color) it is an anti-corrosion coating.

    Now the UK did have a Spec for aircraft interior COLOR… Cockpit Light Green …and so Tomahawks Cockpits were PAINTED in Cockpits Light Green DuPont 71-036 over the zinc chromate anti-corrosion coating ..and it seem to be over either version of the zinc chromate anti-corrosion coating (the untinted yellow or the black tinted green)…

    Remember that the zinc chromate is for anti-corrosion so is still applied for that reason even if you then paint the cockpit a color


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