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Graham Boak

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Everything posted by Graham Boak

  1. I don't know of any colour US Dark Tan, the Sand colour seen on P-40Fs (sorry, not Es) is quite light and would not have been seen as dark. Any P-40Ks are more likely to have been in either the British colours or OD. The comment that US Middle Stone was more yellow does seem to appear in the colour photos, particularly those of 112 Sq where it is a distinct yellow compared to the MAP colour chip. However, photos of British aircraft in the desert also seem to show a yellowish colour - if not as strongly so as the 112 Sq Kittys. As for the Dark Earth, the early US attempt(s) at this colour were somewhat lighter than an ideal match, but later aircraft were painted in a clearly darker shade.
  2. P-40Fs based in the Western Desert with the 8th Army were in US colours of Sand with Neutral Gray underneath. The initial P-40Es sent to the US Army in Algeria were in the British camouflage scheme.
  3. For those who don't realise, "knacker" ducts are NACA (the predecessor of NASA) intakes, flush with the fuselage with the curved sides producing a vortex that draws air inside. They were initially considered as a low-drag alternative to standard intakes, but the poor pressure recovery meant reduced thrust, so were not adopted for production. However, they did and still do prove very useful as small air intakes for cooling equipment.
  4. My understanding was that the colour coding used for such things on the Fw190 was a surprise to the UK, which had had no such system. When was this AP first issued?
  5. In peacetime, only a very comparatively small number of civil aircraft will have got anywhere near militarily useful targets in the UK in order to carry out low-level oblique photography of any military value. A small number of photos taken over a wide period of time from hand-held cameras would be of little military use. This requires widespread and repeated operations. The Germans certainly did create a fine library of vertical photos of RAF airfields and other military targets in the UK, but these were largely taken by their Dornier 71Ps. Despite this, German intelligence of RAF deployments and strengths is commonly described as poor. The Germans split their photographic work between the Fernaufklarer with Dornier 17P on deeper penetration flights and vertical cameras, and Nahaufklarer doing close tactical work with the Army using hand-held cameras on Hs126s. With the exception of hand-held, these principles largely continued throughout the war with improved aircraft types. However, even with the adoption (after 1940) of fighter-type aircraft in the PR role they largely operated with vertical cameras. The Germans failed to adopt the low-level fighter-reconnaissance role in the same way as the Allies did, with side-mounted cameras on P-40s, Hurricanes, P-51s, P-38s and Spitfires. Possibly this is at least partially because of the success of the Fw.189 in the Nahaufklarer role on the Eastern Front, whereas such a type in Allied hands would have very low survivability. The low-level raid on Kenley was months after the decision to go to yellow surrounds. As such, it was irrelevant. None of the Dorniers carried fixed oblique cameras. Opportunistic photos taken on raids would be of little intelligence value (except perhaps purely by chance). Camouflage goes down the sides because of its value in wartime against low-level attacks. All of which is irrelevant to the main point. The Ministry ordered Yellow surrounds for visual identification when in the air. If visibility on the ground was ever considered a problem, this could readily be taken care of by the adoption of covering sheets. As indeed was seen elsewhere at various times in various Air Forces. Such measures can safely be left to local authorities. Other measures such as dispersal were far more significant.
  6. I don't doubt it. However. such work was rare to non-existent in April/May 1940. The Luftwaffe relied upon vertical cameras from some height - as indeed did most nations. It was some time before the values of fighter aircraft in this role, with sideways-looking cameras, was recognised and even then oblique-mounted cameras appear to have been rare in the Luftwaffe. It would not have been of any concern to the Air Ministry at that time. There was certainly no low-level reconnaissance of UK airfields. I would also suggest that in the event of such photos existing (perhaps from the French campaign), the circumstances in which they were taken would have meant the presence or absence of a yellow ring was irrelevant. If a yellow ring could be seen, then the aircraft would already be plainly identifiable as a Hurricane, Lysander or Blenheim. Or Morane, Dewoitine, Lez Mureaux.
  7. The upper wing roundels remained without the Yellow - these are the ones that would be visible (if any) in photo-reconnaissance work. The history of aviation is full of clashes between the competing demands of low and high visibility - camouflage vs markings. Which is most important when. Part of what makes the subject so fascinating.
  8. Following the logic above, why Canberra rather than Venom?
  9. it has been said that it was not white that was normally used, but light blue. And Blue (Azure Blue, presumably) undersides, but whether this was true of the Mk.XIVs I don't know.
  10. Phew! Just checked and there is a spare set of Mk.Vc upper wings in my box. Still don't know why...
  11. Without checking: isn't there a spare wing in the Airfix Spitfire Mk.Vc? Having said that, I can't imagine why... I shall go upstairs in an hour or so and maybe come back down screaming to remove this posting?
  12. This is selective misinterpretation. What I wrote was that a photograph wasn't sufficient evidence of ...77. And I stand by that. because of the many factors involved, it is impossible to be certain (by which I mean reasonably certain (not absolutely certain) which colours are present in a b&w (or even colour) photo without other evidence. I would point out that many b&w photos make light blue (or green) colours appear as white or very light grey - witness the undersides of RAF fighters in the Day Fighter Scheme which are known to have been in Medium Sea Grey. This has a fairly strong blue tint and is not even particularly light! Given the generally poor (to awful) quality of many of these just-post-war photos, it is simply impossible to be dogmatic about just which shade of light grey they show. Which to me eye, seems to be much the same arguments as you are using, except for the assumption than they must be 77. Go figure.
  13. I think that you mean MPM/Special Hobby. We are still waiting for FRROM-Azur's Battle.
  14. The Valiant was not a true V-bomber but an interim type, ordered because it could be rushed into service ahead of the others. After that, remember that all 200 of the others would be brought into service over a long number of years, and there would be a need to allow for peacetime attrition, dedicated training units, side-roles such as strategic reconnaissance, aircraft in long-term or short term overhauls, and line unserviceability. The number that could, even ideally, be launched was well below the buy number. Thin k more about how many squadrons at eight bombers per squadron? In practice, the role of the RAF was not to go deep but to clear the way for the USAF.s fleet arriving later on the scene.
  15. I don't do competitions, but IPMS bases its judgement on modelling skills and ignores accuracy, because of the difficulty in finding enough judges well-informed judges for all their classes), Just who is going to judge accuracy for a 1945 Fw.190D, where major references disagree? To name but one example. However, I do try for my models to look (externally, at least) as close as the manufacturer and I can achieve (or bother to achieve) which often bears little relation to the box art. In my opinion, modelling is attempting to produce a small replica of a real subject - everything else is playing with toys. Which is ok, sometimes.
  16. Photos of a very light colour are not sufficient evidence that the paint was 77 rather than late war 76. (Or, indeed, a grey primer. Isn't arguing over late-war Luftwafe colours fun?) In modelling terms, of course, it could be that there is little significant difference, if any. So why multiply alternatives when acceptable options exist?
  17. Is there actual evidence of 77 on 109s or is this just an assumption from the light colour? I agree about the use of different paints by different subcontractors - hence restricting my comment to the fuselage. Incidentally, JaPo says that 76 and "83" ailerons were present on the same airframe. If, on the other hand, "G-Sky" was a new colour, then green sides make more sense.
  18. Beggars can't be choosers - you use what you've got. However, the value of camouflage schemes is not only for concealment but also for deception, so contrasting volours can have value. Also, any aircraft left in the open was a target regardless of its colours or pattern - they were kept in woods and other areas, assisted, if necessary, by cloths, branches etc. Regarding 76, it was often said that late in the war the blue content was reduced, and it appears almost white - I suggest this is why 77 is sometimes suggested. Howeer 77 was so rarely used there seems little likelihoods of significant stocks of this. Ullmann has stated that the "blue/green/Luftwaffe Sky was simply 76 with the pigment even further reduced. If so, then we can ruleout suggested schemes with 76 and this colour on the same aircraft parts - as sometimes shown with 76 under the fuselage and "sky" on the fuselage sides. This makes no kindof sense at all.
  19. An interesting review. The earlier views seemed to show rather unconvincing exhausts, which you don't comment on. Having had my knuckles rapped on the subject recently, conversion to a 9B will require a replacement rear canopy, so not that easy. However, I suspect that John will be more involved with the new 3D printed Yak.9 variants than this one. Given the postage from the US, Uk modellers may feel differently.
  20. Yes, 75 not 74. My mistake. I'll correct the text.
  21. The Japo books do not unfortunately cover either of these aircraft, but information can be obtained for close Werke Nummer. 210079 was in 75/81/76 with mottles of 52. (The JAPO book actually says 83, but they are specifically describing a dark green - presumably as opposed to the "brown violet" 81. This was an earlier (mis)understanding. This is plain traditional 76. 210102 of JG2 however seems to have had the wing undersides with bare metal aft of the main spar, and 76 leading edges and flying surfaces. One u/c door however was in the blue/green colour sometimes called "Luftwaffe Sky". 210184 also of JG2 is very similar. Note that the entire top of the cowling is a single colour 75. This feature is also seen later but in the dark green, presumably because of the part being subcontracted. 500408 is a very complex scheme, here much simplified! Basically 81 (brown) and 82 but with areas oversprayed with 83 (81 green. The underside is pale 76 with blue/green sides. The undersides of the wing is metal, with the ailerons 76(?) and the leading edges a dark colour - 81? The wing uppersurfaces are unclear, if contrasting, but shortly after this they were in 81/76. It is possible that the two examples in the kit are based on later information, but in view of the thoroughness of the JAPO research I suspect there's enough information there to at least doubt it.
  22. 81 seems to have been in an olive green existing in at least two variants, one a dark green and the other more brownish. Messerschmitt seems to have used the browner variant and FW to greener. More than this is deep waters!
  23. Before geting too involved in searching through the JP books on the Dora, could it simply be that "72" is a misprint for "82"? Two shades of green ihas long been a suggested camouflage for these aircraft?.
  24. The larger prop on the Mk.XX series was only permitted by the increased undercarriage length of these aircraft. It was too large for earlier Spitfires.
  25. Yes, but this 26 May order was only for the Potez 63. The later, post Armistice, instruction was for all Armee de L'Air types.
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