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All the stupid bf109 questions here


modelfreak
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That aircraft is in 71/02.

The earlier 70/71 also had a much lower demarcation on the fuselage sides. When the the aircraft were repainted they also took the 65 (underside colour) to a much higher demarcation, sometimes even higher than that. The change happened sometime between the end of the Polish campaign and the Battle of France during what we call the 'phoney war', 'sitzkrieg' to the Germans.

The change was most likely related to the unsuitability of the very dark green camouflage to the ever increasing altitudes at which the Bf 109s were operating.

I think the rest is already covered. I'd just add that many fighter pilots wore privately acquired leather jackets, so don't worry too much about the exact colour. There was a flight suit specifically designed for aircraft with limited room in the cockpit, but it was for winter use. If your pilot looks like he's wearing a one piece suit it would be a grey/blue colour.

The chap above looks to be wearing summer gloves 'ohne stulpe' which just means without gauntlet, though many wore the gauntlet version all year round.

Cheers

Steve

Edited by Stonar
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Sorry to go back to the Airfix starter set queries, I've managed to find the full-size photograph:

http://www.asisbiz.com/Battles/camouflage/images/Bf-109E-I.JG20-(o+-Hofe-WNr1490-France-1940.jpg

http://www.asisbiz.com/Battles/camouflage/images/Bf-109E-III.JG51-(o+-Hofe-WNr-1490-France-1940.jpg

1. Was there a decision as to whether the paint scheme was 70/71 or 02/71? The webpage seems to suggest it would be 02/71 as the photograph was taken in 1940?

rlm 74/75 see photos Duxford's Bf109E WNr 1190

https://www.flickr.com/photos/122876669@N03/15289213172/

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rlm 74/75 see photos Duxford's Bf109E WNr 1190

https://www.flickr.com/photos/122876669@N03/15289213172/

74/75 didn't exist in the BoB. There were unit level mixes and trials. Does the Duxford plane still have a wing in original paint with graffiti scratched in it from it being used as War Bonds drive exhibit?

http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/articles/camo/bob/bob_camo.htm

Grey Camouflage?

Although often totally destroyed, all enemy aircraft that came down in the British Isles during the Second World War were thoroughly examined by intelligence teams from the Air Ministry and RAF. The reports created from these examinations were known as Crashed Enemy Aircraft Reports, and recorded such information as Werk Nummer, engine type, armament, additional or special equipment and often, markings and colours. However, and to the disappointment of many post-war researchers, there were no set guidelines in these reports for describing the shades of the colours found on these downed aircraft. Generally, any examination of the paint was confined to an evaluation of the type of finish and occasionally, some undamaged panels would be tested for paint durability.
By mid-August, the first uses of greys and blue-greys as an upper camouflage colour were making their appearance in these reports, appearing with increasing frequency as the battle progressed. ‘light navy grey’, ‘two shades of grey’, ‘light grey with dark grey mottling’, ‘Battleship grey’, ‘mottled greys’ and ‘camouflage grey’ were some of the descriptions given, along with mention of varying shades of green-grey and blue-grey. Were these an indication of the earliest use of the greys 74[9] and 75[10] that would become the standard fighter camouflage the following year or, as recent research and correspondence indicates, that they were colours originally created at unit level?
Since the appearance of the original version of this article I have received written confirmation from two former Jagdwaffe ground personnel confirming that on occasion, various grey shades were mixed and applied to some aircraft in an attempt to find suitable concealment when flying above the waters of the English Channel. Confirmation that this occurred ties in with known practices carried out on Luftwaffe aircraft where a new paint or colour was applied to selected parts of an airframe to test its viability under operational conditions. It can be found that the mixing of various combinations and percentages of the colours 02, 65, 66, 70 and 71, or similar colours in contemporary paints will produce a variety of grey and blue-grey shades. Most, if not all of these ‘grey schemes’ would have been suitable for use in the prevailing situation on the Channel Front in the latter half of 1940. It is reasonable to assume therefore that some of these shades were no doubt almost identical to the later 74/75 greys thus leading to the belief in some quarters that this series of colours had been applied to Bf 109s in the summer of 1940. However, as the use of 74/75/76 was not officially promulgated until the November 1941 issue of L.Dv 521/1[11], it is a wholly convincing possibility that the various greys used during 1940 were those from which they were developed.

The subject of BoB Bf109E is evolving though, and a lot of new material has come to light regarding actual practice, due to ebay sales of original photos.

see here - http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234939571-rlm83/page-5#entry1703253

I'm not a BoB era 109 camouflage expert, but if I really wanted to know, I'd try to find out when the photo was taken, I'm guessing this is a Signal Image, so date and location are known, and then see what other III./JG 51 were camouflaged in at that time, or if they were a unit trialling grey mixes.

If it was then maybe, if not, 71/02 more likely.

Note, the colour photo does look quite washed out, both the grass and the orange bit on the unit badge being washed out.

One final point, note the gun troughs are picked out in what looks to be RLM 65

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74/75 didn't exist in the BoB. There were unit level mixes and trials. Does the Duxford plane still have a wing in original paint with graffiti scratched in it from it being used as War Bonds drive exhibit?

http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/articles/camo/bob/bob_camo.htm

OK, grey, mixes or rlm75/74 but no rlm 71/70/02 as described above.

And also:

The earliest confirmed example of a 74/75/76 camouflage scheme dates from June 1940. Dr William Berge, an experienced Norwegian researcher, was part of the team that recovered a Bf 109 C-l of IV(N)/JG 2 from 27 metres of water off Lindesnes. The Staffel had moved to Vaernes in early May and stayed until 2 June when it commenced a transfer flight back to Germany to re-equip with Bf 110s. W.Nr. 2450, the only C-l amongst the D-ls, experienced engine failure and ditched. Dr Berge has carefully examined the aircraft and confirmed that it was finished in 74/75/76 scheme and showed signs of having only recently been repainted prior to its crash. The paint history on the fin was most interesting; the original pre-January 1939 red band marking had been painted over with 70, then 65 (reflecting the revised demarcation between upper and lower colours introduced in December 1939), then 76, then 75, then 76 again. Significance of a lone Bf 109 C-l amongst the otherwise Bf 109 D-l equipped Staffel may just be coincidental; this was after all a special unit hastily formed using obsolescent aircraft.This colour information accorded with the E-Stelle practice of field-testing a colour (or colours), or any lacquer, for one year prior to giving approval for general use and mass manufacture. Only a handful of aircraft was involved for practical reasons.

It may be speculated that the greys were under development for night fighting application. However, subsequent adoption of black overall finish for aircraft in that role would seem to put this in doubt, (even though the greys eventually would supersede the black finish for that self same purpose). The development being aimed at finding a suitable over-water camouflage was also a possibility, but eventual wider scale use of the scheme undermines such specificity. It seems then that this was simply a field trial of the new colours in an area where the aircraft was less likely to be lost in action, or fall into enemy hands and thus compromise the new scheme. The camouflage pattern found on W.Nr. 2450 was the revised form introduced in April/May 1940, so the application of the 74/75/76 scheme is confined to a fairly narrow time band and matches the statutory one year trial period required by E-Stelle Travemiinde.

Absence of this revised colour scheme on production aircraft dating from this period would appear to support the contention that the paints were still in the field trial stages when the aircraft was lost. Had these paint colours been in production they would have been made available to fighter units when the air battle over Britain erupted, eliminating the endless series of innovative schemes that are in ample evidence in contemporary photographs, and widespread hybrid colours mentioned in intelligence reports. While the units involved had access to captured pre-war permanent facilities on the main French airfields for this work, it is more likely, at least amongst most units, that mobile Luftwaffe repair and maintenance teams carried out the work using the captured facilities.There is no specific record, written or photographic, of aircraft being painted in the non-standard colours by the ground staff of the actual units involved. The most that appears to have been done by them was the application of tactical markings (for which photographs do exist) as the battle progressed. Daily maintenance was at a peak and additional tasks, extensive tasks in some cases, would have impinged heavily on the existing workload. This may explain the distinct variation in style of application seen amongst some units, where several aircraft of a Staffel had a very similar finish while a few others wore a completely different style of additional colouring.

© Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings, 1933-45, Volume 1. K. A. Merrick, Jürgen Kiroff

68bc563f77f5.jpg

10eaaaba60e0.jpg

Edited by Nick Nichols
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The Bf109 in the period colour photo seems to me to have been a repainted aircraft originally delivered in the early 70/71 scheme.

Look at the spine, the contrast is much lower than on the wings so I'm thinking that they just added RLM 65 up the sides of the original low demarcation 70/71 scheme. The wings seems to have been properly repainted with RLM 02 and 71 though.

Nothing is certain but that's how I would've painted a model of that particular aircraft.

/ Anders

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Regarding the Crashed enemy aircraft reports, while there's no doubt in my mind that grey colors were tested during the Battle of Britain there's at least one confirmed incident were colors described as grey in such a report were found post war to have been a regular 02/71 scheme.

The reports do add another part of the puzzle but can't be relied upon without additional background info.

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As I have an Airfix 109 primed and ready to be painted, does anyone know what would be the best Tamiya matches for the above main block colours?

Richard

There are not straight Tamiya matches for 02/71/65

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/70597-rlm-luftwaffe-comparison-chart/

rlmcomparisonchart1.jpg

As you can see, to get close, mixes are needed.

Any reason for just Tamiya?

The Airfix starter kit which has the markings above comes with paint, which are reasonable matches, and Humbrol introduced some specific Luftwaffe colors as well.

Revell also have Luftwaffe colours in their acrylic range, but not described as such, though a look for Revell Luftwaffe subject, find pdf of the instructions and that will give the numbers...

Note, AFAIK RLM 65 is a pale blue, so XF-23 is too grey, and too dark, despite the above chart.

This probably doesn't help much but might be a start. You could start a thread Tamiya matches for RLM paint though.

If you want good matches, in acrylic, available in UK, Xtracrylix are good. I still think their RLM65 is too dark and I'd white to it. They dry gloss so no need for a clear coat.

HTH?

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Hi Troy,

Tamiya, because thats what I have

Hi, if you're now used to using Tamiya paint why not purchase some Gunze? They cover most RLM colours straight out of the bottle and are good matches colour wise as well. They spray just the same as Tamiya although take a little longer to cure fully.
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Modellers have been airbrushing Humbrol paints for decades. Why do you see them as a problem?

Humbrol enamels are fine, but their acrylics suck badly for spray painting - I used humbrol before switching to Tamiya, and I didn't believe the warnings given on this very site about airbrushing humbrol acrylics when I switched to airbrushing. It was painful. Switched to Tamiya and have had no issues since.

And unless I'm mistaken, the included paints in these sets are acrylics.

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Hi, if you're now used to using Tamiya paint why not purchase some Gunze? They cover most RLM colours straight out of the bottle and are good matches colour wise as well. They spray just the same as Tamiya although take a little longer to cure fully.

Interesting, looking into that thanks.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 years later...

I hope its OK to revive this old thread... but I have a few ME109 camo questions (in bold).The rest is my thinking aloud, so what's its worth.

 

Airfix ME109E-3/E-4 starter kit, which they identify as III./JG 51 from the badge. But its probably JG20, which which became the III Gruppe of JG51 on 4 July 1940 and kept the badge.

 

spacer.png

 

http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/articles/color/color_europe.htm

has this to say:

 

"Another of Pichon-Kalau vom Hofe's aircraft, this time an E-4 flown while he was with I./JG20 during the Battle of Britain.  A number of decal sheets feature this aircraft, but none so far call out the painted cowl gun troughs; this was presumably a decorative feature, and was quite common on prewar and early-war Emils in the overall 70/71/65 scheme.  This machine still carries the earlier uppersurface colors but features the updated marking schema."

  • Yes it does look very like 70/71, so OK...
  • What colour would the gun troughs be - red?
  • and the big one - what is going on under the forward tactical marking? It looks like a board stripe of dark green/grey - a remnant of the 1939 scheme maybe? I've never seen anything like it on any other 109. Any ideas?

One possible answer is just ignore it - here's another photo:

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E4-Stab-I.JG20-Hofe-

 

Either the same aircraft at a later date or more likely a replacement machine.

  • I think this is still JG20, March 1940 based on another photo of the gruppe commander's aircraft with a similar camo net to the nearest place, the French aircraft in the background and and the black cat on the nearer aircraft is 2 Staffel.
  • If so, its I Gruppe, which means no marking behind the cross. The only part of the fuselage not visible. Sigh.
  • A bit more contrast in the scheme so is it RLM 65/02/71 now?

Thanks for any help

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