Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sign in to follow this  
noelh

Colourised WW2 aircraft

Recommended Posts

Came across this:https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/world/horror-explosions-and-terrifying-crash-landings-as-striking-colourised-images-bring-wwii-planes-back-to-life/ar-BBGeJtk?li=AAmb2oK&ocid=spartanntp

 

Yes I know colourisation can be controversial but this chap Paul Reynolds seems to be very good. Lots of his work visible online. No doubt some of you are familiar with his work.

 

What I like about colourised photos is that one they bring the subject to life and I actually think that they often highlight details that otherwise blend in with the background. Almost a 3d effect. Also it is akin to modelling in that it's an interpretation where colours is applied to something grey which brings it to life. I find them inspiring in a way. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The photos look great - thanks for posting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The obvious traps aren't always.  One of the first colorised movies I ever heard of featured Frank Sinatra.  But the guy doing the job was not familiar with his subject.

 

The review I saw carried the headline Ol' Brown Eyes is Back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'know, I have always thought that that Beaufighter (PN-B) was painted green and Earth, not grey. Who is right? These 'colouring-ins' means trouble for and from paint police in the years to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may get into trouble for saying this, but they are an abomination. I can admire the handiwork (which can in some instances be absolutely marvellous), but they are interpretations of the real colours. When some unknowing amateur colourist now releases his interpretation on the world, other unknowing people (who are usually not familiar with colour interpretation off pictures, or of the historical precedents for the colours involved) will think it's real, and will be trotted out by people who are equally not familiar with reality as proof for their fanciful colour schemes.

If there were a way of clearly marking these flights of fancy as fake-colours, I might reconsider, but as any Tom, Dick or Harry can copy, crop and re-name pictures, my faith in "colour" pictures has dropped too near zero, unless I get them from a reliable source, or from a printed resource older than about 2010 or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with colourised photos is exactly that - they are artificially coloured by people who can and will make mistakes, or estimate a colour. It is no different to creating a document as evidence to support an argument or claim.

 

If people are going to create these fake" historical images" then they clearly need to be marked as colourised in the same way that copyright images are marked. Otherwise they will creep into our historical records and provide false and misleading data for future historians. Genuine historical information be it written, recorded sound or film and photographs are too important to the real historians to be tampered with just for the benefit of amateur historians like modellers.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Mainly28s said:

I may get into trouble for saying this, but they are an abomination. I can admire the handiwork (which can in some instances be absolutely marvellous), but they are interpretations of the real colours. When some unknowing amateur colourist now releases his interpretation on the world, other unknowing people (who are usually not familiar with colour interpretation off pictures, or of the historical precedents for the colours involved) will think it's real, and will be trotted out by people who are equally not familiar with reality as proof for their fanciful colour schemes.

If there were a way of clearly marking these flights of fancy as fake-colours, I might reconsider, but as any Tom, Dick or Harry can copy, crop and re-name pictures, my faith in "colour" pictures has dropped too near zero, unless I get them from a reliable source, or from a printed resource older than about 2010 or so.

Absolutely agree but I repeat my original opinion. I really think they highlight aspects we might not always see in a black and white photo. If you build a model based on the photo are you more or less guilty of the same interpretation.?  We're all amateurs at the end of the day. So if I build a model based on my opinion and indeed the best amateur research, am I more or less wrong? 

 

Like I said, colourised picturised photos are as much as anything as a model based on the picture as seen knowing the basic colours. 

 

What's different to building a model kit?

 

Inspiration anyone?

Edited by noelh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, noelh said:

Absolutely agree but I repeat my original opinion. I really think they highlight aspects we might not always see in a black and white photo. If you build a model based on the photo are you more or less guilty of the same interpretation.?  We're all amateurs at the end of the day. So if I build a model based on my opinion and indeed the best amateur research, am I more or less wrong? 

 

Like I said, colourised picturised photos are as much as anything as a model based on the picture as seen knowing the basic colours. 

 

What's different to building a mode kit?

I think the distinction is that a model is usually pretty  easily recognisable as a model, whereas a picture is a picture, and is a historical record. It's tampering with history- pretty much the same thing as airbrushing  certain national insignia off equipment, or dubbing audio to remove language that was in common use but is now offensive or editing film to remove guns and replace them with cell-phones.

If we airbrush our history, we cannot learn from it. That's the angle I'm viewing it from. Alter the historical record, and you alter history. Alter history, and you remove our roots. Remove our roots, and you remove the value of what has gone before.

Edited by Mainly28s
Add a phrase " to remove language that was in common use but is now offensive" to clarify

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think "abomination" is far too strong a word for this. As presented, they represent themselves as nothing other than colourised photos & I for one have no problem with someones impressions being expressed this way as I do the many & varied styles of model making. I pride myself that I can usually recognise a colourised photo & if in doubt I'll try & seek secondary reference rather than relying on a suspect photo alone. Down the track, who knows, I can't control what others do with their freedoms, as this surely is, any more than I can control what folk do with their modelling. Live & let live to my mind.

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Steve says., it's an impression and I for one think that sometimes it helps see things as they were or might have been. The world was not black and white until colour TV and film was popularised in the 1970's. That's as ridiculous as thinking that everyone walked around in a staccato manner back in the twenties just because film wasn't advanced at that point.

 

I say again, colourised photos often reveal details that are often lost in the grey melange of even the best black and white photos. It's useful, not for the colours which are frankly sometimes false but for the detail and the way they make it real. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at the Hurricane and the interior green on the inside of the UC doors....

 

There are archives of WW2 colour, or color, as much was US in origin, some has suffered the ravages of time, but there as no cheap color film,  so it's often excellent.

 

  a member here @Etiennedup  has a flickr stream of period colour of British and Commonwealth aircraft

click pic for the link

 

and

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=spitfire

if you change the name after the /&q=  to the type you want it searches really well.  so replace 'spitfire'with 'lancaster'

the selction is random, but there are many fascinating details to be gleaned.

 

There are a few books of period color which can often be got cheap,  often from the collection of Jeffery Ethell who collected Kodachromes

see here for a selection

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ethell+color&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3Aethell+color

 

not planes, but George Stevens shot color film from D-Day to Berlin,  and there is a book of stills.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1898799075/

 

and more bits get dug out,  there was the John Thaw narrated WW2 in Colour on ITV abour 20 years ago with lots of private film in it.  Not much plane footage, but still fascinating.

 

On the subject of ww2 colour,  Nightbombers DVD

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nightbombers-DVD-H-I-Cozens/dp/B0001GNJK6

Quote

The wartime colour film of Lancasters used in in this now re-mastered DVD is the only known to exist. It was de-classified under the "Thirty Year's Rule" in 1978 and so was not available for use in earlier documentary programmes such as "The World At War". Since release, parts of the film have appeared in other Video/DVD's and used on TV. For example, footage was shown by BBC TV last December in their "RAF at 90" programme.

Viewed as a whole, the film reflects a full day of activity at a front line RAF Bomber Base. It shows ground crew changing a Merlin engine, replacement of a rear turret with twin 0.50 inch machine guns rather than four 0.303 inch guns and then the fuelling and bombing up of aircraft. Bombs of various sizes are shown being manhandled on to trolleys then moved by tractor from the bomb dump to have fuses attached before being taken to aircraft and winched up into the bomb bay. Aircrew are shown being fully briefed and getting into flying gear prior to taking off "for a mission to Berlin". The latter section appears "staged" but still reveals what it was like to be in a Lancaster and the near impossibility of getting out if an aircraft was hit by shell or cannon fire from anti aircraft guns or night fighters.

The quality of the footage is astonishing given that the bulk was filmed using a 16mm camera. The interior shots of a fully operational Lancaster (and perhaps the reason for the ban on release until 1978) show the use of all the electronics that became available later in the war for navigation and early warning of night fighter attack.

 

a friend who was a cameraman said it was very well filmed,  and  if this is an area of interest you  will be fascinated, plus with DVD drives in computers, it's easy to take stills for  reference.

here's a still...

Lanc being fitted with a Rose tail turret. 

night_bombers_turret_change.jpg

 

 

bombing up

a5faed0db7d0ae5755173a29158d99da.jpg

 

many of you will recognise this image, but maybe not it's origin

a9d65b5775809263f405619e4cfc1543--aeropl

 

There is a lot more US footage from the Pacific in color as well, and plenty will be on youtube.

I  got a load of World At War DVDs cheap from when they were a newspaper freebie,   and the Pacfic war one has some great carrier footage.

 

While there are many gaps in the colour record,   it's really worth knowing what genuine WW2 color/colour is out there ,  given the rise of colourised pictures and film.

Anyone else got any recommendations?

 

Cheers

T

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kodachrome was around since 1935, track down some well looked after slides of that and you'll have beautiful colours :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is amazing and and humbling that I found some - indirect - personal connections with two of the mentioned colour films.

 

When I lived in New Orleans, I worked at a Martin / NASA plant at Michoud. On the engineering staff there were TWO former Lancaster tail gunners, one British and one Canadian. When "Night Bombers" was broadcast on PBS sometime in the 1980's, I recorded it and showed it to them. One of them had been at Hemswell and recognized himself in a debriefing scene. He said that Gp/Capt Cozens always seemed to have a movie camera in hand but the aircrew didn't pay much attention and of course, few ever saw the outcome. It is a very, very sobering film, because it's the real thing.

 

The second occasion was a few years later, back in UK, when "Britain at War in Colour" was broadcast. In one of the title sequences, and shown in a slightly longer sequence in the program itself, several Spitfire IXs pull up past the camera aircraft one after another. The first are 73 Sqn aircraft and then a 253 Sqn Spit - "SW" codes - appears; a later shot in the same sequence shows a flight of Spits in the distance with red spinners and "SW" codes - "A" Flight of 253 Sqn. The significance of this is that I was watching this with my Dad, who was a pilot with 253, "A" Flight in Italy & Yugoslavia 1944-46. The film was shot in the summer of 1945 by David Green who was a pilot on 73 Sqn, in 281 Wing with 253. The thing is, Dad had very few photos from his wartime service, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that there would be colour film, with - in all probability - him flying!

 

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing these very interesting images, some of them truly terrifying for those involved.

 

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think abomination is close to the truth. The people who do these colour interpretations have excellent and admirable technical skills and while they may be (mostly) not passing them off as genuine colour pictures, the person after the person who copies and posts them may well do so in support of their arguments or prejudices.

They are a different kind of thing to a profile or a model altogether. I have yet to see anything on one that wasn't in the original black and white image. Indeed, if there is anything there like that, it's faked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are quite a few original colour pics as Troy said. I have some of the Jeffrey Ethell books and a couple by Roger Freeman with excellent genuine "uncolourized" colour photos of 8th AF and RAF and more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, MilneBay said:

The problem with colourised photos is exactly that - they are artificially coloured by people who can and will make mistakes, or estimate a colour. It is no different to creating a document as evidence to support an argument or claim.

 

If people are going to create these fake" historical images" then they clearly need to be marked as colourised in the same way that copyright images are marked. Otherwise they will creep into our historical records and provide false and misleading data for future historians. Genuine historical information be it written, recorded sound or film and photographs are too important to the real historians to be tampered with just for the benefit of amateur historians like modellers.    

I have concerns about things becoming "accepted" as fact...like yellow Zekes with red cowls or P51 Mustangs with red fuselage decoration ..sold a lot of Revell Mustangs on the strength of that back in the day I'll warrant. Its a bit sort err Fake Newsy.^_^

Perhaps if the artist was to publish his colourisation attempt alongside the un-retouched original b & W image for comparison. I like the "watermark" idea of MilneBay too.

Apart from which I'm loathe to criticise Mr Reynolds as hes a fellow Brummie (or I was once):smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×