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ReccePhreak

Tomahawk Color Conundrum

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I recently picked up Airfix's new 1/48 Curtiss P-40B Warhawk (Kit 05130) for a good price. Seeing that it included the left oblique camera & clear camera hatch, I decided I wanted to do it as the Tomawak IIa that was in their kit # 05133. (AH893/RM-D). Since I wasn't able to work a trade for the kit decals, I ordered the Xtradecal sheet X48162, which included markings for that bird.

 

Now comes the hair-pulling conundrum. In the August 2018 issue of Scale Aircraft Modelling, there is a really nice article on US Equivalent Colours for the RAF 1938-1942 Part 2. They have some nice color drawings that show the underside to be painted in Sky Type "S" or Duck Egg Bluish Green, with a flat black left under wing. The spinner and tail band are in Sky Blue.

 

The Airfix instructions for kit 05133 shows the underside to be Matt Beige Green, as well as the spinner & tail stripe.

 

The Xtradecal instructions shows the underside to be Dupont 71-021 S Sky Gray (Xtracrylix XA1138, which is ADC Gray/FS16473). It shows the spinner & tail band to be Sky 'Type S"

 

My question is this: which of these three "paint schemes" is correct?

 

One more item: the Xtradecal instructions state that AH893 had fishtail exhaust pipes, while the other 2 references don't have that info. Also, I can't find any aftermarket "fishtail" exhausts for that model.

 

Larry

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"Camouflage and Markings - No. 12, Tomahawk Airacobra & Mohawk RAF Northern Europe 1939-45" says the undersurface is Sky(I'm assuming Type "S") as well as spinner and band. Port wing outside of the wheel well is black and what I think is the yellow of the under wing roundel painted out. It also shows a large "D" inboard of the starboard underwing roundel

 

EDIT: found a photo of your kite confirming the letter "D" under the wing. The book also says that these aircraft came in standard RAF camo.

Edited by fubar57

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Camouflage and Markings - No. 12, Tomahawk Airacobra & Mohawk RAF Northern Europe 1939-45:

 

https://boxartden.com/reference/gallery/index.php/Modeling-References/Camoflage-Markings/12-Tomahawk-Airacobra

 

 

 

Chris

Edited by dogsbody

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The Airfix instructions will merely point you at the closest Humbrol colour. which may or may not be a particularly close match to the original.  More precise colour matches can be found in the Colourcoat and Xtracolour ranges.

 

The colour specified for the underside was Sky (also referred to as Sky Type S, which referred to the finer pigmentation introduced at this time).  Aircraft built by Curtis and some other US companies were painted with the underside in the Dupont colour Sky Type S Grey.  This was Dupont's attempt at matching the British colour Sky.  Close but not identical, it was accepted as satisfactory by the British Purchansing Committee in the USA.  The one black wing was an identification feature.  Whether these early Tomahawks were repainted overall in the correct RAF colours is possible but to me appears unlikely.  You may need to do some internet searching in this area.

 

The tail band and spinner were specified to be Sky .  However many photos of the period show these to be a lighter colour than the underside, colour photo(s?) show this as Sky Blue or something so near as to be effectively indistinguishable.  This has been suggested as being a poorly-mixed example of Sky (which miraculously always came out lighter and never darker), but it has since been discovered that the Maintenance Unit dispensing tins of paint failed to recognise Sky until December 1940, and so issued some other paint instead.  Because of a typing error in the original, we cannot be absolutely certain just which colour was issued but by far the likeliest was Sky Blue, which is compatible with both colour and b&w photos.

 

The Ducimus books are now somewhat dated in detail but have never been superseded by an equally convenient reference.  They are well worth obtaining, but as a guide to how things were supposed to be done (and, in all fairness, usually was done) rather than the complete answer.  They are best read in conjunction with later references, which are likely to provide more accurate details where the Ducimus give the broad brush viewpoint.

 

PS The Dupont colour 71-021 was not Sky Gray.  Sky Grey was a different Air Ministry colour largely used on Fleet Air Arm aircraft, and which had a different Dupont number.  Sky Gray may well be a good match for ADC Gray, but Sky Type S Gray isn't.  Sorry I can't quote the Dupont number for Sky Gray - I did have it in a link but since Tapatalk took over Hyperscale this was lost.  Presumably it is still on Hyperscale somewhere.

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Thanks Graham, for the excellent reply. :worthy:

I think I will go with the Sky Type 'S' and black for the the underside, and see if I can find a paint in my stash that matches the Sky Blue for the spinner and the tail band.

 

Larry

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13 hours ago, ReccePhreak said:

Thanks Graham, for the excellent reply. :worthy:

I think I will go with the Sky Type 'S' and black for the the underside, and see if I can find a paint in my stash that matches the Sky Blue for the spinner and the tail band.

 

Larry

Here is a photo of Humbrol paint tins next to Tomahawk skin samples I had

 

Note the "sky" skin (it was from the stabilizer) that we cut the sample from, when seen in person, did have a slight green tint to the gray ..the photo of the sample did not catch this

 

These samples came from a Tomahawk recovered in deep in Russian and had be exposed to the weather for many years 

20161025_134640_zpsv2vzplik.jpg

Edited by HBBates

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