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Phantome

Color of Desert Tomahawk inside windows

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Hello,

 

Does anyone have an idea what the color were Tomahawk cockpits behind the rear windows? It is my impression that US aircraft tended to use the fuselage color rather than the interior color, but most desert Tomahawk pictures show a darker shade. Were they perhaps left in Olive Drab from the factory?

 

Sadly I could only find one color pic but it's inconclusive.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

P-40M+Kittyhawk+(Mk+III)+2.jpg

 

32999453685_dec68e914d_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, they used the fuselage outside camouflage, although in this case it may have been Dark Green rather than Olive Drab.  There has been a lot of discussion about this because sometimes it looks lighter than the external colour (obviously not in this case) but this is because of the intervening glass/perspex

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10 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

 it may have been Dark Green rather than Olive Drab

Agree, which in this circumstance (small area, behind a clear panel, nothing else on the airframe as a direct comparison) means you can get away with either, without risk of (reasonable) criticism 

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THIS great 3-part article states the following for the P-40 scalloped cutouts:

 

Quote

The scalloped cutouts inside the fuselage windows aft of the cockpits on P-40D to M models were usually painted the same as the camouflage colour. As the rear windows could be easily detached for re-painting, most field repaints were also performed this way.  Earlier P-36 Hawk production practice and some photos of the early P-40D and Es indicate that Curtiss could initially have used a different colour for the cutouts. It could have been the same as the cockpit colour, but the author was not able to find any positive confirmation of this.

 

If You look at the photos taken at the factories (during production), using upper cammo color instead of the cockpit color seems to be the case even for earlier P-40B/C models.

Note that the upright plate behind the seat (which holds the seat and the headrest) was painted in the cockpit color.

 

4129626700_917dbeed94_b.jpg

source: Chuck Banas' Flickr album

 

The problem is that the addition of glass over these cut-outs refracts light and often makes the color of cut-outs look different from the rest of the fuselage:

 

4129639654_a9455d9ae7_b.jpg

source: Chuck Banas' Flickr album

 

It can even look lighter, leading some to believe it was painted in Cockpit Green or some other interior color:

 

3550acc8d24d6c7750fb45144188e12b.jpg

source: Pinterest

 

This doesn't exlude the possibility that the British specifically requested these areas to be painted in the interior color at the factory, or that they were repainted at some point at some front maintenance shops, as the scalloped glass windows could be easily removed for maintenance.

Edited by warhawk

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I'm pretty sure there were instances where the scallop areas on P-40s with desert camouflage were painted in the lighter camouflage color, Mid Stone. Whether this was applied at MU or the factory I don't know.

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So the correct answer is: "It depends."

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23 hours ago, warhawk said:

Note that the upright plate behind the seat (which holds the seat and the headrest) was painted in the cockpit color.

Warhawk has posted a couple of interesting colour pictures here that show that the rear bulkhead of early Hawks was actually not painted in the cockpit colour ("Curtiss interior green") but left in yellow zinc-chromate, as was the windshield frame and the armoured-glass frame. The difference compared with cockpit side walls is visible. Thank you!

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On 11/11/2019 at 10:36 AM, Toryu said:

Warhawk has posted a couple of interesting colour pictures here that show that the rear bulkhead of early Hawks was actually not painted in the cockpit colour ("Curtiss interior green") but left in yellow zinc-chromate, as was the windshield frame and the armoured-glass frame. The difference compared with cockpit side walls is visible. Thank you!

 

None of those are my property, and are linked here for descriptive purposes only. But, You're welcome nonetheless.

However, IMHO, I see two distinct primer colors here (not counting the dark blue one) - Curtiss (or some other) green and raw ('yellow') Zinc Chromate:

 

spacer.png

 

My supposition is that the cockpit was primed with Zinc Chromate (as You can see in the row of aircraft at the back left), then painted in Curtiss interior green because the ZC could distract the pilot with its strong hue.

 

Regards,

Aleksandar

 

 

Edited by warhawk

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18 minutes ago, warhawk said:

However, IMHO, I see two distinct primer colors here (not counting the dark blue one) - Curtiss (or some other) green and raw ('yellow') Zinc Chromate

All colours that you point out are the same zinc-chromate judged by my colour-perception ability (which may not be perfect). Since this colour is replicated in the engine compartment and the open fuselage hatch it should definitely be zinc-chromate since those areas were not normally painted interior green.  It is possible, but not very likely, that the yellow cockpit areas have received a second coat of greenish primer (which was usually used for second-coating).

The "Curtiss cockpit green" can be seen on the inner cockpit side wall and underneath the headrest frame on the fuselages facing forward.

 

Sorry, Phantome, for this digression.

 

Cheers, Michael

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5 hours ago, warhawk said:

My supposition is that the cockpit was primed with Zinc Chromate (as You can see in the row of aircraft at the back left), then painted in Curtiss interior green because the ZC could distract the pilot with its strong hue.

I think that for the same reason the scalloped cutouts were often left in OD/Dk green; a light surface would gives more reflections inside the window panel (especially in the desert sun); not something you'd want to ignore when you already have a small angle to check your six.

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Phantome

 

As stated the colour in the scallops is normally the fuselage colour. What is interesting is that for Tomahawks the colour was as per fuselage colours, so quite often was both the Brown and Green, unlike Kittyhawks which tended to have a single colour.

 

When the Tomahawks were repainted in Desert finish this is where it gets interesting, some stayed as brown and green others were actually repainted so there's no hard and fast rule, you need a photo of the aircraft you are researching.

 

Regards

 

Buz

Edited by Buz

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