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Norwegian Gladiator 433 Colours


Crimea River
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Greetings all.

 

For my next project, I'm thinking of tackling this Gladiator flown by Finn Thorsager. It's apparently the only one in Norwegian service that had some form of camouflage on it and it looks intriguing:

 

9d5017a4716ba2f2dc7fc85598541eb4.jpg

 

I've searched the forum and found just a short mention of it here:

 

 

On another site (http://persprojects.blogspot.com/2012/02/gloster-gladiators-of-jagevingen.html) the following is quoted:

 

"433 had been at the forefront of my mind ever since I ordered these miniatures. While 11 out of 12 Norwegian Gladiators were painted in the peacetime matte silver and national colours, in January 1940 Gladiator 433 was painted in an experimental camouflage pattern suggested by a Norwegian Army Air Force staff officer. Very little information exists about this pattern, so I was left with guesswork....In addition to two black-and-white photographs [I have only found the one above] showing the aircraft from the same side, this was the only written description I was able to find: 'On the experimental aircraft, Gladiator 433, areas of the wings and fuselage (the dark areas) are partially covered with brown-green (khaki) and grey, wavy lines that blend into one another. The remainder of the fuselage sides and bottom (the light areas) are painted in a mix of matte silver and light blue, intended to make the aircraft as inconspicuous as possible when seen against the sky. Areas of the top of the wings (the light areas) are instead painted grey or grey-green." (Cato Guhnfeldt - Fornebu 9. April, published by Wings, Oslo, 1990).' "

 

Well that's pretty clear isn't it?!

 

Looking at the B&W photo above, the light areas of the upper camouflage do indeed seem to be made up of two colours, either mottled with a light colour over a slightly darker one or a wavy pattern of a darker colour applied over a lighter colour. The profile that accompanies the picture does not show this.

 

As always, I like to depict my models as accurately as possible and would like to do this one justice, if good information comes to light All help is welcome and perhaps @Kjetil Åkra and @Vingtor can offer any advice?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Andy

Edited by Crimea River
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There are speculations that the paint used was the same as delivered for the Capronis. I.e. Italian paint/colours. But not confirmed.

 

I am considering doing decals for this, and other Norwegian Gladiators. I will thus have to dive into the studies I did a few years ago.

 

Nils

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Thanks for the feedback guys. The more I read the description of the scheme I quoted the more it begins to make sense. It's looking to me as though the underlying silver dope was first oversprayed with a light blue or grey in a wave pattern. A khaki green was then sprayed over that, also in a wave pattern, to form the disruptive dark areas. The wing uppers indeed appear to have been completely painted a solid medium grey (note absence of insignia) and then the khaki applied similar to the fuselage.

 

Decals would appear to be minimal. There's the 433 on the rudder and the obvious national marking on the rear fuselage. There is also a pair of stencils either side of the struts on the ski fairings. I would love to know what these say. These appear on other pics of Norwegian Gladiators mounted on skis and I note that the skis themselves are different than their Finnish and Swedish counterparts.

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10 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

She is usually pretty good. I wonder if she had that picture to work from. @Juanita

 

I think she must have had at least one photo reference as the green waves on the fuselage in the profile match the photo very well.

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I have an Airfix Gladiator in the stash waiting to get this scheme. Following this thread with interest as new speculations pop up in my head..

 

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Looks like a thin layer of white (distemper ?) was applied in a disruptive pattern over the existing camo so the dark green still shows through on those portions, at least on the fuselage and the ski covers.

 

If you look closer you can see the continuation of the dark camo grid on the over-painted areas

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Hi Guys

 

I hate to disappoint you, but that profile is not my work.

 

My interpretation is that the darker color has been sprayed over the aluminium paint.

 

I'm unfamiliar with the Norwegian Gladiators...so I don't know if they remained Aluminium paint all through their careers or whether they were camouflaged. My initial reaction is that the aluminium paint looks like it was lightly sprayed over underlying camo...then the dark squiggles were applied over that.

 

There is something about the sheen that makes me think 'aluminium paint' rather than 'white paint'.

 

However, if the Gladiators remained in aluminium paint then I tend towards Crimea River's suggestion that it has been oversprayed in a light colour...perhaps grey, perhaps light blue...before the dark squiggles were applied.

 

Cheers

Juanita

 

 

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16 hours ago, Crimea River said:

There is also a pair of stencils either side of the struts on the ski fairings. I would love to know what these say. These appear on other pics of Norwegian Gladiators mounted on skis and I note that the skis themselves are different than their Finnish and Swedish counterparts.

The text say:

 

TRÅKK

IKKE PÅ

SKIA

 

And seen on other photos:

 

TRÅKK IKKE

PÅ SKIA

 

Meaning "Do not step on the skis".

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1 hour ago, Juanita said:

Hi Guys

 

I hate to disappoint you, but that profile is not my work.

 

My interpretation is that the darker color has been sprayed over the aluminium paint.

 

I'm unfamiliar with the Norwegian Gladiators...so I don't know if they remained Aluminium paint all through their careers or whether they were camouflaged. My initial reaction is that the aluminium paint looks like it was lightly sprayed over underlying camo...then the dark squiggles were applied over that.

 

There is something about the sheen that makes me think 'aluminium paint' rather than 'white paint'.

 

However, if the Gladiators remained in aluminium paint then I tend towards Crimea River's suggestion that it has been oversprayed in a light colour...perhaps grey, perhaps light blue...before the dark squiggles were applied.

 

Cheers

Juanita

 

 

All Norwegian Gladiators were painted Aluminium. There were no underlaying camouflage.

 

433 was the only aircraft that received camouflage, in 1939. The cost was NOK 200, which was considered two high to go through with camouflage on all aircraft.

 

There were three types of national markings specified for Norwegian military aircraft before the war. The most common was flag stripes on the wings and rudder. A second variant was the flag striped fuselage band, with no wing markings. Finally, a kind of roundel with the Norwegian flag cross was only tried out on a couple of aircraft (though I don't remember which type).

 

Nils

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Thanks all for the truly valued input.

 

First of all, Juanita, I'm disappointed to see that I linked a profile from Pinterest with your name on it that has obviously been doctored. I had the choice of posting two versions of this profile, one with your name on it and one without. I chose to use the one that acknowledged the artist but apparently that was incorrect. If I can be of any assistance to resolve this, let me know. I don't know the posters and am not a regular Pinterest user. The image showed up in a Google search so I linked it.

 

@VingtorNils, thanks so much for clarifying the stencil wording. I had guessed that it was some kind of "No Step" warning, given the location of the thin fairings. As to the markings, would you be able to advise if this particular aircraft would have had the flag stripes on the underside of the wings?

 

I'm now more reassured to think that there was some form of light paint sprayed over the base aluminum dope on the fuselage and, presumably, the undersides as described in the quote from Guhnfeldt's book. Now it's a matter of deciding on the colours......

 

Andy

Edited by Crimea River
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On 1/30/2020 at 4:16 AM, Crimea River said:

Greetings all.

 

For my next project, I'm thinking of tackling this Gladiator flown by Finn Thorsager. It's apparently the only one in Norwegian service that had some form of camouflage on it and it looks intriguing:

 

9d5017a4716ba2f2dc7fc85598541eb4.jpg

 

On photo is is clear that some light mottle structure is applied on what is perhaps the alu dope. However it can be differently - It even looks that dark (green) pattern was everywhere and then the thin layer of a light colour (maybe white as was suggested) was sprayed over. I such a case there is no alu dope on it at all. After this national insignia and tactical number were painted on top of it.

Cheers

J-W

 

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P.S.

Look at those Fokkers CVD  - the Norwagian camos had large variety on individual machines, 

number 323

26daf21bdd15c16e10514c2a349c4656.jpg

or 353

9dfa890f6e043181422003f1280d2ea5.jpg

1a10ecc78a9e57d8c2da8c0b981a075b.jpg

 

In case of Gladiator I would vote that alu dope is left only  as a background between green elements, and what looks like uncomuflaged alu dope is thin white overspray green"snakes" on alu. (which makes still pattern of grren visible a bit). Please note, that those area betweeen green elements are darkered than those oversprayed .

Regards

J-W

 

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47 minutes ago, JWM said:

On photo is is clear that some light mottle structure is applied on what is perhaps the alu dope.

Are we sure about that? To me it looks like the shadow from a tree behind the photographer (looking also at the ground under and around the tail). 

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Yes, I'm also noticing the effect of different lighting across the back half of the aircraft which needs to be taken into account. Whether it's a tree, smoke/steam, or whatever, it's evident to me that there is a shadow there. The snow is a darker tone here than at the front of the aircraft. I'm inclined to think that the fuselage had a single treatment of light grey or blue sprayed over the silver in a wave pattern, followed by the more obvious darker waves.

 

Anyone want to take an educated stab at the specific colours? If Italian, which colours would they be? What other colours were available to the Norwegians?

 

Great input so far. Keep it coming!

 

Andy 

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1 hour ago, Boffin79 said:

are we sure about that? To me it looks like the shadow from a tree behind the photographer (looking also at the ground under and around the tail). 

That is true that light is not uniform, but sun is high and behind photographer (look at the shadow of roof on hangar wall) and the shadow structur is fuzzy, not like due to tree branches. Actually I cannot gues what object could  produce such regulara and fuzzy borders of shadow on airplane. Moreover - please look on back of right ski. The top of it is apparently in deep shade of wing, however still reveal some non-uniform colour...

Next example of Norwegian strange camo is on this photo, both Hover MF 11 and He 115 (this photo exists in far better quality also, but I have now found only that 😞

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Cheers

J-W

 

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16 hours ago, Crimea River said:

As to the markings, would you be able to advise if this particular aircraft would have had the flag stripes on the underside of the wings?

There should be no wing markings on either upper and lower surfaces for aircraft with fuselage band national marking,

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15 hours ago, Boffin79 said:

Are we sure about that? To me it looks like the shadow from a tree behind the photographer (looking also at the ground under and around the tail). 

Quite sure. Other photos without any tree shadow also show the pattern.

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7 minutes ago, Vingtor said:

Quite sure. Other photos without any tree shadow also show the pattern.

You're right. I checked Cato Guhnfeldt's book after I wrote my post, and the pattern is visible in overcast lighting as well (page 33). Question then is; is it aluminium with light blue spots, or light blue with aluminium spots? 😉

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30 minutes ago, Boffin79 said:

You're right. I checked Cato Guhnfeldt's book after I wrote my post, and the pattern is visible in overcast lighting as well (page 33). Question then is; is it aluminium with light blue spots, or light blue with aluminium spots? 😉

As the aircraft initially was painted aluminium, I would suggest aluminium with light (blue ?) snake pattern.

 

Here are the other photos of 433 that I have in my collection.

1:

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2:

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3:

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4:

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5:

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According to one source, the Italian paint that was delivered with the Caproni Ca.310 aircraft, and that was available at Kjeller when Gladiator was camouflaged was:

  • Bruno Mimetico (brown)
  • Verde Mimetico 3 (green)
  • Giallo Mimetico 3 (light khaki / sand)
  • Grigio Mimetico (light grey)

The standard colour for the Norwegian Air Arm aircraft was a dark green which matches FS 24052 (I have a fabric sample). This would of course have been available, as would white (for the national insignia). Light blue was no standard colour, but might have been acquired from local paint shops. Which colours were actually used on 433 must be speculations. I would guess the standard dark green was used for the dark snake pattern. Photo No.2 in interesting as it has other Gladiators in the background. Comparing the fuselage colours, I would say that 433 has aluminium base with a light snake pattern. The light snake pattern could just as well be white.

 

The written source that is often quoted is Cato Guhnfeldt's book. Cato is a good friend of mine, and we often meet for modelling evenings. I will have a talk with him about this the next time we meet. He is very keen on building the new ICM 1/32 scale Gladiator.....

 

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