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Fw190D-9 - underwing colours


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Posting this with some trepidation, in case another colour war kicks off.. ;)   However....

 

I see lots of paint guides, discussion online and artwork which references D-9s (in particular) with part-painted lower wing surfaces.  Typically, the lower wing is shown as bare metal, with only the forward parts/leading edges painted in what is usually a grey (or brown) colour, perhaps with the ailerons and flaps in RLM76 or similar.

 

Without wishing to question the specific colours themselves (as these are obviously open to interpretation), I can only find a/c artwork, or examples of previously completed models in this finish.  What seems to be lacking is an actual picture of a D-9 underside which demonstrates - beyond reasonable doubt - that they were painted like this.  

 

Am I missing something, or is there such a pic which purports to show this scheme, on which all this discussion, paint guides and modelling is based?

 

Thanks (and apologies) in advance :) 

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Hi Werdna,

 

beyond reasonable doubt is tough as this area mostly lies in dark shadows in most photographs. In general, the leading edge of the lower surface was painted up until the main spar to prevent reflections from the bare metal when resting on the ground. In addition, all non-metallic parts (ailerons, flaps) where painted too. Not to go into colour discussions too much but general consens seems to be:

  • leading edges: RLM76 (Fw 190A/F and some Doras) or RLM75 (Fw 190D)
  • Ailerons, flaps: RLM76

In fact, there are not many photos showing the bare metal lower wing surfaces clearly but found the following:

  • Fw 190F-8 (RLM76 leading edge; a higher quality version is printed in Merrick's Luftwaffe Camouflage & Markings Volume 1)
  • Fw 190D-9 (looks like RLM76)
  • Fw 190D-11 (looks darker, maybe RLM75)

And finally a discussion about the camo on the preserved Fw 190D-13 (one can hardly make out the demarcation line on the lower wings):

 

Hope this helps!

 

Cheers

Markus

Edited by Shorty84
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Hi Graham,

 

I've just read the relevant paragraphs in Merrick's book again and it seems almost the other way around. While the written communication regarding the first 50 test machines for the unpainted lower surfaces (Fw 190As from the Sorau plant) is known, no written instructions seem to have survived for the Fw 190D-9. Merrick states that the intoduction of the bare metal surfaces was traced based on photographs alone.

There exists a picture of several Fw 190 wings waiting on the assembly line, showing the demarcation lines but of course I cant find it now. From the photos I linked above one can see that there was a bit of variation on how far the paint extended back. Most other photos only give a hint of the demarcation between paint and bare metal so I guess most painting instructions are based on the few photographs available.

 

Cheers

Markus

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1 hour ago, Werdna said:

Am I missing something, or is there such a pic which purports to show this scheme, on which all this discussion, paint guides and modelling is based?

Yes. The two JaPo Fw190D camo and markings books.  There are also the Crandall books which I don't have,  which AFAIK mostly agree. 

 

The authors have made a very good case that specific patterns (like the way 109's have different factory patterns) are typical of what factory or batch the the Fw190D belongs too, based on very careful study of photos, as well as surviving bits.

 

They have 6 or 7 underside schemes depending on batch or subcontractor factory, this also includes details of the size and style of crosses applied, which are usually consistent (and a good identifer)

The books are massively detailed.   Unfortunately they are now OOP  and both hard to find, and go for a load of when they turn up.  They were not cheap when they were available over £40 per book 

(I was immensely lucky to get copies used from a seller on here at a bargain price)

 

We are now at a stage where as much fog of confusion has blown away, and overall there is a remarkable amount of consistency of batch/factory identification.

As such, it's easier to say I want to know about Fw190D of JG* werk nummner ******* and see what is known.   

even without a werk nummer,  in many cases if the airframe is still in the basic factory scheme, and as many had short lives, they are,  it can be extrapolated that this was one built by Gotha and as such it will have underside scheme "X "  

 

There is still plenty of guff floating about,  hence me saying ask about specific airframes if you want a specific answer.    You may not get an answer,  I have decal sheets I tried find out about the source photos, and some are there, some are not.

 

FWIW, there are 3 Fw190D I can think of where the scheme applied is known to be  without dispute.   

The one at the NASM museum,  the one pulled out of Lake Schwerin, Werknummer 210 968

http://www.daedalus-berlin.de/Fw190D9_bergung.htm

155.jpg

 

and Blue 12, the Japo book has  14  photos, 4 in  color

500570colour.jpg&key=c398ae4bb60d4855cce

 

see

 

HTH

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I have the Crandall books, and he has identified six (I think without checking, which I will do presently) differing combinations of uppersurface paint wrapped around to the undersides, bare metal and lower surface paint. 

 

I'll see what pics are there...

 

SD

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Thanks guys :) 

 

The a/c I'm modelling is blue 12/500570.  I've seen the pic posted above previously, but this is the first time I've seen a rendition of it where I can actually make out a demarcation under the wing which appears to show paint on the forward edges, as discussed.  It also appears to show the undercarriage doors in a colour which looks a lot darker than than 76 (even allowing for shade, etc) , so if the under-wing colour is potentially 75, then I'm guessing that the door covers may also be the same..?

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Knowing it was Blue 12 would have saved some time :facepalm:

 

Never mind. As @Troy Smithpoints out, this aircraft is extremely well photographed - the Crandall book has a similar depth of coverage as that supplied in the JaPo volumes. One of the best renditions of the colour shot appears in the older Monogram Close-Up on the Dora. To my eye the colours have a better balance. 

 

SD

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14 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

Knowing it was Blue 12 would have saved some time :facepalm:

Yeah, sorry, I probably should have mentioned that before ;)  However, I guess the query was more of a general one, in the sense that I was looking for evidence for the style of under-wing paint, rather than info on a specific a/c.  

 

As you say - 500570 is extremely well documented (certainly in comparison with other contemporaries).  But despite that, the debate on what colour happens to be in what location still seems to be raging on.   I'll use my 'best guess' on the colours themselves, but until now I hadn't really seen much which appeared to confirm the under-wing style.  So that's progress, I guess ;) 

 

Thanks again!

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20 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

One of the best renditions of the colour shot appears in the older Monogram Close-Up on the Dora

This is correct. If you can hunt down a copy or some one can post the pic you will see the clear demarcation that you can vaguely see in other copies of the same image. I built W.Nr. 500666 recently and struck the same problem as you. Very few images showing the wing underside. In my case I was challenging Eduard's rendition. However, when I saw the Monogram No.10 Close up I decided to go with it. The only images of 500666 are of the fuselage with wings removed so, in my case, it was best guess. Sadly I did not have access to the JaPo and Crandall references. I am still very happy with the result and unique scheme.

 

 

D9_underside

 

There is also a few seconds of your aircraft in the middle of this short film if you have not seen it already. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYEGhCq3TBg

 

Ray

 

 

 

 

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You've asked a very good question.


Confirming that wing undersides were partially or totally bare metal is a bit of a challenge. Unambigious evidence is not that easy to find. Lots of pictures show differences in B&W tones, which could mean natural metal or not. Rather fewer seem to be more certain. I'm waiting for D-9 pictures to make their way to my Cloud storage, but in the meantime I found this of Fw 190A8 'Yellow 14' at Neubiburg in 1945. 

 

Focke-Wulf-Fw-190F8-II.SG2-Yellow-14-WNr

 

The USAF chap is obviously looking at the wing underside painting and thinking 'That's going to cause concern for modellers in the future'. :giggle:

 

Actually, there's a lot to be learned from this. Look at the wing ETC bomb racks - half painted in 76 and the rear portion bare metal. The fuselage underside seems to be bare metal as well. Elevators might be painted but tailplanes seem not to be.

 

Yellow 14 is well represented on decal sheets so worth looking for that and perhaps as a wider late war example of painting practice at Fw.

 

SD

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18 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

 

The USAF chap is obviously looking at the wing underside painting and thinking 'That's going to cause concern for modellers in the future'. :giggle:

We need to track this guy down, and ask him why he didn't take hi-res colour pics.  He could have helped prevent gigabytes worth of discussion on internet forums.. ;) 

43 minutes ago, Ray_W said:

I am still very happy with the result and unique scheme.

Ray - that looks great.  Your rendition looks pretty much how I think I will be doing mine now.  If it turns out half as nice as that I'll be happy :) 

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1 hour ago, SafetyDad said:

One of the best renditions of the colour shot appears in the older Monogram Close-Up on the Dora. To my eye the colours have a better balance. 

 

available here, as are all the others

https://boxartden.com/reference/gallery/index.php/Modeling-References/Monogram-Close-up/10-Fw190D

 

10%20FW190D_Page_18-960.jpg?m=1522041851

10%20FW190D_Page_19-960.jpg?m=1522041851

 

@Werdna

It's well worth a browse of the Monogram close up, they have been in many ways surpassed, in particular on colour details, but they were the cutting edge of available research in the early 80's.

You will not some very familiar photos, but these were the few available at the time, A LOT more have become available for study now, and more keep coming up.

 

HTH

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6 minutes ago, Werdna said:

We need to track this guy down, and ask him why he didn't take hi-res colour pics.  He could have helped prevent gigabytes worth of discussion on internet forums.. ;) 

Ray - that looks great.  Your rendition looks pretty much how I think I will be doing mine now.  If it turns out half as nice as that I'll be happy :) 

Thanks for that . Have a good look at that RLM 81 rendition and what you think it should be. I am still not convinced. Have fun, I did. 

 

32 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

The USAF chap is obviously looking at the wing underside painting and thinking 'That's going to cause concern for modellers in the future'. :giggle:

I laughed at that. My immediate reaction was the photographer said "Go over there and look intelligent." Great photo by the way..

 

2 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

the one pulled out of Lake Schwerin, Werknummer 210 968

http://www.daedalus-berlin.de/Fw190D9_bergung.htm

Troy, I went and had a look at that site, the paint has held up remarkably well. If this is a testament for late war Luftwaffe paint then someone must be going to pull an early war painted aircraft out of a fresh water lake in flying condition. 🙃

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Hello!

 

I still hold the opinion that the half painted chord (leading edge) on Fw 190 wings was aerodynamic filler, possibly Warnecke & Böhm filler 119 D.

 

This debate was done at TOCH forum years ago (Half painted Fw 190 wing undersides - the purpose?  http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=3916&highlight=fw+190+half+painted ).

Please do not continute the discussion in the TOCH thread as one major contirubutor is already deceased.

 

Mustang and Spitfire wings were finished with putty and sanding smooth. Germans did note that and certainly knew the aerodynamical benefits. Every kph more would have been of help.

 

 

Cheers,

Kari

 

 

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Gosh, that took a while for the Cloud to wake up :laugh:

 

Blue 12 undersides: 75 wraps around from upperwing, including wheel doors (that's why they are so dark). Then bare metal. Then 76 ailerons and flaps. 

 

IMG_3961

 

and here

 

IMG_3960

 

 

Both from Crandall J (2007) 'The Focke Wulf 190 Dora Part 1' Eagle Editions Hamilton MT

uploaded solely for the purposes of research/discussion

 

SD

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And some non Blue 12 shots (again from Jerry Crandall's books)

 

IMG_3956

 

IMG_3958

 

 

IMG_3957

 

 

Ironically, the last 2 are D-11s - the rarest of the breed but the best at providing clear pictures of the wing undersides. :facepalm:

Note that the patterns of paint and bare metal are not the same. 

 

SD

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Interesting that the colour image of Blue 12 shows the starboard wing dark colour demarcation further back through the simplified Balkenkreuz. This latest image has the port wing colour demarcation ahead of it.

Edited by Ray_W
clarification
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A question for the Fw 190 gurus.

 

Did Germans manufacture Fw 190 wing leading edges (they were separate modules) from spot welded steel sheet like the Me 262 nose cones? I have heard that from a colleague. Steel would have required paint finish even in late war Lw instrucitons like wooden flaps (Ta 152 at least) and fabric covered ailerons, elevators and rudders.

 

Cheers,

Kari

Edited by Kari Lumppio
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1 minute ago, Ray_W said:

Interesting that the colour image shows the starboard wing dark colour demarcation further back through the simplified Balkenkreuz. This latest image has the port wing colour demarcation ahead of it.

Good call Ray! :like:

 

SD

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19 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

Blue 12 undersides: 75 wraps around from upperwing, including wheel doors (that's why they are so dark). Then bare metal. Then 76 ailerons and flaps.

Is it fair to say that the demarcation on the port wing looks to be in a different location than the starboard, or am I imagining things?

 

edit - Ray beat me to it :) 

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1 minute ago, Werdna said:

Is it fair to say that the demarcation on the port wing looks to be in a different location than the starboard, or am I imagining things?

Yep

 

@Ray_W highlighted this a few posts up. Good call by both of you.

 

SD

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Just now, SafetyDad said:

Yep

 

@Ray_W highlighted this a few posts up. Good call by both of you.

 

SD

 

This is no longer a straightforward masking job... ;) 

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Does anyone have any thoughts on this pic here https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/germany/aircrafts-2/messerschmitt-bf-109/bf109-wings-on-railway-flatcar/  (caption says Bf109 wings, but consensus is Fw190 I think)

 

Appears to show Fw190 (not sure if 'D' or not) wings on a flatbed rail wagon - if the wings were supplied as single (and by the looks of it, pre-painted) sub assemblies, is it odd that two wings on the same a/c would differ in the way that the above pics suggest..?  

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