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Wildcat painting questions: tri-color propeller tips


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Hello-

 

Does anybody know when the USN tri-color propeller tips were phased out? I'm doing a Midway Wildcat and am trying to work out if I should go with the three-color prop tips or solid yellow.

 

Thanks

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According to information I found in the Naval History and Heritage Command website, on June 25, 1925, propeller tips were to be painted with four-inch wide bands of insignia red, bright yellow, and insignia blue, beginning with the tip; on February 1, 1943, this practice was discontinued and replaced by a  yellow four-inch band at the tip. If this is indeed accurate, then Battle of Midway aircraft would still have the three-color prop tips. I have attached a link to the website as a reference for you and any others ; it has a wealth of information. Hope this helps!

Mike

 

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/naval-aviation-history/aircraft-markings.html

Edited by 72modeler
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The Navy order to switch from red-yellow-blue to 4 inch yellow acutally came earlier, in August 1942.  However, F4F's predated even this, since many had yellow only tips well before that date.  For example, the prototype XF4F-4 had yellow-tipped props in mid-1941; yellow-tipped props were common by the beginning of 1942.  My suspicion is that Grumman, building Wildcats for export as well as Navy orders, get a dispensation from the Bureau of Aeronautics to use props which could fit British specs, in order to avoid production delays. 

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Thanks, I'll go with yellow then. I saw that specification earlier than only discontinued the stripes in 1943, but lots (most, even) of the photos of wildcats from before that clearly have the yellow tips.

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Perhaps I shouldn't even offer this at this stage, but I've been looking at Dauntlesses, and it appears to me that when the prop blades began to be black, they might have retained the red and yellow bands but (and this is where I'm speculating/interpreting) had the blue overpainted/replaced by black.

 

Edit: And then I see a shot that clearly shows a line between the... must be blue... and black of the main part of the blade.  Maybe sometimes?  Ah well, they weren't Wildcats anyway.

Edited by gingerbob
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Tried google for "VF-6 USS Enterprise 1942", lots of photos, most if not all show plain (presumably yellow) prop tips. As a bonus, TBDs and SBDs.  TBDs all appear to have three color tips, SBDs appear mixed. I haven't figured out how to attach photos, I'll keep trying. Hope this helps.

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32 minutes ago, Yankee Air Pirate said:

Tried google for "VF-6 USS Enterprise 1942", lots of photos, most if not all show plain (presumably yellow) prop tips. As a bonus, TBDs and SBDs.  TBDs all appear to have three color tips, SBDs appear mixed. I haven't figured out how to attach photos, I'll keep trying. Hope this helps.

Right click on the photo you want to post. Select "View Image" which will open just the photo. Copy the Web address of that photo and then paste the address here

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