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Colour of Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 wheels - AND NOSE!?


Johnson
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Actually it makes sense to keep the camouflage on top of the cowling despite the yellow nose. In the event of an RAF fighter attacking from high and behind the last thing you need is a big yellow nose advertising your presence. 

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As a not very scientific, or definitive experiment, (the 1940 paints were different in composition, the light different, neg film, pos print factors etc...) I altered my photo above to a grey scale image;

 

y4mQvE2tOhcGGKKKXkr0ZXoEQsRWu6WiNWd-EPLu

Resulting in a clear difference in greys.

 

41 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

the line between the camo and the yellow on the nose is very precise and exactly matches the demarcation line before it, and the contour of the camo shows no sign of any minor variation or the slightest step so who ever applied the yellow must have had a very steady hand and been a stickler for detail.

 

My gut feeling is that Colin @fishplanebeer and Peter @Peter Roberts may be right. The side is (or was) RLM 65 Hellblau. But..

 

43 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

Look closely at the vertical panel line behind the air filter - could be two distinct greys - hence perhaps yellow cowl with camo on the top (sort of an early anti-glare panel? ;), with blue 65 painted on the panel behind?

 

Good observation SD. Maybe yellow. :shrug:

 

But do I (with very little time left in the Bf 109 STGB) alter the yellow cowl to blue? :unsure:

 

I know, I'll take the dog for a walk and discuss it with him! :D

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29 minutes ago, Alex Gordon said:

which,to me, looks like a fresh paint job on the cowling panels.

 So what you're suggesting is that it's fresh RLM 65 Hellblau on Franz von Werra's Bf 109E-4, not the white that it's been interpreted as previously? Makes sense to me.

 

Back to my Bf109E-4 of Oblt. Gunther Bode, unless there's compelling evidence that the engine side cowlings were RLM 65 Hellblau, I'm leaving them as RLM 04 Gelb for now. It's a bit too uncertain to do a whole lot of work. The dog agrees (makes a change).

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2 hours ago, Johnson said:

So what you're suggesting is that it's fresh RLM 65 Hellblau on Franz von Werra's Bf 109E-4, not the white that it's been interpreted as previously? Makes sense to me.

 

Alternatively, could it be that the cowling is simply cleaner than the sections aft of the engine, given that the a/c was shot down and potentially spilling oil, fluids and maybe smoke out of the rear of the engine covers before it went in.  

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On 8/30/2021 at 4:37 PM, Johnson said:

 So what you're suggesting is that it's fresh RLM 65 Hellblau on Franz von Werra's Bf 109E-4, not the white that it's been interpreted as previously? Makes sense to me.

 

Short answer,no.It looks like fresh paint,unsullied by oily handprints and other evidence of the attentions of  groundcrew and general wear and tear.I don't know how easy or otherwise it was to replace a cowling panel but the upper panel looks like it was painted off the airframe given that it looks different to the adjacent paintwork.  

Without getting into a flamewar about the divination of colour from a monochrome photo what it does show is a darker camouflage colour on the upper cowling. 

If I was going to guess I would punt for white on the Balkenkreuz,chevron and bar,unit emblem and spinner only.The presence of yellow boils down to when any order for application was issued (I don't know) and if this photo pre-dates that then I'll go with RLM 65. 

I was composing this as @Werdna replied,good thought but it doesn't look that catastrophic to me.

 

You're making a splendid job of yours though :goodjob: .

Edited by Alex Gordon
Spelling of Balkenkreuz,thanks Tempestfan.
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4 hours ago, Johnson said:

As a not very scientific, or definitive experiment, (the 1940 paints were different in composition, the light different, neg film, pos print factors etc...) I altered my photo above to a grey scale image;

 

y4mQvE2tOhcGGKKKXkr0ZXoEQsRWu6WiNWd-EPLu

Resulting in a clear difference in greys.

 

 

My gut feeling is that Colin @fishplanebeer and Peter @Peter Roberts may be right. The side is (or was) RLM 65 Hellblau. But..

 

 

Good observation SD. Maybe yellow. :shrug:

 

But do I (with very little time left in the Bf 109 STGB) alter the yellow cowl to blue? :unsure:

 

I know, I'll take the dog for a walk and discuss it with him! :D

Did the same experiment a while ago.

Before converting to greyscale, increase red, yellow and blue channel to mimic the filters used in B&W photography. (increase red on original, then convert. Repeat starting with the original)

Not at the pc atm  or I'd post pics.

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The Von Werra machine was finally established as not having a white cowling with camo on top which sort of prompted my observation about this JG27 machine.

 

One issue is that crash reports were not compiled to a standard template so there is scope for variation in terms of the references used, particularly when it came to colours although on this occasion yellow is pretty much yellow so no problem there. However when one person referred to the 'nose' being yellow it could be that they were referring to the spinner and back plate as this could reasonably also be called the 'nose'. My other thought is that the yellow or white markings were temporary to aid quicker air to air recognition. So if they were applied in a similar manner to the black and white invasion stripes on allied aircraft then careful masking, which would have been required on this machine to achieve its perfect match with the camo colour, would be a little surprising although not out of the question.

 

Just another thought.

 

Regards

Colin.

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1 hour ago, Alex Gordon said:

I was composing this as @Werdna replied,good thought but it doesn't look that catastrophic to me.

 

It seems to have been 'catastrophic' enough for him to put the a/c down in a field - rather than fly it home.. ;) 

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Of that there is no doubt.The damage to the propellor indicates that it wasn't under power at impact,just windmilling.If the engine had seized due to lack of oil or coolant would the propellor still be able to turn?The paragraph of the report doesn't mention fire damage.Could he have run out of fuel?

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If the engine had actually seized, then no, the prop would not be turning.  But if it was overheating and losing coolant/oil/etc then attempting a landing while still under power would make sense.  I don't know much about the Von Werra story, but a quick google seems to imply that he was shot down, rather than running out of fuel.

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My final thoughts on the yellow nose.

 

The pics would suggest that the spinner was a dark colour, possibly RLM70, so my theory about it being yellow and referred to incorrectly as the 'nose' is wrong however I've seen a pic (still hunting but can't find it at the moment) of a line of Bf109E's with their cowlings all removed so that the cowlings can be sprayed by a mechanic/person. Spraying the cowling off the aircraft would make sense so it would seem odd that in this instance all would be painted yellow but one would be carefully masked off to retain the camo colours. Not impossible if it was done at the pilot's request but all the other pics I've seen of JG27 aircraft with yellow noses show the yellow extending to all of the cowling.

 

Sorry, just to add that as one of the prop blades is still intact it is most likely that the prop wasn't under power at the point of impact and may have been seized or free wheeling.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

Ps. I'm also building a BoB Bf109E at the moment as part of a 'crash' diorama but fortunately for me I've chosen a different aircraft!

 

 

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I'm getting a bit confused here (it's a bit late!).

 

There are now two different 109s in this thread; Franz von Werra's Bf 109E-4 (might have been white nosed) and that of  Oblt. Gunther Bode's (some of it's nose is yellow).

 

Are we possibly getting the two planes mixed up? Is it me?

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17 minutes ago, Johnson said:

I'm getting a bit confused here (it's a bit late!).

 

There are now two different 109s in this thread; Franz von Werra's Bf 109E-4 (might have been white nosed) and that of  Oblt. Gunther Bode's (some of it's nose is yellow).

 

Are we possibly getting the two planes mixed up? Is it me?

 

I think you got it right earlier - stick with what you’ve done. You’ve got the crash report to back you up. Photos are helpful but not always the be all and end all of evidence - filters, wet or dry, sun, shade, film, development of photo, exposure, etc etc 

 

That’s a fine job you’ve done, nice build.

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My apologies Charlie,I've got the wrong end of the stick by not reading everything properly :fraidnot: .You've probably seen these photos https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Bf-109E/JG27-Stab/pages/Messerschmitt-Bf-109E4-Stab-I.JG27-Gunther-Bode-WNr-1394-crash-landed-Mayfield-9th-Sep-1940-01.html but I'll post the link anyway.They aren't giving much away but I think you're pretty much on the mark with yours

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Sorry if I've caused any confusion by attempting to link the Von Werra machine with the one in question from JG27.

 

I think the consensus is that the former did not have a white nose, and that all the evidence in terms of the crash report and the b&w pics confirm that the JG27 machine probably did have camo on top of its yellow nose, despite my original scepticism and the fact that most JG27 machines seem to have had all the cowling painted yellow.

 

Apologies again.

 

Regards

Colin.

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at the pc now...

apologies for posting armour pics.....

not my model, just an image from the net.

all pics are as is, no exposure correction.

Just increased the colour channel to 50 in Gimp, then converted to grayscale.

the most often used used filters would be yellow>orange>red, with an increasing penalty in filter factor (how much light passes through the lens)

king-tiger-223-ardennes-1944-1619303143-

 

king-tiger-223-ardennes-1944-Grayscale.j

king-tiger-223-ardennes-1944-BLUEGraysca

 

king-tiger-223-ardennes-1944-GREENGraysc

 

king-tiger-223-ardennes-1944-REDGrayscal

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No apologies necessary chaps, but thanks anyway. All contributions much appreciated, although my head was beginning to spin somewhat after an evening of decalling the 109, watching the new BBC submarine drama and reading the posts late last night! I usually try to avoid 'colour question' posts, especially WW2 German! But this has been most useful.

 

Thanks for all the votes in favour of leaving it 'as is', which I would now have to do anyway as this is the last week of the GB and my modelling activities are about to be drastically curtailed by real life :huh:!

 

Cheers all!

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1 hour ago, fishplanebeer said:

Forgot to add that the build looks excellent and I just hope my own current attempt comes out even vaguely as good.

 

Thanks Colin, you're most kind. I'm sure your 109 will be great!

 

Best wishes,

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On 8/29/2021 at 12:45 PM, Johnson said:

Hi Folks,

 

I'm building this 1940 JG 27 Bf 109E-4 using the 1/72 Airfix kit.

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E4-Stab-I.JG27-Gunth

 

The wheels look like they were painted either RLM70 Schwarzgrun or black, hard to say from this B&W photo. Any opinions on the correct colour?

 

Many thanks,

 

 

If I may throw in a penny:

- The Jaguar of the JG 27 badge IS yellow (the chevron is not mentioned but may be as well), but comes out very pale - I am hard pressed to see a tonal difference between it and the cowling (and the jaguar may have been in a more orangey tone), if any, so the cowling may well be completely yellow.

- I perceive a slight wobble of the demarcation to the cowling top camo under the forward half of the gun troughs, suggesting a repaint.

- The front part of the compressor intake looks darker, so could well have been the blue shown elsewhere.

On 8/29/2021 at 1:13 PM, Troy Smith said:

RLM 22 gloss black.  Standard for all Luftwaffe wheel hubs.  I emphasise the gloss bit as the reflections can make them look lighter. 

 

 

12+Messerschmitt+Bf+109+fighter+gunboat+

 

 

 

Interesting - a G-6 with pre-G-4 wheels

On 8/29/2021 at 8:09 PM, Jochen Barett said:

 

The rarish Bf 109 L (for left handed pilots and ground crew)!  😍

...and I thought we had found a Me 109GTi BiTurbo...

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Hi @Johnson, looking again at the pics at a larger screen, I think I rather withdraw my "possibly yellow chevron" comment. They look white like the Balkenkreuz (NOT BalkAn-, as has been written again upthread). As to your question, I think yellow was a valid Staffelfarbe, but for the heck I can't keep even the Luftwaffe markings scheme basics in my brain...

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Actually, really don't need any filter to see that yellow (particularly RLM 27) can end up looking quite similar to the RLM 65 when applying a software emulator of Orthochromatic b/w film:

 

spacer.png

 

The photo quality makes it really difficult to state the yellow is limited to the lower half of the cowl.  It could just as easily be wiped dirt visible just above the exhausts and below.

 

spacer.png

 

 

regards,

Jack

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