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Fw 190D-9 wing upper surface colours


Vlad
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I must say, I do struggle with the logic of using colours like 76 and/or 77 as upper surface camo colours, at a time when the RLM's main objective was supposed to have been ground concealment. 

 

Having said that - where's that photo of dark/light coloured Fw190 wings on a railway car..?  ;) 

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Beggars can't be choosers - you use what you've got.  However, the value of camouflage schemes is not only for concealment but also for deception, so contrasting volours can have value.  Also, any aircraft left in the open was a target regardless of its colours or pattern - they were kept in woods and other areas, assisted, if necessary, by cloths, branches etc.

 

Regarding 76, it was often said that late in the war the blue content was reduced, and it appears almost white - I suggest this is why 77 is sometimes suggested.  Howeer 77 was so rarely used there seems little likelihoods of significant stocks of this.  Ullmann has stated that the "blue/green/Luftwaffe Sky was simply 76 with the pigment even further reduced.  If so, then we can ruleout suggested schemes with 76 and this colour on the same aircraft parts - as sometimes shown with 76 under the fuselage and "sky" on the fuselage sides.  This makes no kindof sense at all.

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77 was used on some 109K-4s (in pattern with 75). 76 overall was a high altitude scheme that was sometimes partly overpainted on the upper surfaces. So it's not inconceivable they were using stocks or patterns intended for high altitude combat even if this was no longer the reality.

 

Off topic a little, but with regards to 109s at least, my understanding is that flight control surfaces that were not metal didn't use the same paint as the metal parts, so the 76 retained its blue cast on these parts specifically (correct me if I'm wrong on this). There are many late war 109 schemes that are depicted with "sky" fuselage sides but blue tail assemblies and aileron/elevator undersides. I woudn't be surprised if some subcontractors were still using up stocks of "proper" 76 while others switched to the low pigment varieties, so again it's not inconceivable to me for an aircraft to have e.g. a blue lower nose cowling but greenish fuselage sides.

 

Agreed though "sky" sides with a blue belly doesn't make sense.

 

There's also additional variation due to the low quality late 76/"sky" fading and weathering very quickly, so changing shade in use.

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Is there actual evidence of 77 on 109s or is this just an assumption from the light colour?

 

I agree about the use of different paints by different subcontractors - hence restricting my comment to the fuselage.  Incidentally, JaPo says that 76 and "83" ailerons were present on the same airframe.

 

If, on the other hand, "G-Sky" was a new colour, then green sides make more sense.

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3 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Is there actual evidence of 77 on 109s or is this just an assumption from the light colour?

 

No 1st hand evidence I'm afraid, but I've seen them around. From MMP "Bf 109 Late Versions Camouflage and Markings":

 

- 109K-4 "Black 12" possibly of 2./KG(J) 6 - 75 and 77 upper surfaces

- 109K-4 "Black 15 + ~" W.Nr. 332579 of 14.JG 53 - camouflage stated as RLM 75/77/76

- 109K-4 W.Nr. 335265 - 77 and Dark Green on the wing upper surfaces, a picture of this plane does indeed show a very light colour:

 

 

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Several other aircraft in the book have the nose cowling partly in RLM 77 irrespective of the rest of the camouflage.

 

I have also found 109K-4 "<1" of Lt. Ernst-Dieter Bernhard III./JG 53 interpreted as being in 75 over 77 (or sometimes Green over 77). This one appears on AIMS decal sheet AIMS72D029 with these colours.

 

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It crops up in models too, though this might be people overdoing the "scale lightening" of RLM 75.

 

Of course, any of the above might be any combination of mistaken assumptions, poor research or photo exposure and deterioration trickery.

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9 minutes ago, Vlad said:

- 109K-4 W.Nr. 335265 - 77 and Dark Green on the wing upper surfaces, a picture of this plane does indeed show a very light colour:

 

To me, that is just over-exposure or some other kind of photographic anomaly.  Otherwise, we'd have to accept that the lower rear portion of the tail - not to mention the ground in front of it - would all appear to be the same colour.  Which is unlikely....probably...  

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I’m still in France, so away from my books, but there are two solid examples of 77 as an upper wing colour on Fw 190Ds I can give you.

 

Blue 12 is certainly one. The pics of it in the post war scrapyard show this  

 

Also the colour picture of the Furth scrapyard has two 190Ds. One also has 77 upper wing camouflage. 
 

 

 

I can dig out some pictures on Tuesday if no one beats me to it. 
 

David Brown from Experten (a member here) has published a very thought provoking online feature about 77 as an upper wing colour. 
 

SD

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Photos of a very light colour are not sufficient evidence that the paint was 77 rather than late war 76.  (Or, indeed, a grey primer.  Isn't arguing over late-war Luftwafe colours fun?)  In modelling terms, of course, it could be that there is little significant difference, if any.   So why multiply alternatives when acceptable options exist?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Photos of a very light colour are not sufficient evidence that the paint was 77 rather than late war 76.  (Or, indeed, a grey primer.  Isn't arguing over late-war Luftwafe colours fun?)  In modelling terms, of course, it could be that there is little significant difference, if any.   So why multiply alternatives when acceptable options exist?

 

 


You are certainly correct about the possibility of light grey primer. However the use of this colour is more widespread than has been acknowledged, and, as such, merits serious consideration. 
 

Pictures are what we need. 
 

SD (in Paris)

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IMG_4632


Amazing what you can do with an iPhone! This is the dump at Furth I mentioned. Notice the other 190D on the right provides a colour reference for other grey colours and possible exposure issues. The upper wing colour on the left 190D is not standard. A primer? Possibly. 77? Also possible. 
 

Pic from Monogram CloseUp 11. For discussion only. 
 

SD 🇫🇷

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17 minutes ago, SafetyDad said:

" The upper wing colour on the left 190D is not standard. A primer? Possibly. 77? Also possible." 

And the fuselage gun hood - first saw the larger version of this photo in Steve Sheflin's Airfoil number 3, 1985 (attributed to Monogram Aviation), where it was suggested the light colour was 76 or 77, so the story continues .... anybody near Furth got a shovel? 

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Thanks @SafetyDad for the great picture!

 

And as Maurice said, I've seen mention of the covering panel for the 13mm MGs being variously bare metal, primer, or some non-specific light grey on several machines.

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On 9/17/2022 at 6:27 PM, Werdna said:

I must say, I do struggle with the logic of using colours like 76 and/or 77 as upper surface camo colours, at a time when the RLM's main objective was supposed to have been ground concealment. 

 

Having said that - where's that photo of dark/light coloured Fw190 wings on a railway car..?  ;) 

Ask and you shall receive!

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Went thru my 190 files while I was at it and found some more examples of light colored paint -76? 77?- on wing tops, a couple of these aren't Doras but it still proves the point that the Luftwaffe did indeed use a light color on their wing tops late in the war.

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Talk about schizophrenic schemes, how's this one grab ya? Note the light color on the remaining wing.

 

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Pardon the tiny photo, best I could do, this scrapped F-8 has what looks like 76 on the wing tops to my Mk I eyeball.

 

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Found this snap of a scrapped Anton on a Russian website, again the 76/77? wing tops show the Luftwaffe did indeed use light colored paints in their ground concealment schemes right up to the very end.

 

Hope that helps,

- Thomaz

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One last question on this I suppose, which is a little tangential but might be relevant.

 

Do we know yet what schemes will be presented in the not-yet-released "Marienburg" boxing of IBGs 1/72 Fw 190D-9? What aircraft and schemes are likely candidates from this factory production block?

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On 18/09/2022 at 18:05, Graham Boak said:

Photos of a very light colour are not sufficient evidence that the paint was 77 rather than late war 76.  (Or, indeed, a grey primer.  Isn't arguing over late-war Luftwafe colours fun?)  In modelling terms, of course, it could be that there is little significant difference, if any.   So why multiply alternatives when acceptable options exist?

 

 

 

Now I'm back at home and have access to my books, I feel I have to gently reply to this statement made earlier in the thread. 

 

If a photograph isn't evidence, then what is?  A quick peruse of my references reveals that Crandall, JaPo, Hitchcock and our own @David E. Brown have all published works citing the existence of a previously unrecognised light grey upperwing colour used on Fw 190Ds. I'll grant that RLM77 is not the most likely candidate, given that this is most commonly used for nightfighter markings - it would seem more likely that the grey is a primer or a previously undocumented camouflage colour, given its widespread use on Bf109Ks, Fw 190As and Ds, and Me262s. However we can be sure that it is not a form of 76, as it is significantly different. The grey appears alongside 76 on the NASM Me262.

 

All pictures below are posted solely for the purposes of research/discussion, in accordance with UK Copyright Law,  and have been intentionally slightly distorted to discourage further replication.  

 

First from here

 

IMG_1890(1)

 

A more detailed analysis of the upperwing colours of the machines on the Furth scrapheap. 

 

IMG_1889(1)

 

It's well worth highlighting the two machines are only five Wk. Nummeren apart.  While given batch numbers of Wk. Nrs usually share common colour characteristics, there can be exceptions. In this case, it would seem that Black <.+- may have had replacement wings fitted - the port is Braunviolett and Mid-Green, where the starboard is 75 and Mid-Green (perhaps 75/82). Some combination! And that's the machine of the Gruppe Technical Officer!

 

Crandall confirms the use of upperwing Light Grey for the 500 series Fw 190D batch below.

 

IMG_1886(1)

 

 

 

So, from the Wk Nr, it's likely that White 12 did have light grey as an upperwing colour, although it's not easy to see in pictures.

 

IMG_1887(1)

 

 

 

 

 

HTH

 

SD

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1 hour ago, SafetyDad said:

 

If a photograph isn't evidence, then what is? 

 

This is selective misinterpretation.  What I wrote was that a photograph wasn't sufficient evidence of ...77.  And I stand by that.  because of the many factors involved, it is impossible to be certain (by which I mean reasonably certain (not absolutely certain) which colours are present in a b&w  (or even colour) photo without other evidence.   I would point out that many b&w photos make light blue (or green) colours appear as white or very light grey - witness the undersides of RAF fighters in the Day Fighter Scheme which are known to have been in Medium Sea Grey.  This has a fairly strong blue tint and is not even particularly light!  Given the generally poor (to awful) quality of many of these just-post-war photos, it is simply impossible to be dogmatic about just which shade of light grey they show.

 

Which to me eye, seems to be much the same arguments as you are using, except for the assumption than they must be 77.  Go figure.

 

 

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..and just a reminder that this Fw 190 horizontal stab recovered from a dig in Normandy is finished in the classic 74/75 with the 75 being very thinly applied (primer showing through?) and photographed in sunlight..

 

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@SafetyDad thank you very much for taking the time to post those sources, even if there may still be uncertainty about what the light grey actually is. Most interestingly it says the dark colour on the wings is green while on the fuselage it is brown.

 

@FalkeEins very nice. The 74 in that picture also looks very green. How long was that buried though?

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 76 lower wing from the same wreck.  

 

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Agree the 'darker' colour in the previous post and below - either a 'grey-green' or 'green-grey' 74  almost certainly the Graugrün variation of '74' - appears overwhelmingly 'green'. Note the bright red of the dotted stencil markings - an indication that the colours on this piece appear not to have undergone any sort of 'shift' ...

 

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So the take from that is that RLM 75 could have been, at least in some circumstances depending on application, quite a bit lighter than common perception, and that it may photograph lighter still. So those Doras could have nominally 81/75 upper wings and still show an unusually high contrast.

 

On a slight tangent, the late war colours being a mess is a given, but I wasn't aware there were multiple variants of RLM 74. Is there a more grey and more green one then?

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I feel posting this is germane to the discussion regarding the gray primer used in lieu of other lighter-colored paints. In particular the last paragraph, which claims this light gray was actually a dual purpose paint, both primer and exterior color and was found along the entire fuselage side of an Me 262. There's some interesting info on other Luftwaffe Farbe to boot.

 

Source is the Official Monogram Painting Guide to German Aircraft: 1935 - 1945 by Merrick & Hitchcock.

 

As for 74/75/76, here's some original pieces from Bf 109 G-10/U4 Wk. Nummer 611008 that @antonio argudo posted a while back:

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And a 109 horizontal stab in 74/75 uppers:

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And 76 lowers:

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Cheers,

- Thomaz

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