Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum

Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum (
-   Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces (
-   -   The great camouflage & markings debate (

Richard T. Eger 13th September 2007 21:36

The great camouflage & markings debate
Several years ago there was an exhaustive debate on 12 O'Clock High! on the correctness of camouflage colors offered by various sources. At the moment, I've been asked by Legend Flyers (current name for the organization that includes the Me 262 Project) to assist with getting the camouflage and markings of the former Duxford Me 163 B, W.Nr. 191660, as accurate as possible. Flying Legends has been contracted to do the restoration of this aircraft.

Frankly, camouflage and markings are pretty far from my own areas of interest and expertise, but I know that we have some folks in the membership who know this stuff backwards and forwards and who could lend their expertise to the cause.

Since the great debate (did anyone save this for reference?), Ken Merrick's two-volume C&M set was issued along with it's 5 paint chip charts, so perhaps the view of what is now the most accurate representation has changed. Past sources that I am aware of include Aircraft Camouflage and Markings 1907-1954 of 1956 by Robertson, Luftwaffe Colors, Vol. 3, 1943-45 of 1977 by Smith & Gallaspy, The Official Monogram Painting Guide to German Aircraft 1935-1945 of 1980 by Merrick and Hitchcock, the paint charts offered by Eagle Editions, and the book, whose title I don't know, by Ullman.

Where do we now stand in our understanding of the most accurate reference or references and where do questions remain?

Richard T. Eger

Graham Boak 13th September 2007 22:07

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
I advise you to write to Ken Merrick, Jerry Crandall (Eagle publishers) and Ullman, care of their publishers. Jerry (or Judy) Crandall often appears on Hyperscale, and Ullman writes articles for British aircraft modelling magazines, so they should be reasonably easy to track down. They also appear as speakers at UK and US IPMS gatherings, so could be traced by that route.

Franek Grabowski 14th September 2007 00:02

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
I can drop a mail to Ken if necessary.

Richard T. Eger 14th September 2007 00:20

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
Dear Graham and Franek,

I've tried calling Ken and now have e-mailed him, but have not been successful in making contact. Assuming his e-mail address has not been changed in the last 6 months, my missive should have been received. I was trying to reach Ken to see if he had the markings directive to which he referred in his caption to his color photo of the AWM Me 163 B, hoping that it would also provide the official camouflage pattern for this aircraft.

I haven't written to Jerry, although that is a possibility.

I have a Michael Ullmann in my address book, but the address may be a bit out of date.

That said, though, if these 3 authors differ in what they offer, how would I get an independent assessment from asking each one? I certainly don't want to insult them. So, I guess I was looking more toward peer review of what they or others have presented.


Franek Grabowski 14th September 2007 00:27

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
Another man that comes to my mind is Phil Butler, who may have some related photographs. There is also a question, as to what is on actual airframe, ie. if it was carefully sand blasted or not.

Richard T. Eger 14th September 2007 02:07

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
Dear Franek,

You have a good point about Phil, as he might have some color photos.

Beyond these folks, has there been no debate about what camouflage color charts and interpretations seem to be the most accurate since Merrick's new books were published? Flying Legends is having to contend with different color chart colors claiming to be the same RLM color. They need assistance in order to know which one or ones to believe.


ChrisMAg2 14th September 2007 05:38

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
may I ask why you depend (solely?) on books? Aren't there enough contemporary (ww2 and later) photos available that can be used as a reference? Are there no more original paints on your Me 163?
And reg. the specific colors for this Messerschmitt Me-163B-1a (W.Nr.191060, became VF241 later), IMO, there are not really many questions and doubts. AFAIK the color schemes of a (standard) Me 163 are pretty well documented.

reg the most acurate colorchart and interpretation:
The most reliable colorchart would be found in LDV 521/1, 521/2 and also 521/3. But how to interpretate +60 year old manuals that not really were "a liabel industrial standard", is a different (and IMO sometimes philosophical) question.
For the scheme: IIRC there are factory schemes available.

edwest 14th September 2007 05:52

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

I suggest you go to the Eagle Editions web site and use their order line phone number. Judy Crandall usually answers.


Richard T. Eger 14th September 2007 16:47

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
Dear Christian and Ed,

Christian, how would we be able to obtain the LDV and factory schemes for the Me 163 B that you refer to. As for the ready availability of accurate information on the paint schemes for this aircraft, to which you say there are "not many questions and doubts", it would be quite helpful if you could direct me to where this information can be found. As I said in my original note, neither the subject area of camouflage and markings, nor the Me 163 B, itself, are areas in which I have much personal research knowledge nor interest. I am doing this as a non-paid technical consultant to Flying Legends, which started with new-build Me 262's, an area where I was on much firmer ground. My hope is that others, who know exactly where the stones are hidden under the water's surface, could help us out without my falling in and drowning!!

Ed, I'll give Jerry a call.


ChrisMAg2 14th September 2007 18:26

Re: The great camouflage & markings debate
I now see that the main problem is exactely where you describe it.
There is actualy no one single solution for that amount of questions you have to solve. To narrow it down to a workable chunck I would want you to look at these links first:

To have an idea where and -most important- what to look for on original documents, have a look at
There click the fifth link ("Quellen"), left on the navi-bar. On the newly opened page click the link "Schriftum". That enables you to download a MS-Excel file (in German, of course) containing a listing of the publications that company uses and the source they are obtained or copied from.

You could then even contact them and ask them for advice or assistance. Their e-mail addy is:
Their short english profile is:

RLM-Farben makes authentic WW II aircraft paints to RLM specifications.
We use original materials and components as well as vintage production methods.
They have done substantional paint jobs for DTM, Berlin and Luftfahrtmuseum Hannover-Laatzen. And that would be the closest you can get to an original paintjob.

I hope this might be more helpful to you, then my previous comment.

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:43.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2018,