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  #11  
Old 14th September 2007, 23:49
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Just to add that the Smith & Gallaspy book has colour photos of the Australian Me 163 while it was still in its original paint, before it was "restored."
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  #12  
Old 15th September 2007, 01:42
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Richard, you can try the Canadian Aviation Museum
http://www.aviation.technomuses.ca/c...-1aKomet.shtml

How authentic it is, can't say.

I think they have a second one that has not been restored.
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  #13  
Old 15th September 2007, 01:56
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Dear Christian, Nick, Kutscha, and, again, Ed,

I thank you for your leads. I will give them a follow-up.

Ed, I did have a lengthy and quite fruitful discussion with Jerry Crandall. Thank you for pushing me in that direction. In Jerry's opinion, the 1980 Merrick and Hitchcock C&M binder is the most useful, coupled with having some guidance as to the right chip to select for the myriad of same numbered offerings.

Regards,
Richard
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  #14  
Old 15th September 2007, 04:35
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Richard,


Good to hear. Good luck to you and everyone involved.


Best,
Ed
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  #15  
Old 15th September 2007, 05:54
GrahamB GrahamB is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Hi,

I quite understand the problem that Richard Eger has over the restoration colours to be used on the Me 163, quite apart from the variation in some colours offered in various charts (particularly the common and ‘standard’ RLM 65). For someone who has been following the ‘great debate’ for nearly forty years it is also no surprise that very little real critique and comment is made about recent publications on the subject of Luftwaffe colours. I have several serious questions about some of these and have even offered Ruy Horta some postings – but it is really not worth the hostility that is often heaped on anybody (especially an ‘unknown’ ‘non-player’) who deviates from the given line. But, of immediate relevance to this thread I offer this – if only to clarify or outline to those less up-to-date with the changes in opinions and interpretations of unchanged evidence:

A mysterious change of colour (not just RLM number) seems to have occurred with regard to the preserved Australian Me 163. In the Monogram book (page 51) the colours are confidently asserted to be a low-contrast scheme of RLM 81 (a brown) and RLM 82 (a dark green) and RLM 65. This is supported by colour photographs and three colour chips on page 49. But, one of the severe problems with the Monogram Guide is that the origin of the colour chips is not defined. In my early days I naively assumed that they were exactly matched to the preserved paints from the actual aircraft figured on the opposite page. I guess that they are, in fact, generic? In Ken Merrick’s latest Luftwaffe Camouflage & Markings Vol.1 (page 187) the camouflage of the Australian Me163 is now described as RLM 81, RLM 82 and ‘greenish RLM 76’. But, here the RLM 82 is linked to the pre-war RLM 62 (medium-dark olive green). What was the green colour of the aircraft – a dark olive green (= ’new’ RLM 83/RLM 64) or a medium-dark olive green (= ‘new’ RLM 82/RLM 62)? Is it merely because it is accepted that ‘new’ RLM 82 (‘old’ RLM83) is actually a darker, duller colour? – I think this is the ‘right’ solution, by the way. If so, where does this leave its former life as the brighter medium green ‘RLM83’ that is so prevalent in the earlier literature (such as the Monogram Guide) and that featured (still features?) widely as garish grass-green paint jobs on models and in illustrations?

What is to become of the restorations of the preserved Smithsonian Me 262 and the Dornier Do 335 that have been finished with the brighter medium green colour (‘old’ RLM 83 = ‘new’ RLM 82?) that contrasts so strongly with the dark brown RLM 81?

All very confusing and I hope that Richard has found the solution through his recent contacts.

Best wishes


GrahamB
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  #16  
Old 15th September 2007, 15:56
Modeldad Modeldad is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

IIRC, the original Monogram guide has the colors Farbton 82 and 83 rvered and an errata was issued on that, among other items.

So it is not that 82 may have changed.

Nearly every model paint maker, including Xtracolor/crylic still has 82 as the darker color.
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  #17  
Old 16th September 2007, 19:05
PhilippeDM PhilippeDM is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Richard,

Try perhaps David E. Brown.

Best regards,

Philippe
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  #18  
Old 17th September 2007, 00:24
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Dear All,

I am again reminded as to why I try to stick with history and technical details and avoid, as much as possible, the subject of camouflage and markings, save that now I've been asked to get involved.

I don't think I'm going to achieve a consensus, although I might get lucky.

But, just to muddy the water a bit further, if one refers to the Monogram guide, the question is why are there so many variations on each of the RLM number colors and which one is "correct" for its specific number?

Then, of course, one big bone of contention is that Ken, in his latest offerings, has changed the colors, especially RLM 81, which has a purple or violet hue and is now called dunkelbraun rather than Brunviolett. Jerry Crandall believes that the closest correct color, based on his collection of actual original aircraft parts, is the bottom left chip on page 35 of the 1980 Monogram guide. This is more a chocolate brown without a hint of purple or violet. Yet, Ken presents in the Monogram guide actually 5 examples of RLM 81: The one on page 35 already mentioned, an olive complected one at the top of page 37, a brown one at the bottom of page 37, a slightly purple/violet example on page 49 in the section on the Me 163, and one on page 59 with an olive shading.

One possible explanation is that the colors varied over time and/or from paint manufacturer to paint manufacturer, that is, paint coloration wasn't a pure science, even if we want it to be and even if there was a dictated formula to go by. Available ingredients may have varied, affecting the end results. Nor, likely, was there a driving force such as for marroon Buick's to all come off the assembly line exactly the same color. Anyway, that's one possible view as to why so much variation as seen in the 1980 guide. Comments?

Beyond this, as Graham has pointed out, is that experts' opinions of what was used appears to change over time, just adding to the confusion. If we back up 2 years to 1978 and look at Appendix B to Jeff Ethell's book on the Me 163, as was pointed out to me, we have the following description:

"RLM test aircraft, including the A & B series, were uniformly finished in Hellgrau 76 or Hellblau 65 overall with Dunkelgrun 71 applied to the ruders in some cases (as with the Me163BV33, GH+IN). Code letters were applied in Schwarz 22.

"The basic camouflage pattern applied at the factory for operational aircraft consisted of Dunkelgrun 71 and Schwarzgrun 70 in splinter pattern on all upper surfaces and Hellblau 65 on the lower fuselage surfaces and undersurfaces of the wings. Some operational Komets retained this factory colour scheme but this was the exception. Once the new Komet had flown a bit, the mechanics would proceed to replace the factory scheme with their own fanciful alterations. There simply was no pattern to the changing colours and schemes."

More muddy water.

So, let's go back to firmer ground and take another look at the 1980 Monogram guide. It is claimed that the Australian Me 163 B, W.Nr. 191907, still retains its original colors. The color photos of this aircraft are of excellnt quality, although the blue of the sky in the top photo appears to be a bit off. The darker color to the rear of the cockpit more closely matches the purple/violet tinged RLM 81 sample in Ken's latest offering in volume 2, Tafel 5. than the Brunviolett RLM 81 in brown shade on page 35 of the 1980 guide as suggested by Jerry Crandall.

Further back on the fuselage we come to presumably a fairly bright green RLM 82. Ken's latest offers an (oliv-)grün color, which this is certainly not, while Jerry's selection is the RLM 82 Dunkelgrün chip from the 1980 guide, found in the middle of page 37, a noticeably closer match. Whether reflection of the sky in the photos is altering the perceived actual colors, I don't know, or even the fact that the sky color appears to be off in the top photo.

Okay, so what about Ethell's claim? Ken's latest RLM 81 appears to be a closer match to the area behind the cockpit than his RLM 70 or 71 offerings on the same card and neither of these is within a mile of the bright green on the rear fuselage. Similarly, there isn't a match with the 1980 guide chips either.

I think we have two potential sources of reasonably accurate colors. One is the AWM Me 163 B. Perhaps someone can take both the 1980 guide and Ken's latest and simply do color matches of the chips, regardless of the numbers on them. It is the color, not the number, that we really need to match. Is anyone willing to do this?

Second, is to get as much background information on Me 163 B, W.Nr. 191660, now being restored. Unfortunately, as it was received by Legend Flyers, at least 2 areas were down to bare wood - no paint or markings to go by. Ray Bossom, who was involved in the 1976 restoration attempt at Duxford, says they never went down to the original paint. The second restoration effort at Duxford in 1997 might have done this and any notes, paint chips, or whatever that were saved would be most helpful. The photos of the aircraft on Rob de Bie's website suggest that some effort was done in this regard, as at least 2 emblems seem to be present in one of the photos on the left forward fuselage. I plan to contact Stephen Walton, the archivist at Duxford, in this regard, but if anyone else has anything, please do come forward.

Regards,
Richard
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  #19  
Old 17th September 2007, 06:07
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Graham B .....PM inbound.

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  #20  
Old 17th September 2007, 07:49
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Re: The great camouflage & markings debate

Richard,
unfortunaly the whole topic is far more difficult then what you outlined above.
I attached the listing and designation of Michael Ullmann's Luftwaffe colors book (1997, english edition by Hikoki) to show in how far your thought on the different varieties (of RLM 81) are valid. As i.e. reg RLM 76 ("Lichtblau/ light blue")- other sources (i.e. Monogram painting guide) claim there more then just two varieties for this shade: upto 4.

Then, FYI, you cannot go for the names of the colors, because in the original RLM designation there were none, there were only the numbers. The names are postwar additions to help describing the different colors. And the names are nowhere standardised.

Finaly, matching the original paint and a printed color chip is not a workable possiblility, because a printed paint and the original sample you want matched are not of the same "paint-typ and -compostion". And since the matching will most probabely not be in a controlled, callibrated enviroment, the results could end up being very questionable.
Also: pls. keep in mind that a paint might have changed over time -atleast on the very surface. So you have to make sure the paint was/ is not covered with added clear coatings or waxes, because this will for sure change the color appearance. To have (a) sure and valid sample(-s) to match, you cannot avoid taking (a) sample(-s) and analysing the cut-through(-s) with a microscope. These samples can also be used to analyse the compostion of the pigments (i.e. with an electron-microscope). A photographic/ visual matching alone is -IMO- not sufficient to backup/ decline a complex matter like this.
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Last edited by ChrisMAg2; 17th September 2007 at 08:23.
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