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Old 9th February 2015, 18:07
JonOlsen88 JonOlsen88 is offline
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Exotic Me 262 "Black 4" Paint Scheme Interpretation

At the moment, I'm working on a 1/72 model of an Academy kit Me 262 that depicts a Me 262 that served with JG 7. It's called "Black "4." I'm in the process of building it.

Here are three photos I've come across of the actual aircraft, found abandoned at an airfield in Prague at the war's end.

The light-colored replacement nose is the outstanding feature of this beautiful bird. From what I understand, most commentators identify the paint on the nose section as being either a "whitish" shade of RLM 76 (light blue) or else RLM 77 Primer Grey. Does anyone know of other possibilities? I'm inclined to think it's RLM 76.

Regarding the overall paint scheme, I'm familiar with two interpretations:

1) uppersurfaces are a single color: RLM 83 Dark Green.
2) uppersurfaces are in a "standard splinter scheme" of RLM 82 Light Green and RLM 83 Dark Green (or possibly RLM 81?) According to this view, the splinter scheme is almost impossible to detect in the photos because the paint was very densely sprayed onto the airframe.

Of these interpretations, the first seems the most likely to me based on the above photos I've looked at. What do all you think?

There is another feature of this aircraft that I have not read about in any commentaries or discussions about "Black 4." It is especially visible in the highest quality photo I've posted. I am intrigued by what appears (to me) to be a very lightly painted ( I think RLM 76) engine panel on the starboard wing. It is positioned above the area where the (missing) engine nacelle is supposed to be located. However, in no profiles of "Black 4" have I seen any acknowledgement of this apparently light-colored engine panel which I suppose must be a replacement part... Might my eyes be playing tricks on me. Any thoughts?

I would love to know your insights or interpretations concerning any and all aspects of "Black 4"!
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Old 10th February 2015, 13:16
ChristianK ChristianK is offline
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Re: Exotic Me 262 "Black 4" Paint Scheme Interpretation

Hi John,

first of all - you have to face the fact that it is impossible to draw any definitive conclusions regarding color from a b&w photo. So, for what it's worth, this Me 262 might be one of the rares examples which have been painted in pink and blue and its nose in dayglo orange.

At one point in the modelling process you just have to make an educated guess, based on what theory you are more inclined to believe. For this example - based on what was the most common practice on Me 262s - I would go with a nose in "whitish" RLM 76 and a two-tone upper surface camouflage of RLM 81/82 with heavy mottling of the more standard-RLM 76.

It is very hard to discern the differences between RLM 81 and 82 in period b&w photos, especially if the plane is in a derelict and deteriorated state like this one. In any case, a two-tone camouflage was standard on most, if not all Me 262s. In fact, I cannot recall one single example featuring an upper surface finish in just one color (but our Me 262 experts might prove me wrong here).

Regarding the light-colored panel in the engine section: I think that's just some unpainted part which has been covered by the engine before.

Sorry for not giving you any definite answers, but I hope this helped a bit,

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Old 10th February 2015, 15:44
JonOlsen88 JonOlsen88 is offline
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Re: Exotic Me 262 "Black 4" Paint Scheme Interpretation

Hey, Christian. Thank you very much for your reply. While I am inclined to think that a minority of late-war Me 262s did receive a predominately monotone uppersurface color, the very fact that the "standard" two-tone scheme was so commonly applied, definitely gives the "standard" scheme interpretation substantial weight. But, as you've pointed out, it's impossible to make definite judgments from b&w photos.

From looking at the three photos of "Black 4" that I've posted, it appears that the hue of green seen on the mottling is inconsistent. Some mottles are a lot darker than mottles found elsewhere on the fuselage. This could suggest the use of more than one paint, but it's also possible that a single color was inconsistently sprayed onto the fuselage such that some mottles were densely applied (relatively dark green); others were thinly applied (relatively light green).

Examples of a few Me 262s that probably were painted in a single, overall uppersurface color include "yellow 3" of KG(J) 54 (commonly interpreted as being painted with a light, densely sprayed application of RLM 83) and "White 22" of KV 44, likewise in RLM 83 (and a few others belonging to this unit). However, it's clear to me that even the paint schemes of these Me 262s weren't at all strictly monotone. "Yellow 3" is very patchy-looking with a heavily weathered appearance. There is clearly a light-colored paint underneath the overall green. "White 22" also has a light color (RLM 76?) visible in irregular streaks underneath the dark green.

In view of the question about Black 4's "nose paint-job" I think it is noteworthy for comparative purposes to note that the tail (vertical stabilizer, I guess) of "Yellow 3" is painted in a very light base color (almost certainly "RLM 76"). The appearance if this color is very similar to that paint found on Black 4's nose. Although the light color on "Black 4" perhaps appears a bit more brilliant, I think this has to do with lighting.

Your suggestion about the "engine panel" being an unpainted part that had been covered up by the engine makes a lot of sense to me. However, I still do get the impression that what I'm looking at in the photo is a panel positioned directly atop the engine nacelle. I will inspect more photos of Me 262 engines to see how exactly the engines were attached to the wings.

, Jon
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Old 10th February 2015, 15:53
JonOlsen88 JonOlsen88 is offline
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Re: Exotic Me 262 "Black 4" Paint Scheme Interpretation

Pic of "White 22"

Pic of "Yellow 3"
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Old 10th February 2015, 17:01
harrison987 harrison987 is offline
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Re: Exotic Me 262 "Black 4" Paint Scheme Interpretation

Personally, I would go with the standard RLM 81/82/ the pattern itself is not something out of the ordinary. Standard pattern usually calls for standard colors.

And as mentioned, the LIGHT RLM76...not the standard blueish one.

To speed up production time, they stopped priming aircraft (RLM02) internally after 1943 or so...and then altogether after 1944. So there would be no primer on outer surfaces.

The nose was made of steel...and as such, would have had "some" sort of paint on it, which appears to be the white shade of I would also do the nose in this RLM76 as well.
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black 4, luftwaffe, me 262, messerschmitt, prague

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