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Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings 1933-1945 by Kenneth A. Merrick
with Jürgen Kiroff

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  #1  
Old 19th March 2006, 14:46
Ruy Horta's Avatar
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Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

When I look at this photograph it strikes me that instead of a two colour chequer pattern, as in red / black (or blue), it consists of a single dark colour, the second chequer actually being made up by the paint of the a/c.

This is especially clear at the deviding line between the top and bottom camouflage, the line crossing a "chequer".

Now I haven't been looking at Luftwaffe camouflage for a while now, but this is the first time I really take notice of this type of chequer.

If I am right, I find it even more interesting!!

The color doesn't look as strong as the Swastika (no guarantee but), doesn't look like black, could even be red.
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Old 19th March 2006, 15:23
PhilippeDM PhilippeDM is offline
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Re: Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

Ruy,

IIRC the color of black and white pictures depends of the quality of the film. This picture was taken with Orthochromatic film. One of the properties is that it does not reproduce red as a grey color but as black. So this picture does not show a Karoband. I have to look through my files but I'm sure there are pictures where 5012032 has clearly a checquer band.

(a quick search: in Michaël Ullmanns book Luftwaffe Colours but page?

Perhaps should A. Arnold publish here his compilation about chequerbirds?

HTH
Very best regards,

Philippe
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Old 19th March 2006, 15:29
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Re: Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

Ah, that I would accept if it wasn't for a number of details.

1. The top/bottom devision line clearly running through the relevant chequer

2. Upon close inspection also the devision between light and dark camo on top chequers.

3. Clearly light belly chequer.

IMHO there can be no doubt that this is a single colour chequer, giving only the impression of a full two colour pattern.

It may simply have been unfinished, or else ... more interesting

Hi Philippe, been a while since our little meeting in Amsterdam!!
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Old 19th March 2006, 15:38
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Re: Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

Philippe,

VERY interesting, given the evidence from Merrick, I'd be tempted to say that the photo as published on p. 75 of Ullmann's Luftwaffe Colours 1935-1945, has been altered.

It is clearly the same setting, but even if you'd explain it by different film (unlikely) or filter (remote possibility), it still does not explain the three different tones as illustrated in Merrick's book, essentially corresponding to respectively 1. dark camouflage color, 2. light camouflage colour and 3. the lower surface colour.

As such I cannot be convinced it is the outcome of film or filters.

The photo in Merrick's looks like a clean print of the original, whereas the Ullmann looks like a (bad) copy.

note: this is not intended as criticism against Ullmann!
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Old 20th March 2006, 20:20
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Re: Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

Me 262 WNr. 501232 is starting to freak me out, depending on the source I use I see very different results.

Ullmann p. 75
- very dark two tone chequer (right side)

Merrick Vol. 2 p. 291
- single color chequer (right side)

Merrick Official p. 42
- two tone chequer (left side)

Smith & Creek Me 262 Vol. 4 p. 820-822
- two tone chequer several shots, left & right

YET, something fishy is going on.

Creek & Smith p. 822 looks like a mix of the shot used by Merrick Vol.2 and Ullmann.

I don't want to start a copyright argument here, but those of you who have these books should really take a look.

All kinds of possibilities, but at least one picture as been doctored either way, that of the right side.

The left side looks pretty authentic.

Holding a monolog, but still - for the record
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Old 22nd March 2006, 06:11
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Re: Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

Hi Ruy,

I have been studying this kite for many years now and offer the following comments for your consideration:

The various images of this aircraft were, as Philippe notes, taken with panchromatic and orthochromatic film. Where the tailband is a single colour, this point to ortho. Indeed, that the tailband appeared all black was an important clue in confirming that the true colours were red and black. If the lighter colour was green 25 or 82, then it would still appears and a light grey shade. The yellow number retained its grey tone but red turns black. Furthermore, Merrick and Hitchcock interpreted the colours and dark blue and light green and Yellow 5 appears with a band in these colours on the cover of Monogram's "Jet Planes of the Third Reich" book. The tonal contrasts in panchromatic film for red, green 25 and light green 82 are almost identical as can bee seen in several of the images you mention.

You are right that there is something fishy about the Classic photo. The original is from Jim Crow's collection and shows the band to appear all black. The Classic image has been photoshopped to give the appearance of the red and black chequer tailband. No problem with that, though only if you do not state this in the caption - a definite publishing no-no / faux pas.

Finally, there is another Crow photo taken of the starboard side whereby the red and black / two-tone grey scale image is visible.

Cheers,

David

PS: Hard to believe that seven (7!) years has passed since the first meeting of the Luftwaffeforschungsamt-Amsterdam met in February 1999. Long overdue for another don't you all agree?

D.
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Old 20th March 2017, 15:57
Milos Gazdic Milos Gazdic is offline
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Re: Me 262 WNr. 501232, Vol 2, p. 291

Again coming to the discussion ages later but this is really interesting!! I never noticed the difference between all these images published in the books!

Way to go for sharp eye Ruy!

Before I start discussing the photos - I wanna say that I always imagined that the checkers were "mirrored" and that the both star-board and port-side were having i.e. the checker that faces front and is on top same color and that looking from above the upper most checkers would be "double width". Seems I was wrong.

I am not an expert on this aircraft & except having the books, decals & all the other bits & pieces collected here & there on the net regarding this aircraft, I can only comment the photos as a professional photographer & retoucher with more than two decades in the business.

Looking at Starboard / Right side of the fuselage (Photo showing solder standing in front of the tail with hands in the pockets):
- Merric's Vol. 2 on Page 291 has it printed with most details & tones
- 2nd in quality comes Smith & Creek Vol4 of 262 book, being a touch smaller & a bit more contrasty
- 3rd in quality is one in Ullmann's book (I have both editions but only 2nd one with me in Shanghai) which shows quite low resolution.
I don't have other book(s) mentioned above with me in Shanghai.

Looking at these one and the same image published in three different books I believe that only one not altered at all is one in Merrick's book making Staboard side pattern clearly unfinished and with only one color applied, showing both upper & lower camouflage color in "negative" checkers. / Me 262 books tries to add one field where demarcation line of the camouflage clearly shows but forgets the lower field which clearly shows very bright undersurface camo. / Version in Ullmann's book goes clearly all the way & makes the band look almost as single color with barely some checkered structure showing through.

This is one and the same photo & it's clear it has been altered in the past, either by publishers or people who copied and re-copied it from the original. No filters, or film versions are responsible for it's look since it would be impossible to change the film or remove/add filter and still capture a soldier in the walk at the exactly same position (one behind the wing).

I am unable to discuss the Port Side of the aircraft since I have 4 images (3 only showing the checkers) in one and only book here in Shanghai so until I bring further books here I can only think of what could have been done to Starboard side...

Anyhow, once again - very interesting find Ruy!
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