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  #1  
Old 19th March 2017, 14:29
Milos Gazdic Milos Gazdic is offline
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Application of Stammkennzeichen...

Hello,

I am wondering if anyone could share some light on application of Stammkennzeichen / STKZ / origin code / ferry code... or how ever it should be translated to English.

Namely, we all know that these letters / codes were applied at the factories, during or after production and were removed by washing, sanding or overpainting on unit level (there seem to be examples of airframes that didn't receive any STKZs on the fuselage and wing's undersurfaces but that is for another discussion I guess).

My question is: What kind of paint was used for Stammkennzeichen?

As mentioned above I have seen fighter airplane where these codes were sanded off and those where they were overpainted and apparently some were washed off, which makes me believe that not all of them were easily washable / temporary but some might have been applied with permanent paint.

Is there an article, book's chapter, site or any other secondary or primary source explaining this part?

Thanks a lot for any info shared.
Best,
Milos Gazdic
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Old 19th March 2017, 14:52
RolandF RolandF is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

Those paints were washable insofar they could be removed by simple solvents like plane fuel. Too little solvent caused smudged areas.
Those paints were resistant enough to cause bright areas where the original camo was not exposed to weathering. Happened when it took a certain amount of time between application and sponging-off of the StKz. The StKz could be removed completely - just look at placeholders of letters where a fuselage band was applied by masking off the letters.

Regards
RolandF
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Old 21st March 2017, 18:18
Milos Gazdic Milos Gazdic is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

Thanks a lot for the explanation Roland. Highly appreciated.
I am mostly asking because of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3 "10+I" W Nr 403 which I am interested in where the StKz seems to have been badly removed (Link to the discussion about it)
Do you think that the paint of the StKz could have been washed off even after application of the another standard resin based camouflage paint over it (in case of mottle or marking application over it)?
Best,
Miloš
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Old 22nd March 2017, 00:00
Rabe Anton Rabe Anton is offline
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Rabe Anton
Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

Servus MIlos!

You have gotten a good answer about paints used for SKZ. That answer helps explain the traces of the SKZ you see on Fw 190 WNr. 403. The same temporary paint situation also applies to most operational (combat) Luftwaffe aircraft, that is, the lettering was removed after delivery to a unit in the field.

Having said the above, not all SKZs were "removeable" or "washable." It is important to note that permanent paint was used to apply the SKZ on many non-operational aircraft such as trainers, communications, transport, and experimental kites. This is/was because the
SKZ on these machines represented their individual identity while in Luftwaffe service. Thus, it would not be acceptable to have these markings washed off.

Best,
RA
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Old 22nd March 2017, 09:58
RolandF RolandF is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

You are right, of course, Anton. But those permanent StKzs were applied mostly after a plane returned to secondary service after front service. Mostly after repair and being handed over to semi-operational units, flying schools etc. Oftenly the letters were enhanced by adding a white trim.
The disapperaing of washable StKs can be seen on late Fw 190D V-Muster which were taken out of production. After some months the StKz was nearly invisible due to weathering. A good example is WNr 170003 Fw 190V53 DU+JC used for the D-series development.

Regards
RolandF
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Old 22nd March 2017, 13:00
Milos Gazdic Milos Gazdic is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

Thanks for the further explanations Anton & Roland!

Do you know guys also about the question I have previously asked:
Do you think that the paint of the StKz could have been washed off even after application of the another standard resin based camouflage paint over it (in case of mottle or marking application over it)? Basically, would it "mask off" the overpaint & then easily wash off leaving the paint layer under it clean?

If the machine was used in front line fighter units & then it came back to training unit - would the StKz be applied back as a must? Since I have seen many trainers with numerals too. Further more was it known from the beginning if a given airframe of i.e. Bf 109 G production line would go to fighter or training unit so that StKz could be applied accordingly with temporary or permanent paint or it would be re-applied once it arrived to training unit?

You are absolutely right about V53 or in fact V68 where it's fuselage "DU+JC" disappeared when it was once again altered from V53 to V68. But I wonder if that could be a process of "sanding down" or "washing off" the markings by crew because it got redesignated. Please note that under the ares where StKz was applied on V68 you can see lighter bottom color of the fuselage (hence my question above - which would explain if the removal was by washing or by sanding).

Best,
Milos
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Old 24th March 2017, 15:49
Milos Gazdic Milos Gazdic is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

Guys,

I was looking at the photos HERE and noticed that StKz is showing even after 50-60 years of airframe's life in the woods & all the overpainting done for it's field applied camouflage.
Can we assume that her StKz was painted with permanent colors? If so - why would one front line airframe receive temporary and other permanent paint for it's codes?
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Old 24th March 2017, 16:41
RolandF RolandF is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

No. It was simply overpainted. JG 54 applied its own Eastern front green/brown camouflage over the Western European grey tones. It was unnecessary work to remove the StKz seperately. The black letter colour was protected by the overlying paint layers until these had weathered away.

Regards
RolandF
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Old 24th March 2017, 17:18
Milos Gazdic Milos Gazdic is offline
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Re: Application of Stammkennzeichen...

I see... And then the overpainting basically sealed the StKz's paint & made it more resistant to further weathering...

i.e. WNr 170003 Fw 190V53 DU+JC which we discussed lost it's own StKz in just 1-2 years of usage, while Fw190A-5 W.Nr. 1227 was sitting outside for 50 years and it's StKz remained in very good shape after the layer of paint applied over it weathered out?
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