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general_kalle
12-19-2007, 09:58 AM
which instans decide which camo to use on the plane in ww2. war ministry? the aircraft factory itself. or the airfield? or the squadron or what?

VW-IceFire
12-19-2007, 10:14 AM
I think you may have to be more specific because it will differ depending on the service involved.

Generally speaking I'm fairly certain that camo patterns were approved by the respective airforce/ministry involved. The RAF had very very specific patterns and color setups that were required to be followed. In cases where they were not followed (i.e. someone painted a pinup on the nose http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) things came down pretty hard and fast.

LEBillfish
12-19-2007, 10:22 AM
That would also depend upon the nationality often and if army or navy.....

As to the Imperial Japanese Army Flying Corps (Dai-Nippon Teikoku Rikugun Koukuutai / 大日本帝国帝国皇軍航空隊) it was most often a matter of the individual unit or "Hikousentai/飛行戦隊" (flying regiment).

Though planes often came from the factory pre-painted, in fact a number of the "palm fron" patterns simply a rushed factory camouflage, once arriving at the unit the commander most likely (though some clearly an individual pilot or crews choice) made the final decision based no doubt upon location and time. These patterns were painted with airguns as we might expect, yet very often were performed with brushes, grass brooms, even simply rags often explaining the lack of full coverage (somewhat as there is also a point to a broken up pattern).

Additionally though there were specific Army dictated "markings" (as an example the white band near the tail, or yellow recognition edges upon wings) individual units were allowed to create their VERY creative unit markings. Colors as to all are never very consistant especially as the war progressed. Often, paints "captured" were utilized as transports of materials were lost hence generating a vast range of colors used.

Ki-61's in New Guinea were reported from being unpainted (bare metal, some w/clearcoat varnish), to a vast variety of camouflage designs/patterns, colors and styles, to some even being reported as solid greens and I've read of one even being solid black.

Though seeming simply to be due to the conditions (intense combat), time, and availability alone, also know that unlike we often tend to believe the Japanese being very team oriented and regimented, in actuallity they had a significant amount of leeway in the execution of a command.......What mattered most was the "result", how it got done that individuals problem to sort out.....This translated without question to their camouflage as well.

K2

GreyFox5
12-19-2007, 10:32 AM
I believe and not to over simplify that the RLM camo patterns were govern by a specific group in the (Nazi)German government and had very specific patterns for aircraft and were painted at the factory. I would imagine in the field there were changes by ground crews and of course any personal markings by the pilots and crews were added in the field.

Also to note when new planes were issued - like the switchover from Bf-109s to Fw-190s the pilots had to go to the factory and pick up there planes and fly them back to the front.

csThor
12-19-2007, 11:29 AM
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

jarink
12-19-2007, 11:55 AM
The USAAF had color and pattern requirements that were generally applied at the factory. Once planes reacehed frontline units, there were sometimes camo patterns that were applied on an ad-hoc basis, usually determined by group or squadron. One of the more common examples of this is the use of medium green spotches on OD/grey planes, such as seen here on the Memphis Belle:

http://www.historylink101.com/ww2photo/memphis-belle-1.jpg

There were also many cases of non-standard camo being used on planes early in the war that were diverted from Lend-Lease orders. In these cases, the planes usually retained the camo that was applied for the original customer:

http://www.swissmustangs.ch/mediac/400_0/media/p51a_9.jpg

JG53Frankyboy
12-19-2007, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by csThor:
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

the JG54 had it's own ideas about cammo sometimes, i guess http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Kurfurst__
12-19-2007, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

the JG54 had it's own ideas about cammo sometimes, i guess http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Indeed. Though there were official shapes/colours prescribed by the RLM, the Luftwaffe units in the field appear to have come up with a very liberal understanding of them, and produced literally hundreds of unique paintjobs on the planes. Which is one of the reason why Luftwaffe fighters are favoured by modellers - almost every aircraft had some sort of personality and unique history/paintjob.

Copperhead311th
12-19-2007, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by GreyFox5:
Also to note when new planes were issued - like the switchover from Bf-109s to Fw-190s the pilots had to go to the factory and pick up there planes and fly them back to the front.

lol Actually the USAAF did that as well in WWII. That's how Grand Paw got to Austrailia with his 1st B-24 crew. they had to go to Birmingham, Al and pick up thier B-24C-109 from the plant and flew her to Florida, South America and on to New Z and & Austrailia. Then to India. he tells a funny story about trying to find nylons for Grandmaw Bert thats just funny as hell. (ya counldn't get nylons state side in WWII)

R_Target
12-19-2007, 02:25 PM
USN and USMC schemes were decided by the Bureau of Aeronautics. Any non-standard markings(including victory markings)were not officially permitted, but some Navy units (VF-17, VF-27) and some individual pilots got away with it. USMC planes usually had a little more leeway.

Xiolablu3
12-19-2007, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

the JG54 had it's own ideas about cammo sometimes, i guess http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Indeed. Though there were official shapes/colours prescribed by the RLM, the Luftwaffe units in the field appear to have come up with a very liberal understanding of them, and produced literally hundreds of unique paintjobs on the planes. Which is one of the reason why Luftwaffe fighters are favoured by modellers - almost every aircraft had some sort of personality and unique history/paintjob. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...and this liberal thinking among the German pilots/leaders also worked much better in practice.

I have read numerous quotes from RAF pilots who state how much better the German camo was than their own.

The Strict RAF camo-scheme did not work too well. (I assume it was much more strict since almost every British plane you see in a squadron show the same colours.)

csThor
12-19-2007, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

the JG54 had it's own ideas about cammo sometimes, i guess http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Indeed. Though there were official shapes/colours prescribed by the RLM, the Luftwaffe units in the field appear to have come up with a very liberal understanding of them, and produced literally hundreds of unique paintjobs on the planes. Which is one of the reason why Luftwaffe fighters are favoured by modellers - almost every aircraft had some sort of personality and unique history/paintjob. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Officially unit-level modifications were heavily frowned upon and were not encouraged. In theory a Gruppe or Geschwader had enough colour stocks to make repairs or adapt replacement parts to the camo scheme but not enough colours to repaint whole aircraft. In reality this was done to a certain degree through various means (and JG 54 was the prime example for that practice) - either a clever TO who bartered with other quartermasters (which is something inevitable in any war) or through using captured enemy paint stocks. But official policy was no pattern modifications on unit level - uniformity was sought after both because of ideology (quite ironic that the celebrated fighter pilots were so thoroughly individualistic while party line was so thoroughly uniform http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif ) and realities of economy and supply.

Skycat_2
12-20-2007, 02:08 AM
(I assume it was much more strict since almost every British plane you see in a squadron show the same colours.)
My understanding is that standardized camo patterns were applied at the factories. I've seen photos where every plane on the assembly line is painted exactly the same. This is the best I could find in a lazy two minute search:
http://www.lessons-from-history.com/Images/CAE%20Images/spit%20factory.jpg

Captured paint was mentioned as a reason for non-standard colors. For USAAF units stationed in England, available RAF stocks influenced schemes and colors as well. The 56th Fighter Group's use of British greens, grays and blues on its Thunderbolts--very notably on the P-47Ms the 56th flew exclusively--is well documented in color photographs.

general_kalle
12-20-2007, 04:17 AM
thanks for the info. very informative.

JSG72
12-20-2007, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by csThor:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

the JG54 had it's own ideas about cammo sometimes, i guess http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Indeed. Though there were official shapes/colours prescribed by the RLM, the Luftwaffe units in the field appear to have come up with a very liberal understanding of them, and produced literally hundreds of unique paintjobs on the planes. Which is one of the reason why Luftwaffe fighters are favoured by modellers - almost every aircraft had some sort of personality and unique history/paintjob. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Officially unit-level modifications were heavily frowned upon and were not encouraged. In theory a Gruppe or Geschwader had enough colour stocks to make repairs or adapt replacement parts to the camo scheme but not enough colours to repaint whole aircraft. In reality this was done to a certain degree through various means (and JG 54 was the prime example for that practice) - either a clever TO who bartered with other quartermasters (which is something inevitable in any war) or through using captured enemy paint stocks. But official policy was no pattern modifications on unit level - uniformity was sought after both because of ideology (quite ironic that the celebrated fighter pilots were so thoroughly individualistic while party line was so thoroughly uniform http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif ) and realities of economy and supply. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As far as I am aware. "Field Modifications " Were not only discouraged but didn't actually happen.
The fighters of JG 54. were delivered. In those "Unusual" schemes. Specifically after a rest and refit. And as advised by E-Stelle, Travmunde of whom jg54 had had a relationship going back a few years (BOB and the Stonewall cammo?) Any replacement aircraft were delivered in the original "Factory" schemes of 74/75/76.

Any maverick designs were reduced to Personal markings and not Cammo.
Other than Wolfgang Spates Groundcrew (THey got Hell) painting his ME 163 Rot 23. I Know of No other Personalized Cammoflage.
To paint a whole plane over "Factory Colours" would incur a severe weight penalty.@40-50Kilos http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
The Myriad of German Cammo colours (As far as I can gather) Were purely down to the widespread use of Non centralised manufacturing of individual parts of airframes. Or the use of spare parts used from canibalised airframes. Engine/ Wing /Tail transplants. That were done at various Refurb Centres (For want of a better discription)

All those "Wave mirror" and "Cloud" patterns were all manufactured at source.

Ground crews were issued with a Standard "Patch Up" kit and colours for Markings. Facilities for carrying Huge stocks of Luftwaffe Standard Cammo colours, would be difficult to obtain and transport throughout a Geschwader/Staffels Life.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_redface.gif Luftwaffe colours is a Subject full of myth and conjecture. That many (Including myself.) Relish.

Cheers! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

JSG72
12-20-2007, 02:02 PM
Oh! And BTW. JV 44s "Protect/Papegai" Staffeln. Were painted in Markings colours of Rot 23/Weiss 21/Schwarz 22.
I.E. Not cammo colours. But Markings colours

VW-IceFire
12-20-2007, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JG53Frankyboy:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by csThor:
The Luftwaffe had its own research facility for colours, IIRC attached to the sea plane test facility in Travemnde which researched and developed colour tones for camouflage purposes and wrote detailed requirements for the industrial production runs. The RLM had a special committee which decided on patterns and colour combination - and even the patterns were scientifically designed and applied via a unified matrix which was projected on the aircraft's outline.

the JG54 had it's own ideas about cammo sometimes, i guess http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Indeed. Though there were official shapes/colours prescribed by the RLM, the Luftwaffe units in the field appear to have come up with a very liberal understanding of them, and produced literally hundreds of unique paintjobs on the planes. Which is one of the reason why Luftwaffe fighters are favoured by modellers - almost every aircraft had some sort of personality and unique history/paintjob. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...and this liberal thinking among the German pilots/leaders also worked much better in practice.

I have read numerous quotes from RAF pilots who state how much better the German camo was than their own.

The Strict RAF camo-scheme did not work too well. (I assume it was much more strict since almost every British plane you see in a squadron show the same colours.) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yeah it does seem that the RAF, at least in Europe, was pretty strict on what the planes looked like. I think it has to do something with the "ownership" in that the planes are technically the property of the King and/or Queen. So modifications and changes to the scheme were almost entirely prohibited at the personal level with the exceptions of the lettering along the side in which case a wing commander could have his initials painted on the side instead of the usual squadron markings. Also the RAF was flexible in allowing a very small identification marking be placed on the forward fuselage or engine cowling. Thus the Polish and Czech flags, Canadian maple leafs, and so forth. But the RAF were real sticklers to how the planes were painted and this naturally translated to all of the Polish, Czech, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and South African units operating within the ranks.

But it does seem that markings for the FAA and RAF in the Pacific and Far East Theaters seems to have greater diversity. Its still generally devoid of the individuality you see with the other forces.

csThor
12-20-2007, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by JSG72:
As far as I am aware. "Field Modifications " Were not only discouraged but didn't actually happen.
The fighters of JG 54. were delivered. In those "Unusual" schemes. Specifically after a rest and refit. And as advised by E-Stelle, Travmunde of whom jg54 had had a relationship going back a few years (BOB and the Stonewall cammo?) Any replacement aircraft were delivered in the original "Factory" schemes of 74/75/76.

This is where I disagree, at least concerning JG 54. I do not know how it was done, but if you look at several pictures of Bf 109 F-4 and G-2 from 1942 you'll spot not two planes with exactly the same camouflage pattern. I simply can't believe that any orderly german factory would sent fifteen replacement planes with fifteen individual camouflage styles. In addition to this Claes Sundin (one of the best profile artists) believes that JG 54 heavily relied on captured russian colours (such as AMT-4), at least from 1942 onward.
Other examples of these "unit-level modifications" are the Bf 109s of JG 77 in 1941 where the factory finish was overpainted with RLM 71 or a similar colour. That practice went away in 1942, though.


Originally posted by JSG72:
To paint a whole plane over "Factory Colours" would incur a severe weight penalty.@40-50Kilos http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

That is certainly true (the weight issue), but until early 1943 the fighter units in the east faced few truly equal enemy aircraft types and had a rather comfortable performance "cushion" so they could afford to give up a bit of speed.

jarink
12-21-2007, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by csThor:
That is certainly true (the weight issue), but until early 1943 the fighter units in the east faced few truly equal enemy aircraft types and had a rather comfortable performance "cushion" so they could afford to give up a bit of speed.

What sane pilot would give up any amount of performance advantage for the sake of camouflage paint that's really only useful when the plane is parked on the ground? Sorry, I find this argument a little hard to believe.

csThor
12-21-2007, 09:52 AM
I said I don't know so I made a guess ... one which I do not find particularly good, either. However photographic evidence strongly suggests individual camo patterns on a grand scale at least with JG 54. The question of the modified camo's application has yet t be answered fully but I know of several JG 54 Fw 190s and Bf 109s showing a "green" camo but signs of a RLM 74/75/76 factory scheme underneath it (e.g. Nowotny's Fw 190 A-5 (A-6 ?) as Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 54 in 1943 or Reinhard Seiler's Bf 109 G-2 showing RLM 74/75 colours around the swastika which had been marked off for application of the new camo in two green tones).

JSG72
12-21-2007, 10:27 AM
For the latest publications on the German camouflage I would recommend:

Ken A Merricks "Luftwaffe camouflage and markings 1933-1945" An extensive work in two volumes

Michael Ullmanns "Luftwaffe Colours 1935-1945"
Another well researched and containing much RLM documentation pertaining to application.

It is also true that JG77 were often gifted aircraft from other units when these units went for rest and refit.
In the Balkans they recieved E-7s from IIJG54 and later on when IIJG3 were transferred back to Germany Werner Molders flew Gordon Gollobs Left behind craft.
The dark colour Rlm 71 would have been a colour designated to be used for JG77s craft when they were passed on from the Refurbishing/maintenance centre that they picked them up from.

Individual Units would not be able to keep the laquers and paints neither in the required quantities or at the required storage temperatures.
It is interesting to note that pics of damage to JG77 planes show patched up holes obviously in a different colour. Why would this be so? if they were able to paint whole fuselages in RLM71

Any changes to camo schemes had to be approved by E-Stelle Travemunde. JG54 being the unit most favoured in this respect.(Up until 1943 anyway).


There are many Pics throughout the history of the Luftwaffe of whole Staffeln lined up with all planes identical apart from individual markings/Badges/Crests. But these were taken soley for publicity purposes and could have changed easily within a few days as losses mounted up and replacements were sourced outwith the original order.
Nowotnys plane was No different. It would have been either sent from the factory in RLM 74,75,76 to a forwarding station that supplied aircraft to the Eastern front. It is here that it would have been painted in accordance with what ever instructions were given to paint JG54s craft at that time.
Or. As sometimes happened Units would be supplied with handed down/Repaired craft from other units and if time was able at the Transfer Station they would be painted in the receiving Units designated camouflage. This practice was less and less used as Germanys influence was severly and quickly shrunk after 1943


Cheers[/QUOTE]