Luft 46 Colours Part 3: Fighters & Ground-Attack Aircraft
by: Peter Allen
I noticed I missed off the mixes for RLM 80, Olive Green in the colour charts in Part 2 so I have included these in the first picture including those with RLM 76 Hellblau, RLM 21 White and RLM 22 Black.
THE EXPERIMENT PHASE 2
Following the first phase where I mixed percentages of RLM 76 and again with RLM 21 White to standard late war RLM shades, I did exactly the same but this time based on RLM 22 Black. The results have again proved interesting, although not as many useful colours emerged due to the obvious darkening power of black. But it can be seen that new colours, derived from mixing to eke out supplies of paint, might have been produced.
Naturally, lighter shades took more set percentage steps before the power of black made them too dark than the already dark colours.
The amazing thing is that many shades seem to retain a definite Luftwaffe feel and look as though they belong to the family of official RLM colours. Maybe this familiarity is due to so many variations used in real life due to the criteria already discussed in Parts 1 and 2. It lends definite, if circumstantial, evidence that many colours reported to have been seen did exist. I suppose that is the crux of this experiment after all....to show what might have been distinctly possible due to the circumstances under which paint would have been used and applied at the time.
When doing Luft 46 aircraft models, it seems there are a massive number of shades that one might adapt to suit any particular role or theatre of operations, all derived from official stocks.
I am modifying my view due to the results so far. Previously I preferred using standard RLM’s to try and give any particular model a sense of reality. But now I am swinging round to accepting “rogue “ colours as a possible and distinctive alternative.
We are not only exploring colour possibilities, but I also think it worth mentioning also patterns. If one considers the ultimate master of camouflage is Mother Nature, we need look no further for inspiration. I’m not saying an aircraft should be painted exactly like a tiger but influences can be applied effectively.
(Note: Recently you may have noticed a news item featuring Gekko Graphics decals for the Fw Ta183. Here you will find some examples were nature has been used as a major influence).
I realise I have set myself an impossible yet intriguing task, as the variations from mixing official RLM colours is infinite. However, I am now convinced that it was more than probable ground crews did in fact resort to similar methods with parallel results. And so far I have only made both lighter and darker shades.
A whole new world of colours awaits the 3rd phase of this experiment, mixing the shades other than Hellblau, White and Black with each other. It will be, I hope, interesting to see what the results will be from mixing, for example, RLM 81 Brownviolet to RLM 82 Bright Green.
The Ju “Warthog” was an unnamed project that historians and researchers have nicknamed after the current day A10, due to its remarkable similarities in layout, concept and role. The original design had a retractable landing skid under the nose, but I thought this would have soon been replaced by a nose wheel if it had made prototype or production stages and have done the profiles to suit.
I have already started Part 4 based on a great idea of Rowan’s (Merlin). Basically the theme will be Naval Aircraft, both shore based and carrier-borne. The foundation being what if the Graph Zeppelin had been completed, along with other carriers and what colour/camo schemes might have been adopted and what Luft 46 aircraft might have taken off from their decks?