Luft '46 Colours - Part 12
by: Peter Allen
INTRODUCTIONIts been a while. Chapter 11, the previous instalment in the series, was posted way back last August. A time to assess and take stock. Since then I‘ve tried to improve and develop techniques and add more detail. Adding detail sometimes proves to be pretty straightforward if the available references and documentation are good. But quite often references are few and far between and can be as simple as a general keyline shape without any panel or rivet detail at all. On these occasions a profile requires a bit of invention on my part as to where and how panels might be positioned and how they might go together for example. So I imagine many a wise aircraft engineer shaking his head in doubt. However, if the finished profile has a look of possible reality, then I am satisfied... clichés “artists impression” and “artistic license” come to mind.
There are many small refinements that hopefully add up, such as a new generic single seat cockpit (diagram 1), generically based on the Me 262. It’s not an exact copy, more of a representation of a typical cockpit layout for the time. Like real modelling, quite often, you can’t see much of the cockpit when a model is done but without it, it looks kind of naked. Its the same for profiles. It offers a better solution than simply glazing the “black hole”.
I’ve also included an example of probably the most important layer for a profile; the light and shade layer (diagram 2). This is the layer that brings shape and hopefully life to a profile. This in addition to the detail are the areas I try to improve.
The other main area of improvement that seems to swallow great chunks of my time is the adding of rivets. At first I was virtually adding each rivet one-by-one.....immensely boring or therapeutic depending on your point of view. Thankfully I found a few shortcuts that help rivet up an aircraft much quicker. If there are any “rivet counters” out there, I invite them to be my guests, he says half jokingly. Even with the short cuts it still takes at least twice as long as it did before to prepare a profile for colouring. Whether its all been worthwhile or not I’ll leave up to you.
PROFILE NOTESThis set is another mixed bag of miscellaneous aircraft types. To be honest, I will probably do all future episodes this way as I prefer doing a variety - especially as most types have already had their own chapters. I did promise Rowan (Merlin) a set of sea planes / flying boats and helicopters and I will try to include some in future chapters. (Flying boats are so big....even more rivets).
There are more Fw Ta183 profiles than any other this time due to this aircraft being my choice as guinea pig for technique and detailing exercises, plus I worked with Mal (Holdfast) on a few schemes for him to apply to one (or more) of his Ta 183 kits in his stash. Can’t wait to see the results....hint...hint.
When Jean Luc (TedMamere) produced his beautiful brace of “Dubendorf Brothers” Messerschmitt Bf 109’s in distinctive liveries, I just had to do one. I’ve considered this for ages but always fought shy of doing a single colour aircraft as a camo scheme can hide a multitude of sins. But having seen Jean Luc’s duo I couldn’t resist any longer. I chose to do an all red scheme on one of the Fw Volksflugzeug’s. I hope to do a blue “something” in the next chapter. So its a big thank you to Jean Luc for providing the inspiration. I also thank Martin (EL_Martino), Engin (Graywolf), Jesper (Hwa-Rang), Henk (Henk), and Patrick (Foxy) for helping with the German translation I needed for the nose graphics. A real team effort.
In a similarly inspirational vein, Jal’m’s (Jolly Roger) cute little Me P1011 with the distinctive reverse camouflage scheme gave me plenty of ideas for the profiles. I have tried a few as Jal’m’s example and also applied the same logic to wave and splinter types of camo with equal effectiveness. So its a big thank you to Jal’m too.
Another little idea I’ve tested as an extension of the original thoughts on the series, I’ve tried doing the upper wing crosses and swastikas in underside colour as opposed to the normal white or black. And I’ve also tried a few profiles where the splinter type camouflage is carried on to the undersides in a second shade of underside colour. The reasoning being that the outline of an aircraft may have needed breaking up just as importantly as the upper surfaces, when in flight and viewed from the ground.
Also I’ve done a few profiles for an aircraft that didn’t exist, even on paper. The Messserschmitt Me 262 HG D is an idea I’ve had for some time. Along time ago I actually made a model of it when my skills were not exactly good. The basis for the idea was the fact that Professor Alexander Lippisch was heavily involved in the development of the 262 HG series of designs and he was also famed for his Delta wing designs. I simply put the two together as a possible development. A ”What -if, what-if “.
Last but definitely not least, great thanks to Rowan (Merlin) for all his hard work behind the scenes and for his invaluable help with providing references and data collecting.
Yes there are a lot of thanks to many people, but Armorama is that kind of place.
Until next time...