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Early Aviation
Discuss World War I and the early years of aviation thru 1934.
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Lozenge Camouflage 101
JackFlash
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Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 10:26 AM UTC
Greetings Dan-San

I can agree. On the 4 colour. I have a tendancy to think Fokker was behind it in some form. In the beginning only the Fokker werke at Schwerin had it. Being the sharp business man he was he knew that there would be shortages. Companies had contracts to fill.
JackFlash
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Posted: Monday, December 18, 2006 - 08:48 PM UTC
Remember this from page 2 ?

As described by Lt. Col. Roy Houchin USAF in a recent interview he comments on the 4 & 5 colur lozenge applications that were found on Fokker D.VI airframes in the spring / summer 1918.

‘In classic fashion...it depends. The mainplanes were completed and covered at a period in time where the change from five-color to four-colour was occurring.(Note the parent company Fokker at Schwerin /Gorries had used five-colour on the wings of the early production Fokker D.VII types.) Subsequently, both patterns appear on airframes (of the D.VI) in no particular order or serial number. However, four-color seems to be the dominant lozenge fabric at least for the fuselages. Rather than placing the fabric seam on the centerline of the wing, Fokker's fabric shop worked from the port wing tip in the case of the D.VI. The resulting seam was just outboard of the first rib to starboard of the center (as viewed by the pilot.) The fabric strips rib and border tapes were made of the same (lozenge) material. They were applied everywhere except the ribs of the control surfaces. The leading edge plywood caps were reinforced with, chordwise strips of plain fabric over the ribs and are visible as outlines under the doped lozenge fabric in some pictures as they are wider than the rib tapes. On elevators and ailerons, the pattern ran spanwise with the cover for one surface cut from one edge; its opposite number was cut from the middle of the roll and inverted. The horizontal Tailplane fabric pattern was run spanwise as well. It's best to look long and hard at the specific photograph to glean any particulars.’


Tom's Modelworks 1/48 Fokker D.VI resin kit one in the Eagle Strike 4 & 5 colour lozenge.
JackFlash
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Posted: Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 05:08 AM UTC
Greetings all; Touching on some concerns for the early Eduard 4 colour lozenge from the early kits #8131 - # 8133 Cookie cutter lozenge. So far on the 4 colour I noticed somebody on their computer got cute an when it came to alternating the underside panels rather that turn them 180 degrees from the next someone used a computer to flip the panels. So the middle panel of the underside of the lower wing (only) are both inside out. Hah! Don't worry just hope some old wingnut isn't the judge at your next contest.

Also some fit problems were noticed by our own Merlin. In subsequent issues Eduard seemed to fix this.
Merlin's observations
This post was removed.
Dan-San
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Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:42 AM UTC
Jack Flash:
Lt.Col.Roy "Doc" Houchins stated that Fokker chord-wise panels emanated from the left wing tip. That may be incorrect. All one piece wings had the base seam on the longitudinal center-line as did all other manufactures German Aircraft manufacturers, It is a covering requirement of Idflieg. The same is stated Dave Roberts in Fokker D.VII Anthology 1. I am sure that this is where Doc picked up that information.

I wish to thank whoever picked my avatar, it is truly appropriate, I was born in Canton, China. My Father No.2 in the South China Air Service. In the period of September to December 1923, he was the Commander of the Dr.Sun Yat-sen's Air Force.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Dan-San
JackFlash
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Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 07:46 AM UTC
Thanks Dan for your input which is spot on as usual! Nearing the close on this thread folks here is a bit of fun for you to ponder. Applying all that you have seen this image should help you understand how lozenge was and is printed.
Lucky13
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Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 07:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks Dan for your input which is spot on as usual! Nearing the close on this thread folks here is a bit of fun for you to ponder. Applying all that you have seen this image should help you understand how lozenge was and is printed.


WHAT?! Nearing the close of this thread? What close? You can't do that, not now! Not here! What are we gonna do?

SmileyCentral.com


JackFlash
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Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 10:02 PM UTC
All good things Jan...all good things...Here are some modern replicas and rebuilds at the USAF museum to study for the last few posts.
http://photos.kitmaker.net/showgallery.php/cat/15900
Dan-San
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Posted: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 12:44 AM UTC
Gentlemen:
The linen fabric went through several stages before being printed. The fabric was woven with 50 to 55 threads per inch.with large size(denier) yarns and wound on a large spool, with about 500 to 600 yards of linen fabric on the manufacturer's spool.The manufacturer's spool then went to the finishing where the fabric was cleanedn through a drying processes and then was callendered, (runnying the fabric between two metal rollers under heat and pressure. The purpose of callendering was crush the yarns from an approximate round section to and oval section. This reduced the open space between the yarns, British and French fabric specification forbade the use of callendering on the aircraft fabric, the reason being it did damage the yarns to some extent. British and French fabric had much smaller size yarns and yarns per inch were around 100 per inch. The British, French and German finished linen fabric weighed about the same, 3.5 to 4.0 ounces/square yard.

After the fabric was callendered it went to printing. The woven fabric was passed through five metal rollers that had the pattern of one lozenge etched on each roller, when combined the five rollers presented the complete lozenge pattern on the fabric. The each lozenge overlapped the adjacent lozenges about 3 to 5 mm. Each of the five rollers had an inking roller that inked the roller and printed that one color on the fabric. When the fabric emerged from the printer it went through a dryer that set and dryed the inked fabric. The finished five color printed fabric was 1345 mm plus or minus 10 mm wide.

Following the dryed inked fabric was put on shippers rolls, (around 100 to 125 yards per roll. During all these processes, visual inspectiion were conducted to determined if the finished fabric complied with the fabric specification as established by the Ispektion der Fliertruppe (Idflieg). There was only one fabric manufacturer used by Idflieg, it was Neue Augburger Kattunfabrik, (New Augsburg Cotton Factory) Augsburg, Germany. The Five color pattern rollers printed the Day Light pattern for under surfaces, Day Intermediate Dark pattern upper surfaces, Day Dark Pattern for upper surfaces and lower surfaces for night bombers. A revised very dark night pattern was printed in 1918 for all night bombing aircraft from these same rollers, the only difference was the color of inks used to produce the desired printed fabric. Idflieg had the patent on this printed fabric, thereby controllin the the fabric construction, finishing, printing process and the specific ink colors.

The four color printed fabric went through the same processes, but only with four printing rollers. The four color printed fabric was printed in Day Dark Pattern for the upper surfaces and Day Light Pattern for the under surfaces. The width of the finished four color printed fabric was 1300 mm plus or minus 10 mm. I don't know who came up with the Four Color Day Printed Fabric, I suspect it was Fokker Flugzeugwerke. My rationale for this as Fokker was the first to use the printed four color fabric on the Fok.D.VII. Anthony Fokker in his endeavors created his own sources by buying up or into his sources, thus creating a vertical company. The amazing thing here is, he was 24 years old when war ended!

Happy New Year,
Dan-San
JackFlash
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Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 - 10:11 PM UTC
Now lets skip ahead into history from 1918. One historian has compiled a short narrative based on the post WWII the studies of what we have come to know as "lozenge."

"...Preliminary investigations began in 1957 when consideration was given to rebuilding of the Nash Collection Fokker DVII, and wether or not it would be possible to reproduce the printed fabric. Those involved were delighted to find in Fairey archives a surprising collection of enlarged photographs of German aircraft, along with many drawings to the fabric, the various patterns and the various methods of seaming and attachement, most of the latter being drawn full scale. Unfortunately having pieced together the various parts of the five colour material, a complete pattern could not be made up, and although a small scale colour general arrangement drawing was available it appeared to be a freehand sketch. A conjectural pattern was therefore drawn which had a potentially 'grey’ area over about a quarter of the shapes. By 1958 a pattern had been evolved in the USA by H.D.Hastings evidently based upon the Albatros DV in Canberra and although this agreed in the main, relative to pattern, the dimensions were all rather larger.“ (Ian Huntley, Scale Aircraft Modelling, 1978)

Ian Huntley attached a drawing to his article (concerning) Pfalz DXII 7695/18: "...Pfalz D.12 drawing found in Fairey Aviation archives in 1957 having been hidden away after an investigation into German lozenge pattern (used) in 1918. The discovery assisted in the preliminary work in refurbishing aircraft in the Nash collection. It shows lozenge patterns on the wing and tail unit. The markings under the cockpit indicate the direction used to lay plywood pieces in the construction of the fuselage..."

He further comments that "...Interesting to see, that the following was not mentioned..."

"...Readers will be familiar with the factory finish of the period, this has been excellently covered by P.L.Gray in his articles and the commencements of the Decor Detail series (Nov. and Dec., 1957), also in his more recent writings on the lozenge pattern printed fabric ...“ (Alex Imrie, Aero Modeller, February 1961)

To this writer the articles of P.L.Gray were the first attempt, written in English, to do a research of the Flugzeugstoff in modern times. Attached was also a sketch: „Diagram of Albatros DV rudder on display in Imperial War Museum.“

Unless in 1918, when the printed fabric was called a polygon pattern by the British investigators, P.L.Gray used in his articles for the first time the term "losenge". This is the same as calling a circle an oval..."

Added Feb. 4, 2007 - Well folks I found the earliest reference to the term "Lozenge". The 1918 narrative on Fokker D.VII 368/18 in its description by British inspectors describes the German multi colour camouflage to be "lozenge" in shape. Elongated poly and hexagons? Greg VanWynGarden published this in his profiles of Anthology 1 concerning plate 17 & 17a. So this is where the term came from.
JackFlash
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Posted: Thursday, December 28, 2006 - 11:27 PM UTC
Here is another comment from a dedicated modeler.

Quote "...I thought you might be interested in another early article dealing with German camouflage. It is from the July/August 1964 issue of American Modeler by J.W.Kohler. I cut this out when I was a 13 year old kid and I still have it in my "stack of stuff".

The article references the two types of patterns by the location of the "type" piece as "Canberra" and "Knowlton", five and four color losenge, respectively. Incidently, the word lozenge is not used in the article. The two researchers mentioned are H.D. Hastings and Paul Parker. Most of the article deals with making stamps and stencils to duplicate the patterns on (RC) models.

A similar article appeared in the January 1989 issue of "Fine Scale Modeler"


The names "Knowlton" and "Canberra" are the cities where the fabrics were located when studied.
JackFlash
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Posted: Monday, January 01, 2007 - 04:55 AM UTC
Here are some of the Copper State water slide decal Items.

Top surface 4 colour


Underside 4 colour


Naval Hex lozenge


See these and others at;
Copper State Models detail sets

The Copper State sheets are generally accurate but need to be cut with new razor knife blade. As the ink sits ontop of the carrier film ait can fracture at the edges. I would shoot them with clear gloss and let thoroughly dry before cutting them from the sheets. Then use sol and set. I have used their out of production 5 colour to good advantage this way. See below.


Alb. D.V 4677/17 Consider this the hypothetical Albatros D.V machine of my alter ego from the Royal Fokker thread, Oblt. Stefan Löwenson when he served in Jasta 78b in about autumn 1917.


Kitboy
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Posted: Monday, January 01, 2007 - 02:17 PM UTC
I have a small question.

What name gave the Germans themselves back in 1917 to what we call lozenge today? Also "Lozenge" or a different name?

Greetings, Nico
JackFlash
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Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 12:05 AM UTC
The term generally was Flugzeugstoff for all aircraft covering. When they added "4 colour" or "5 colour" to the beginning of the description is when it designated the lozenge type. Vierfarbiger (four colour) Flugzeugstoff or Fünffarbiger (five colour) Flugzeugstoff

The English term "lozenge" came in to common use in 1918 narrative on Fokker D.VII 368/18 in its description by British inspectors describes the German multi colour camouflage to be "lozenge" in shape. Elongated poly and hexagons? Greg VanWynGarden published this in his profiles of Anthology 1 concerning plate 17 & 17a. So this is where the term came from.
Dan-San
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Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 01:34 AM UTC
Gentlemen:
There have been problem with reproducing the four and five color patterns, the problem is distorsion od of the polygons (lozenge).on the sample original fabric. When the fabric is woven, the warp yarn (lengthwise) and the filling yarns (crosswise) are square to each other when the fabric is printed. For instance, when the fuselage panels edges are sewn together the seams get stretched in the sewing process. When the cover is installed on fuselage it is further stretched. these acts of stretching distorts s the fabric and thus distorting the shape of the polygons (lozenges). When the clear dope has been applied and dried, these distortions of the polygons shape and the relation ship to each other are permanently set. The polygonal patterns of this reproduction
have been measured in a distorted state. In order to properly measure the polygonal patterns, the dope need to be removed and the fabric resquared to its original woven condition.
My five color sample, was never doped, my four color piece came off a OAW built Fok.D.VII 4490/18 fuselage, was doped and varnished, with the cross intacted with a patched bullet hole on it. If nothing else it proves that this machine was in combat. It was removed from this D.VII in the dirigible hangar at Trier (Treves) France by an American observer. I had the distinct pleasure to interview in 1960s.
The pieces of four color and five color sample I have I realigned the fabric yarns to be square to each other, before I measured the polygons. My full size four and five color patterns are full accurate in all length and width dimensions. Other fabric reproductions that have been made available to through World War 1 Aeroplanes, have shown to be distorted.
One in particular, it was woven to an incorrect oversize width of 1500 mm and all the polygons on one edge were faked to fit the oversized pattern width.
Achim Engels is coming up with his interpretation of the four and five color fabrics, what little I have seen, both the pattern and colors are incorrect, further he is using non-flight worthy cotton fabric. I don't under stand his racitionale, This stuff costs about $50 per yard. Vintage Aviation is using airworthy linen a and Class A cotton fabrics on accurate four and five color patternsan colors. By the way, most of the four and five color printed fabric decals and the 3 color Kreigsmarine printed fabric decal are incorrect.
Blue skies,
Dan-San
JackFlash
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Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 01:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Gentlemen:... By the way, most of the four and five color printed fabric decals and the 3 color Kreigsmarine printed fabric decal are incorrect. Blue skies, Dan-San



Though I would say the best is Eagle Strike. I have to commend Eduard for finally trying to fine tune their efforts. Each modeler gets the chance to now get the effect better with texturing with washes, streaking and translucent over-sprays. The copper State Models Naval Hex lozenge is the only commercially available set on the market in 1/48 scale at this time.
JackFlash
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Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 11:56 AM UTC
Just as soon as you thought it was safe to think there can't be anymore.
From the wonderful genrosity of Mr. Charles Gosse (mentioned elswhere in this thread) here is the underside 4 colour fabric from a Fokker D.VII 6746/18. Note the Salmon Pink (aged) rib tapes. Also one has been removed and shows the stitching that held the fabric on the wing ribs.
Lucky13
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Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 12:26 PM UTC
If I've missed it, I apologize for my ignorance. But what decided the shapes of the colours and which to use?
JackFlash
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Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 10:21 PM UTC

Quoted Text

If I've missed it, I apologize for my ignorance. But what decided the shapes of the colours and which to use?




Hello Jan, Simply put we do not have that information. At least not in public records. Here is what we know (for anyone missing it in the beginning.) The official name for the printed fabric was Flugzeugstoff, originally developed under the name "Ballonstoff", because it was originally concieved to replace the highly visible yellow of the observation balloons.

The Vierfarbiger (four colour) Flugzeugstoff with the terrain camouflage, was the opposite to the more sophisticated Fünffarbiger (five colour) Flugzeugstoff of the NAK. The darker and cheaper dyes were used for the Fünffarbiger (5 colour) Flugzeugstoff.

The four color fabric was 1320mm plus or minus 10mm wide and the five color fabric was 1350mm plus or minus 10mm wide. There was some movement inboard with the seams on the four color fabric. Still this amounted to six panels in most cases for a top wing.
JackFlash
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Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 03:19 PM UTC
Greetings all;

Ok so now you have applied your lozenge decals to the needed surface. It is dry and set. Then you pick up the part to contiue your work and you accidentally drop it, scrap it walk a dull motor tool cutter or drill bit over your perfect lozenge application. How do you fix it?
JackFlash
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Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 05:57 PM UTC
The earlier writer is quoted again.
"...Since the appearance of the articles on German W.W. camouflage in November 57 to January 58 issues, much further research into the subject of the printed lozenge fabrics has been conducted by Mr. H.D.Hastings of Mount Vernon, N.Y., who kindly made his findings known.

So the beginning of an article in Aero Modeller, April 59, written by the late P.L.Gray. Published were also a pattern A and a pattern B: 'Patterns above are to 1/24th scale for modelling convenience'.

It is interesting to know, that these drawings are the same as the ones published in Datafiles today, published by Ray Rimell.

It seems so as if the only relevant research since the late fifties were done by American enthusiasts, and this writer would be pleased to hear about the research before 1957 in the USA. (edit note; Specifically Alan Toelle and Dan San Abbott.)..."

JackFlash
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Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 07:29 AM UTC
He contiues...
"...It was decided to start with fabric still known to be in existence and an approach was made to Dr. McGarth of the Australian War Memorial Museum, Canberra, who supplied sufficient information for a true representation of the pattern and colouration of fabric on the Albatros D Va in this museum, to be prepared. This fabric covers the undersurface of the wings, the top having been, unfortunately, painted over a dark green shade – almost black. A full-size reconstruction of the lozenge pattern was subsequently sent to Dr. McGarth, for comparison with the original, and after correction can now be certified as correct.“

This is pattern B in the article of P.L.Gray, Aeromodeller , April 1959

Similar action was taken in respect of the Fokker D VII at Knowlton, Quebec, which aircraft was personally inspected by Mr. Hastings. The fabric pattern subsequently prepared, and verified for correctness, was found to be different from that of the Albatros D Va at Canberra, and it will be seen also that this D VII fabric is composed of a four-tone colour scheme. Whereas that of the Albatros is a five-tone scheme.

This is patter A in the article of P.L.Gray, Aeromodeller , April 1959

The 'Revised Lozenge Patterns', published today in the Datafiles, are the redrawn patterns by I.R.Stair for 'Fokker Fighters of World War 1' by P.L.Gray (1976) from the above, without any corrections.

The discovery of two color schemes around 1958, the five colour and the four colour were pretty late, and the modeller’s world is based on an article of April 1959, when it comes to the Flugzeugstoff..."

Though I do know of studies carried out from a more recent date this is generally accurate.
Kriegshund
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Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 08:03 AM UTC
Sorry, I don't have anything useful to add to this thread. However, I would like to say this is a fascinating and quite informative read. Thank you.
Dan-San
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Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 01:59 AM UTC
Gentlemen:
I first became aware of printed fabric when I was 11 years old when I was went to the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. At the time they had hanging from the ceiling an Alb.D.Va about 10 feet off the floor. The five color printed fabric on the under side of the wings. I could not tell how it was done, I had assumed it was painted on. The next time was when the John E.Roe drawing of the Fok.D.DVII was published in Model Airplane News. Using crayons I colored the camouflage patterns. I did not realize it at the time that the drawing was incorrect, the patterns on the wings did not repeat and was random. My next exposure was during WW2 when in 1943, Harborough Publishing Company published Owen Thetford's "Camouflage '14-'18 Aircraft. In it Owen describes the hexagons and colors, color plate of a Fokker D.VII with repeating pattern of irregular hexagons. The door has opened a wider. Those of you that missed this little gem, I feel sorry for.
The next piece of information came in 1946 when Harborough came out with "AIRCRAFT OF THE 1914-18 WAR" and in the German aircraft section there are some very good photos showing German aircraft. From the picture of the Fok. D.VIII 692/18, I attempted to draw the four in scale the printed fabric pattern. The problem was, the pattern was incomplete.
In 1949, I purchased from Ed Brynes Books the Ministry of Munitions Reports of the Fokker Single-Seater (D.VII) and Halberstadt Fighter (Cl.IV)
I was unaware that there were different patterns. The door was fully opened when I received Cross and Cockade Journal, Vol.2, No.3 which covered the four and five color patterns. My article in World War 1 Aero, No.129, August 1990 concluded my very long study of German printed fabrics.
Blue skies,
Dan-San
Kitboy
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Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 03:37 PM UTC
Hello,

I am having a small discussion on a Dutch website about how many Fokker DVII's are known without any Lozenge to be seen in service with the German Airforce. In my humble opinion hardly any were operational. Am I correct?

greetings, Nico