Me 262 B-1a B3+ZM

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by JonOlsen, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    Hello everybody,

    I recently stumbled upon this interesting photo of an Me 262 B-1a two-seater. It's code is B3+ZM and it served with KG(j) 54. I don't know much about the details of this particular machine, though i do know that there is a discussion about it in one of the Japo publications.

    The paint scheme looks quite unusual and the nose section appears to be a bare-metal replacement. Putty joints are noticeable, as are the dark blotches that always seem present on the nose sections of bare-metal Me 262s. Moreover, the nose cap features a few rings around the nose. These rings are presumably grey putty. I realize that the nose sections were made of steel, and were usually primed to prevent corrosion, but this just might be an exception. Alternatively, if it was primed, I assume the primer was only VERY lightly applied. This is my opinion.

    What do you think about the photo? Does anyone have information, opinions, or any insight about this Me 262? Also, I think there's another photo but I haven't been able to find it. :)

    Regards,Jon Me 262 B3+ZM.png
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It was covered in 'Messerschmitt Me 262s of KG and KG(J) units' , the third volume of the 'Luftwaffe Over Czech Territory 1945' series.
    I think David Brown did the bit on the camouflage.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The next , derelicted kite that seems to be a can of worms. First of all I don't think the nose of the plane is a replacement. I would say its colours are the result of the assembling process. In other words the nose compartment was made by another manufacturer than the fuselage and then the entire plane got its finall assembling without unifying the camo of both sections. Also I don't think the front part of the plane was of bare metal. If it would be the nose was of metalic tinge like the front band of the engine nacelle. It is very likely it was of the RLM76 ( now much lighter because of staying long time "under a cloud" and being influenced by the weather conditions like the whole camo of the plane. The darker rings on the nose cap seem to be caused either during the way of making of it or by the weather. However such rings can be noticed in other pictures of Me 262s. So the first idea seems to more likely. Anyway such effects of fading camo colours can be noticed in many images of abandoned and damaged German planes used at the end of the WW2.

    me262_3.jpg

    Me262_2.jpg

    Me262-A1A-52.jpg

    Me262_4.jpg
     
  4. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    #4 JonOlsen, Mar 20, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
    Thanks for the reference Steve, and thank you Wurger for the insights. What you have written makes great sense, and I now agree that the nose was produced by a different manufacturer than the fuselage rather than it being a replacement. I would just like to point out that virtually every single bare metal Me 262 seems to have those messy-looking "rings" on what always appears to be a nose cap primered in a dark grey. The excellent photos you've posted are but a few examples. :) The comment you've made about the front nose of B3+ZM not having the same metallic tinge as the engine intake rings is very logical, and I can understand your reasoning. However, it seems to me that even on Me 262s that are almost completely bare-metal (including 711 and 722) the metallic appearance of the engine intake rings is always a bit different from the shine on the fuselage. Moreover, the nose sections of bare-metal me 262s always seem to be lightly primered (perhaps very light RLM 02). The application of such a light primer would have the effect of dulling the metallic tinge. I've also recently noticed that the noses of bare-metal Me 262s seem to always have numerous patches of a mysterious dark putty (grey???)that shows underneath the light primer. This is especially visible on 712. Any information or thoughts about this dark color? The particular appearance and shape of the putty and primer on 712's nose section looks very similar to the nose section of B3+ZM. Or so I think... ;)
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #5 Wurger, Mar 20, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    I understand you too. But regarding the putty... it seems that it can be the "Oxidrot" paint that was a kind of "dirty"-red colour. The paint was applied with a brush usually at the areas : where plates were butted , along rivet lines or just at plate edges. The RLM76 that could be applied as a thin layer on a such, unprimed surfaces, could look like we can notice it in the last pic posted above. However if you compare the first shot posted above to the last one there you may notice that all depends on sunlight while these pictures were taken.

    Here is the next shot of a such finished Swallow...

    me-262a-1a.jpg

    And image taken with different angle... the fuselage seems to be more shiny.

    me-262-2.jpg


    And here the next one ....

    Me262-0041.jpg
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That is a putty rather than a paint. It is commented on in several allied assessments of the Me 262 and is clearly a putty in photographs taken of several different late war German aircraft under construction, including the Me 262. I don't think anyone has established which of the available RLM authorised putties was used, nor its colour. I've seen arguments for red, yellow and grey!

    Regarding spraying of a primer (like RLM 02), I don't think so. The whole point of the resin based Warnecker and Bohm lacquers used at this time was that they did not need any primer but could be sprayed directly on to clean metal. This was a very handy production expedient for the aircraft producers from mid war onwards. By 1942 Warnecker and Bohm's 'Ikarol' lacquers were being produced under licence, for the RLM, by all the surviving lacquer producing firms, including several previous competitors of Warnecker and Bohm.
    By 1944/45 who would you prime an aircraft that neither needed a primer for its lacquer coat, nor was expected to enjoy a long life?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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  8. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    #8 JonOlsen, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    Me 262 color.png
    I found this cool photo on Ebay. It has a very clear view of the nose cap, which is painted in a grey color. The rings around it appear to be putty. Might the dark blotches elsewhere on the nose section be the same or similar to the grey seen on the nose cap? What if that same grey is used as a primer undercoat on most, if not all, of the nose section? It intrigues me that these dark botches are present on virtually every bare-metal Me 262 and these blotches always seem to conform to the particular panel lines on the nose section, but these dark grey blotches are not clearly present anywhere on the fuselage.

    I didn't know about the resin based lacquers. That makes a lot of sense. However, I've read that the entire nose section of Me 262s was made of steel and so was easily corrosive unlike the metal on the fuselage. In my "Stormbird Colors" book, the author comments about Black X, noting

    "the wings and majority of the fuselage of Black X were constructed of an alloy that did not require further preparation before camouflage painting. Undercoat or primer was therefore only applied to the non-alloy elements of the airfarme. These included the steel fuselage nose and engine nacelles; plus wooden components such as the undercarriage doors and leading edge of the fin." (Pg. 49).

    The author goes on to note that on Black X, which has the best preserved original paint scheme of any surviving Me 262, "the nose displays evidence of at least two undercoat colors. One color closely matches RLM 02 Gray...and a cream color similar to RLM 05." (Pg. 49). The author also remarks that "very large sections o RLM 02 Gray primer are visible on the cannon access hatch." (Pg. 59).

    Based on the above information, the best preserved Me 262, Black X, had its nose section clearly primed in RLM 02 and another cream color. This is consistent with my understanding that B3+ZM and bare-metal Me 262s probably had their noses systematically primed by their manufacturers (though presumably different primers were used).

    In light of this description of Black X's nose section, it makes sense to me why the nose sections of bare-metal me 262s like 711 and 722 look quite different from the fuselages. In the picture of 711 that Fubar just posted check out the cannon access hatch...it appears almost completely light grey, but with the expected dark patches. Also, the presence of light grey/ dark grey on the nose section is even more apparent in the photos of 712, which Wurger posted.

    Thoughts?

    Regards,
    Jon
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Well I don't know about steel nose cones.
    The only one I know the detailed construction of has a forward section of a wood and aluminium structure entirely covered in a putty before painting. The rear part which attached to the fuselage is a spun aluminium structure. Being on a night fighter this might not be the same as that fitted to other aircraft.


    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That does appear to be a special structure, as typical Me262 nose cones had a mount and opening for the camera.

    Regarding the different look to the unfinished engine nacelle cone and fuselage nose cone, it was steel so would appear a different tone in photographs n comparison to the aluminum sections.

    Here's one on display in Hungary:
    Me 262_engine-nose_Hungary.jpg

    The nose cone was typically constructed from steel, as this photo shows (on display at Willow Grove NAS)
    Me262_nose-cone_WillowGroveNAS.jpg

    Sorry I don't have better photos, but I do know that there is an Me262 being restored about 10 years ago at the Luftwaffe Museum in Germany that has an original nose cone in place...if you can find photos from that restoration project, it would show some good details.
     
  11. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff guys!
     
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