Me 262 squiggle paint scheme W. Nr. 110506 interpretation

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by JonOlsen, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    I found two photos of a fascinating Me 262a painted in a very distinctive "squiggle" scheme. These photos are featured in "Stormbirds" by Brett Green and Benjamin Evans on Pg. 29. While this sort of scheme is typical of recon birds, it is unusual to see on the fighter version. I would love to know anyone's thoughts or interpretations about any aspect of this Me 262's paint scheme. However, I am particularly curious about the base color seen on the uppersurface of the wings. The squiggles (almost certainly RLM 70, I think) on the wings are quite thin and very well-defined (as opposed to the much thicker, low-contrast squiggles on the fuselage.)

    But what is the base color on the wings? It appears relatively light, but is noticeably darker than the VERY light fuselage base color. The authors of "Stormbirds" seem to suggest RLM 65 light blue for both the wings and fuselage. Cutting Edge decals makes a decal sheet(CED48052)featuring this Me 262. The commentators go into quite elaborate detail speculating about the color of the wings. They basically conclude that it's, "RLM 70 over a base coat of light RLM71 or possibly RLM 82 Hellgrun. But could that really be green I'm seeing and not light blue???

    I'd like to know what you all think!

    >Jon
     

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  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Also similar to the scheme seen on the A-1a/U3 versions from Eger. I also remember a 'Green 3' of JG 7 which had a similar scheme

    I'd be amazed if those were bomber colours (70/71/65) given the wheres and whens of manufacture and operation. Much more likely to be a base of RLM 76, which became almost white in some late war applications, notably on Me 262s. The squiggles might be 81/83 or 81/82, or even 82/83. It's even possible that there might be a grey (RLM 74 or 75) in there. It's impossible to tell from a black and white image.

    My best guess would be the 'official' colours. RLM 76 with a squiggle of RLM 81 and 82. These are the colours most likely to be available to a contractor or unit producing or operating the type.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree. It's very difficult to asses in a reproduced, half-tone B&W image, but after studying the tones and contrast, I'd agree the base colour is more likely RLM 76, with the wave patterns either in RLM81/82, as suggested by Steve, or possibly even RLM 74/75.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #5 stona, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  6. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    I would think you are more than likely correct Steve, and would go with your assessment as well!
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Ah thanks Steve. I thought I was going crazy as I couldn't find my post from yesterday in this thread. That picture I posted and to which you refer appears in Kagero Monograph #47 and the authors state the squiggles are "most likely RLM 83 and 02". Arguably true but I think the grey looks darker than 02, hence my suggestion that it might be 75.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It looks like Steve and I were referring to the same Me262 (turns out there were actually three threads covering this) and I'm glad these two threads were merged, it was a little confusing! :lol:

    This is the photo I had posted, and offers a slightly different perspective:

    262_2.jpg

    I believe that I have a few other examples of similar camo schemes and will dig around to see if I can find them.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The colour image has been tinkered with, I've seen other versions which are much bluer and I think the one above has been adjusted from the 'unbalanced' original to compensate.
    Having said that RLM 75 seems plausible and more likely than RLM 02. RLM 75 was certainly available late in the war.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It appears this photo has a certain amount of blue...it almost looks as though it has been copied from a book. Keeping the blue hue in. Mind, it does show the two different greens over the base color that were used for the camouflage.

    The time this photo was taken, was after the other well known photos had been taken, as the crews are there to recover it (seen by the equipment).
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Here's a different pic of the same aircraft. This is the one I posted in the other thread.

    post-4261-1229728780.jpg
     
  12. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    #12 JonOlsen, Apr 8, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
    Wow! :) Thank you everyone for your interpretations. Although the paint scheme of that Me 262 a/U3 in the colored photo is certainly similar to 110506 whose pic I posted from "Stormbirds", they are not the same. The squiggle pattern (size, color, etc) and base color of 110506's wings appear different from what is seen on the fuselage of 110506. In this sense especially, the other Me 262 does not completely represent a suitable basis for comparison. Agree or disagree? In any case, I think that in other respects the recon bird in the colored photo deserves a tremendous amount of attention and I'm glad you all have focused on it because it undeniably shares important similarities with 110506 (perhaps more than any other Me 262?)

    I think it's fascinating that even though the photos are in color and seem high-quality, no one can agree on the colors! No one has advocated the possibility or likelihood that the colors of the recon bird might be the bomber colors, RLM 70, 71, and 65. I had always thought that commentators generally agreed those were the colors applied on the recon Me 262 in those colored photos. I see my assumption was mistaken. :)

    Crimea River, your suggestion that the squiggles on the Me 262a/U3 in the colored photo are RLm 83 and 75 intrigues me. I hope you're right! That would seem possible to me as I understand that many bf 109s and Fw 190s were certainly painted in the 83/75 color combination. However, I've never heard of a single Me 262 painted in such a way (exceptions, of course, are always possible especially when ground crews paint the aircraft.) Crimea River (and everyone), do you know of any specific cases in which an Me 262 is generally thought to have been painted in the RLM 83/75 combination?

    I would like to point out one more detail that I think deserves some consideration for interpreting the paint schemes of W. Nr. 110506 and the recon Me 262 in the colored photos. According to "Stormbirds," when the RLM issued the new orders for painting various types of aircraft, the upper and side surfaces of fighters were supposed to be painted in the "late-war browns and greens," RLM 81, 82, 83. But there was an exception! I quote, "Where existing stocks of the old colors existed, color 82 could be used in combination with color 70; or color 81 could be used with color 71" (Green and Evans Pg. 17).
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The initial change of colour was issued in 1944 and survives in a 'Sammelmitteilung' of August 1944. It is unequivocal:

    "Camouflage colour shades and their distribution over the aircraft have been uniformly redefined. The companies responsible for providing camouflage drawings will receive a camouflage guide with the required information from the Travemunde Test Centre. With the issue of this camouflage guide the industry is expressly forbidden to use any other camouflage types or colours, e.g. in response to requests from front line units, than those specified in the camouflage guide, unless specifically authorised by the Travemunde Test Centre.

    As a result of this new regulation the following RLM shades are in the future to be discontinued: 65, 70, 71 and 74. Shade 70 continues to be specified for propellers."


    Things to be aware of.
    The date of this document is not necessarily the date at which the various instructions it brought together were issued. This is clearly shown by the Messerschmitt document further down.
    The exceptions cited above were just that, exceptions. They were made as a result of protestations from the industry that it had existing stocks that it would be expensive and inefficient not to use. The industry was allowed to substitute the earlier shades in certain combinations.
    RLM 75 was NOT discontinued which is why I remarked above that it was entirely plausible that it featured in some of the late an unofficial schemes. It could have been available. It was still used in various combinations on fighters, though the Me 262 was not so classified for the purposes of camouflage.


    Here is the official scheme for the Me 262 as of July 1944, predating the 'sammelmitteilung' from which I quoted above. Messerschmitt obviously already had the new numbers and camouflage guide. Note that RLM 81 and 82 were replacements for 70 and 71 respectively, the bomber and transport colours. Only early Me 262s were finished in fighter colours (74/75).

    [​IMG]

    By the end of the war the RLM had lost control of aircraft finishing. Units were altering camouflage to suit themselves, something, along with re0finishing or polishing, the RLM had been trying to eradicate since 1940.

    I'm not sure where the idea that recon aircraft were finished in the old bomber colours 70/71/65 comes from. As of mid 1944 they would have been finished, officially, in 81/82/76 which were the NEW bomber colours. The old colours were discontinued and once stocks were used up would not have been available.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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