Me 262 Wrk Nr. 500531 interesting paint scheme question

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by JonOlsen, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    I came across these interesting photos of Me 262 Wrk. Nr. 500531 in "Stormbirds" by Brett Green and Benjamin Evans on Pg. 24. The caption refers to the mottling as having a distinctive "chessboard appearance." The caption states, and I quote, "the solid base color is probably RLM 82 Light Green, while the mottle is either RLM 81 Brown-Violet or RLM 83 Dark Green" (Pg. 24).

    I was wondering what anyone's opinion might be about the camouflage, especially on the uppersurfaces of the wings. I noticed that, in the bottom photo showing the port side of 500531 on Pg. 24, two mottles are clearly positioned on the wing root, overlapping the fuselage and wing. This suggests to me that the wings were mottled similarly to the fuselage. But is the "standard" two-tone splinter scheme present on the wings...?

    Also, I noticed there is a small pale-colored (white?)square on the port wing flap. Does anyone know what purpose this served?

    Thoughts or interpretations anybody?
    Screen shot 500531 Pg. 24.png
     
  2. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    The so-called "checker board" mottling could actually be lightly applied camo paint that allowed the puttied seams on the fuselage to show through. That's pure speculation on my part.

    262005c.jpg

    Hard to say what the wing camo would be, though Green does point out a scalloped leading edge. I propose that the patch you see on the flap is a stenciled visual indicator to the pilot of the extent of flap deployment. It shows up on other 262 photos as well.

    flap.jpg
     
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  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    When the paint was applied over the bare metal without primer, it will show a curious pattern as the puttied joints acted as a primer and darkened the paint that was applied over it, leaving the paint over the bare metal to appear lighter.

    The fit and finish on the earlier Me262s were relatively good quality (including prepping, priming camouflage) but towards the end, was not all that great.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree. A book or magazine article I had probably 40 years ago, showed some late-build '262's after 'roll out', and the usual abandoned aircraft at war's end, and explained about the puttied joints, and how this showed through the hastily-applied, thin camouflage coat. The latter was thought to be, at least in some cases, the actual primer, a greyish or greyish green shade, not unlike RLM 02, and not a camouflage colour, as speculated by some forty years later.
    And yes, that's the flap angle indicator bars on the port flap.
     
  5. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    Crimea River, GrauGeist, and Airframes, thank you all for your insights. I'm glad to know about the stencil on the flap. I'm assuming it's white. Regarding 500531's paint scheme, it certainly does seem that the shapes of most (though not all) of the dark green mottles roughly correspond to the panel lines. The authors of "Stormbirds" suggest that the overall color was RLM 82.Assuming that this was so, do you think it's likely that the RLM 82 was very thinly sprayed over bare metal and then a darker green was thinly painted over some of the panels to show the location of panel lines, as Crimea River has suggested? Or does anyone speculate that different paints were used?
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    JonOlsen, resources were limited and time was at a premium...towards the end, they were lucky to even get paint applied to the Me262s...

    The overcoat was quickly and thinly applied over the bare, unfinished/unprimed metal. So the "checkerboard" pattern seen was simply the filled joints between the panels absorbing the paint, causing a darkening effect.

    The RLM82 (Lichtgr√ľn) would be a standard late war upper color widely used and is most often seen on the late production Me262 where the earlier ones had more detailed camouflage patterns (and properly prepped with a base coat)
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  8. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    Little Wayne, I absolutely loved your representation of "Yellow 3." :) The way you painted the panel lines was very impressive and eye-catching. However, judging from the two photos I've posted, 500531 seems to be different in that the "chessboard" mottles on 500531, which probably roughly match the shapes of the panel lines, are dark green. The rest of the airframe appears to be light green (presumably this includes the puttied panel lines). On "Yellow 3," we see the opposite: dark puttied joints and lighter colored panels. Thoughts anyone?
     
  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Judging by the pic you have posted above I would say the camo is similar to these two ones below. Of course the camo spots were of different sizes and the entire camo layout was different from them. But colours seem to fit. So... either the top camo was made with RLM81/82 or 82/83. I have converted colours of these two profiles into the B&W pics in order to see the contrast between the two colour sets. What do you think?


    Clipboard02.jpg
    Clipboard02_1.jpg


    Clipboard02a.jpg
    Clipboard02a_1.jpg
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #10 stona, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
    All late war aircraft camouflage was applied using Warnecke and Bohm lacquers, which were also produced under licence by other manufacturers. This was designed to be a one coat process, applied to clean bare metal, no primer. This was a materiel and time saving method.

    Dr. Pomper of Warnecke and Bohm told Jerry Crandall, when shown photos of flaking paint on Luftwaffe aircraft, "either that is not our paint or the metal wasn't clean when our paint was applied."

    This may well have been the case, as I agree that towards the end paints were applied badly, to badly prepared surfaces and very thinly. They certainly weren't always applied as the technicians of the paint manufacturers intended!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  11. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    Thanks for the profiles, Wurger. :) I agree that the paint schemes of these provide a good basis of comparison with Wrk. 500531. I think the dark green could be either RLM 81 or 83. Eventually, I would like to make a 1/72 model of this bird. I'll use Tamiya shake n' rattle cans: AS23(RLM 82)and AS24(RLM 83). Any ideas about the uppersurfaces of the wings? Particularly, I'm wondering whether or not to paint the splinter pattern on the wings.

    >Jon
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #12 stona, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    As you probably know this aircraft came from a very late production block (500461-500540) built under the Regensburg Administration. The first recorded loss from this werknummer block isn't until 20/21 March 1945. This means that it is very difficult to say with any certainty how the upper surfaces of the wings were finished, unless a photograph turns up. I don't think any option is provably wrong :)
    I'd probably carry the mottle onto the wings, just on the grounds that it would make an interesting looking model!

    500531 had the Stammkennzeichen KZ+DO and was with JV 44 at Munchen-Riem on 26th April 1945. The photographs above were indeed taken at Linz sometime during the summer of 1945. It is possible that this aircraft was flown to Linz by Fhj. Ofw. Hans Frolich on 1st May 1945. He crashed on landing.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    Thank you very much, Steve. :) Very valuable information!
     
  14. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to try is to find pictures of other 262s in the same production block and close to your WNr. This could give a clue to your scheme but of course does not preclude the possibility of a unique field application for which no evidence will exist other than your posted pics.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #15 stona, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    That works IF the wings came to final assembly from the same place. Production was quite dispersed by now, though I haven't looked at wings recently enough to remember specifics. I do remember that many were built near Stuttgart, but can't remember where else.
    It's still not bad advice :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #16 GrauGeist, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    There were also cases where, in the final months, the Me262s were being transferred between different units, so the camo schemes markings became chaotic.

    Like this one, for example. It was assigned to KG51 as 9K+FH but commandeered by JV44 during the final month or so of the war

    9KFH_111685[720].jpg
     
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  17. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #17 Crimea_River, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    This one is reported to be 500516. Wing show evidence of a splinter scheme that MIGHT be 81/82 though the leading edges aren't scalloped.

    me262 500516 Munchen Riem.JPG

    Since you have "Stormbird Colours" by Greene, take a look at the 262 on page 16. This has the scalloped leading edge. Another on the bottom of page 19 could be similar to yours - again pure speculation here.
     
  18. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    9K+FH wears very interesting camo. I think it's usually assumed that the green mottles are RLM 82 but they appear very light-colored to me...lighter than RLM 82. Thoughts?
     
  19. JonOlsen

    JonOlsen Member

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    Thanks for the photo and reference Crimea River,

    Partly on the basis of looking at these photos you've refered me to, I'm quite sure that when I make my model I will paint a low-contrast splinter pattern on the wings. I will also spray an irregular pattern of "chessboard" mottles over the wings much like what can be seen on the fuselage sides. I imagine--especially since the mottles are big and blotchy --that they might have been applied at the unit level after the aircraft had been delivered from the factory. Does this seems like a plausible interpretation of the camo?
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The color balance is slightly off in this photo (as was the case with many color photos of the day) so be careful with first impressions.

    To get a better idea of the actual RLM colors used, take into consideration that this Me262 was first a KG51 unit that was taken over by JV44. With that in mind, compare late-war KG51 RLM schemes and then compare to late-war JV44 schemes. Another aid, would be the known coloring of the jeep and the GI's clothing.

    I might mention also, that this: "I will also spray an irregular pattern of "chessboard" mottles over the wings much like what can be seen on the fuselage sides" is not correct, as the "chessboard" pattern is actually the panel joints of the fuselage.
     
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