P-36 in "that" weird camo

OldGeezer

Airman 1st Class
165
293
Dec 11, 2020
The cover of the Fall 1939 Curtiss Fly Leaf magazine is interesting. I'm not a fan of this special one-time camo myself, but I can see why so many modelers have applied it - it's certainly dramatic and unusual.

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fubar57

Lieutenant General
29,523
14,523
Nov 22, 2009
The Jungles of Canada
Still haven't found a source for the actual colours used for the one I did; second photo down in Post #3. Was there two aircraft using this pattern?. In the third photo, the second from the top is similar. From the left gun pod to wing tip there are three strips while the one I modelled had five
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
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May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
For decades it has been claimed that the USAAC was trying out some experimental camo. But several years back I read that in reality they were just using some unusual colors to make sure the photos of their new aircraft received more attention from the news media.

The USN had always used bright colors on its airplanes, while the Air Corps went with more drab schemes. They needed to outshine the Navy without simply copying them.

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SaparotRob

Unter Gemeine Geschwader Murmeltier XIII
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Mar 12, 2020
Long Island, NY
It was thought that it's extreme ugliness would cause the enemy to avert their eyes for the pain it would cause and allow a successful sneak attack. The downside was our pilots also experienced the same and it was done away with. True story.
The things one learns here.
 

fannum

Airman
44
98
Sep 23, 2022
There was an effort at the time (and experimented with in recent years in Top Gun, etc) to break up the lines of an aircraft to hopefully misdirect gunsights from vulnerable areas. Remember a lot of combat manuvering takes place under G-loads which greatly affect pilot vision and brain functions.

Also note that the Navy (Allied and Axis) was quite successful with similar confusion/splinter schemes designed to divert sub periscope and gunnery director aiming. It was especially successful in the smoke and flames of battle, and remember that smokescreens were part of defensive techniques.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

age_measures_-_detail_of_USS_Alabama_in_measure_16.jpg

US Navy World War II ship camouflage measures - detail of the battleship USS Alabama
In 1935, the United States Navy Naval Research Laboratory began studies and tests on low visibility ship camouflage. Research continued through World War II to (1) reduce visibility by painting vertical surfaces to harmonize with the horizon and horizontal surfaces to blend with the sea, or (2) confuse identity and course by painting obtrusive patterns on vertical surfaces. Some camouflage methods served both purposes.
 

OldGeezer

Airman 1st Class
165
293
Dec 11, 2020
For decades it has been claimed that the USAAC was trying out some experimental camo. But several years back I read that in reality they were just using some unusual colors to make sure the photos of their new aircraft received more attention from the news medi
Don't know about the 1939 War Games thing, I've heard that my whole life but I know for sure that the odd camouflage was on the 27th's P-36s for PR at the 1939 National Air Races in Cleveland. Their appearance is on the official schedule of opening-day activities, and there's a photo of them in all their glory just in front of the Bendix frame, set up to salute the arrival of contestants in the Bendix Trophy Race that same day.

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OldGeezer

Airman 1st Class
165
293
Dec 11, 2020
Don't know about the 1939 War Games thing, I've heard that my whole life but I know for sure that the odd camouflage was on the 27th's P-36s for PR at the 1939 National Air Races in Cleveland. Their appearance is on the official schedule of opening-day activities, and there's a photo of them in all their glory just in front of the Bendix frame, set up to salute the arrival of contestants in the Bendix Trophy Race that same day.
Later that afternoon the 27th demonstrated tactical maneuvers, that may be where the "war games" attribution started...????

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SuperAereo

Airman
27
9
Jun 23, 2009
Still haven't found a source for the actual colours used for the one I did; second photo down in Post #3. Was there two aircraft using this pattern?. In the third photo, the second from the top is similar. From the left gun pod to wing tip there are three strips while the one I modelled had five
AFAIK the pattern was vaguely similar but not identical. For the aircraft in the second photo, the colours are said to be Black 33, Neutral Gray 32, Sea Green 28, White 25, Rust Brown 34 and Sand 26.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
There was an effort at the time (and experimented with in recent years in Top Gun, etc) to break up the lines of an aircraft to hopefully misdirect gunsights from vulnerable areas. Remember a lot of combat manuvering takes place under G-loads which greatly affect pilot vision and brain functions.

Also note that the Navy (Allied and Axis) was quite successful with similar confusion/splinter schemes designed to divert sub periscope and gunnery director aiming. It was especially successful in the smoke and flames of battle, and remember that smokescreens were part of defensive techniques.
It goes back to WWI, but was less effective in WWII and later due to radar and electronic warfare.

 

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