PDA

View Full Version : Odd P-38 paintscheme-looking for info



R_Target
12-19-2009, 05:16 PM
I know that this is a Burma-based Lightning of the 459th FS, but check out the camo on the wing. I've never seen anything like it. Anybody?

http://i46.tinypic.com/birs06.jpg

Choctaw111
12-19-2009, 06:08 PM
I haven't seen it before, but I like it.
This would make a good skin.

Rjel
12-19-2009, 06:27 PM
Do you think it might be where the original paint flaked off and was touched up? I've seen several ETO Mustangs that had blotchy looking OD paint because of that.

R_Target
12-19-2009, 06:33 PM
I had considered that i might be touch-up, but the pattern just looks too deliberate. It kind of reminds me of the blotchy OD/Medium green scheme on P-40s.
http://i50.tinypic.com/2vv7uy9.jpg

However, this P-38 looks to be a field mod. What few other pics of 459th Lightnings that I've been able to track down show the standard OD over Gray scheme.

And yeah, it would make a cool skin. The splotches on the back would be pure conjecture though.

http://i49.tinypic.com/swe3dj.jpg

jarink
12-19-2009, 06:41 PM
It's the semi-standard medium green blotches on an OD background. Sometimes the angle plays tricks on the camera, making the medium green look much lighter than it actually was.

R_Target
12-19-2009, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by jarink:
It's the semi-standard medium green blotches on an OD background. Sometimes the angle plays tricks on the camera, making the medium green look much lighter than it actually was.

Do you think this was field-applied though? I've never seen another P-38 with blotches.

I did find out a little more about the plane though. "San Joaquin Siren," flown by Capt. Bill Behrns, Stockton CA.

Bremspropeller
12-19-2009, 07:59 PM
Dark blotches in similar fashion as on the P-40 would propably look even cooler http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

horseback
12-20-2009, 12:25 AM
It was a semistandard practice in the USAAF for a period early in the war; the lighter Medium Green was used to break up the dark Olive Drab silhouette of the aircraft. It was more common on B-17s and larger aircraft, although it was sometimes added locally in fighter units.

Unfortunately, the OD faded pretty quickly (and unevenly most of the time), and the Medium Green was eventually darker than the OD and acted more to accentuate than break up the aircraft's outline. The practice was discontinued by 1944.

cheers

horseback

thefruitbat
12-20-2009, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by R_Target:

http://i49.tinypic.com/swe3dj.jpg

Are you going to release it anyway, it looks beautiful, i know i for one would love it!

Bremspropeller
12-20-2009, 05:58 AM
Ronnco, are there any more Lightnings up to come from you (pacific/ CBI)?

ScarsdaleJack
12-20-2009, 07:14 AM
I'm coming in a little late, but here's some food for thought:

"Correct" and "official" paints were sometimes not even used at the factory; there was a war on. Anything and everything could be done in the field to do what needed to be done, and if the correct shade of paint was not available, they'd use something else. As observers of the events today, we often do not realize that colors used on US military assets- even uniforms- were not all the same

I collect a little WWII memorabilia, US stuff. Even two uniforms cut from the same bolt of cloth will be two different colors if the material used was far enough apart on the bolt. The ubiquitous "Olive Drab" or "Khaki" is a romanticized notion, but many collectors still pay top dollar for the 'correct' shade of "Khaki", which in reality never existed. I have an M1 helmet used in WWII that some 'experts' scoff at, because it has paint brush marks on it, and they say the shade of green isn't quite right. The correct cork finish is still on the helmet, though. Then others look and note the wear on it and say "how else was a GI supposed to re-paint the helmet in the field? With a can of Krylon??". I have a magazine pouch for a .45 pistol that was made in 1919, it is in near mint condition and was never issued. There's clearly two shades of green used on two different parts of the pouch- the cover is lighter than the actual pouch! Colors are subjective in a lot of cases

In regards to aircraft, the paint faded and wore very quickly. On the photograph shown, that P-38 could actually have all the "correct" color on the wings- but some could be old and faded, while the apparently darker areas are in reality fresh re-painted areas, using exactly the same paint

Nice skin, by the way

R_Target
12-20-2009, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by ScarsdaleJack:
I'm coming in a little late, but here's some food for thought:

"Correct" and "official" paints were sometimes not even used at the factory; there was a war on. Anything and everything could be done in the field to do what needed to be done, and if the correct shade of paint was not available, they'd use something else. As observers of the events today, we often do not realize that colors used on US military assets- even uniforms- were not all the same

I collect a little WWII memorabilia, US stuff. Even two uniforms cut from the same bolt of cloth will be two different colors if the material used was far enough apart on the bolt. The ubiquitous "Olive Drab" or "Khaki" is a romanticized notion, but many collectors still pay top dollar for the 'correct' shade of "Khaki", which in reality never existed. I have an M1 helmet used in WWII that some 'experts' scoff at, because it has paint brush marks on it, and they say the shade of green isn't quite right. The correct cork finish is still on the helmet, though. Then others look and note the wear on it and say "how else was a GI supposed to re-paint the helmet in the field? With a can of Krylon??". I have a magazine pouch for a .45 pistol that was made in 1919, it is in near mint condition and was never issued. There's clearly two shades of green used on two different parts of the pouch- the cover is lighter than the actual pouch! Colors are subjective in a lot of cases

Heh, don't I know it. A typical head scratcher for me is why the brown on two-tone Warhawks looks rusty red on P-40B/C and light tan on P-40E/K.


In regards to aircraft, the paint faded and wore very quickly. On the photograph shown, that P-38 could actually have all the "correct" color on the wings- but some could be old and faded, while the apparently darker areas are in reality fresh re-painted areas, using exactly the same paint

I considered that too, but the pattern is so severe and the demarcation so sharp that it just looks too deliberate for maintenance overpainting; which is usually pretty sloppy.

I did find another picture. This one leads me to entertain the idea that leading and trailing edges might be OD and the dark areas could be some variety of medium green. Check the nosecone! I can find books that detail every 8th AF plane down to the last rivet, but good CBI info is incredibly hard to come by. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif
http://i48.tinypic.com/id4qdh.jpg

@Brems and fruitbat: Yeas, I will be doing probably a 4-pack of the "Twin Dragons" when I get some of this sorted.

R_Target
12-20-2009, 11:28 AM
I tried inverting the colors. It looks more like the photo, but I still dunno.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2vd5pg4.jpg

horseback
12-20-2009, 10:38 PM
Try to find Dana Bell's Air Force Colors: Vols 1-3, published by Squadron/Signal.

These cover the pre war period from 1926-1942, the ETO & MTO from '42 to '45, and the Home Front and the Pacific '42-45. Lots of pictures, with both color illustrations by Don Greer and photos, these books were valuable references for me in my hardcore scale modeling days. They're going for around $16 USD these days (I got my copies when they were $7.95, so they're a bit raggedy), but Squadron ships all over the world.

Somewhere in Volume 2 are several illustrations and photos of early to mid production B-17Fs, and most of them clearly show the Medium Green splotches on the leading edges of the wings and tail. I also remember seeing a lot of that sort of thing in the illustrations and photos in The Pride of Seattle, another Squadron/Signal book that details the fates of the first 100 B-17Fs.

Anyway, Mr. Bell is considered an authority on US aircraft color schemes, and has several other aviation books to his credit, including a similar series on USN & USMC aircraft paint schemes.

Fine Scale Modeler had a very useful article about the paintschemes and colors used on P-40s about (oh, God) 15 years ago. I cannot say for sure, but Mr. Bell may have been the author.

The gist was that Curtiss used approximations of RAF colors for several production blocks of the Warhawk/Kittyhawk, because it was more practical than using British formulations. Most of the paints used were either USAAF colors or Dupont approximates of the RAF colors on aircraft intended for export.

I remember rather clearly that for a modeler's purposes, the Sand & Spinach scheme of the Flying Tigers' H81s was closely matched to the Polly S Italian Sand/Light Earth and their RAF Dark Green rather than their RAF Dark Earth and Dark Green...

cheers

horseback

SeaFireLIV
12-21-2009, 12:43 AM
Very nice skin. Looks like a good approximation of the real thing to me.

Phas3e
12-21-2009, 01:58 AM
Maybe some help

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v164/Phas3e/L5_1.jpg

caption says in '1943 Medium green splotches'

Friendly_flyer
12-21-2009, 02:34 AM
Bout versions are very nice, Target! You certainly are the master of worn American birds!

Phil_K
12-23-2009, 09:05 AM
As this is in Burma, it might be possible that the added colour is a standard British paint type.

MAX_theHitman
12-23-2009, 07:53 PM
Great looking skin... SUper good job done on it!
CONGRATS!!

R_Target
12-24-2009, 08:55 AM
I ended up going with something like this:

http://i45.tinypic.com/34xj6lx.jpg

Thread in skinning forum (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=45410763&m=7771094818&r=7771094818#7771094818) for those interested.

Thanks for the help everyone. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Shotgun_Monkey
09-15-2010, 11:41 PM
I know the pilot of the San Joaquin Siren.
That's the plan you're looking at.
Capt. Bill Behran lives in Stockton, CA
Bill could tell you the exact color scheme.

Worf101
09-16-2010, 07:36 AM
I dunno about the actual plane but I'd buy that skin of yours in a New York minute. Good work Bro.

Worf

bbehrns2
09-17-2011, 02:57 PM
Guys, the pilot in the P-38L with the chick on the nose and the slogan " San Jauquin Siren " is my Dad. Capt. Bill Behrns of the 459th fighter squadron. Is this guy cool or what. An Ace, wrote a book and lectures cadets, and he's 91. Drive's a Ford 4 door duely pulling his fith wheel all over the country with mom and can still kick your ... , My Dad. You what info, email me.

ulabodo
08-07-2012, 03:42 PM
[I need some info about a plane flown by Your Dad! In fact it must be an early P-38J-5 with rounded windscreen! I want to build my plastic model as His a/c! Thanks in advance - Bodo from Poland