Does Boeing still have its records pertaining to the B-17? Do they have an archive contact person? I wonder if they might have archived them or given them to a museum or library. I have some questions about the exact paint used on the 20 B-17C's for UK. I think they were painted in the US in "equivalent" RAF colors, but I am hoping that Boeing or the folks that might have the hopefully archived records might have some more data on the actual paint used. Presuming DUPONT paint. Who knows, maybe they have some chips...that would be awesome.
Yeah, it's nice to dream...while you're planning your trip to the archives for extensive research you can paint it DG & DE topsides. The bottoms varied from sky blue to an early form of "azure blue" that has been reported to be equivalent to PRU blue. hth
Actually, I been able to do productive research at the Archives in 02. Hope to get back up there in the next couple of years. When doing some research on a ship I am writing on I found some really, really great stuff, of course I got into a situation of too much information. I think I will get in touch with them to see what they have.
There appears to be a good pic of an avg P-40C with colors that appear true or pretty close and they don't appear to be that close to RAF DE/DG, at least in my opinion.
This photo also seems to show OD under the Tiger emblem so it may work as sort of a "test" in showing the colors relationship to what appears to be OD.
Most likely, imo, US manufacturers used the Dupont RAF equivalents so I would think there is a good chance that the B-17's, P-40C's, P-39's and Brewster B-339's used these same colors....which especially with the dark earth is significantly different than that orangish stuff a lot of modelers are mixing to simulate RAF dark earth "equivalent" colors nowdays. They are mixing brown with RAF dark earth and I don't think that is necessarily going to create the so called browner US equivalent that has also been described as redder which Tamiya seems to have gone for in their re-release of the B-339E. However the US equivalent does not seem more dark than dark earth, so maybe it might be better to take a color like US sand and maybe just darken it a bit to preserve that pinkish cast. Of course, with P-40E's the problem is different as those seem to have been painted in USAAF paint colors except maybe for the underside which may have still used the blue "equivalent" paint that may appear on those 17C's. Curtiss and Bell appears to have used USAAC light gray instead of a sky interpretation, but the P-40E's with the light blue undersides I assume were originally intended to go straight to the desert and may have been painted an azure blue equivalent rather than SKY. There is some controversy whether the B-339's were painted with light blue undersides or light gray. RAF DE & DG for US export aircraft may be good enough for some, but not for me. If the Chinese ever raise the P-40E? at Kumning, we may get some answers. It was most likely a brand new E when it went in and there is a good chance the paint is preserved, so unless it was originally painted in USAAF colors instead of for the RAF, it could illuminate a lot about US equivalent export paints. Some folks think it might been a C which could also be of invaluable assistance. As one of my projects that may take years to get around to I want to paint up some aircraft in RAF DG/DE and then in simulated export versions of the same paint to see how they compare under the same lighting conditions.
FWIW The Flying Tiger emblem was a big decal produced by Disney studios and was a late addition to the aircraft markings. The aircraft had considerable service under their belts before the emblem was applied and what you have in that photo is a very weathered finish that probably had the decal applied and then a clear overcoat to seal the decal in place. Clear laquer over a weathered matt finish will produce the effect shown. Nice picture, by the way. Pilot is R.T. Smith.
If you look behind his right shoulder you can see a separation line of a two color camo paint job. It runs up the fuselage and under the retracted canopy, catching the vertical support bar over the rear cut outs. That in contrast to the dark color on the frame of the retracted canopy, which would have faded with the rest of the aircraft (barring service replacement).
If I were a betting man I'd bet Vess's model collection and cardboard cabin in the woods that this was an OD ship oversprayed with God knows what for a camo pattern. ;-)
To reply, get the HECK out of there firstname.lastname@example.org
While the decals on the aircraft were probably well-received, the pins they wore on their shirts with the same emblem were not (at least at first) much liked. Some of the AVG actually used them as trading material.
-- -- -- -- -- "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell
Actually, we both may be right. I have now read where that due to the oxidation of the camo, available fresh OD paint not matching the camo paint was applied to give the decal a fresh surface on which to adhere. Then the applied decal was lacqured (or shellacked) giving the paint surrounding it that glossy appearance. The Decal had its own peel off backing with adhesive for sticking on the paint. Of course the gloss over the fresh paint would indeed affect its color. But clearly the paint behind the tiger is not even close to the same camo scheme and that color is suspiciously similar to OD of which I think the Chinese had a substantial supply.
Actually, these were supposed to be contract ships for Britain in RAF Dark Earth/Dark Green Equivalent paint--which is indeed has never been identified due to no known surviving a/c having said paint and the fact that production of that particular paint ended apparently late 41/early
42). So there is little likelihood they had OD underneath. That paint under the Tiger was added when the Tiger was added in April 42 over the more oxidized original camo paint.
Nice pic. That could be OD but it could also be fresh Dupont Dark Green. My guess is it makes a better contrasting background than the DE. It's impossible to say with any certainty what a color is after it's been processed into a print and then transmitted through the internet. Take you best shot on your model and be happy.
B-17C's were painted in England. They were not painted stateside. Use regulation DE & DG & pru blue. hth