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Thread: Richthofen's Albatros colour scheme

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    Default Richthofen's Albatros colour scheme

    Since the F-Toys models seem to be impossible to get now, I'm going to paint a skytrex Albatros to represent the red-fuselaged aircraft flown by MvR.

    However, I'm struggling with the colour scheme slightly. There seem to be two different camouflage patterns depicted on the upper wing surfaces. Am I right in thinking MvR flew two aircraft with red fuselages, one a DIII with beige, green and brown wings and one a DV with purple and green wings?

    If so, it's the DIII I'm modelling, and in either case I don't know what colour the underside of the wings should be!

  2. #2

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    Pretty sure he had at least two D.IIIs as well as several D.Vs later, but either way you're looking at pale blue undersides to the wings - they were pretty standard for all Albatros types without lozenge pattern fabric. (I'd take another look at wing colours too - the usual on a D.III was a pale Brunswick green (not tan), red brown, and olive green. D.Vs were usually lilac and green upper wings before lozenge replaced that.
    Last edited by Dom S; 10-29-2010 at 03:40.

  3. #3

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    The Osprey book, Richthofen's Circus shows both the planes Dom mentions with blue underwings and the rest in red with the insignia showing faintly through the paintwork.A similar picture is shown in Aircraft of World War 1 by Herris and Pearson.
    Rob.
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    Cheers Dom. That makes sense. I know MvR was the boss, but he seems to have had an awful lot of aeroplanes at his disposal considering they were supposed to be in short supply. There were at least 4 DR1s in different variations of his personal markings as well, once he'd moved away from the Albatros.

    So the colour which looks yellowish on the F-Toys model is actually green?

  5. #5

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    Yes green not yellow - the light green on this Albatros D.II drawing looks about right (different pattern obviously, but the light green colour's in the right ballpark, although the dark green definitely looks too light):

    http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww1/f/415/59/0/70_a1

    As for number of aircraft, the bottom line is that they didn't last very long - top German pilots often had 2 or 3 planes nominally "theirs" although others would fly the spares as it were, but the real issue is simply that they wore out or simply got trashed with alarming regularity. Most of the top aces got through a good few airframes along the way - von Richthofen's not terribly unusual in being shot down at least three times, and crashing a few times too, including the infamous D.III wing collapse....

  6. #6

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    Here are the profiles form the Osprey books they are talking about:

    Albatros D III (serial unknown) of Rittm Manfred von Richthofen, Jasta 11, Roucourt, April 1917

    This famous D III appears in several photographs, but its serial number is still a mystery – the centrally-mounted radiator in the wing reveals that it could not have been D. 789/17, which Richthofen flew in June. It was this D III that began the ‘red battle flier’ legend, and the fuselage, struts, wheel covers and entire tail was painted in red. The insignia on the fuselage and tail were subdued with a thin coat of red as well. Note the small unpainted rectangle on the clear-doped fabric fin, which left the Albatros company crest untouched. The wings retained factory camouflage of Venetian Red (chestnut brown), olive green and a light Brunswick green, with the undersides in light blue.



    Albatros D V D.1177/17 of Rittm Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, JG I, Marckebeeke, June 1917

    Based on the photos taken at Gontrode and on Richthofen’s combat reports, this aircraft is thought to have been red overall. The wings were given a somewhat translucent coat of red, through which the camouflage pattern and crosses could still be discerned. The serial number is derived from the combat reports.




  7. #7

  8. #8

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    All three of those are D.Vs - for the D.III the camo pattern on the F-Toys one looks about right, just the shades need a little playing around with.

  9. #9

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    I'm just going to get an Alb. DIII from WoW and just paint it all red. If I use Brunowski's it will be even easier. Was he in Jasta 11?

  10. #10

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    Brumowski was Austrian, so a big no to Jasta 11 - additionally none of MVR's D.IIIs had red wings - only on the D.V. To be honest the WoW model's not ideal for MVR (radiator's in the wrong place for his aircraft) but if using a WoW model anyway I reckon I'd get the Voss one and repaint the fuselage. If you really want the all-red, go for a D.V.

    [Edit] - I'm losing the plot over the radiator position, which is fine for MVR, so the Wings Of War D.III is just the job - had somehow gotten it in my head that it had the later radiator offset to the right, when it has the original central one....
    Last edited by Dom S; 10-29-2010 at 15:40.

  11. #11

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    Nope, he was in the Units:Flik 1, 12, 41J (LFT) and Jasta 24 (GAS)

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    Aha. That top profile the Col. posted is the one I'm talking about. I'm using the Skytrex model which has the radiator in a different place from the WoW model. In fact it's so different from the WoW model it seems to be a different aircraft altogether! It looks more like a Dv to be honest.

    I've got the afternoon off, so I shall mostly be painting Jasta 11.

  13. #13

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    Brumowsky flew for some time in the German Air Service,as Col.Hajj says.One time he met Richtofen and liked his all-red plane-so he almost copied the red baron.
    In any case,Richtofen flew several DIII,including one all-red and one with only the tail and the nose painted red.

  14. #14

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    A very brief spell for Brumowski - 4 sorties in 9 days seems to have been the sum total of his time with the Luftstreitkrafte -it was just a brief secondment to pick up tactical tips before he was made CO of Flik 41J, which was A-H's first dedicated fighter squadron.

    As for an all-red D.III for von Richthofen, I've yet to see any evidence of one - red fuselage yes, but not wings. (I'd be delighted to be proved wrong on that if anyone knows of photos or first-hand accounts to the contrary, but the evidence doesn't seem to be there for an all-red D.III, only a D.V.)

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedlam View Post
    Aha. That top profile the Col. posted is the one I'm talking about. I'm using the Skytrex model which has the radiator in a different place from the WoW model. In fact it's so different from the WoW model it seems to be a different aircraft altogether! It looks more like a Dv to be honest.

    I've got the afternoon off, so I shall mostly be painting Jasta 11.
    Hope you have a large monitor... if you do, this might help.

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    Thanks, Col., that's spot on. It will help me capture the fine details of the paint scheme. I have a slight concern that if I deliberately paint over the crosses, ignorant people will just think I'm a lousy painter, but other than that I'm good to go.

    Last question - eiserne kreuz insigna with no border on the underside?

  17. #17

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    Yes - never seen a photo to confirm 100%, but no border was certainly the norm on the pale blue undersides - they weren't dark enough to need the white border, which in itself doesn't entirely inspire confidence (especially when you look at Rolands and suchlike) but no border does at least seem to be the case on D.IIIs.

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    Good job I ordered some from you last week then.

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    It almost smacks of planning....

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    No, I just blindly stumble from one project to another. The simple truth is I didn't order enough crosses with the border, and in rectifying that realised I didn't have any without the border. Knowing my own appalling attention span I figured it was only a matter of time before I got halfway through something which needed exactly those crosses, so I ordered some just in case.

    It's a sort of planning, I suppose. It's a strategy I've been employing for years. As long as nobody else realises I'm actually planning around my own incompetence, I appear to be a reasonable manager.

    Anyway, the cross question raised a minor concern with my Jasta 11 repaints. The two DR1s I've done so far have been given eiserne kreus on a white square:

    I'm in the spring 1918 time period, before Lothar's March crash. Have I got that right?

    Fokker seem to have done their own thing with insignia, and the few pictures which show the underside of the aircraft suggest the white squares were not overpainted.
    Last edited by Bedlam; 11-12-2010 at 10:37.

  21. #21

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    I'm not absolutely certain offhand, but that's certainly how I've seen it depicted - at least some if not all had the white squares on *top* overpainted by then (photos of Lothar's crash indicate the white had probably been gone over in Fokker green on his upper wings) but the underside markings almost certainly were still on white squares, and it's possible that some aircraft's top wing ones were too - I'd need to dig through photos on that one.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedlam View Post
    Thanks, Col., that's spot on. It will help me capture the fine details of the paint scheme. I have a slight concern that if I deliberately paint over the crosses, ignorant people will just think I'm a lousy painter, but other than that I'm good to go.

    Last question - eiserne kreuz insigna with no border on the underside?
    My word John. How smug you will you be able to feel when you think of all those ill informed people thinking that you got it wrong. Little does he know that I know what he is thinking. Well maybe not, but at least you will know you got it right.
    Rob.
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    @Rob, er, I think I follow you there. A sort of double bluff. I have to admit if I try to think that far ahead it makes my brain hurt.

    @Dom, I was trying not to mention Lothar's painted wing. If you look in my album you'll see I went with Fokker factory finish with the backgrounds to the crosses overpainted green. I've looked at loads of pictures of the crashed aircraft from several angles, and there's nothing making me think it was yellow as many people depict it. To me it looks exactly as you describe - the white background to the cross has been painted over in a solid colour (probably green) which stands out against the streaking of the factory 'camouflage'. It does seem as if some of the aircraft hadn't had the backgrounds painted out yet when the order came through to change them to Balkan crosses! I think they all came from the factory with 'old skool' insignia.

    With all the painting going on, Central Powers' groundcrew must have spent most of the war high as kites on dope fumes.

  24. #24

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    Agree entirely there - the photos of Lothar's wreck are pretty clear - there's a massive colour contrast between the square surround to the cross and the rest of the upper wing. The latter matches the tail, which we know to be yellow, and is very light looking, telling us the shots were taken with panchromatic film. The surrounds to the crosses are much darker, and a fair tonal match for the fuselage and lower wings, but non-streaky, which points pretty firmly to a green overpaint for me. Having just had a look at your album I'd concur entirely - that looks spot-on to me.

    http://www.fokkerdr1.com/Dr1-454-17_02.jpg
    http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/pic...pictureid=5296

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    After considerable research and experimentation into colour matching, I can reveal that Albatros used the following colours in the 3-colour camouflage scheme used on the DIII:

    Dark Angels Green
    Scorched Brown
    Gretchin Green

    The fuselage of Manfred von Richthofen's personal aircraft appears to have been Mechrite Red with a thin coat of Blood Red over the entire surface including the insignia. Only the Albatros logo on the rudder was left unpainted, for some strange reason.

    I have to admit I was suprised to discover that the Idflieg specified the use of Games Workshop paints.

    Fortunately I was able to precisely match those colours using modern alternatives, as you can see:





    The model is a Skytrex DIII, which went together quite well but looks very little like the WoW 'official' DIII, particularly the fuselage. Looking at the shape of the rudder I'm actually pretty sure it's a DV even though Skytrex are selling it as a DIII. There's no propeller either. Being entirely metal, it's really too heavy for the gimbal mount.

    The light olive (Gretchin) green colour looks buff in the picture for some reason. I'm still waiting for some decent weather so I can matt-varnish the latest batch of models without the paint going cloudy.

    This is the first time I have ever been glad that GW Blood Red covers really badly.
    Last edited by Bedlam; 11-12-2010 at 10:51.

  26. #26

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    Made a very nice job of it John. Will say more tomorrow.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  27. #27

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    That's come out very nicely, especially the overpainted markings which are a really nice effect.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedlam View Post
    After considerable research and experimentation into colour matching, I can reveal that Albatros used the following colours in the 3-colour camouflage scheme used on the DIII:

    Dark Angels Green
    Scorched Brown
    Gretchin Green

    The fuselage of Manfred von Richthofen's personal aircraft appears to have been Mechrite Red with a thin coat of Blood Red over the entire surface including the insignia. Only the Albatros logo on the rudder was left unpainted, for some strange reason.

    I have to admit I was suprised to discover that the Idflieg specified the use of Games Workshop paints.

    Fortunately I was able to precisely match those colours using modern alternatives, as you can see:

    Attachment 1288
    Attachment 1289

    The model is a Skytrex DIII, which went together quite well but looks very little like the WoW 'official' DIII, particularly the fuselage. Looking at the shape of the rudder I'm actually pretty sure it's a DV even though Skytrex are selling it as a DIII. There's no propeller either. Being entirely metal, it's really too heavy for the gimbal mount.

    The light olive (Gretchin) green colour looks buff in the picture for some reason. I'm still waiting for some decent weather so I can matt-varnish the latest batch of models without the paint going cloudy.

    This is the first time I have ever been glad that GW Blood Red covers really badly.
    First of all GREAT WORK!!! It is a D-III. You can tell by the flat fuselage sides. The D-V had rounded fuselage sides. The tails on the OAW D-
    III's were rounded just like the D-V tails. The rounded tails Provided better rudder control which is why they were used on the D-V's.

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    Aha. I seem to have gone into this project rather half-cocked. I'm an obsessive modeller rather than an historian, and my research has been particularly poor this time!

    Now I've been reassured by Gregs information, I have to say that I prefer the Skytrex Albatros to the WoW official mini. The Wow one looks like a toy. The fuselage is too deep and the undercarriage is wrong. I have the Hautzmayer mini, and the decals are coming off. Strange, because the other Series 3 aircraft are pretty good.
    Last edited by Bedlam; 11-12-2010 at 10:52.

  30. #30

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    Nice work John. I must say I've always preferred the F-Toys DIII to the WoW one and it seems that the WoW models are going down the F-Toys route looking at the series 4 ones. Especially the undercarridge.

  31. #31

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    John, Just in case you missed it. In another thread(I don't recall which one) there were people using round clear discs( one guy even had a cutter that made perfectly round disc out of clear plastic sheet) to simulate a revolving propeller. That might be a way to solve your missing propeller problem.

  32. #32

  33. #33

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    There is also something about it in the British Flight Forum, under the thread name "Propellers"
    Rob.
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    I did consider the disc propeller route, but then it wouldn't match any of my other aircraft. I'll make a couple of blades out of plasticard and drill the spinner to take them. One day...

  35. #35

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    He also had a red Avitak C1 for 'commuting' back and fourth



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