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Thread: Voss Fokker F.1 colors...... blue?

  1. #1

    Default Voss Fokker F.1 colors...... blue?

    Perhaps it was an episode of The History Channel series Dogfight which said Major Edward "Mick" Mannock reported Voss' Fokker F.1 as being blue. It is quite possible this is misinformation, that Mannock did not report this. But this seems to be a common belief. I recall the old Revell model kit box art showed the entire plane as sky blue.

    I have also seen online several images (photos of models, etc.) in which the modeler has attempted to include blue in the plane's color scheme, sometimes by streaking olive drab over a blue base color. One online reference stated the Fokker factory used a bluish basecoat.

    Squadron/Signal Publication Aircraft No. 98 says in a photo caption The aircraft had a silver gray fuselage and was nicknamed "The Silver Triplane.". I have doubts about this.

    As often the case, misinformation and myth persists. Or is there some element of truth in the claim that Voss's Fokker F.1 was blue....or blue-ish?

  2. #2

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    Don't know for certain (no one ever can!) but some later Dr.1s were blue streaked - one of my Windsocks mentions this (can't remember which one).
    My 90% completed Voss F.1 model is streaky blue.
    I laugh in the face of danger - then I hide until it goes away!

  3. #3

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    I had that Revel model far too many years ago

    Might be a question for the other Aerodrome.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  4. #4

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    When I looked into this when I did mine I settled on using the suggestion of the underside blue all over with olive green streak/dabbled on the upper surfaces.
    Don't think the silver finish is given any credence, that could be just an appearance in certain light conditions with light reflecting from a doped surface.
    It did seem very light in colour in places.


    https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/media/...-voss-1.25972/



    As you mentioned elsewhere, Larry, Fok. F.I 103/17 was fitted with a Le Rh˘ne, Type J, 110 Hp, s/n 3247. It was taken from a captured British Nieuport 17.
    Whether that made much difference from the production Dr.1's Oberusal engine, a copy of the Le Rhone with the same output, I don't know.
    Last edited by flash; 08-19-2023 at 05:03.

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    Diggens covers this at the end of September Evening and it indeed could have appeared bluish. The German dope to shrink the fabric was entirely from cellulose at the time and there were many varied methods of application tried, resulting in each plane being unique. When the final varnish was applied it could make the grayish colors appear blue and the olive colors brownish.

  6. #6

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    Tim, I look foward to seeing photos of your Fokker F.1. It will be interesting to see your choice of color for the engine cowl

    Dave, these are useful photos. As has been nited repeatedly in various discussions, it is very challenging to determine color from old b/w pics.

    I'm glad to know there is a reasonable case for some use of blue on the Voss F.1; a blue/blue-ish fuselage and upper surfaces would make the plane immediately recognizable.

    I am a bit surprized that Voss' tripe isn't present in the Painting Showcase (unless I overlooked it).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry R. View Post
    ..I am a bit surprized that Voss' tripe isn't present in the Painting Showcase (unless I overlooked it).
    Guess what Larry.. there's at least one !
    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...l=1#post544276

    "He is wise who watches"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Guess what Larry.. there's at least one !
    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...l=1#post544276
    Thanks, Dave, for pointing this out. I don't know how I missed this as I scanned through the Fokker Dr1 painting thread!

    Dave, your F.1 is a real beauty! Really lovely colors on it. Rep gun jambed!

  9. #9

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    Blue is mentioned by the British pilots for Voss' plane, but as others have mentioned the streakiness of the green with the cellulose poking through could cause some confusion. Also, there was a cloud layer above the fight, adding some darkness and shading, as well as the fight did take place in the evening. Light conditions would have been muted.


    Southwestern Ohio Wings of Glory Group - Join us on the second Saturday of the month at Dragon's Guildhall in greater Dayton

    Random times we can be found at Victory Pints northeast of Cincinnati, or Capstone Games near Evendale


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry R. View Post
    Thanks, Dave, for pointing this out. I don't know how I missed this as I scanned through the Fokker Dr1 painting thread!
    Dave, your F.1 is a real beauty! Really lovely colors on it. Rep gun jambed!
    Thanks Larry, easily missed, I had to hunt it down myself !
    You can see I went with the olive nose camp, rather than the yellow, even though I think it looks better. They asked Karl Timm, Voss' mechanic, shortly before he passed and even he couldn't recall the colour.

    "He is wise who watches"

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Thanks Larry, easily missed, I had to hunt it down myself !
    You can see I went with the olive nose camp, rather than the yellow, even though I think it looks better. They asked Karl Timm, Voss' mechanic, shortly before he passed and even he couldn't recall the colour.
    I think the olive color on the cowl is most likely correct, given its dark appearance in photos. But I agree that a yellow cowl is pretty.

  12. #12

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    Yellow did frequently come out rather dark on the film at the time (but sometimes not)...there's a long treatise on the subject in "Jasta Colors I". In general, we'll probably never know whether the plane (which was probably in Fokker factory streaked olive, with an olive cowl) was at the Jasta long enough to receive the normal Chrome Yellow cowl. When I "painted" this plane as a full-color 3D print, I took the chicken's way out and offered it with both olive and yellow cowls.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
    Yellow did frequently come out rather dark on the film at the time (but sometimes not)...there's a long treatise on the subject in "Jasta Colors I". In general, we'll probably never know whether the plane (which was probably in Fokker factory streaked olive, with an olive cowl) was at the Jasta long enough to receive the normal Chrome Yellow cowl. When I "painted" this plane as a full-color 3D print, I took the chicken's way out and offered it with both olive and yellow cowls.
    Agreed, you covered both bets with that decision, Daryl !

    "He is wise who watches"

  14. #14

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    Another question (I want to get this as right as I can): if one accepts the possibility that Voss' Fokker F.1 had a chrome yellow engine cowl (chrome yellow being "school bus yellow" in the U.S.) is it likely the wheel covers are also yellow? Or more likely olive green? In the photos above, the wheel covers look to be a light color.

  15. #15

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    As no-one seems to know, or, recall what the colour was, Larry, including his mechanic, you can't really go wrong.
    Other machines in Jasta 10 had yellow noses and wheel covers, after all, however if you're saying the cowl is chrome yellow then the wheel covers should appear to be a similar shade in the b/w image above I'd have thought. It's difficult to discern in the photos above due to the lighting and the wheels may be muddy too but in the image below from the same link I posted above, they do look to be the same colour.


    I finally went with olive as Timms couldn't recall and it wasn't mentioned in the final fight - I would have thought a yellow nose would have been mentioned along the line somewhere by someone.
    Another thing to consider was it was a prototype there for combat testing so may not have been considered to be 'on strength' in Jasta 10, or, may have been destined to go on to other Jastas.
    Last edited by flash; 09-01-2023 at 11:34.

    "He is wise who watches"

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    As no-one seems to know, or, recall what the colour was, Larry, including his mechanic, you can't really go wrong.
    Yes, I think you are right, Dave. I've read everything I can find on this issue and find interesting the discussions regarding WW1 aircraft colors, and the Voss triplane in particular. There are strong opinions, but ultimately no consensus.

  17. #17

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    One more question about the Voss triplane.....there was a number at the bottom of the rudder. I cannot make it out in photos available online, however illustrations and some models show thus number as 1730. The plane's serial number is 17/103. Are the two numbers related somehow?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the Revell 1/28 scale kit.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry R. View Post
    One more question about the Voss triplane.....there was a number at the bottom of the rudder. I cannot make it out in photos available online, however illustrations and some models show thus number as 1730. The plane's serial number is 17/103. Are the two numbers related somehow?..
    These were prototypes at the time, Larry, so it could also be a part/pattern number or relate to an airframe/production number in the factory. Fokker FI 102/17 has a similar number by the look of it but is hard to make out exactly, even when I tried to zoom in on it on a download.


    https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/media/...02-17-1.25977/

    "He is wise who watches"

  19. #19

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    This morning as I was browsing on line, looking at things unrelated to this topic, a small pop-up window appeared. "Hi, am the new AI powered Bing sesrch engine. Ask ne anything." Okay, I thought, let's see how smart you are, AI Bing. I entered this question: what color was Werner Voss's Fokker triplane? The answer was produced in about one second! Bing's answer (this is more a test of the claims related to AI search engines):

    There is a continuing debate on what color Werner Voss’s Fokker triplane had been painted. Some sources say it was a silver or silvery blue streaked with olive and sporting an olive cowl. Others later contended the cowl was chromgelb (or chrome yellow), perhaps even the rudder was chromgelb, in keeping with the paint scheme used by Jasta 10. It has also been suggested that the plane was more of an aquamarine color. In every case, the blue area is streaked with olive1. The planes most likely arrived at JG1 in a standard Fokker finish. That is: undersides were aquamarine, top of wings and fuselage were overstreaked with Fokker’s olive brown paint, according to factory1. This camouflage style was most likely used on the two prototype Triplanes as well as later Fokker Triplanes1. The over-streaking was accomplished by applying olive paint using a four-inch paintbrush. It was done by hand, so no two planes were precisely the same1. The colors of the paint may have varied, depending on the paint in stock at the factory as well as how it was applied. This may help explain why the tail of the plane seems lighter in color than the front1. Because the paint was applied by hand, some areas would have better coverage than other areas, as the undercoating bled through the top color1. Later, von Richthofen may have painted the tail section and possibly the top wing of his prototype red, but even this is doubtful for he barely had the plane before he went on leave and left it for Kurt Wolff to fly1. It is doubtful that Vo▀ painted FI 103/17 silver blue1. There is speculation that Voss painted his cowl chromgelb (chrome yellow) and that Richthofen’s cowl was painted red. JG1 had standing orders to paint their planes according to jasta color schemes as soon as possible. Jasta 10 aircraft had chromgelb noses1.

  20. #20

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    An interesting analysis.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus



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