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  1. #1
    irocbsa's Avatar
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    Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Hi guys, looking for little information about the camo schemes on Bf-109s. I'm building my second CMP Bf-109F right now and I'm respraying the entire plane. The provided color scheme borders on silly and I just don't like it on the first plane I did.

    I'm curious about the color on the underside of the full scale planes. On the early 109s, it's clear to me that RLM Hellblau was used on the underside of the planes. However, on the later 109s, it looks like one of the RLM greys was used on the underside of a number of aircraft. I jsut can't tell from the images that I have. Can someone clear this up for me? I'd like to finish up this spray job.

  2. #2
    glazier808's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    RLM 76 sir. Hellbrau was used on Emil's. Perhaps early F1's, but that's a guess.

    Casey
    Fliteskin, Sierra, Nelson Hobby, MICKO aircraft, Getstencils, Holman Plans, VicRC, Castle Creations, Addicted to Luft, BestPilots.com

  3. #3
    MajorTomski's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    According to the Official Monogram Paining Guide, the F's left the factory with RLM 76 Light Blue undersides and RLM 74 and 75 topsides with wide variations of gray/green mottleing applied at the unit level

    HTH
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  4. #4
    irocbsa's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Thanks for the info guys! I will go with RLM 76.

  5. #5
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    How's this for an unusual paint scheme. Haven't seen another one like it. RLM76 for the underside. It's a G model from the Africa campaign, Tunisia 1943.
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  6. #6

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Miklos, your undersurface colour looks much more like 65, light blue. 76 is a light grey.
    Evan, WB #12.

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s


  8. #8
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Ram-Bro,

    You are the MASTER of great links. Once again, a keeper for my Luftwaffe file.
    "The American taxpayer has always been politicaly deceived. It's their Birthright!"
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  9. #9

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    just kinda shows I am getting long in the.......props I guess. Its one of my favorites. Have plenty more links. Glad you like it

  10. #10
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    FWIW...RLM78 was the typical underside color for the Mediterranean Theater, RLM79 on top...
    http://www.warbirdcolors.com
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  11. #11
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    ORIGINAL: pimmnz

    Miklos, your undersurface colour looks much more like 65, light blue. 76 is a light grey.
    Evan, WB #12.
    Negative!!!

    RLM76 is "LICHTBLAU" which is light blue with a hint of grey in it.
    http://rhorta.home.xs4all.nl/jgrlm.htm

    rlm 65 is actually a darker shade of light blue then 76

  12. #12
    glazier808's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    yep!
    Fliteskin, Sierra, Nelson Hobby, MICKO aircraft, Getstencils, Holman Plans, VicRC, Castle Creations, Addicted to Luft, BestPilots.com

  13. #13

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    An old argument, and one never to be settled, 74, 75, 76 are all greys, 76 may have a hint of blue in it, but the surviving original paints are all greys. Just 'cause the RLM called it 'lichtblau' doesn't mean that the base was blue...The 109 in Aussie shows just how many different ways you can mix 76...78 is a darker blue than 65, which is a real 'light blue', 78 was one of the desert/Med. colours and closer to azure, or a mid blue.
    Evan, WB #12.

  14. #14
    glazier808's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    So your argument for it being grey, is looking at 70 year old paints? I've seen paint that old or older that you could not guess the original color of.
    To me, Graungrun looks very green, i dont know that i would call it 'grey' by looking at it, although it is in the grey tones of what they used. Why would they have called it(RLM 76)light blue or 'lichtblau' if it were not blue?

    Interesting...
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  15. #15
    irocbsa's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Lots of good info here.

    While I am an absolutist in many other areas of my life, I think that there are many relevant opinons on the various "shades of grey". We sll see colors slightly different after all. Think about it, how often have you had a debate with your wife as to whether something was pink or orange? Salmon perhaps... The Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe tints seem to be incredibly difficult for the human eye to consistently interpret. There seems to be something about the color blends they used that creates a very wide spectrum of subjective interpretation. For instance, when I look at Feldgrau, I mostly see green. The only time it appears at all grey to me is in very low light conditions. However, two of my buddies think I'm crazy and they see mostly grey with a very slight green tint.

    There are certainly reasonable limits of intelligent interpretation, and we can all laugh at the people that fall outside of those limits and get it incredibly wrong. On the other hand, I've stopped worrying about getting 100% consensus on reproducing a color. It will never happen.


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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    All too true...If you want a more 'absolutist' answer then a troll through the IPMS (plastic modeller guys) site will show that they have spent much more time and energy tracking the RLM colours. But just for fun there is a well known colour image of a line of factory fresh 190A's waiting to go to the unit and they are in the 4 colour 74, 75, 76, 65 scheme, and even still after all this time the contrast between 65 (blue) and 76 (grey) is, if not spectacular, at least very apparent, the contrast between the blue and grey is very obvious. Consider too, the Nachtjaeger colours, mostly 76, and usually described as 'light grey' airplanes. There was that 'high altitude' 109G unit which is well documented, again 'light grey' all over, painted in 76 again...The Silver Hill 152 is in 81, 82 and 76, has been indoors most of its life, and can't be described as 'blue'. All I know is that I had some two pot mixed to match the most accepted IPMS '76' and thought that it was too grey, and got a 'tint' of blue added to it to match my own preconceptions! Oh well, of such strange ideas are scale modellers made...
    Evan, WB #12.

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Squadron/Signal list RLM76 as FS36473 and say it is based on 'original RLM colour chips', FWIW. And then go on to add that due to the chaotic conditions toward the end of the war there can be many different colours for the same RLM number! Which makes a bit of a mockery of the colour standards anyway...
    Evan, WB #12.

  18. #18
    glazier808's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    I would agree that RLM 76 by itself in low light does "look" grey, but put it in the sun or with some color next to it it does not. My question still stands though, why would they call it blue if it was not. I'm not so sure that they would.
    I understand that by the end of the war Germany was mixing up what they could and that's understandable, but no one is going to convince me that after calling all the other colors by their name and color used in the RLM chart, that they just decided to call grey light blue, or make light blue grey. It just doesn't make sense no matter what language you speak. What does make sense is that old light blue paint chips, which are grey based look grey after all this time. But maybe it's just me.
    Let's not forget, that this paint was to blend to plane when viewed from below against the blue sky. Not grey. No matter how you look at it, RLM 76 being grey just doesn't make sense. I have yet to see a color chip for RLM 76 that has been represented with grey for that matter.

    I am involved in a long term paint and fastener study (funded by Purdue University and the Historical Society)that has been underway for over 50 years. I've been involved for 25 years. We have painted aluminum skins with rivets in several different environments. So far not one matched its original color code after just 25 years. Although some are close.

    Not trying to bang heads over this, we just respectfully disagree I guess.

    Casey
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Yeah, no prob with that at all, the RLM called 65, 76 and 78 all 'lichtblau'. So I guess it was simply a catchall term for a 'light undersurface colour'. As for the shift from the 'blue' (65) to the 'grey' (76) it was a European scheme which was introduced as the air war went defensive, and in european skies, which were pretty grey most of the time, it made sense, else the German camo experts wouldn't have done it. Much the same reason as the English went from the green/brown/ 'duck-egg blue' to greens and greys through the early '40's. The Smithsonian 190F was repainted with 76, or their version of it, I have their publication about the restoration and they have, in brackets next to the listing, (nearly white). So they didn't think it was 'blue' either. Perhaps someone could have a look at that one? I'm a bit far away to see it from here, but I did, a few years ago, do a fair bit of research into the late war colours, only to find that there was no definitive answers.
    Evan, WB #12.

  20. #20
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s


    ORIGINAL: glazier808

    RLM 76 sir. Hellbrau was used on Emil's. Perhaps early F1's, but that's a guess.

    Casey
    +1

    heres a color chart if your interested look under paint and markings section

    http://www.thewulfslair.com/

    i know this site is for the fw190 but...it has the rlm colors
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  21. #21
    irocbsa's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Very cool discussion guys. I'm learning a lot. Thanks for everyone for keeping the debate spirited but civil. All too often on this forum we miss out on great information because all interested parties pick up their toys and leave the sandbox because someone got obnoxious. Keep the info coming.

    So, as far as what I'm doing with the model, I'm leaving the undersides in the stock CMP color. Since I'm not competing at Top Gun, their color is "close enough". I'm doing a scheme very similar to "White 2".

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  22. #22

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    A very good scheme for a warbird, you will appreciate the broad areas of yellow, cause without it you will find that the greys tone in with any cloud, and if you are flying on an overcast day...well, you will find that it works as a camoflage should...
    Evan, WB #12.

  23. #23
    glazier808's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    +1

    as Pimmnz said, German camo is very effective. I've always tried to pick schemes with a yellow nose(or cowl), and a yellow rudder. They do seem to disappear right out of sight, as they pass in frount of clouds.(sometimes)

    You will be happy to have the yellow on it I'm sure!

    Casey
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  24. #24
    irocbsa's Avatar
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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    Thanks guys. I agree. My Stuka in winter camo just disappears on a hazy or overcast day. I'll post some pics of my progress as I assemble the plane. Base paint is finished!

  25. #25

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    RE: Proper underbelly color of Bf-109s

    What, Casey, Purdue is sponsoring you? They didn't call me....that is my alma-mater.

    Jeff
    Where's my glue....I gotta build!
    Spitfire Bro #108


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