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2002 Closed threads from 2002 (read only)

 
 
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Old 23 January 2002, 04:37 AM   #1
StefenK
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Elsewhere on the Forum there is an ongoing thread about the overall finish of Fok. Eindeckers. Here I would like focus on one particular machine, the oft-profiled E.III 105/15 of Udet (Datafile 15, page 3, bottom).

This has been rendered in every reference known to me with a red forward diagonal band. However, the tonal value of this band in the photograph (which I take to be sole visual evidence of the marking) does not support this color assignment as it is significantly lighter than the unpainted fabric of the forward fuselage. I am unaware of any film type of the period that would have rendered red as lighter than the fabric color--be it straw yellow or beige. I would therefore be very interested in learning on what (other) basis the band may have been identified as redóassuming there was such a basis. Ideas for other color assignments are welcome.

TIA to all,
Stefen
 
Old 23 January 2002, 06:17 AM   #2
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Stefan, the idea that this is a red stripe originates from the Fokker EIII Datafile and can be attributed to Ray Rimell. He has the usual "speculative" disclaimer in the caption and notes that it was more usual for it to be black. From this I would guess that it was black, but RLR was going through his red period at the time
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Old 23 January 2002, 02:01 PM   #3
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Stefen:
Javier Arango came to me to provide the dat for the finish of his Fok.E.III105/16.
After studying all the photographs available, I came to the same conclusion, the forward stripe cannot be red. I referred to my grey Methuen Book and tried various blue and green grey tonal values. The BMW logo blue is pretty damn close. Javier is satisfied the red is wrong and the blue is more likely correct. His Fok. E.III, has a <blue white + black banding.
Check it out. For sure, the red is wrong!
Blue skies,
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Old 24 January 2002, 05:24 AM   #4
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PeterL:
Just as I feared! Or perhaps worse, since it is a speculative color choice that, as far as I am concerned, is, to a high degree of likelihood, excluded by the photographic evidence. {However, isn't this machine also shown in the Anelucci title, which preceded the DF?)

DSA:
Well, I'm glad we at least agree the photo evidence tends to exclude red as a likely choice for the forward band. I am interested when you write, “After studying all the photographs available.” I know only the one starboard view reproduced in the DF. Are there other photos of this machine, and if so, have they been published somewhere?

With respect to making an assignment of some other color, I would be interested in learning whether the colors in use on other FA68/Kek Habsheim machines have been documented such that we might have an idea about unit (or personal) marking practices and styles. If not, I believe we are in the unfortunate position of being unable to assign—with any degree of confidence—a color to Udet's 105/15, despite our understandable desire to particularize the appearance of this ace's mount. [The mottled, blotchy appearance of this forward band even makes me wonder whether it is overpainted at all!]

Here, I am afraid, I must now risk your ire, but with all due respect, color theory—as far as I understand it—makes it clear that one cannot derive color (hue) values from black-and-white photographs (or the output of any color-to-grayscale conversion process, for that matter), irrespective of film type used in making the original exposure. Any particular color definition (identity) requires three data points, or coordinates, as it were, along three axes. The color universe has therefore been represented as geometric solids—cubes or spheres, for instance—and one's “location” in this universe requires knowing at least 3 basic coordinates: hue, chromicity, and brightness (other terms are in use for these characteristics).

It is a trivial—but perhaps necessary—observation to emphasize that, by definition, black-and-white photographs do not contain hue and chromicity information. In and of itself, this should make it impossible to assign specific color identities to black-and-white photographs if we accept the principle stated above that 3 data points are required to do so. Further, because of the inherent properties of photographic materials, the brightness information will be compromised—even under ideal exposure and development conditions—and will be further distorted in practice by deviation from such ideal conditions, whether intentional (as in the work of master photographers such as Ansel Adams) or unintentional (as in most snapshots).

In my view, therefore, b&w photos cannot be used to undertake color matching per se, and yet I would be the last to argue that they cannot—as in the case here of Udet's Fokker—provide us with important color information. Why should this be so? It is because the photographs of interest provide grayscale ‘maps' of entire color environments in which it is usually possible to make comparisons between an unknown and a known. It is only the contextual information—which may be limited to that which can be seen within the frame or include extra-photographic information—that provides the signposts of color identity. And these signposts are of a very general nature: “This way to Blue City” or “Road to Red Town Closed.” Often, as here, the most helpful conclusion that we can derive is exclusionary. The very limitations of orthochromatic emulsions are actually an advantage, if we can be content with knowing what something was most likely not! However, as I say, these signposts will not give us driving instructions to the residence of Mr. & Mrs. Robin's Egg Blue on Light Blue Avenue in Blue City. :'(

An interesting site discussing color theory with visual aids can be found at: http://www.colorcube.com/articles/theory/theory.htm

VBR to all,
Stefen
 
Old 26 January 2002, 12:55 AM   #5
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Hi Stefen and others

Reinhard Kastner has recently written an article in Propellerblatt Nr 2 where he gives two evidences that nearly all a/c within A.A. Gaede had Black/white markings as some "huge unit markings=Army"..

He also said that Udet EIII had the number 106/15 but this is perhaps a typo..?

Another sidenote. KEK Habsheim consisted at least by attached pilots both from FFA 48 and FFA 68...


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Old 27 January 2002, 09:05 AM   #6
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Hi Stefen, Dan-San, Gunnar, and others:

In reference to what Gunnar says, Alex Imrie affirms this in his "German Fighter Units. 1914-May 1917". On page 26 there is a wonderful color rendering of E.III 103/15 of KEK Habsheim, which had a white-outlined black diagonal band forward of a diagonal white band (which serves as the background for the cross, just as on Udet's a/c) and also has a black rudder; it was flown by Oblt. Schildknecht. In the description on the following page, Alex says:"The black-painted rudder and black-and-white stripes around the fuselage are markings applied to aircraft of units allocated to Armee-Abteilung-Gaede at this period (winter 1915-16)". One sees similar black/white "sash" markings on many aircraft of Feldflieger Abt. 9b, and other aircraft, from Pfalz Parasols to Ago C.I's and Aviatik C.I's - though the rudder is not always black, and sometimes the position of the black and white bands are reversed. In all the other photos, this marking certainly looks black and white.

What I'm about to suggest will seem like heresy to some :-X .
PERHAPS the "dark" paint seen on Udet's a/c is indeed a thinned-down, poorly-applied layer of black ? As Ray Rimell says, black paints are usually just an extremely dark shade of some other color, and perhaps this one was a really, really dark blue which still might photograph lightly. It's only a suggestion.

I'm going to run for cover now.

Greg
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Old 27 January 2002, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregvan
I'm going to run for cover now.
There'd better be room in that foxhole for two then, because I am in full agreement. As a modeler though I have a slightly different take. If my chosen subject is the subject of speculation, then I get to speculate too.
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Old 27 January 2002, 03:19 PM   #8
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Greg:

I would suggest that you take another look at Udet's E.III 105/16. See page 3 of Fokker E.III Datafile 15.

1. You will see that it does not conform to the Armee Abteilung Gaede black and white sash pattern marking pattern.

2. The grey value of the forward stripe is lighter the the adjacent fabric which is known to be unbleached linen. Which is beige. To suggest that it could be a "thinned out ,pooring applied black paint" in support of Ray is a stretch of the imagination. It can not be any dark color as implied by Ray Rimmel, if it were black, red, orange, chrome yellow, it would be indistinguishable from the trailing narrow black stripe. It has to be some color with a grey value less than beige, less not more! (The rear narrow diagonal stripe is assumed to be black, because it matches the cross in grey value.) At best it is a very poor photograph to work with.

Blue skies,

Dan
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Old 28 January 2002, 05:45 AM   #9
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Gentlemen,

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water! While I stand by the argument that black-and-white photographs do not permit color matching per se, they may give us the rough outlines of what is not possible, what is not likely, and what may be possible. And in this particular case, DSA is correct that the photograph speaks for itself by virtue of permitting comparison against at least two gray values of colors about which there is reasonable agreement: the black of the cross and aft stripe and the beige of the natural unbleached linen (here perhaps somewhat darkened by age and use). The red-brown (?) leather of the cockpit coaming and the grass green (dark?) may also be helpful markers for the palette of colors that could be represented by the mid-gray value of the forward diagonal band.

I think the photograph speaks for itself in fairly conclusively excluding black and the saturated reds and oranges. I disagree that yellow is excluded—compare the various renditions of Bolle's personal colors. Light blues and mid to light violets are probably excluded. In the absence of other criteria, we are left with the following: dark violets, dark to mid blues, mid greens, yellows, light oranges, and, perhaps, very light reds. I suppose for the sake of Udet's reputation we may eliminate pink out of hand, but some version of the rest would seem possible based on their known use for personal colors—albeit at various times.

An appeal to a magical black paint that does not have any appreciable coverage so as to make these markings conform to the Armee Abteilung Gaede black-and-white sash pattern (and to eliminate our discomfort with incomplete knowledge) is, in my view, bad history—and reminds me of a certain fariy-tale emperor's new suit.
Regards to all,
Stefen
 
Old 28 January 2002, 11:27 AM   #10
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Dan-San and StefenK:

OK, OK, I surrender :'(. I withdraw my suggestion (that's all it ever was) above.

Greg
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