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Old 3 February 2003, 07:13 PM   #1
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Was sworl camouflage used only on Austro-Hungarian aircraft ? Did it appear on only certain types, such as the Albatros OEF ? TIA, willy
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Old 4 February 2003, 01:09 PM   #2
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Willy, a volume I have, "Early Combat Aircraft of the Polish Air Force," attributes "sworl camo" to Oef Albatri, but as far as I can tell (don't read Polish) there may have been more than one pattern. I think a Polish producer has one pattern in both 1/72 and 1/48 scale, if you're after actually building a model. 73's, Rob
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Old 7 February 2003, 05:00 AM   #3
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The sworl camouflage was applied by the Albatros Oeffag Works. The wings were covered and in some cases even the fuselage was covered over ( glued over ) with the same fabric. I modeled this in my Albatross DIII Oeff 253 flown by Franz Peter was not liked by frontline pilots and they usually applied their "sponge" camouflage over the fuselages just leaving the tops of wings in the sworls or none at all.
The Polish Air Force used some sworl camoflages machines in the Bolshewik war of 1920. Karen did a beautiful model of one of these...the sworls on her model are hand painted! can get the sworls in 1 48 scale from Mike Grant Decals...there was somebody who made them in 1 72 as well but I do not remember who that was, now Americany Gryphon or something like that. I hope this helps. Artur
Old 7 February 2003, 06:49 AM   #4
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The sworl camouflage pattern used was produced by J. Backhausen & Söhne (sons) and was printed manually on huge tables measuring 40 meters (80 meters if the factory had the space) by silkscreen method in three colors, from lightest color to darkest. The Methuen colors quoted in part 10 of the article series "Markings and Camouflage of the Austro-Hungarian Aircraft in WWI" by Dr. Martin D. O'Connor that appeared in Cross & Cockade, Int. are. Greyish Yellow 4B6, Light Brown 7D7, and Deep Green 27E8. A fourth color is thought to be seen, but this is caused by the overlap of the areas caused by the manual screening process. This problem is a registration problem caused by movement/dis-alignment and the method to to slightly overprint the adjoining edges of the pattern. this is called "trapping" in modern printing parlance. This info came from Max Wirth who was on the board of directors for the Swiss Air Force Museum, as well as being the head of a Swiss textile dynasty whom O'Connor interviewed and consulted with many times.

Wirth also said that the pattern was too complex for the printing machinery of the day and that is why the hand printing method was used instead of the roller machine printing of the time. Also, he said because of the time expenditure of the labor that it took 3-4 days to produce 200 meters of cloth. That meant that the fabric never would have been available in any great quantity.

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Old 8 February 2003, 02:16 PM   #5
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Cigogne is 100% right here.
I'll add that this scheme was observed only on the Oeffag built Albatros D.III.
Decals are now available from Brazilian FCM company: in 1/48 and 1/72
BTW, IMHO Peter's plane had sworled wings and dark green fuselage. There is a photo of this airplane on the factory airfield during acceptation, it has fabric surfaces sworled and clear wooden fuselage. Later in the Flik 3 it was probably painted in mottled green, it was very usual practice in this unit. But Artur's model looks great!!!!!
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Old 10 February 2003, 01:40 PM   #6
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Thanks to everybody for their informative answers. Those web sites that were cited are really great! They are definitely worth checking out.
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Old 11 February 2003, 04:21 AM   #7
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This was not liked by frontline pilots and they usually applied their "sponge" camouflage over the fuselages just leaving the tops of wings in the sworls or none at all.
Why didn't they like it?

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