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Camouflage, Colors and Markings Topics related to Camouflage, Colors and Markings of WWI aircraft

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Old 2 March 2006, 09:17 AM   #1
Harri Huopainen
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Staaken RVI camouflage

Greetings from new member

My simple question is has any new information or good opinions surfaced concerning Staaken RVI camouflage after the release of Windsock datafile?

In datafile they claim that in some examples normal day lozenge was thinly overvarnished (or overpainted?) with dark blue to create effective night camouflage. I wonder why they did not use night lozenge? Did they design Staaken for day bombing and repainted them after switching to night bombing? I wonder also, why repaint such a large aircraft with heavy coats of paint rather than completely replace covering fabric with night lozenge?
Is there any evidence about usage/non usage of night lozenge in Staaken RVI machines?

Also, is there new information, or good assumptions about colors used in examples which had handpainted pattern of large polygons or is this still "no one can proof you are wrong" subject?

If any of you have more information on this subject I should know about, please let me know, my knowledge on this subject is limited to books Gotha! and datafile about Staaken.

And yes, I will try to build Roden's kit some day, let's hope that it won't end up as a diorama, where Staaken's fuselage is under maintenance!


(P.S. Sorry about my propably bad written english, it's only my second language)
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Old 2 March 2006, 10:32 AM   #2
Rowan Broadbent
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Hello Harry,

Firstly your English is just about perfect, a lot better than my Finnish(?)!

I have recently been looking at this same question. It seems that the suspected overpainting of standard lozenge is a new slant on the old "Night Lozenge" theory. I am guessing that there is no actual example of specific night lozenge fabric and that the explanation of a specially printed fabric was only ever a theory to explain the darker colours apparent on night bombers. Whereas the "actual" practice may have been to overpaint with a dark blue tinted varnish of some sort. It may even be that the dark blue was added to the taughtening dope as a tint and not applied as a further coat? Not sure if that is possible but I agree that the added weight of another coat of paint/lacquer/dope for such a large aircraft would be something to be avoided.

Rest assured there will be someone along any moment who WILL know more than my guesswork!

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Old 2 March 2006, 01:13 PM   #3
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Staaken R.VI finish.

Harri Huopainen:
I did a study of R Type finishes, what I came up with was as follows:
R.VI Staak,R.25, R.26/16; Schul R.27,R.28, R.29,R.31, R.32/16; Av.R.33,
R.34, R.35/16, and Staak R.39/16 were painted in 4 color painted lozenge irregular pattern, the colors are presumed to be cactus green, dark ruby, prussian blue and purple.
Staak.R.VI R.30/16 is covered in 5 color night pattern printed fabric.
Staaken R.VI Albs 36,37,38/16 were painted in 4 color hexagons of 750 mm in diameter in very dark blues and very dark violets.
Blue skies,
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Old 4 March 2006, 05:51 AM   #4
Harri Huopainen
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Solid colour in Staaken?

Rowan: Yes, Finland is correct

Thanks from precise answer Mr. Abbot. Nice to get answer from you to my first post. I also did read your excellent article on German camouflage from forum's articles. Should have done it earlier.

But still, about blue finish. While in most photos we can more or less clearly see the large polygons, there a some photos, for example R.27 in page 5 in datafile, where polygons on upper wing lower surface are clearly visible, but nose of this plane appears to be in solid colour. Is it possible, that fuselage paintwork is unfinished?

In Datafile there is caption of British (or French) report on R.37 which says:
"1. Colorless cellulose acetate dope applied directly to the fabric (40gms of acetate per square metre).
2. A superficial pigmented dope, colored blue by a mixture of Prussian blue and ultramarine blue (30gms. per square metre)."
Is it possible, that only such a small piece of fabric was inspected, that no other colors became evident?
Photos R.37 show polygons and French (?) report says:"All the fabric is of poor quality, and is camouflaged with dark coloured hexagons..."
Sorry that I don't refer these reports accurately, I don't have so thorough information.
I agree that R.37 was at least mostly camouflaged with large polygons, but i'm interested in possibility, that some part of this and some other Staakens was of solid (or transparent?) colour.

Harri Huopainen

Last edited by Harri Huopainen; 4 March 2006 at 10:44 AM.
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