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The variations

March 26 2012 at 10:06 PM
G.R.Morrison  (Login G.R.Morrison)
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Response to Luftwaffe Desert Camouflage Question

Mr. Mucaro,

I usually stay away from paint questions, but your opening inquiry, regarding "a standard or official spec," is an easy answer. Examining as many photos of St.G. 3 aircraft as I can find for many years, there is no 'standard' pattern, and in the case of their later Ju 87D-1s and D-3s, these are almost always exclusively 70/71. As to the earlier Ju 87B/R series, solid RLM 79 without any additional blotches or spots is also common, but these tropical finishes seem to have been applied at depots in Italy or in Greece (a friend is going through all of the Mediterranean ULTRA intercepts, and forwards me the reports of Stukas repaired and ready for dispatch), not in North Africa -- the desert was 'empty' of suitable facilities.

The Ju 88A units, specifically the LG 1, also seem to have favored a solid finish more frequently than spotted variations. To provide a famous example, Helbig's A-5 WNr.4371 had its original 70/71 oversprayed with a light sand color (whether RLM 79 or an Italian color I cannot say), with no additional mottling.

Some 109Es were delivered to the I/JG 27 already "spotted", but others were the solid-RLM 79 that the later 109F-4s were provided with. A very few of the G-2s that arrived in the autumn of 1942 were 'spotted,' most are solid RLM 79 on top. JG 77 is another story altogether -- their III Gruppe arrived directly from Russia without any time to spare for repainting.

As to painting-advice, I'd suggest referring a photo (or photos if you're lucky) a specific machine for a scheme you favor. Assuming that the next machine in the squadron would be painted the same way is, in the Luftwaffe, "uncertain."

Hope this is of some help, GRM

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