Late-War Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage
Focke-Wulf 190A-8 in Grey
Photographs Courtesy of Charlie Swank
Description by Brett Green
WNr. 681497 "White 11", 5./JG 4, St. Trond Belgium, 1 January 1945
Photograph Copyright © 1998 Charlie Swank
HyperScale is fortunate to have received a number of wartime photographs in colour and
black and white from Charlie Swank. Charlie has generously allowed these pictures to be
posted on HyperScale. I personally have not seen these particular pictures published
elsewhere. They therefore represent an uncommon opportunity to put together a few more
pieces of the Luftwaffe camouflage puzzle.
Two more images of this aircraft in the text and two
captioned thumbnails at the bottom
of the page.
Charlie Swank presents a rare colour photograph of a Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8, Werknummer
681497 of 5./JG 4.
The aircraft was flown by Gefreiter Walter Wagner. He was forced to make an emergency
landing at St. Trond airfield in Belgium due to flak damage sustained in "Operation
Bodenplatte" on 1 January, 1945.
An atmospheric photo of the port side of this
aircraft a few weeks after capture
Two black and white photos of the port side of this aircraft have been published on
page 55 of Bernd Barbas' "Planes of the Luftwaffe Fighter Aces Vol. 1" (see refs
below). These photographs plainly indicate that the port side engine cowl is a
replacement. The camouflage pattern on the engine cowl does not match the cowl ring. There
is also a colour illustration of this aircraft in the Model Art Special "Camouflage
and Markings of the Luftwaffe Aircraft Vol. 1 Day Fighters". The profile depicts a
yellow lower engine cowl.
The photographs seems to show that the aircraft is finished in a standard
74/75/76 scheme. Although colour 74 Grey-Green was officially discontinued in mid-1944,
older aircraft would have retained the finish unless substantially rebuilt. Nevertheless,
in the colour photgraph, the contrast between the dark grey colour and the quite typically
light 75 Grey-Violet looks greater than might normally be expected. Could the dark colour
be a mixed grey using, for example, a combination of RLM 75 and RLM 66? Or is this just a
fresh coat of 74 over a faded RLM 75? On the other hand, the contrast looks to be fairly
standard for 74/75 in the black and white photo.
Charlie's colour photo highlights a number of other interesting features:
- Note the black panel to the rear of the exhaust (fairly typical) and the black painted
stripe wrapped around the top and front of the wing-root (not typical!).
- The lower engine cowl is definitely not yellow. The RLM 76 White-Blue paint is patchy
and peeling. Oil stains (or similar) can also be seen on the cowl ring.
- The camouflage colours on the upper surface of the wings wrap around the leading edge of
the wing back to the front edge of the lower-wing Balkenkreuz. These wraparound colours
are finished in a sharp, straight line, probably in line with a panel break.
- The fuselage and tail camouflage is a tight mottle of mainly RLM 75 Grey-Violet over RLM
- Spots of primer "pinking" is used extensively on the undercarriage doors and
possibly on the lower surface of the aircraft.
- Although not particularly clear in this photo, this Fw 190 carries the extra, bolt on
cockpit side-armour more typically found on the A8/R8 Rammjaeger version. Spots of primer
have been used to cover these bolt or rivet holes.
- The partial view of the fuselage cross shows that the white outline has been filled with
one of the grey colours. The lower cross and the Hakenkreuz are black and white.
- The spinner is RLM 70 Black-Green.
- The tailwheel may be white-walled!
- The Morane antenna, the FuG16ZY loop antenna and the rod antenna for the FuG25aIFF all
appear to be missing.
- Note also the protective cover on the pitot tube.
Any interpretation of wartime photographs must be qualified with the comment that
nothing is certain. However, this photo shows us some very interesting aspects of an
otherwise standard late-war Luftwaffe camouflage scheme.
Click on the thumbnailed images below to view full-size.
Click the back arrow on your browser to retrun to this page.
Another view of the port
side of erknummer 681497 of 5./JG 4, weeks after it capture in the harsh winter of 1945
This close-up view of the
starboard fuselage gives a good view of the applique armour attached under the canopy on
the fuselage side. Also note the thin black outline to the number "11".
Photographs Copyright (c) 1998, Charlie Swank. All rights reserved. Material
appearing within this document may not be copied, stored or reproduced in any device or
publication, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of the author.
1. Bernd Barbas, "Planes of the Luftwaffe Fighter Aces Vol. 1",
Kookaburra Technical Publications, Melbourne, 1985
ISBN 0 85880 048 9
Two pictures of this aircraft appear on page 55 of this book.
2. Model Art Special "Camouflage and Markings of the Luftwaffe
Aircraft Vol. 1 Day Fighters"
Colour profile on page 12 and photograph on page 154.
Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage - Part One
2. History of WNr.163824
Treloar Centre Bf 109 G-6 - General Features
4. Camouflage and
Markings of WNr.163824
1: Colours Used on the Fuselage of WNr. 163824
Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage - Part Two
6. WNr. 163824
Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage - Part Three
Commentary on the Evolution and Usage of
Luftwaffe RLM Colours 81, 82 & 83 by David E. Brown
Please note that Part Three will take some time to load. Please be patient.
Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage - Part Four
Building and Painting a Late War Bf 109
Includes discussion about the use of primer as camouflage colours on late-war
Luftwaffe fighter aircraft.
Photographs Copyright © 1998 by Charlie Swank
Text Copyright 1998 by Brett Green
Page created on Thursday, July 30, 1998
This page last updated on Thursday, May 09, 2002
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