Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Late-War Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage

Part Five

Focke-Wulf 190A-8 in Grey

Photographs Courtesy of Charlie Swank
Description by Brett Green


fw190cr_3.jpg (32070 bytes)

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8
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.

fw190a8cs_5.jpg (55642 bytes)
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.

fw190cs_4.jpg (26738 bytes)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 76 White-Blue.
  • 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.


A d d i t i o n a l   P h o t o g r a p h s

Click on the thumbnailed images below to view full-size. Click the back arrow on your browser to retrun to this page.

fw190a8cs_6.jpg (47484 bytes)Another view of the port side of erknummer 681497 of 5./JG 4, weeks after it capture in the harsh winter of 1945


fw190a8cs_7.jpg (50758 bytes)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.

R e f e r e n c e s

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.

Late-War Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage - Part One

1. Introduction
2. History of WNr.163824
3. The Treloar Centre Bf 109 G-6 - General Features
4. Camouflage and Markings of WNr.163824
Table 1:   Colours Used on the Fuselage of WNr. 163824
5. Conclusion

Late-War Luftwaffe Fighter Camouflage - Part Two

6. WNr. 163824 Photo Gallery
7. Links
8. References

Late-War 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.

Late-War 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

Back to The Reference Library

Back to HyperScale Home Page