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"Color guide for Flying Circus" Topic


8 Posts

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Areas of Interest

World War One

578 hits since 16 Apr 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

ConfederateSwede16 Apr 2019 1:56 a.m. PST

Red for Red Baron obviously but what about the rest?

Buckeye AKA Darryl16 Apr 2019 2:47 a.m. PST

This site will give you Fokker Dr.I schemes for several of the Jastas making up the Red Circus:

wp.scn.ru/en/ww1/f/416/59

fantasque16 Apr 2019 2:48 a.m. PST

Do you mean Richtofen's squadron specifically or German fighter units in general?
If the latter than pretty much anything and everything – lots of lozenge camo fabric in the later years.
Richthofen's earlier planes were not all red.
Several Jastas had common themes – e.g. Jasta 18's red noses with blue tails (later white tails)
Take a look at the Wings Palette site for a wealth of examples or get hold of some of the Osprey books for a cheap overview.

fantasque16 Apr 2019 2:49 a.m. PST

Buckeye has given you the Wings Palette link

stephen m16 Apr 2019 4:57 a.m. PST

Don't forget in the early 20th century there was no "bright" red paint. The reds back then would have ranged around a brick red. Some a little brighter (can't remember the name right now) and some duller. If I remember correctly blues were closer to what we have now.

Timmo uk16 Apr 2019 5:23 a.m. PST

The Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series are very good for colour details. In New Zealand the group that Richard Jackson is involved with have six Dr1 replicas painted to represent Jasta 11. You'll find footage of them on You Tube. The schemes are accurate but they didn't all appear together historically.

Then there are some more specialist publications, one published by Windsock deals specifically with the Flying Circus but to be honest a few of the Osprey titles are better for what you want. Osprey also publish an Elite Aviation title on the Flying circus. This combined with their DR1 title will give you a lot of what you need.

Be aware that MvR flew about half-a-dozen different triplanes and they were all painted differently. He also flew several Albatros fighters and again only one of these was repainted in thin red paint overall. There is also some debate about exactly how some of the planes were painted. For example, 425/17 that he was shot down in was apparently part way through being repainted at the time and there are therefore conflicting accounts of how the undersides of the wings were finished. There is also speculation that it may have originally been factory finished in red before delivery. That written alleged surviving fabric (and there is probably enough for several triplanes) shows roughly applied red paint that is now a very dull colour.

I've studied all the images I can easily find of 17/425 being stripped by the Australians who claimed to have shot it down and unless more images come to light I don't think its possible to conclusively claim that it was red under the wings or not and eyewitness accounts don't agree on this point. My own view from studying a good image of it, is that is was supplied from the factory in red overall but the national markings on the lower wing undersides were being repainted to the new style when it was shot down. I believe research into the original fabric failed to find any turquoise blue under the red and that supports the notion of it being delivered in red. We know Goring's DVII was factory supplied by Fokker finished in white overall, so this is a plausible idea.

Although the red probably wasn't that bright I think it must have been bright enough to be positively identified as a definite 'red' at a distance and not a brown or brownish red colour. At the time the red planes of MvR were well known and often seen and identified even by ground observers.

Other Dr1's MvR flew like 152/17 are less conjectural and well documented being part standard Fokker streaky fabric, turquoise under the wings and part of the upper surfaces and cowl overpainted in red. 477/17 was similar to 152/17 being part streaky fabric and part red with turquoise undersides.

F102/17 (his first Triplane) had no red on it all.

There is one more suspected MvR Dr1, the serial number of which I can't recall, (might be 177/17 IIRC) that is potentially the most interesting as it was overall red except for white fields for the earlier style national markings plus plain doped fields on the under wings surfaces for these markings.

The Albatros are easier. The first one a DIII had a red body, u/c and struts but had standard purple/green upper wings. At this time other Jasta 11 planes had red and another colour unique to each pilot, such as a white nose and elevator (Allmenroder) or a black tail about half a dozen of these are known. One, Simons, was forced down and was flown by the RFC for evaluation. It had red body with wide green stripe. MvR flew at least two DVas one had red upper wing surfaces, red nose and red tail. The other was red overall with even the national markings washed over in thin red paint but probably with blue under wings. This was DVa 1177/17. Several Jasta 11 DVas are known.

The Flying Circus (JG1) was comprised of Jastas 4/6/10/11. Markings are know for all of them but only for a few planes in each Jasta and it's impossible to really work out what was painted, how and when beyond a few examples.

I bet your sorry you asked now! : )

ConfederateSwede16 Apr 2019 7:46 a.m. PST

wow thanks for all replies, I guess the correct markings are not available in the Revell 1/72 kits..

Timmo uk16 Apr 2019 8:58 a.m. PST

The national marking should be OK but just do a search for 1/72 decals and you will be amazed at what comes up. You can almost certainly get Jasta 11 decals. For example…

auction

This kit has decals for three Jasta 11 planes
link

Both Richthofen brothers and Weiss. Lothar von R wasn't flying when MvR was shot down and I think Weiss returned to base with engine trouble just before the final dogfight that led to MvRs death.

I think the Jasta were generally pretty quick to repaint the national markings in late March '19 to the new style but as mentioned it's thought that the lower wing markings on MvR's 425/17 hadn't been repainted at the time of his death. Equally in some other Jasta/JG markings were slow to be repainted so with that in mind I wouldn't worry too much about mixing styles of crosses it's a game afterall.

Some inspiration…

YouTube link

YouTube link

I'm fairly sure at least four of these visited the UK as I had them fly over my house some years ago.

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