Great Naval Colour Schemes

by PETER BOWERS

his book, Volume II of the Air Age Scale Aircraft

Drawings series, covers 37 representative WW II airplanes. Some are prewar service models that served at the beginning of hostilities but were soon re-

Drawings series, covers 37 representative WW II airplanes. Some are prewar service models that served at the beginning of hostilities but were soon re-

Airplane Drawings Pencil

placed, while others are more modern types that, with continual upgrading, were able to serve until the end. It's interesting that very few of the models that originated after the onset of the war actually saw combat.

Some of these drawings were made during the war when data was scarce or even restricted, but they're as accurate as possible under the circumstances. In fact, artist William Wylam drew some of them so well that the U.S. Army took him to task for being too accurate in depicting designs that were still classified. As a result, he deliberately included minor discrepancies in some subsequent drawings, notably the vertical tail of the B-29.

Some of these discrepancies are mentioned in the text that accompanies each airplane; each includes a brief history and details of the plane's development and operational use. With modelers in mind, I carefully selected the photos from my collection, and they combine the best views of the airplanes' structural detail and markings.

It should be noted that the drawings and photos in this book are, at best, rather general, and serious modelers who build

Above:

Me 262 nose details. At left, an Me 262A -2a with two 250kg (550-pound) bombs under the fuselage. At right, an Me 262A-1a fighter. Note the ports for the 30mm cannon in the upper nose.

Below: One of six PBM-3BS sent to England as "Mariner I," painted in the British Coastal Command's white and gray color scheme. The Mariners didn 't meet British requirements and were returned to the U.S. Navy. Note the powered two-gun tail turret.

for scale competition will need additional supporting data to verify their efforts.

The most common errors found on models, illustrations and even restored military airplanes are national insignia of incorrect proportions, and incorrect markings for the period of aircraft operation being depicted. Accurate data on this complicated subject isn't generally available to modelers, so I've devoted a section to these markings (as obtained from official markings charts).

I've also included a section on designations, which discusses the basics of the various national designating systems. It also explains why an American-built airplane like the Douglas DB-7 (factory designation) was operated as a "DB-7" only by France; while Great Britain called it either a "Boston" or a "Havoc;" the U.S. Army called it an "A-20" or a "P-70;" and the U.S. Navy used it as a "BD."

Finally, I explain why different designations were used on otherwise identical U.S. Navy airplanes (such as the SB2C-4 and the SBW-4), as well as the meaning of "B-17G-BO," "B-17G-VE" and "B-17G-DL."

Mariner Usn Colour Schemes

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