[WWI] RFC/RNAS Queries

Christopher Malany cmm-saj at snet.net
Sat Feb 10 10:45:34 EST 2007

Hello, List:

After a long hiatus modeling just about everything but
WWI a/c, I’ve come back to early warplanes with a
vengeance, particularly RFC/RNAS machines.  Having dug
out  accumulated books and references, and rapidly
filling out my library, I still have some basic
questions.  Your patient tolerance of a relative
newbie, and your advice, are gratefully appreciated. 
My questions:

1) Historically, how many different formulae were
there for P.C. 10?  From Kenneth Munson’s books bought
in childhood, I’d understood that P.C. 10 was composed
of yellow ochre and lamp-black, with the ingredients
mixed into nitrocellulose dope or linseed.  As I
interpreted Munson, this formula could only yield a
chocolate brown color, with any “green shift”
attributable to the dope, lacquer or linseed medium. 
Is this right, sort of right, or completely wrong? 
For example, the very detailed margin notes Henry
“Hank” Burden made around the photo of his S.E.5a
C’1096 identified the upper surface and under fuselage
color as simply “green,” which suggests P.C.10 could
really look green.  I’m confused 

2) Can list members suggest any favorite mixes for
P.C. 10 using Humbrol enamels?  I still have a few
precious tins of their “Authentic Colours” RFC Khaki,
but I’m going to need to start mixing P.C. 10 using
their current paints.

3) What colors were aircraft tires?  Eduard suggests a
pinkish-grey for their Nieuport 17, and various shades
of light and medium greys seem common.  When did they
start batching rubber with lots of carbon to produce
our current greyish-black tires? 

4) Most WWI a/c have half-moon shaped footrests or
stirrups on the fuselage sides, often simulated in kit
form with nifty PEB pieces.  I assume these were
actually cut outs; what were they backed with?  It
looks like there should be a fabric bag, or at least
gusseted fabric, but I haven’t found any illustrations
of this detail.

5) Was P.C. 12 used on machines on the Western Front,
or was it confined to the Middle Eastern theater?

6) Does anyone know the French camouflage colors used
on RFC Nieuport 24/27s.  More generally, is there any
decent one-volume monograph or study on WWI French
paint finishes and camouflage?

7) A recent build by Neil Pinchbeck of Revell’s S.E.5a
kit in SAMI v. 12 iss. 12 suggests that cockpit
interior sides were finished in red oxide primer.  All
my references for S.E.s and Sopwiths point to
varnished and often stained wood finishes instead. 
Any ideas on red lead primer?

A long list of questions   Thanks in advance for your

Christopher M. Malany
Stephanie A. Johnson

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