[WWI] WWI List Re: Hyperscale W29 build - strange lozenge

Karen Rychlewski krychski at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 1 00:14:00 EDT 2011

On Jul 31, 2011, at 6:37 PM, Shane Weier wrote, on the subject of naval hex camo:

> James says:
> >I'm gonna throw in my half baked 2 cents worth:  Personally I tend to think these days that the 
> >naval lozenge was painted (gasp!), similar to the painted lozenge on the Gotha bombers and
> > the AEG bombers. 
> Just to keep our terms aligned, the painted finish on Gothas has been called "painted polygon" rather than "lozenge" to distinguish the large non-repeating pattern from the small repeating pattern of loz fabric (which is also used on some Gothas) and the regular repeated patterns of Hex. From here on in I'll try to use those terms myself.
> Anyway - yes, painted hexagon makes considerable sense when you start trying to understand why the rib tapes aren't easily visible. Either 
> 1: They aren't there (which is impossible IMO) or 
> 2: Someone went to bizarre and unneccessary lengths to cut and align printed strips to match the fabric on each rib or

The sainted Harry Woodman believed this to be the case in an article in "Aircraft Modelworld", October, 1984.

> 3: They *are* there but hve been painted over at the same time as the rest of the hex pattern was applied.

Ahhh but...if they were painted, why did the painters change the orientation of the hexes on the ailerons and elevators? On the wings, the hex 'flats' are parallel to the leading edge—on the ailerons, the hex 'flats' are at right angles to the hinge and trailing edge...

> I can't recall (and I'm at work with no books) whether I've ever read anything approaching a reference to primary evidence that preprinted fabric was used. Certainly the A/H used painted hex, so I wonder why it hasn't been considered for the German forces. Is there a written account somewhere that I have forgotten?


Peter Grosz in DF 55, in the 'Fabric' section, refers to a document from January, 1916, which "...carried details of painting and finishing instructions for naval machines including the three-colour hexagonal camouflage fabric..." and further on Grosz refers to a supplemental document from March, 1917, that specifies how the printed fabric was to be applied.

The three colors specified were 'grey brown', 'grey blue', and 'grey violet'. The Wingnuts hex decals appear to be this color pattern–the so-called 'brown pattern'. Interestingly, the sample of the 'brown pattern' printed on the back cover of DF 55, to my eyes, isn't even close to the colors of the Wingnuts decals on either of the two Hyperscale builds or the Wingnuts instruction pages on their own website. The 'brown pattern' colors on Americal Gryphon's hex decals (© 1984-1985) are considerably closer to the DF colors. So I have to wonder if there's been something between the 1996 DF 55 and now that changes the values of the three colors; and/or if Wingnuts changed the colors for some good reason. I'd really like Ray Rimell to surface with some comments on the subject.

Until someone finds a W29 or W12 or Albatros W4 forgotten in a German barn or someone invents a time machine, I fear we'll never determine the true state of affairs

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