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Thunderbolt Research Centre
Research, Restoration, and other topics related to non-modeling aspects of P-47 history.
Hosted by Nigel Julian
Help on the first "Hairless Joe".
john41492
#442
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Monday, February 08, 2016 - 12:32 PM UTC
Greetings all,

I recently joined, and this is my first post. I'd like to thank all of you for the wonderful material you've gathered on what I consider to be one of my top 3 fighters. This is a great site!

Currently I'm doing David Schillings Bu 427938 (first Hairless Joe - Hewlett-Woodmere Long Island). I picked up a nice set of decals (SuperScale # 48-456) but am hitting a bit of a wall on the insignia carried. The set comes with the red surround ones, though I thought they were phased out of service in September of 1943. An additional photo of aircraft has what appears to be the star with the yellow surround and white bars with no boarder and 4 kill marks. Since Shilling scored his first kill in October of 1943 I'm a bit confused. Does anyone know what insignia the aircraft carried after Schilling had scored his first 4 in this aircraft? Or if it ever carried the red surround insignia. Brevity is not my strong suit!
greatgonzo
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Posted: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 12:28 PM UTC
In my opinion the pic You are talking about shows full red outline. Some could see the yellow circle and red outlined bars, others bars with no outlines. The quality of the picture is a factor here no doubt. Still full red outline makes sense here, considering the time frame. OK, it was redundant at the time, yet over painting the insignia wouldn't have been a priority at the moment. Especially as they have been already once corrected, just a moment before. Early October is not that far from the order converting the outlines to Insignia Blue.
john41492
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Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 12:02 PM UTC
Thank you Radek, I've been looking at so many photos that I suppose my eyes glazed over. I can maybe see the outline on the bars. I'm going with the red surround insignia as it makes the most sense, also I find them more aesthetic. Again thanks for knocking me off the fence!
lampie
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Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:14 PM UTC
Although it originated in the States earlier, the actual order to over paint the red borders blue wasn't received by the 8th FG's until 4th November 43.
A primary source is 4th FG daily operational records.
john41492
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Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 06:34 AM UTC
Thank you Nige, While it was settled in my mind, looks like it's put to bed now.
john41492
#442
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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 11:48 AM UTC
Hi all,

Apparently one thing leads to another, or in this case many! I have a few more questions regarding this aircraft.

First, as Nige pointed out in a post from "Hairless Joe" there is a star on the inboard wheel hubs. Anyone know what color the hubs were? I'd guess one of two, either the squadron color red or neutral grey. Though in the photo it looks rather dark, granted it's under the plane.

Second, when did the call for olive drab gear struts come out? Can't seem to find a good shot of the gear, my guess is yes, then again it seems that this too differed from plane to plane.

And finally, for now, in the photo the olive drab appears dark. I do know that the OD used would weather due to UV exposure at higher altitudes with a slight purplish tint. Is this what I'm seeing in the photo or is it poor lighting?

Thanks in advance for any help with this. I'm really trying to build an accurate representation of this plane.

John
greatgonzo
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Posted: Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 10:42 AM UTC
John, I don't think You'll find answers to Your questions. Except the struts, which were OD all right.

I haven't seen a pic of Hairless Joe's hub clear enough to say what was exactly paainted there. The colours would be nothing else but guessing matter. I see no reason why Your guess should be less accurate then mine for example.

The wartime colour pictures were rarely spot on the colours shown. What we see on our screens may be quite far from the looks of the originals. Many reasons for that. You need Your educated guess again, I believe. And the more 'educated' you are, the less you know, if I may add such a remark.
john41492
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Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2016 - 02:30 PM UTC
Radek thank you for the reply, and I do agree. I'm pretty educated, so we know where that leaves me! So as I trundle along I seem to get more and more questions...

In the below photo the squadron lettering appears grey. My guess is that it is a shadow effect. However the decal sheet that has the markings for this aircraft has them in grey. Where they grey? My guess is no, and the decal guys goofed. Then again...

greatgonzo
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Poland
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Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 04:22 AM UTC
I agree with 'Then again...'. 'Then again...' is our companion, unwanted, but always present.

Other pictures of Hairless Joe show the LM code letters white. And it is the same for other aircraft with the same code letters configuration. The S letter is surely white. I have newer seen code letters of the group in grey. Of any other group as well.
Interesting thing is other pics may suggest founding inscription being yellow. MAY SUGGEST, nothing more. I have seen colour pics of this writings only in white.

And ther remains our friend 'Then again...'.
john41492
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Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 03:07 PM UTC
Thanks so much Radek, I kind of thought the grey was an odd color. Plus all my research agrees they would be white. Looks like I'll be making some stencils for the odd shaped LM on the port side. Sigh.

You've been most helpful to me, and I've learned yet more on a "way cool" subject. So while I'm at the well of knowledge, I dare ask another question in the hopes of not unleashing a firestorm. I've read several post regarding the interior colors of the early D's. And nothing seems conclusive, though I did enjoy Nigel's thread on the zinc chromate color despite it not going all that far. As well as he, Peter and Zbigniew's book. So without photographic insight what are your thoughts on the zinc chromate colored cockpit? Personally I think it feasible, but unlikely. With that I do have to add the "But then...."
AussieReg
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Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 03:57 PM UTC
Hi John.

With regard to interior colour, I take the cheats way out and use Gunze H58 Interior Green. In my eyes, once I have applied a grungy wash, it can be taken either as a tinted ZYC or a faded Dull Dark Green.

Cheers, D
greatgonzo
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Poland
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Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 05:55 AM UTC
John!

I don't know. Not far ago it was common belief all P-47s were painted DDG in the cockpit area, less P-47 G's which should have been painted with Curtiss version of IG there. It isn't so easy any more. Nigel's ZCY story is supported by other reasons like analyses of the recovered wrecks. There are traces of that in some discussions here if I remember correctly, with Nige's worthy input. Interesting example is a D-4 taken from the New Guinea Jungle. You will find some four shades of green there with none looking like DDG. Mostly it seems to be tinted ZCY, sometimes called Zinc Chromate Green or Apple Green. Colour used for a while on raised cabin Corsair cockpits. Others look like faded Apple Green, Interior green or Olive Drab. These four greens appear on the same areas (and there is ZCY too of course), so possibly aeons of lying in the wild made their mark on the original paint.

In the end I would go for DDG for late P-47 versions and I would scratch my head for others. It is my opinion ( means nothing more than a sheer speculation), that ZCY trace leads to known situation where subcontractors deliveries or pre painted series of items made the cockpits of aircraft kind of patchworks of different colours. Again F4U is a good example.

So writing all that I came back to the very beginning - I don't know.

By the way, the E&M for early P-47s (B,C,D) says two coats of ZC primer. Tinted ZC would follow this. Still, ZC tinted with black pigment and with aluminium paste looks different and the E&M wouldn't have been changed here since the beginning of serial production, as I believe.

So, don't forget, we have the 'Still' too.
john41492
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Posted: Monday, April 04, 2016 - 03:32 PM UTC
Radek,
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I appreciate it very much. I would tend to agree having seen the D-4 pictures. I also like the analogy of the F4U, makes sense, though in this game sense is seldom the reality. So I'll give it a whirl and see how it looks. Damian thanks for the hint, I may wind up doing it that way, though gonna push the envelope a little.

As always, just when I think I'm done, I still seem to come up with other little things that I notice. I believe the antennae on this plane is the whip style, yes? And the discolored mark below on the fuselage is the repair job on the radio from combat damage?

I've also been looking at a great many pictures of the early D's from the 56th and there appears to be few stencils. My first guess would be due to the Group coming from the US and having a well trained team. Then (just guessing) as the number of aircraft increased overall due to the war, the need for more and more stencils were required as there would be a lag in training. Any thoughts?
greatgonzo
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Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2016 - 10:49 AM UTC
John!
If You are referring to the light spot in the picture above it would be mice to confirm it with another pic. It can be anything here: a scratch on the picture, a large bird job, anything else or... skin repairing patch indeed. The last one should have been over painted though.

You're right with the antenna mast. Of course it is not a whip antenna like the one seen on many Malcolm Hood P-51s or the grounding wire sticking out of the underside of the Thunderbolt tail. It was a stiff wire, possibly even a bar. It is to be noticed that the mast was not placed in the axis of the razor spine, being slightly moved to the port side instead.

Stencils is an open question. There are factory stencils with no use for the maintenance at all. More or less important maintenance stencils are followed by theoretically very important inspection stamps. I am talking not only about P-47 here. Some wore of, some were over painted and left that way, even if they should never have been. Typical modeller's head ache matter.
john41492
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Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2016 - 03:23 PM UTC
Radek,
Headaches indeed! Based on what I'm seeing the stencils were sparse early on, so I'll go with comparisons of that. Good for me, as stencils are a pain!

Speaking of comparisons, know of any other pictures of this bird? Been looking and all that seems to be around the net is the one taken from "Ramrod to Emden". It'd be nice to see another shot. I do recall reading that Schilling was hit in the radio compartment, hence the question. My thinking would be a repair job with paint that didn't match. Black and white photos are tough on me!!

Regarding the antenna. I've seen that ones that carry the 'bar' type mast don't have an antenna wire going from the radio compartment to the rudder. Yet, the ones that have a full type of mast have this wire, which looks to enter the radio compartment from the starboard side just off the centerline of the spine. Could this be due to the layout of the radio within the compartment? The many little details! I hope that you're enjoying this as much as I am. I'm intrigued with the inner workings of this aircraft. And thanks again!
greatgonzo
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Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2016 - 08:11 AM UTC
There are few pics in the books I know of. Mostly showing the plane in the after Shilling life. With John Fields' crash site being most popular.
There is Hairless Joe colour close up and Dave Shilling in the cockpit with four kill marks on the board and an erk accompanying him somewhere in the net too. I have to admit I haven't browsed through all the books on my shelf.

Aaah, here is something I know of at last. The type of mast doesn't matter. The radio equipment does. RAF has been running VHF communication radios since 1940. USAAF has adapted in the ETO. Well, communication radio was not the only equipment which could have been needing wire antennas, but none was carried by ETO fighters. With SCR522 no wires in ETO Fighter Groups.
john41492
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Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 07:47 AM UTC
Radek,
Thank you so much! I read some more on the subject of the SCR522. Quite interesting! Odd that we see stuff in drawings and the like and just assume. My excuse is I tend to model stuff from the PTO (that's my story anyway!).

I think that you've armed me with quite a bit of useful information and I think I should be able to make a fair representation of this aircraft. Could not have done it without your help. Thank you again. Of course I'm sure something else will come up!
john41492
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Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:30 AM UTC
I apologize, but here I go again! I guess I should stop looking at pictures.

I'm seeing roughly 3 different colors painted onto the crankcase of the motors... and they don't seem to follow a pattern that I see, unless is it from the mfg plant where they were made.

Pratt and whitney has an example of it in what is at best FS 16081 called Navy Gray. Pretty dark gray

I see others that are Neutral gray FS 36270. Neutral gray obviously.

I have also seen this one and it seems a bit more common, which is close to medium gray FS 35237... neutral gray with a touch of blue.

Any thoughts or help?

Thanks John
greatgonzo
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Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 06:29 AM UTC
Pretty dark grey would be all right. It is seen on every factory picture, P&W, Ford and others. Pictures of R -2800s with the Thunderbolts of the period only confirm that.
john41492
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Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 03:00 PM UTC
I concur with you. though I'm surprised by the engines I've seen in museums that are not painted as such. Oh well, when in doubt go with the manufacturer's design. I'll be going with the dark gray, done pretty. Thanks again Radek!
AussieReg
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Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 06:28 PM UTC
Neutral Grey with a generous black sludge wash to darken it a bit works for me, it is tucked away behind the spinner and props so it is hard to get a really good sense of the shade of grey IMHO.

Cheers, D
john41492
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Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016 - 03:27 PM UTC
Hi all,

Once again I come to well for drink of knowledge! I know the Letters on the port side are of a smaller variety, but I'm assuming that on this bird the starboard side would have been the standard 24" letters. Is this true? It seems that on the war bond birds they had the notation of the sponsor only on one side.

Also, I'm wanting to mount some bullet proof glass in the front of the cockpit. Where did this actually get attached? It appears like it is just in front of the gunsight, but did it also attach onto the forward canopy in some fashion?

Thanks in advance,

John
GazzaS
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Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016 - 06:37 PM UTC
John,
I'm no Jug aficionado, but I'm not bad at web searching.




In this picture you can see that there are brackets on top of the armored glass framing that are bolted to the canopy framing.

Going to Google, typing exactly what you want (here I typed "P-47 armored glass") and clicking on "images" will usually get you almost exactly what you want in seconds.

Best Wishes,

Gaz
john41492
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Posted: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 - 08:21 PM UTC
Thanks for the insight on internet. This is a good shot, clearly showing it. I've seen different angles, and wasn't too sure. In the earlier variants there seems to be a line along the same line on the windshield that appears to be a vent type window... to let the smoke out?? I recall this type of window on cars too. Thanks again.