There were 3 types of finishes applied to the Oeffag built Albatros D. wings in 1918.
1. Plain bleached and unbleached linen.
2. "Brumowski Distribution" - upper surface only.
3. Preprinted Sworl Camouflage - upper surface only. It is believed that this pattern was used originally on "oriental" large area rugs.
On the Albatros D.II and D.III Oeffag, Hansa-Brandenburg D. and Phönix D. fighters. Some fighter unit commanders allowed that their own aircraft had field applied painted finishes. The late Dr. Martin O’Connor was the leading Austro-Hunagian aviation historian in his day and called these irregular sworls the “Brumowski Distribution” as it is believed to have originated on aircraft flown by Haupt. Godwin Brumowski and his unit Flik 41J.
A base colour was applied to those parts of the aircraft that were visible from above (Usually just the wings and tail units) and this was covered with a second contrasting color in two distinct styles:
1. A reversed “C” or comma shape applied using a sign painter’s letter brush.
2. Or distinct short strokes applying short blocks of color applied with broad faced brushes, such as the type common for white washing houses or fences.
At first the base colour for the Albatros Oeffag 53 series was a summer leaf green which tended to be light and the secondary camouflage markings were deep mustard yellow. Quite possibly due to the time of year the airframes arrived at the front, the Albatros Oeffag 153 series began to arrive with the base colour a dark green.
The term "sworl" could be applied to the "hand painted" attempts but the lack of uniformity or consistant pattern would in my humble opinion not qualify. That is why it was called it the "Brumowski Distribution". Someone obviously tried to hand paint the sworls and they might have been attempting to recreate the "printed fabric pattern" free style. It would be like the Germans using splotches of paint to imitate the hexagons of the preprinted Lozenge 4-5 color.
Mine came as a single 5.5 X 6.5 sheet comes with a ¾ inch border with a centralized field of the “reversed” commas / squiggles. These were a red brown colour so I assume they were used on the clear doped linen, light cream painted or summer leaf green painted examples as a contrasting colour.
How to apply
They are typical in their make-up of waterslide ink based decals. Their worst problem can be fracturing and tearing. But the method that you use to lay them down makes all the difference.
First, do yourself a favor and spray the section you are working from with a clear gloss. Once this begins to dry it bonds the surface and when dry to the touch will keep fracturing and tearing on the edges to a minimum. Also, if you apply clear lacquer, plan on using these within 12 hours.
Second, remember always use a "new" blade to cut the sections of the strip. Do not use scissors on this type of decal.
Third, always use hot water to submerge the cut decal section in. Work one piece / section at a time.
Fourth, lay down liberally a decal setting fluid (Microscale blue script on the bottle).
Fifth, Move the decal section in place and after a few minutes roll the brush you applied the setting fluid with - over the decal and smear any excess fluid out over the adjacent areas.
Sixth, add liberal amounts of decal solvent or Sol (Microscale red script on the bottle). I usually hit the decal at least twice or even three times. When the decal wrinkles, it is working. Don't touch the decal at this Point.
When you get good at this you will be able to lay down up-to three decal sections at one time with very pleasing results.
Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914-1918 - Dr Martin O' Connor - Flying Machine Press, 1986. *ISBN0-9637110-1-6.
Austro-Hungarian Aces of WWI, Christopher Chant, Osprey Pub. Aircraft of the Ace #46.
Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of WWI, Peter M. Grosz, George Haddow & Pieter Schiemer - Flying Machine Press, 1993. *ISBN 0-9637110-0-8
C&C international – Vol. 19, spring and summer issues, "Markings and camouflage of Austro-Hungarian aircraft in WWI (Oeffag Albatros fighters), Dr Martin O' Connor.
When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Interesting subject matter and an aletrnative to plain clear doped linen.Lows: Decals are little more than squiggles on clear carrier and must be clear coated twice to use. Thickness of lines too narrow. Verdict: For the price they are worth a try. On the finished surfaces they are not bad at all.
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...